irish loop off road completed

Blue = rideable.     Red = hike-a-bike.  Pink = section not ridden 'cause I decided to drink coffee and get Amy to pick me up.  :-)

Blue = rideable. Red = hike-a-bike. Pink = section not ridden ’cause I decided to drink coffee and get Amy to pick me up. 🙂

What an adventure! Long, challenging days, got to places I had never been before and time with friends. Here are the details in no particular order:

* total distance was 425 km
* it took 7 days
* we rode at an average speed of 7 km/h and hike-a-biked at 2 km/h (this includes time for stops, food, swims, berry picking, etc)
* the section from the top of Holyrood Pond to Trepassey was a major hike-a-bike
* resupply was easy – we passed at least a store a day and often more
* we ate a lot of fish ‘n’ chips and club sandwichs at take-outs
* a bald Endomorph tire on the rear and a well-used Larry up front worked just fine
* blackflies and deerflies (“stouts”) were an issue – thank god it was windy
* Point La Haye to St. Vincent’s and Renews to Cape Broyle were the highlights in terms of trail conditions and scenery
* we saw moose every day
* we drank beer most nights ( thank you Liquor Express!)
* the trails in and around Renews will make for great winter riding
* locals are disappointed when you tell them you are from St. John’s – by the end I was tempted to start lying

Paul, Amy and myself at the start.

Paul, Amy and myself at the start.

Our rigs - a Mukluk, a Beargrease and a Pugsley.

Our rigs – a Mukluk, a Beargrease and a Pugsley.

In Avondale.

In Avondale.

Relaxing on the beach in Avondale.

Relaxing on the beach in Avondale.

In O'Donnell's.

In O’Donnell’s.

Hard to believe Amy is a top-notch Enduro rider.  :-)

Hard to believe Amy is a top-notch Enduro rider. 🙂

The trail between Admiral's Beach and Mall Bay was some of this...

The trail between Admiral’s Beach and Mall Bay was some of this…

...this...

…this…

...this...

…this…

...and this.  That climb you can see in the background (out of Mall Bay) is a killer.

…and this. That climb you can see in the background (out of Mall Bay) is a killer.

Near Gaskiers.

Near Gaskiers.

Foreshadowing.

Foreshadowing.

From Gaskiers to St. Vincent's the ride is through pasture land and the views are wonderful.

From Gaskiers to St. Vincent’s the ride is through pasture land and the views are wonderful.

DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO

The barachois across the bottom of Holyrood Pond.

The barachois across the bottom of Holyrood Pond.

In St. Vincent's.  The dog was friendly but Skipper didn't think much of our plan to ride up the shore of Holyrood Pond.

In St. Vincent’s. The dog was friendly but Skipper didn’t think much of our plan to ride up the shore of Holyrood Pond.

The shore of Holyrood Pond is rideable - but just.  After 5 km we got off and rode to St. Mary's on the road.

The shore of Holyrood Pond is rideable – but just. After 5 km we got off and rode to St. Mary’s on the road.

On the trail from St. Mary's to the top of Holyrood Pond.

On the trail from St. Mary’s to the top of Holyrood Pond.

The start of Day 4, or as Amy put it: "The day we took our bikes for a walk."

The start of Day 4, or as Amy put it: “The day we took our bikes for a walk.”

We pushed our bikes up the pole line but once we got to the top discovered that there was a better trail out - doh!

We pushed our bikes up the pole line but once we got to the top discovered that there was a better trail out – doh!

Looking down Holyrood Pond from the top.  The hike-a-bike started a couple of kilometres later.

Looking down Holyrood Pond from the top. The hike-a-bike started a couple of kilometres later.

Caribou.

Caribou.

Moose.

Moose.

Half way into a 15 km hike-a-bike (7.5 hours) and Amy is still smiling!

Half way into a 15 km hike-a-bike (7.5 hours) and Amy is still smiling!

A refreshing swim in a pond...

A refreshing swim in a pond…

...and a bag of candy can be real morale boosters!

…and a bag of candy can be real morale boosters!

Trepassey is finally in sight.  We pigged out at the restaurant and then went to the store to pick up beer and chips.

Trepassey is finally in sight. We pigged out at the restaurant and then went to the store to pick up beer and chips.

The trail between Trepassey and Biscay Bay has had upgrades up to this bridge - about the half way point.  We found a trail up to the highway and made camp.

The trail between Trepassey and Biscay Bay has had upgrades up to this bridge – about the half way point. We found a trail up to the highway and made camp.

 

The old road from Portugal Cove South to Chance Cove is in pretty good shape, though it peters out near the park boundary, and, you guessed it...

The old road from Portugal Cove South to Chance Cove is in pretty good shape, though it peters out near the park boundary, and, you guessed it…

...more hike-a-bike!

…more hike-a-bike!

Near the wind farm in Fermuse.  This section was lovely for the scenary and trail conditions.

Near the wind farm in Fermuse. This section was lovely for the scenary and trail conditions.

ILOR 2014 157 ILOR 2014 170

Ferryland.

Ferryland.

DCIM100GOPRO

Taking a dip near Cape Broyle.

Taking a dip near Cape Broyle.

DCIM100GOPRO

I said goodbye to Amy in Cape Broyle and rode up Horse Chops Line to Mount Carmel Pond.

I said goodbye to Amy in Cape Broyle and rode up Horse Chops Line to Mount Carmel Pond.

The water levels were high in the resevoir so the beach riding wasn't as good as the last time I rode here.  I cut it a bit short and did a hike-a-bike over to Cape Pond.

The water levels were high in the resevoir so the beach riding wasn’t as good as the last time I rode here. I cut it a bit short and did a hike-a-bike over to Cape Pond.

 

Sunset on the last night of the trip.  On Cape Pond.

Sunset on the last night of the trip. On Cape Pond.

 

 

Please see Amy’s blog for her excellent write up of the trip.

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5 thoughts on “irish loop off road completed

  1. Hey Homer…looks like an awesome trip. The scenery and weather looked great and the fact that you could “fuel” up on the way is an added bonus. I especially liked the Homer “doh” in the text…true to your namesake☺.
    A side note, I have finally ordered a Hilleberg Soulo for myself in green for my covert camping adventures. I’m tired of monkeying around with tents that don’t measure up to the demands I place on them.
    Party on😆

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