The West Cork Hotel is delighted to announce its partnership with the premier cycling outfit in the area – Roycroft Cycles. Owned and operated by Skibbereen locals Dick Roycroft and his wife Kay, Roycroft Cycles have been providing expert advice and support to cyclists of all ages and levels for 32 years. Dick was originally involved with ‘Pannier Tours’, one of Ireland’s first cycling tour operators, and he has been a mainstay of the cycling scene in West Cork, and beyond, since.
Only nine towns in Ireland have been designated official ‘Hub Towns’ under the new National Cycleways initiative: Skibbereen is one, and, as such, offers three approved, signed, looped cycle routes (which can be viewed on Failte Ireland’s website). But Dick Roycroft argues that these routes tend to steer cyclists towards fishing villages, and cyclists choosing these options can often find themselves out on major roads and arteries. His quieter, more off-the-beaten track routes are superior, he argues, especially for city-cyclists/young families seeking solace, and safety, from cars and traffic:
‘’ We have designed seven of our own routes – three of which criss-cross the National Cycleways routes. All seven of our routes are signposted, bar one. But what’s unique about our cycleways is that we can promise that cyclists will be off the main routes for somewhere between 75-85% of the time. That’s something that few other routes can hope to match, and it is the reason why Skibbereen is such an attractive hub. For example, on our ‘Baltimore Cycle Route’, you’re only on the main road for 500 metres at the start of your cycle, and then for about a half mile downhill at the very end... Other than that, you’re on quiet back-roads….’’
It is worth pointing out that nobody knows those back-roads better than Roycroft Cycles. They have designed their routes with all levels of fitness and experience in mind; there are both half day and full- days cycles on offer (i.e. from between 14k to 46k, though Dick says there is currently a lot of interest in developing a longer, 80 k route).
Roycroft Cycles – based in the centre of Skibbereen - can provide bikes, helmets, maps, and will, with prior notice, organise tour leaders for advanced groups. As with any partnership being fostered by The West Cork Hotel, safety is paramount: You can trust in our advice, just as we trust in Roycroft’s.
Roycroft Cycles, Skibbereen – Tel : +353 28 21235
Skibbereen Cycle Map is located at the Schull Road roundabout in Skibbereen. Click Here for more information.