Irish Slievenamon Event 2014
photo to see a larger picture - then just follow the slide show.)
Without a Weymouth week this year we decided to enter the Irish Veteran
& Vintage Motor Cycle Club's Slievenamon event for pre-31 motor
cycles. I'd heard about it from several people who all said it was
worth doing. So, entries were made and the ferry was
and I, along with our 1925 Indian, eventually headed for
and Ireland on Thursday the 15th May in our VW van. We were booked on
14.30 boat, which docked in Rosslare at just after 6pm. We then had a
65 mile drive to Kilkenny and the Clubhouse Hotel. The event was to
with a get together in the hotel bar for drinks and supper at 9pm -
fitted in with our ferry and drive, or so I thought. Luckily we met
Peter Bovenizer on the ferry which was useful as we were able to follow
him to the hotel - just as well, as we would never have found the hotel
car park entrance.
We arrived at about 8.30pm to be told that the get
together was not in the hotel but in Brennans, which was at the end of
the road and on the other corner. Also we had to be quick, as the time
for the get together was 8pm, not 9pm as stated in the documents and
that all the food might be
gone. Something else that we didn't know was that signing on had been
that afternoon between 2.30 and 5.30, Anyway, we quickly
into the hotel and set off for Brennans. On reaching the end of the
road, all that was to be seen was Dochertys pub. So we walked on even
further and eventually came to a church with no sign of Brennans.
Walking back I was beginning to think that things were not going very
well at all. Back at 'the end of the road' and we couldn't see
Brennans, so I tried Dochertys and was welcomed in and eventually told
that Brennans was on the other side around the corner, hooray, we
eventually found it.
event was to be a short social run from Kilkenny out towards Durrow for
lunch. The 'short' social run was 91.8 miles and after having a good
look around all of the bikes we set off on the morning run of
45.7 miles. We found the going pretty tough as the side roads were a
tad more than bumpy. On a bike with a rigid back end and
tyres that need to run at 50psi, every bump was felt. Having
that the scenery and countryside was lovely.
the time we had got to the lunch stop, both Jean and I had had enough
of bouncing around, so after lunch we decided to straight line it back
to the hotel. Always a bit risky, as there was no recovery following
us, but we just couldn't get up the enthusiasm for the afternoons run.
Back in Kilkenny we were able to have a look around the town and found
it very interesting and well worth a visit. After checking
the bike over for the main event the following day,
the evening, which was supposed to be a visit to Smithwicks Brewery,
changed to an evening spent in the Hotel bar with a complimentary
drink, as the visit could not be arranged.
Even more bikes arrived for the Saturdays Slievenamon("Mountain of the
women") main run.
mornings run took us out over yet some more of Irelands bumpy roads. We
were on a 20mph schedule and managed fairly well until we were
baulked on a steep hill by a Mercedes car. Anyone who knows my Indian
is probably aware that it has only one brake on the rear, operated by
the right foot and that the clutch is foot operated on the left,
consequently hill starts are an impossibilty. I had to back the bike
down into a farm driveway and Jean stood in the road to call me out
when it was clear.The clutch control is a bit hit and miss but after
biting I shot out into the road and did a speedway 90 degree left turn.
Bottom gear took me up to the top of the hill where I had to wait for
Jeannie to walk up. By this time, the 20mph schedule was out of the
window, so we just pressed on to the morning coffee stop and then on to
the lunch stop at the Millrace Hotel in Bunclody.
Lunch stop in Bunclody:
Bunclody we filled up the tank ready for the afternoon run of 47 miles
back to Kilkenny. Not long after leaving Bunclody we turned left on to
the road signed as 'South Leinster Way'. The single track road went up
and over the Leinster mountain and the views were spectacular, so I
was told, as apart
from having to use bottom gear all the way, dodging the myriad of
cyclists that were all pedalling up the mountain and trying to miss all
the potholes and bumps, I never took my eyes off the road. I would
guess that the climb was the best part
of more than two miles - and all done in first gear. It took ages and
it was a
real pleasure to get to the summit.
On to the afternoon coffee stop in
Goresbridge it was simply a 23 miles ride back to the hotel.
However, we stopped a few times as the ride on the back of the Indian
was beginning to tell on Jean and her knees were swelling and becoming
quite bruised with all the road bumps. The front seat spring on my
Indian seat had begun to flatten out with all the buffeting from the
roads and it was beginning to gouge the frame - I really must lose some
weight. We eventually made it back and both of us were quite
happy to put the bike back in the van and forget the social run that
was on the following day. A soak in a hot bath helped with some of the
aches and pains and by 8pm and the evening dinner we were both feeling
a lot better.
The following day was spent exploring more of Kilkenny and
at lunchtime we decided to forego the organised end of event dinner and
so we headed off for the Rhu Glenn in Slieverue, which was to be our
base for the following 8 days and the Irish/Welsh event the following
weekend. As to the Slievenamon, it was too hard for both Jean and
myself and our bike. Great country, great people, great
food, but terrible uneven side roads that need a bike with better
and wired on tyres. I can't see us going back in the future. Thank
goodness that the weather was on our side for
the weekend, with
plenty of sunshine on the days that we were out riding.