By Declan White a keen cyclist.
The climb out of Rostrevor was fairly steep and ‘out of the saddle time’. Yet it was beautiful. The road surface just a year ago was not what a cyclist liked to see, but much work was carried out to provide a fairly smooth ride. Religion was to dominate my thoughts cycling – past the church on the right and then past the Benedictine monastery. I wondered if a monk was looking out and perhaps offering a silent prayer for a weary traveller. The spin into Hilltown was fast and even and my miles totalled 17+. A sharp left followed by a sharp right put me on the Rathfriland Road.
I arrived at the roundabout after about twenty-nine miles and took the directions to Newry. I guessed I was halfway through my journey. Though the road was good, I had to focus on keeping an eye on the traffic, as it was quite busy. Similarly Newry itself was busy and care was needed cycling through until I arrived at the roundabout leading onto the duel carriageway. I choose the ‘Old Warrenpoint Road’ as opposed to the duel carriageway, as the traffic was practically nil.
There are a host of cycle routes on leaving the Mourne Lodge, routes to suit all ages and level of fitness. The one I chose included a loop, meaning I didn’t have to travel much of the same route home. The town lands of Hilltown, Rathfriland, Drumgath, Barnmeen, Shinn, and Saval to mention but a few unfolded before me in all their beauty. The scenery through the Mournes was spectacular and the route itself but one of many to see the mountain range in all its glory.