Ric's Irish Adventure: Part 1

McLaughlin heads back to the 'auld sod' ... Hopefully

Maybe it's all the English flags hanging out of Citroen Picassos or the over-priced, poorly poured Bath Guinness that's done it, I'm not sure. But whatever it is, I've had a notion to head back to Ireland to tackle a lesser-known gem.

Editor Danny gave me the thumbs up to get the trip under way last week and I've been like an excited toddler after two tins of Red Bull on Christmas Eve ever since. 

Ballyhoura in County Cork is the destination tomorrow for myself and snapper James Porteous – 98km of beautiful Irish trails to get through in one day! Well, we mightn't ride all of it ... Worth a go though.

There was never any question of what bike I was taking – The GT Zaskar is a master at endurance, distance and composed singletrack slaying. Having said all that, I'm taking my Transition Covert!

She's benefited from some new lightweight kit of late and I've been crying out for a decent full day's trail slaying on it for a while now.

So I've just finished packing her into the excellent Evoc Bike Travel Bag. Basically, it's a massive bag which fits your bike like a glove, has wheels on and looks the business. It even managed to accomodate the Covert's 'I'm longer than the biggest battleship you've never seen' wheelbase.

Will I remember to get Euros out?! Will Aer Lingus bend me over a desk for excess baggage?! Will the Guinness actually taste any better?! Find out in tomorrow's exciting installment of Ric's Irish Adventure!

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