Slieve Blooms Short Cycle Loop
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This ride is an easier alternative to the Slieve Blooms Long Loop. There is only one long climb and it has a cyclist-friendly gradient, never getting too steep.
Although there isn’t much to see from the top (it’s the Midlands) you can still see a long way both north and south. You also get some pretty good views on the cycle back to Portlaoise on backroads.
You reach the countryside very quickly from Portlaoise – in fact the vast majority of this ride is in the countryside.
The Cut is a well-known pass over the Slieve Blooms, so named because the road at the top of it is cut into a bog.
Slieve Blooms Short Cycle Loop Useful Info
Leaving and entering Portlaoise should be the only busy part of this route. The road surfaces in the Slieve Blooms can be poor in places – be careful on descents.
Portlaoise is on the Dublin – Cork rail line, with numerous trains running every day. There is a wagon which stores several bicycles on the Dublin – Cork intercity trains. Irish Rail has details.