In the end it all came and went so quickly! After months of preparations the big day finally arrived on August 24th, and the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018, was finally under way. We have so much to share, from an event that truly touched the hearts and minds of all who took part. So many wonderful places were visited, wonderful people were met, new friendships formed, histories and heritages imparted, battles re-enacted, and the fun and camaraderie that abounded was amazing. We will over the coming weeks feature the stories, photographs and video footage of every aspect of our journey, and what an adventure it was.
Irish Country Roads & Culture Trails would like to welcome you on this novel cycle through the history and heritage of County Laois. Inspired by the cycling exploits of William Bulfin in 1902, the organising committee have invested a great deal of time and effort in mapping out an interesting and varied programme of historic re-enactments, heritage information and fun events for your enjoyment.
The following are a few pointers to help you enjoy your cycle journey with us.
We will assemble at The Pavillion, Castle Durrow at 9.30am sharp, on Friday August 24th where cyclist will sign in for registration and have your personal luggage deposited in our event van.
Event souvenir “Passports” will be issued and first stamp assigned.
Bicycles will undergo a safety check. Please ensure that your bicycle is in good working order and fully roadworthy
Introduction to the event will be presented by Matt Doyle, Chairman, Irish Country Roads & Culture Trails.
A short extract from William Bulfin’s book “Rambles in Eireinn” will be re-enacted to set the scene for our cycle.
At selected sites throughout the entire event, the persona of William Bulfin will be enacted by Sean Conroy.
We will depart Castle Durrow for the Irish Fly Fishing & Game Shooting Museum at Attanagh Co. Laois at 11am. Here we will be greeted by Museum Curator, Walter Phelan for a guided tour of the Museum taking in some of its 7000 exhibits. A Fish & Game breakfast will be served here;
In celebration of this unique venue and also, the medieval theme of this year’s event.
We will depart Attanagh Museum at 1.15pm on our outward journey.
Full information, regarding Route Details and Times is in our event brochure, available to all participants on morning of registration. (more…)
Route and itinerary details for this year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, as our Event Tickets are now on sale! As well as our usual Full Event Ticket, you can now purchase single tickets for Day One and Day Two, should you so prefer.
We visit amazing heritage sites, and many places of interest in between; such as Castle Durrow and Heywood Gardens, round towers and hilltop strongholds, Gourmet Jams and Evening Markets, Museums and Heritage Centres, restaurants and public houses, eating as we go …. fuelling up for battle re-enactments, heritage talks, pageants, recitals, the long awaited return of the Seven Septs of Laois, music, song and dance, with our Austrian visitors, to mention but a bit of it, and then finish everything off in style, with a celebratory meal at the Ashbrook Arms, except that’s not the end of it because there’s more music, song and dance, vintage bikes and the likes, at Bob’s Bar, back in Durrow, where it all began…. where it all began it should end….. and begin once more, for next year we go again…. to where we yet not know, but rest assured that once again we’ll be rambling in Eirinn!
But before all that here is the itinerary/route details for the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018.
….. is a merging of two separate cycles, at the Rock of Dunamase, in Co. Laois.
The First Cycle
A Laois “Lores & Legends” Trail – Learn the amazing story of “Laois Sept -Rebel, Rory Óg O’Moore. It’s a 60 KM, two Day Event, on August 24th & 25th 2018, and is a Vintage Bicycle / High Nelly Cycle, through the rolling countryside of County Laois.
To explain more – It’s about parking the mountain bike, the 24 gears, the carbon fibre, the racer, and mounting a bicycle from another era…something made of steel…maybe even something a little bit rusty! It’s about dressing up for Ancient Ireland, sharing our heritage in the company of our overseas guests and generally enjoying the Craic. Whether you cycle on an old time butcher’s bike, a restored High Nelly charmer, with a stylish wicker basket, a 40’s or 50’s Raleigh, or a modern replica, it doesn’t matter. What does matter, is that you get involved in a novel heritage event where cycling is only part of the fun.
The Second Cycle
The Listowel to Laois Cycle Challenge – “7 Septs of Laois Torch Relay” from North Kerry to Laois. To light a ceremonial Laois Septs Family “Vessel” at the Rock Of Dunamase.
To explain more – For many centuries before its plantation by the English, and it’s renaming as Queens County, Laois was under the control of the Seven Septs (Local Clan Families). Following many bloody battles, the surviving members of the Septs were transplanted to Kerry, being under sentence of death should they ever return to Laois. The Septs were established in Kerry as tenant farmers under their landlord, Patrick Crosbie. Descendants of these Sept families remain in Co. Kerry, down to the present day.
(excerpts from the book; From Laois to Kerry by Michael Christopher Keane)
To mark the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, seven torches, each representing one of the Seven Laois Septs will return to Laois, in cycle convoy, to light up a “Ceremonial Laois Sept Vessel” at a special Heritage gathering at the Rock of Dunamase.