The Wild Geese hosted their second Social Soccer International veterans tournament - this year there were 16 teams from all over Europe.
The Wild Geese MTB team went training in the Wicklow mountains in preparation for the big event this week: AMULET 24hours MTB event in Liberec, Czech Republic.
We hired our Trek bikes at http://www.biking.ie/ who for only ten euros delivered them to Ballinistoe, and also came to bring them away when we were finished. The bikes were 30 euros to hire for the day, were quite new and in excellent condition.
This is a review of Ballinstoe Mountain Bike Trail: http://www.mountainbiking.ie/index.php/mountains/coillte-trails/ballinastoe-woods.html. This is an extract from that good site:
"Ballinastoe is a 14km trail and takes about 1.5 - 2hrs. The descents are gentle winding single track. The return loop uses both fire road and single track. If you are used to mountain biking you will have no problems here. The terrain is a combination of granite rock and hardcore, forest floor and boards. Speed is regulated by strategically placed rocks and switch backs along the way so it is a very safe trail. Recent harvesting along the route has resulted in some exposed tree stumps along the way. It would be advisable to have them ground down.
Each single trail section here has a slightly different flavour. Some sections are rocky with gentle uphill which interrupts your natural progression along the route. Other sections are sheltered forest paths which are relatively flat. Whilst one particular descent runs seamlessly along and includes some berms and gentle twisting single track. The bends along this stretch send you into a thoughtless trance. All you feel is the trail as your speed gradually increases and slows effortlessly.
The trail drains very well for the most part but there are patchy sections of mud at the top of the trail. The fastest stretch of downhill is becoming cut up in places and this is likely to have a negative effect on what is otherwise the most enjoyable section of the trail. In more recent times the trail has become more and more worn and is more heavy going and tiring to cycle as a result."
Ireland's only International Veteran's tournament returns again on 24th-25th May 2014. Last years event was one of the largest ever events organised by the Wild Geese and 2014 should be just as much fun this year. Once again the Geese plan to host two tournaments with the same teams - an eleven-a-side and a seven-a-side.
For details of this years event please go to the Social Soccer website: www.socialsoccer.ie