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  1. Introduction
  2. The Top Riders in 2017
  3. 3rd Rideout Presentations
  4. New Machines in 2017
  5. Trips Taken in 2017
  6. Venues Planned for 2018
  7. CRRG Embroidered Gear
  8. Website
  9. Gallery

1. Introduction

2017 has been another great year for the CRRG. Thankfully, the weather has been mostly favourable to us again and we have had some fabulous spins in glorious sunshine. We completed an amazing 32 trips, the majority of which were to new venues all over Ireland, as well as a weekend in the Lake District in the UK. Having exhausted all the possible venues around Leinster, we are now venturing further, taking in venues as far afield as counties Tipperary and Down.

And we have had 10 new riders join us – John (Hicks), Iwona, Darra, Mike, Paul (Nugent), Adam & Anna, Neil, Derek and Keith. Although a few only joined late in the year and others only managed to get out for a couple of spins with us, they all seemed to have enjoyed the spins, the company and the informal nature of the CRRG. We hope that they’ll all be back out again with us for a good few spins in 2018.

Speaking of coming back out, it was great to see the Return of The Mark. Mark Doyle had given up biking in favour of Disco (Land Rovers!) but joined us on a fab spin to Corlea Bog and Saints Island. We had a great laugh and I sincerely hope that he’ll join us again in 2018.

And there may well be more returns by former members to the CRRG fold in 2018 – details are sketchy at the moment so no information is being released yet…………

2. The CRRG Top Riders in 2017


There are now 7 “Centurians” in the Group – riders who have completed 100 or more rideouts with the CRRG : Sandra, Andy, JR, Mark, Paul, Darragh and myself. But (apart from Sandra) the record for the most spins in the shortest length of time must go to Vincent who has hardly missed a spin since he joined in 2015 and no doubt will soon be joining the elite ranks of the Centurians.

Apart from the CRRG 3rd Rideout keyring presentations, a few members have served with honour and distinction in 2017 and have been suitably rewarded. The only member to have ever been awarded the CRRG Bronze Cross is, deservingly, our very own JR. He was also rewarded with a gold “Service to Welsh People” medal And, along with Karl, he was also awarded the Gold Star for service to Welsh tourists.

But as well as helping Welsh people, the CRRG also had occasion to deploy its very own Rescue Service on a number of occasions to assist stricken motorcyclists and motorists alike. The trusty portable power bank has started Pat’s Pan and a Ford Focus. The tyre-weld and tyre plugger have gotten JR out of trouble and a lonesome Ducati rider near Blessington. And Claudio and Darragh are forever on hand to help pick up any inadvertently toppled machine!

So it just goes to prove that we should all be prepared for anything and carry tools, puncture repair kits and battery boosters….(and First Aid kits)!

The Top Riders in 2017 Were as Follows (Up to November):-

  1. Alan - 32 Rideouts
  2. Vincent - 30 Rideouts
  3. Sandra & Andy - Rideouts
  4. JR - 23 Rideouts
  5. Mark 16 - Rideouts
  6. Paul 15 - Rideouts
  7. Darragh & Claudio - Rideouts

The “League Table” for the 2017 Season:-

2017 Rideouts
1 Alan 32
Andrea 8
3 Andy M 27
Anna (Kamil) 2
Arek 12
Brendan Boland 3
7 Claudio 14
Colm K 1
7 Darragh 14
Derek 11
Ger Lahart 5
Gordon 6
Jann (Darragh) 2
Jason K
Jim 5
John P. 5
4 John R. 23
1 Alan 32
Kamil 2
Marco 5
5 Mark H. 16
Mary Gygax 1
Mick 7
Pat 5
6 Paul 15
Pete 5
3 Sandra 27
Therese 23
2 Vincent 30
Aidan Kirby 2
Martin Y.
Isabelle (Gordon) 3
Noel Tonge 2
John Hick 1
Caoimhe Sweetman 1
Darra (Megabikes) 1
Iwona Sieracki 8
Paul N. 7
Mike Karas 2
Adam Skrzydlewski 1
Derek Murhphy 1
Anna Skrzydlewski 1
Mark Doyle 1
Neill O'Connell 1
Keith Sayto 1

3. 3rdRideout Presentations in 2017

Getting a Ring

Arek gets his CRRG keyring and Emergency ID strap and is now one of the regulars, along with Iwona.

Getting a Ring

Noel gets his presentation from JR (with a Masonic handshake……)

Getting a Ring

Anna receives her award from Kamil

Getting a Ring

Vincent does the honours at Iwona’s presentation

Getting a Ring

And Paul N. was never so happy……

4. New Machines in 2017

Getting a Ring

Vincent's BMW R1200RS

Getting a Ring

Brendan's Latest Kawasaki GTR1400

Getting a Ring

John H's 2017 R1200LC (Apologies for the photo quality)

Getting a Ring

Alan's 2016 MT09..traded-in for the nice 2013 R1200GS LC below....

Getting a Ring

Alan's R1200LC

Getting a Ring

Karl's "Winter Hack" - GPX600 (!!he's a boy racer"!!)

Getting a Ring

Marco's sleek All-Black - BMW R1200 GSA LC

Getting a Ring

Darragh's (and Jann's) Suzuki SV650!

Getting a Ring

Secret ??????????

5. Trips Taken in 2017

List of 2017 Trips
(New venues highlighted)
1 Wicklow Gaol 21/1/17
2 Trim Castle Tour 29/1/17
3 Clara Bog Walkway & Rahan Monastic Site 8/2/17
4 Castlecomber Discovery Park (Mining Museum) 18/3/17
5 AMI Gorey Open Day & Cahore Point 25/3/17
6 Durrow Abbey, Offaly 1/4/17
7 Mullaghmeen Forest Park & Lough Crewe Cairn 8/4/17
8 Miners' Cross Memorial Avoca 17/4/17
9 Armagh Planetarium 22/4/17
10 Athlone Castle 6/5/17
11 Castletown House, Celbridge 20/5/17
12 Dunbrody Famine Ship, New Ross Sun. 28/5/17
13 Roscrea Castle & Damer House 3/6/17
14 Heywood Gardens, Ballinakill, Co.Laois 11/6/17
15 Arigna Mining Experience, Roscommon 17/6/17
16 Clontibret Wildlife & Heritage Centre, Monaghan 24/6/17
17 Birr Castle, 1/7/17
18 Cahir Castle & The Swiss Cottage 8/7/17
19 Ballymore Historic Features, Camolin, Wexford. 15/7/17
20 Glenbarrow Waterfall, Mountmellick, Laois 22/7/17
21 Attanagh Fly Fishing Museum, Laois 29/7/17
22 Spelga Dam, Mourne Mountains, Co.Down 12/8/17
23 Corlea Bog Trackway & Saints Island 19/8/17
24 Annual Spin to Rosslare and Christy & Ger 26/8/17
25 Shankill Castle, Paulstown, Co.Kilkenny 2/9/27
26 Moneygall - Ancestral home of Barack Obama 17/9/17
27 Castle Saunderson & Tullydermot falls, Cavan 23/9/17
28 Maynooth Castle, The Riordans, Phoenix Park & Castletown House 30/9/17
29 Kells Priory, Kilkenny 7/10/17
30 Weekend in the Lake District, England Fri 29/9 to Sun 1/10/17 (Derek, Paul C, Paul N, Mark & JP)
31 Glaslough, Monaghan & Castle Leslie 14/10/17
32 Kilmacurragh National Botanic Gardens, Wicklow 28/10/17
33 Greenore, Carlingford & Fitzpatrick's 5/11/17

We managed to visit nearly every venue which was on our list for 2017. We visited a huge variety of places from castles and abbeys, to bog walkways and parks and gardens. From forest parks to dams and from historic houses to ancient cairns. From old mines to a jail. From museums and wildlife centres to famine ships and even a Planetarium. Certainly something there to keep even the “hard to please” happy ! There were some memorable ones, especially the annual spin to Chrisy and Ger in Rosslare – always a big favourite among members.

Among my own favourites was the trip to Cahir Castle and the Swiss Cottage. The fabulous weather that day obviously played a big part but we had a great group too and we took some fantastic roads for one of our furthest spins. Another fab day out was the spin to Ballymore Historic Features near Camolin in Wexford. It was just so relaxing there in the peace and quiet of the countryside. The owner was so nice and hospitable and we all felt as though we could have stayed there all day in the sunshine at the little tea-rooms, in the middle of nowhere. Adam and Mike really got a taste of Irish hospitality that day!

One of the funniest and most enjoyable venues was Shankill Castle in Paulstown, Kilkenny. The hostess there was so friendly but quirky and slightly off the wall! It was an interesting tour too – just a pity JR wasn’t there to admire the paintings! That was Neil’s introduction to the CRRG too. Probably our best find was the recent short trip to Kilmacurragh National Botanic Gardens, near Rathdrum in Wicklow. It happened to be Keith’s first outing too. The gardens turned out to be a hidden gem. A place that many Wicklow people (like Derek) never even heard of! One of the best things about it was that it had a proper tarmacadam driveway leading to the car park !!. Far too often, our parks and forests are virtually inaccessible to motorcyclists because of poor, gravel, pot-holed, mucky, slippery, uneven paths leading to the car parks. You’d need a proper scrambler to access some places.

We also managed a long spin to Arigna mines in Longford/Sligo on another beautiful day. That was another brilliant spin and well worth a visit. The views from the hills there are magnificent.

But every spin is enjoyable. That’s why we go out every Saturday !! It’s not just the interesting venue or the chance to ride some fantastic roads. Or even the big Full Irish ! It’s the meeting up, the chat and the banter and the craic. We have a great group of around 40 members now and some life-long friendships have developed. Without the CRRG, many of us would probably never have met or gotten the chance to visit any of the 150+ venues we have been to.

6. Venues Planned for 2018

  • Annacarthy (Old RIC barracks near Cashel)
  • Ballaghmore Castle (near Roscrea)
  • Borris House, Carlow
  • Cavan Burren Park
  • Cave Hill & Belfast Castle
  • Fethard Medeivel Town (Tipperary)
  • Gosford Forest Park, Armagh
  • King House, Boyle
  • Loftus Hall, Wexford
  • Omagh Ulster American Folk Park
  • Parke’s Castle, Leitrim
  • Redwood Castle, Tipperary
  • Spike Island, Cobh, Cork
  • The Titanic Centre, Belfast

These are just some of the venues which we hope to get to next year. And there are lots more “repeat” spins worth taking the newer members to.

Having been up North a few times as well as all around Tipperary and almost into Cork and Waterford, I think we realised this year that, if we all meet on time, don’t delay too much and all stick together at a decent pace, we can easily do day trips to places we thought were beyond our reach. That will open up our choice of venues even more.

If anyone has any other suggestions, just let me know and I’ll ad them to the list.

Meanwhile, there could be plans in the making for a few trips covering stretches of the Wild Atlantic Way…………….

7. CRRG Embroidered Gear

I was very lucky to find a company in the UK which could supply our CRRG embroidered gear – polo shirts, t-shirts, fleeces and caps – at very competitive prices. And they could embroider both the crest and the logo for us. It was agreed by all that the quality and finish of the gear was excellent (Fruit of The Loom and Regatta).

It was great to see such a demand for the gear too, especially Arek and Iwona who ordered 2 of almost everything! Fair play !! But it does show your support and your recognition that we have something special going for us in the CRRG.

If anyone missed out and wants to order tops etc, I can put in another order early next year. But I need to order a minimum of 5 of each item.



Mark continues to administer the website and is doing a great job updating it with all the latest information such as the Weekly Trip Reports and the “Special” Reports.

We upload photos from each spin or trip and I’d encourage everyone to have a look through the hundreds of albums on the Gallery. There are some great photos there and some very humorous ones too in the “Funnies” album!

One of the best and most interesting tabs is the “Interviews with Riders” tab on the Blog of Alan. At this stage, most of the group have completed a set questionnaire and supplied their photo. The replies are sometimes surprising, sometimes funny but all are very interesting and give a good insight into “the biking lives” of members. I particularly liked Arek’s photo (taken in Poland around 1920 when he was 5 years of age). And of course Mark’s response as to who he’d like to play him if Hollywood made a film of his life is just “typical Mark”…….. If you haven’t read through them, it’s well worth taking the time. I hope to get a few of the newer members to complete the survey next year.

I recently added a couple of new articles to the Blog including “Weekend Spin” where I put up details of, and arrangements for, each weekly spin as well as updating it if a spin is switched or cancelled. SO, IF YOU ARE EVER IN DOUBT ABOUT ARRANGEMENTS FOR A SPIN, YOU WILL FIND THE DETAILS THERE.

9. Gallery


Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and all the best in 2018


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