Check out some of the magical moments from previous tours.
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Ride the whole coast of Ireland in ten days!.
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Our west of Ireland tours take in some of the smallest, most remote, most scenic but most importantly, safe roads in the country.
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We use proper aluminium touring bikes with front end and rear bags for your stuff for the day, camera, wallet, SUN LOTION! Plus all our tours have their own support vehicles.
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Here's a few movies we suggest you watch before coming to Ireland....
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We have so many great pictures from ours tours, here's your chance to use them as a screen saver!
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About Us

The McQuaid family's involvement in Irish cycling:

Jim McQuaid left quite a legacy behind him. Twice National road race champion, represented Ireland at the '68 Olympics and numerous Worlds championships around the world, winner of the Grand Prix of Ireland no less than 10 times, winner of every single classic bike race in Ireland throughout his long career, National track champion in almost every discipline, competed in 6 day meets on tracks all over the world, the list goes on and on. Jim actually has records that he set in the 1950s that still haven't been broken.

Jim's later years saw him turning to managing Irish teams in international events. There is a famous story in Irish cycling folklore of one night in the Tour of Britain. The T.O.B., as it was know was widely regarded as one of the most presigious amateur stage races in the world and its list of winners pays testament to that. In '76 Jim was manager for the Irish National team. Early on in the race during an after dinner team meeting he told his riders that there was a 20 pound bonus, (about $30 at the time), out of his own pocket for the first Irish stage winner.

His three sons, Oliver, Kieron and Pat were on the 5 man team and reckoned this was a tall order as the race had the best riders in the world competing in it at the time including the world champion at the time, the Pole - Sukowski. The very next day the stage was into Blackpool and there was an Irish winner. Minutes after crossing the line the rider told Jim that the only thing he was thinking about for the last couple of miles down the long finishing straight along the sea front in Blackpool was the 20 pounds he had put up the night before. The riders name was Sean Kelly! Second place on the stage was the world amateur champion of the time and best sprinter in the world - the Pole, Sukowski. It was the first time he had ever been beaten in a straight sprint in his career.

There are 10 McQuaid children and their involvement in cycling is quite large indeed.
Jim and Madge had 7 sons and 3 daughters. All the sons raced and there has been a Mc Quaid at every Olympics bar two since 1968, a unique record in Irish sporting families. They all started off not racing though, but touring. Touring around Ireland and Europe with their tents, panniers and parents from a young age is how each of them began their careers on bikes. One thing Jim was quite serious about was his attitude to racing, he always said, 'if you're going to become a top class racing cyclist you are going to have to dedicate yourself to the sport in a way that you would not believe. And to do that you are going to have to find out first if you love cycling a bike. So get out there and see do you…'.

Between them they have won every single race in Ireland and have roughly 6 National road race championships gold medals between them. All the sons at some stage through their careers raced on the continent and Kieron is still the only Irish rider to have raced on every continent in the world.

Paul won the International Tour of Ireland in 1995 beating National teams from the four corners of the world and went on to represent Ireland in the Worlds Championships in Bogota, Columbia that October. This wasn't his first Worlds though, his first introduction to Worlds Championships level was in Chambery, France in 1989.

Paul also raced for 7 years throughout Europe and America, representing Ireland in the Giro del Regioni, Tour of Europe, Tour of Normandie, 'Garden of the Gods Classic' in Colorado, and the Tour of Isreal, to name but a few.  His racing days are well and truly over now though.  It's all hybrid bikes, straight handlebars and Guinness these days.  There is talk of opening Ireland's first coffee shop/bike shop with his significantly better half, Kelly, lately.  More info as we get it....

 

Pat was the Irish National team director from 1983 - 1986 and managed the Irish team in Los Angeles in '84. Pat, the eldest brother has recently been voted President of the World Governing Body for cycling, the U.C.I., Union Cicliste Internationale, in Switzerland.  No Irish person, in the history of our state has ever been President of a world sporting body before so we're all very proud of him, as is the whole country. It was actually Pat's company, l'Eventment, that worked for 4 years to secure the start of the Tour de France for Ireland and in '98 the Tour did start in Ireland.  Needless to say the McQuaid family partied that weekend!  Pat has also been Race Director on the Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia, the Tour of China, and the Tour of Phillipines.  On the right are two pictures of Pat. The first is him presenting the gold medal to Tom Boonen after he won the world championships last year. Below is a photo of him after he convinced his old friend Sean Kelly to work with him in the UCI.

Pat was the President of the Irish Cycling Federation from 1996 - 1999.

Darach, the youngest of the ten has represented Ireland in prestigious International races such as the Hessen Rundfaart in Germany, Tour de la Cote Picardie in France, Ronde de Vlaanderen in Belgium, and a bunch of races all around the USA.  For the past few years he has been instrumental in securing sponsors for professional bike races all over the planet, and is currently actively involved in trying to put together a professional racing team to compete on the World circuit.  We'll keep you posted on his progress on this score.  Oh and I'll be in trouble if I don't mention his win in the prestigious 'Shea Elliot' memorial bike race in '93 where he demolished the opposition, which included his brother Paul....

The list goes on again.

There are 3 'McQuaid cycles' bicycle shops in Dublin and Kieron is the second largest importer of bikes in Ireland.

There is now a third generation of McQuaids racing, Pat's sons and daughter David, Andrew and Kelly are following in their fathers footsteps and Kieron's son Gary is doing likewise.

David was selected on the National Team to represent Ireland in last year's Worlds Championships in Spain and performed very well indeed.

There is a funny story that we must tell you. In April, 1997 at the start of a handicap race called the Dublin - Drogheda all the riders were lining up before the start, (a handicap race is one whereby the veterans are let off first, then the juniors, then seniors, then the elites. Usually 3 minute gaps in between each group. And usually by the finish they have all grouped together). The veterans were being let off first, then the juniors and then the elite riders. A famous veteran, Sean Lally, came up to Paul and said "Paul do you realise I've raced with three generations of McQuaids, I've raced with your father, I've raced with his sons, you lot, and now I'm racing with his grandsons! I think it's time to get sense". The juniors never caught the vets, and Sean won the race with Pat's son David came second, proving that he isn't over the hill yet!

In October, 2002 the third generation of McQuaid cyclists did their family proud be being selected on both the junior 5 man and senior 5 man teams for the World's Championships in Belgium. Needless to say the whole family went to support them and I think there were more McQuaids at that race than any other family or group of supporters! A great weekend was had by all and the two boys rode very well. Both are now taking a break for a couple of weeks and are looking forward to racing in either Italy or Belgium in 2003.

And the story doesn't just end with the boys. Ann McQuaid for six years published bicycle magazines for some of the world's biggest bike races including the official Tour de France guide. She also published the official guide to the Grundig World Cup mountain bike series and the magazine for the mountain bike World's championships.

So all in all one could say that cycling is in the McQuaids' blood!

BUT, don't let all these stories of racing make you think that this is a training camp we are organising here. Quite the contrary, our tours are ridden at a very relaxed pace, we take all day to do each ride, we encourage as many photo stops as one can possibly make. (Anyone caught racing gets to clean the bikes that night). And we enjoy ourselves!


All photography taken in the west of Ireland on Celtictrails tours!!!
Celtic Trails, 1, Garden Villas, Portobello Harbour/Rathmines, Dublin 8, Ireland.
Tel: +353 862656258 Fax: +353 1 2722323 paul@celtictrails.com