Author Topic: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks  (Read 4778 times)

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Offline santiam bicycle

Hey all. My lady and I are looking to trip around the Green Isle for three weeks in the summer of 2010. Probably solo it, but are not opposed to tour company. Looking for any advice on where to ride.
We love great scenery, and great food. Would prefer medium to easy hill climbs. And, of course, low traffic. Thanks to all who reply and to all cyclist: have a great tour this year.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2009, 04:59:34 pm »
Ireland is good for cycling. Be sure to pack some really good rain clothes. Go to Bantry Bay, the ring of Kerry, and the Dingle peninsula, Galway, Connemara, and the Antrim coast. Ireland has quite a few youth hostels. Ireland has gotten to be quite expensive since the last time I was there.

Offline geegee

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2009, 10:32:35 pm »
One of the most magical moments I had while touring (and got me hooked) was riding through the Gap of Dunloe. I must have hit it at the right time because I had the place to myself.

I'd stick mostly to the coastal areas. The times I rode through a bit of the interior, I found the roads busier with inter-town traffic. Northern Ireland along the Glens of Antrim is probably one of the flatter coastal rides

Offline tonythomson

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2009, 11:03:31 am »
Definitely the ring of Kerry and agree the G of D is spectacular.

My advise is to get your right arm really fit before setting off as everyone waves to you and that arm is gonna get tired.  Great place - you'll really enjoy - don't need a tour company, masses of B&Bs and youth hostels. 

There is a thread in here somewhere relating a bad experience with a particular tour company - might be worth checking out if that's the way you might go.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2009, 11:14:57 am »
I'm sitting here waiting to begin the ST and waiting for this light rain to stop. It is barely a drizzle, But as I say on a cycling tour, the first drop that hits you is an act of god. The second drop that hits you is your own damn fault. I have been to Ireland four times. Only once was it by bicycle. That was in Ulster Province, along the coast of Antrim and to Derry. In July it seemed like a south Florida winter. Or was it June?

I sort of met a couple who were cycling Ireland in 1980. Our train was derailed, killing 18 and injuring about 65.

Offline santiam bicycle

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2009, 12:43:24 pm »
Thanks all for the replies. I looked at the terrain map on Google maps and figured the North was probably too hilly for what we're looking for but perhaps we'll try it after your advice to follow the coastal routes; thanks Geeg. I love riding in the mountain areas because the scenery is sooooo dramatic. Do any of you have advice on a tour book to recommend for both cycleing or for hostels and camping?

Offline santiam bicycle

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2009, 12:47:01 pm »
Oh, and to TonyT, yeah, i agree. I really love to hostel. I figured that's how we'd do it and I'd prefer not to have a tour group. Thanks for your input. I'm ok to use one if a bunce of folks recommend it, but love the freedom of going it on our own.

Offline Galloper

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2009, 02:24:40 pm »
Well, having been born and brought up in that glorious island - I can offer some advice.

You will enjoy yourself.   You will get wet, inside and out :)   If you start in Dublin, head out into the Wicklow mountains, OK, they're not really mountains by the standard of the Rockies, but plenty of hills to explore.   Then, if you fancy something a little more relaxing, head to the coast and follow that down towards Wicklow town.   

You will find that there's plenty of lovely places to visit inland, Kilkenny is well worth a trip, there's quite a spectacular castle there.  On to Wexford and around the coast to Waterford, another pleasant town.   Follow the coast to Youghal and Dungarvan.   Oh! and there's a really nice beach at Clonea, just east of Dungarvan.

I also recommend a trip to Clonmel and a ride through the Comeraghs.   I could go on, but you've probably got the picture by now.

A chap called Edward Enfield has written a very good book about a cycle tour around Ireland, you can probably get a copy from Amazon.

Slainte!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2009, 03:00:50 pm »
The Book "Miles From Nowhere" by Barbara Savage has something about cycling in Ireland. Apparently, their Goretex raincoats were not the equal of the constant rain.

I started out yesterday to do the ST. I had to wait until 3:00 pm to start because of the rain. I thought it would let up, and it did for a while and started again. It was on again off again all day and night and all day today. 25 miles in two days is not my idea of getting there. Now, I am back at the house. I am waiting for this cold front to pass before I go again. That's no way to start a transcontinental bicycling tour. Ahh well. It's a first.

Alpine makes a hiker tent. It costs about $35.00. Don't buy it. I used it. The rain soaked right through the rain fly and soaked me. I took my stakes and left the tent flat right there in the woods. The Alpine hiker tent is completely bogus when it comes to the rain.

Offline Galloper

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2009, 10:22:22 am »
Ahh! but it's warm rain in Ireland and there's always a pub nearby :)

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2009, 02:38:53 pm »
Wherever you are in Ireland you are not far from a cozy place to raise a pint of Guinness and plot treason. Ireland is famous for its pubs, for its rain, its forty shades of green, economic boom, and rebellion. We'll sing a song a soldier's song with cheering rousing chorus.... Watch those north winds along the coast. They can blow you back to where you came from. Learning a good deal about Ireland's history before going there makes it more interesting. If you should happen to get into a conversation to do with history, you would not have to be ignorant like I was my first visit there. The historical memory is strong in Ireland. Some books I recommend are "Ireland A terrible Beauty" and "Trinity" by Jill and Leon Uris; "The Story of the Irish Race" by Seamus MCmannus. "The Great Hunger." "The Invisible Army: A History of the IRA."

Offline santiam bicycle

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2009, 04:00:41 pm »
Thanks a lot Galloper and Westy! It's especially nice to get advise from someone born and raised there. I had a few questions Galloper: The National park of the Wicklow Mountains; are they pretty steep? I love to tour through mountains for the dramatic view, but my lady is not much of a cyclist and REALLLLLYYYYY hates long steep climbs. So i'm shooting for a trip as pleasurable and comfortable for her as possible. I hope to convert her into a traveler who prefers to explore by bike so I really want to win her over on this trip. Over-all, i guess i'm asking for a route that shows the best scenery possibe w/the least amount of climbing.
I've got a map that I'm highlighting the areas people are recommending.

Thanks again everyone!

Offline Galloper

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2009, 07:53:09 am »
Apart from some of the hills in Kerry, there are few you'll really struggle with.   The Wicklow mountains does have some steep climbs but they're not too long.   If you want to avoid them however, just follow the coast south from Dublin, through Dun Laoghaire and Bray, the coastal area is generally very pleasant and the view of Kiliney Bay is worth it.   You can also head inland up the river valleys.   for example, the River Suir from Waterford up to Clonmel is very pretty.   Likewise, in Cork, you can follow the Blackwater and so on.

I'm feeling quite homesick now :)

Offline santiam bicycle

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2009, 12:49:58 am »
Ok, if the hills aren't too bad we'll shoot for that route.
So, did anyone have any other suggestions for cycling specific travel books? I'm not finding too many.

Offline Galloper

Re: Ireland: Tripping to the land of "Eire". All advice welcome. Thanks
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2009, 06:40:02 am »
I can't think of anyone other than Edward Enfield who has written specifically about Ireland.   If you wanted general cycling books, Enfield has written several others.   Probably my favorite is Josie Dew who has written seven books and is both funny and inspirational.   A lady called Anne Mustoe has also written a wonderful book about cycling.   

If you do get to Clonmel, I can recommend Kinsella's pub at the west end of town.   (not mine, sadly but Clan loyalty always applies)

Peter Kinsella :)