OK - so this thread has popped its head up on various MTB forums in the past whille (Including MTBireland, Epicmtb.com etc...)
I am planning to cycle the WW next summer in a single day, going from Clonegal to Marlay - aiming to do it in 12 hours(ish).There are two of us planning to do it....Is there much interest out there in doing it or am I just a bit weird?
Has anyone here done it? Did you use OSI maps or the wicklow way trail guide? what time did you do it in? As far as I know Robin Seymore still holds the record..
any tips would be appreciated..
I've walked some of it. You will have to carry your bikes for some parts as the terrain gets quite steep and goes through some felled woods closer to Dublin, or maybe you can get away with wheeling them. Also, some parts of it are on road. Should be good fun. If you do it, let us know how you get on. I don't know if you are officially "allowed" to do it.
It's 132km overall with some very tough climbs,you'd want to be very fit if you're doing it.I've only done a few sections,the climb up Kilmashogue is grand,all fireroad.I left it after the climb and joined it again at Knockree.The bit in between is all fireroad though and well cyclable.From Knockree it goes down into a nice grassy river valley and then up some more fireroad to the top of Crone Woods.Then there's some steep singletrack into the valley above Powerscourt(I couldn't cycle this at the time but it's well possible),then there's a very tough doubletrack climb out of the valley.From the top it's a nice grassy uphill cycle to the top of White Hill and then the sleepers go all the way to Ballinastoe where the way continues on the road.So basically it's all cyclable up to Roundwood,not too sure about the rest.Good luck anyway,hope you accomplish it.
I'm toying with the idea of doing it next summer too. I was thinking over a couple of days staying over in a hostel or b&b along the way. 12 hours might be pushing it a bit. I think someone on this forum told me the record for doing it was something like 13 hours and I certainly wont be challanging any records. My idea was more like a few days off work and take a nice easy going break on the trails for a few days. I'll attempt doing it in one day only after I know the route well and have done parts of it a few times.
If your planning on doing it post a thread or pm me a few weeks before you plan on doing it, I'd be interested in tagging along. All I have is OS maps but no knowledge of the route itself so I need to do a lot of fact finding before I make any attempt.
Agree with Raam. Kind of challenge that you might need to walk first. I've walked half of the way and would not recommend it as a cycling route. Don't expect any cheers from walkers who quite rightly regard the Way as a walkers only paradise.
I've only heard of 4 people who've cycled the whole thing in one go, of which I'm one. We did it together a few years ago in 12:04 and we were out to set a good record time. Thats a good time, but definitely beatable. Be aware though, it was set by 4 very good endurance athletes (The winner of the Gael force 6, Ireland's best female mountain biker, and two members of the Irish team that came 16th in this years adventure racing world championships). AFAIK Robin came very close to cycling the whole thing a few years back but didn't quite make it. Its a big cycle, and you'd need to be very cycling fit to do it all in one go. There is a lot of climbing. We did it from Marley to Clonegal, as the big hills and technical bits are at the Marley end. The Clonegal end is pretty dull and straightforward. Overall, its about 99% cyclable. You're much more likely to encounter walkers between Marley and Glenmalure, so try and avoid that section in peak times (we set off at about 5am)
We didn't need to use maps. If you can spot signs with yellow walkers you don't need them, but I'd always bring them for backup. We'd have been familiar with 80% of the route anyway.
sounds ace, I think I want to do it now.
Did it two years ago carrying tents and the works, didn't really have a clue what we were getting ourselves into, 6 of us went - all on sub €300 mountain-bikes. We weren't out to break any records - we got pissed on vodka every night. Camped 3 nights and cycled through 3-days of torrential rain. We survived only on koka noodles.
That was a proper adventure.
If I was to do it again, I'd say the best fun would be to split it in two, staying in a B+B overnight somewhere half way and use a light cross country hard-tail. A huge amount of it is on roads so any serious mountainbike would slow you down for these parts.
For finding our way we just brought the walking guide book, hardly even needed it, it's pretty easy to stay on the route.
Definitely recommended anyway.
Modesty alert ! - these people are at the top of their game, if you're not a competitive MTB rider or other form of savage endurance athlete, do it in two days....
Dont worry about me - ill be fine doing it in one day.
I have done marlay to glenmalure, before , which was savage, the main thing was to get off the sleepers @ Djouce before the walkers arrive.
Ill wait until summer, and a day where its been reasonalblly dry for a few weeks previously.
Enduro - Question re: Water. Were yo uself suffiecient, ie camel pack and a few extra bottles, or did you stop get more?
A few of my mates have gone most of the way from Clonegal, but didnt have anything left to make it back over three rock. that would be a heratbreaker.
Ill post here closer to the time for pepole who might want to join... It wont be easy going, and will be doing it in a single day, hopefully sub 13hours.
What's your plan for getting to Clonegal? Train to Gorey then bike over?
that is an option -
however it actually depends - In order to keep Walker Agro. to a minimum, the group wont have more than 5/6 people.
Plan to set out at 7am or so, some people may stay in Bunclody or Clonegal the night before...If people are doing it this way -
the Bus Eireann Expressway service from Dublin's city-centre bus station (Busaras) at Store Street to Waterford will leave you at the village of Kildavin, just 3 km from Clonegal. Alternatively continue to the larger town of Bunclody (Clonegal 5 km) to make final preparations and purchases. So wheels etc off bike and into the bus storage wrapped in cardboard box.
I will personally be travelling down in the morning, will get a lift to Clonegal.
I have toyed with the idea of riding it for a few years, never got round to it though. I have walked most of it in different occasions and once the weather holds up should be great. Many years ago I did the three rock bit with my dad in febuary. He had a townensed touring bike and i was on a claude butler mountain bike.
It was Freezing. The water in our bottles had ice in it.
Get a lot of scrambler bike around there and they tear up the track so ened up walking a lot of it.
but I would love to give the whole thing a go, but only have a road bike at the mo and no money for a mountain bike.
Thats all excellent advice. the place to stay would be either glendalough (Nice hostel and hotel there) or glenmalure (The glenmalure inn is one of my favourite spots, but is extremely popular). IIRC, we all used XC hardtails when we did it. We would all have pretty good bikes.
You sound like you know what you're taking on anyway. WRT water: its easy to pick it up en route. lots of river and stream crossings. I would recommend using a camelback for water and a bottle for some go-go juice As it happens, we had friends tracking along and meeting us now and again en-route. This made life easier , as we were able to have a nice lunch etc (Outside the glenamalure inn where we could have bought it anyway), but that's a double edged sword, as it meant we tended to stop and chat for much longer than we would have been had we gone completely self sufficient.
I would also recommend starting well rested after a good nights sleep. I didn't, and I paid for it for the first couple of hours.
Robin never did it in one day (sorry bob). I did it with him in 1996 in 2 days, cycled down on the road, then from clonegal to tinahealy. Next day did the rest. Not too many BIG hills so not too bad. 10 hours for fit MTBer is about right, if it was a race I'd say it would be done in 7.5.
Gotta plan it right, drink water all the time, and eat loads. Trail conditions are a big thing too, gotta be dry.
First 30km is kinda crap, farmers fields and that kind of thing.....gets a lot better at Aughavanna.