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Failte Ireland report on the Mayo Greenway

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,841 ✭✭✭Zippe


    Hey,
    I'd bring the geared bike,it's not bad but there is a few small bits of hills on it,but nothing too bad,

    Zip,


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,653 Mod ✭✭✭✭smacl


    piston wrote: »
    As a railway, I would assume it is pretty level?

    I'm just trying to decide if I need my geared bike or not.

    Pretty much, although there's the odd steepish section they tend to be short. Nothing I couldn't manage towing a child, so should be fine on single speed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭Interceptor


    I cycled it just after it opened last year with my wife and two kids (7 and 11) and no one had any bother with any of the climbs or 'technical' aspects of the path. I was able to sprint ahead from time to time and not have to worry about the smaller ones getting lost or mixing with heavy traffic. The surface is great, the scenery is world class™ and the gates and road crossings made it interesting.

    If I had one gripe (only one?) it was that there was no car parking at the Wesport end and since I couldn't trust the kids to cycle out from Westport on the main road I had to ask a resident if I could use their driveway. They whined about inconsiderate cyclists blocking the place with cars but let me park. Would it have killed anyone to provide (paid?) parking?

    All that said, its well worth a spin if you get near it. Its so nice to be able to cycle a distance without having to worry about motorised traffic.

    'cptr


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,948 ✭✭✭gizmo555


    If I had one gripe (only one?) it was that there was no car parking at the Wesport end and since I couldn't trust the kids to cycle out from Westport on the main road I had to ask a resident if I could use their driveway. They whined about inconsiderate cyclists blocking the place with cars but let me park. Would it have killed anyone to provide (paid?) parking?

    It's true that the lack of parking is a big flaw, especially given that there is a large plot of land belonging to a developer in the immediate vicinity which ain't going to be developed any time soon - it would make a lot of sense for the local authority to lease space there and it shouldn't cost much.

    Don't say I told you, but the Teagasc centre at the junction of the Newport road with the side road leading to the Westport end of the Greenway (about 400m away) has a decent sized car park, which is empty at weekends. ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 420 ✭✭Green Diesel


    Does anyone know the current status of the works on the N59 section outside Newport? Is it still on-road at this point?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭at1withmyself


    Does anyone know the current status of the works on the N59 section outside Newport? Is it still on-road at this point?

    Ya the road works are still happening although you are diverted down the back roads and not on the N59 itself. Its something like 3 km on the back roads.

    I finally got up there on Monday and enjoyed the spin. It was different and unique for Ireland I thought. I bought the new mountain bike for its maiden voyage and the trip from Westport was grand, just a bit of wind. However it started raining on the return trip and combined with the wind made it tough. Overall I covered 100 km and was tired after it but due to the rain on the return trip I stupidly didn't stop to eat.

    There was two gates to be opened / closed, the surface is either road or light gravel and the scenery was a bit non existant on Monday as it was overcast but I imagine its pretty special on a sunny day. There is plenty of opportunities for picking up supplies on the way. There is no major climbing and just some small bumps but overall it is up/down but being from Galway I think I still managed to ascend more then on a normal spin along the coast! I'd recommend knobblies for the spin but if you had nothing else then you could do it on a road bike as I have been on worse back roads!

    I will make a return trip during Summer when its not so Wet / Windy and look forward to seeing the views. Be interesting to see it with more people as well.

    As above comments the non-existent parking on the Westport side meant I ended up following the signs to the track itself and then had to circle back to the town to find parking. Due to this there is no shower / toilet facility either at either end. I think a small area for parking would be a good idea and is necessary but overall a job well done and hopefully it can only improve from now. An ideal place for families and leisure cyclist looking to dust off the bike to work scheme bikes!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,841 ✭✭✭Zippe


    gizmo555 wrote: »
    It's true that the lack of parking is a big flaw, especially given that there is a large plot of land belonging to a developer in the immediate vicinity which ain't going to be developed any time soon - it would make a lot of sense for the local authority to lease space there and it shouldn't cost much.

    Don't say I told you, but the Teagasc centre at the junction of the Newport road with the side road leading to the Westport end of the Greenway (about 400m away) has a decent sized car park, which is empty at weekends. ;)

    Hey,
    If you drive down the side road 500/600yrds past the teagasc Center there is a carpark at the school that is open to public,also there is a new play ground for the kids to play while you load up the bikes on the car,It looks like it's for the school but it's a public carpark,this is useful if other car park is full,there is a portoloo (small blue hut White hut) on the left on way down from Westport to Newport,I don't know how clean it is but I think it's for public use,It's about 1 or 1-1/2 k from Westport,

    Zip,


  • Registered Users Posts: 420 ✭✭Green Diesel


    Just did Westport to Newport after getting the train down from Dublin.

    Pretty impressed with it, not hugely fit so the trek up to where it begins was a bit tough. Once I got on the trail it was pretty easy going, a few hills but nothing major. All the gates were open, and saw some lambs so I was happy! Then came to the detour:

    197293.jpg

    197294.jpg

    The detour is on v. quiet backroads but a few steep hills are involved, it was my first time on the bike in about a year (that's my excuse) so was a bit tough at this point. Then you get back to the other end of the road works, this pic is looking back towards Westport:

    197295.jpg

    And this small section of N59 is leading into Newport, the hard shoulder can be seen in the distance.

    197296.jpg

    Anyway, much better than using the N59. Gonna try out the Mulranny section on Saturday or Sunday. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,969 ✭✭✭hardCopy


    meercat wrote: »
    more suitable for a mtb or a hybrid imho but others have said they have done it on a roadbike

    perhaps hire one
    they dont appear too expensive
    http://www.clewbayoutdoors.ie/content/bicycle_rental/

    dont forget your camera(stupid me)
    hope the weather stays fine as it was fairly blowing when i done it(just added to the enjoyment anyway)
    let us know how you get on

    I brought the camera, should have brought an MTB. I had Gatorskins on my own bike but my girlfriend had a set of regular Kendas and ended up with four punctures. We eventually ran out of patches and will and had to resort to me cycling back to get the car and picking her up.

    Have rented from Clew Bay Outdoors before and will probably rent there the next time we're down, won't be bringing the road bikes again. Also, the Westport Bike Shop, near the start of the Greenway do bike rentals, haven't rented from them but they sorted our first puncture of the day.

    At least we got some nice pics
    oYWdS.jpg
    mQlA0.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 865 ✭✭✭Stollaire


    How long does it take to cycle, in totality, not racing?

    And where exactly is the entrance/start of the Greenway in Westport?

    Go raibh míle.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,545 ✭✭✭droidus


    Oh dear

    Landowners living along the Greenway between Mulranny and Achill have blocked the route, and are vowing to keep it blocked until Mayo County Council meets their concerns. At issue, they say, is the council’s failure to instal adequate fencing and warning signs along the much-trumpeted amenity.
    The landowners closed off a section of the route at Owenduff, around 4km from Mulranny, yesterday (Monday) morning by locking a gate and placed barbed wire along the top.
    A spokesperson for the landowners told The Mayo News that they took the action because they were ‘fed up’ with the council’s inaction. “We want the Greenway to be opened, but we are fed up with the fact that the work has not been completed and nothing is being done about it.”
    He went on to say that when the landowners notified the council about their concerns a year ago, they were given assurances that the fencing and signage would be dealt with once the Greenway was open. However, ‘nothing has been done, and enough is enough’, he said...

    http://www.mayonews.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=15281:landowners-close-greenway&catid=23:news&Itemid=46


  • Registered Users Posts: 261 ✭✭clonmahon


    droidus wrote: »
    Oh dear

    Landowners living along the Greenway between Mulranny and Achill have blocked the route, and are vowing to keep it blocked until Mayo County Council meets their concerns. At issue, they say, is the council’s failure to instal adequate fencing and warning signs along the much-trumpeted amenity.

    Very bad timing this, right at the start of the summer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 710 ✭✭✭WildWater


    clonmahon wrote: »
    If this is what a crap cycleway can do imagine what might happen if we built some good ones. What would happen if we built a long cycleway through some great Irish landscape and it had no cattle grids, kissing gates, gates you had to get off and open, and it stayed open on the 20th of January (the Greenway closes on that day every year to ensure a right of way is not established).

    Going back to the OP. [FYI I have read all or almost all of the the posts so far and I know you have rolled back from the 'crap' comment.] I would however point out, because I don't think anyone has already, that the Greenway is a "trail" not a cycleway. It was designed to be a trail and is marketed as a dual purpose walking and cycling trail. May I further point our that walking always precedes cycling in the description of this trial.

    I don't recall ever, until reading this post, seeing it referred to as a cycleway. Even the report which prompted the clonmahon to start the tread does not use the term Cycleway (although I stand to be corrected on that as I only glanced through it.) IMO comparing it to a Cycleway, as described by clonmahon, is like comparing apples and oranges. Furthermore, I find it grossly unfair to criticise it for not being a world class cycleway when it was never designed or intended to be a cycleway.

    As a trail it has been very successful and a great boost to the local economy but that doesn't necessarily make it a good economic case study for a purpose built cycleway. As some others have commented a cycleway would be substantially more expensive to build and may not appeal to such a broad spectrum of users as the Greenway. Thus on both cost and payback sides a cycleway would present a whole different set of economic variables.

    I am with you clonmahon I would love to see cycleways developed in Ireland. And indeed more cycling trails such as the Greenway, there is certainly scope for both. However, I for one think developing the Great Western Greenway as a trail was the appropriate thing to do in this case. The missed opportunity for cycleways in this country was when we built and upgraded so many roads during the last 20 years. Everyone of them should have had a cycleway built alongside such as is the case in the video that clonmahon linked to. The only place that I know of where this was done was on a short stretch of the Clifden to Galway road.

    The Greenway is a fabalous trail. I would even go so far as to call it a World Class walking and cycling trail. ;) Visit Mayo, enjoy, and if you find that it gets a little tedious/boring as one poster said (not that I agree) then I would suggest spending another day or two in the Cong-Clonbur woods. IMO these woods offer a truly superb network of off-road family orientated walking and cycling trails.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,653 Mod ✭✭✭✭smacl


    I don't recall ever, until reading this post, seeing it referred to as a cycleway

    Though you could be forgiven for making this assumption, as all the pictures on the greenway web site that include the trail are of people on bikes and people wearing helmets, and the supporting video focusses on cycling. Ireland is already served with some fantastic walking options. I don't think that the greenway is going to appeal to many walkers or hikers, when compared to a narrower less uniform trail through more varied terrain. To say it's a world class walking trail is to place it in the same league as the tour of mont blanc, the Camino de Santiago, the machu picchu trail, etc... whereas in all honesty I don't think from a walkers perspective it would stand up the circuit of glendalough. Incidentally, all the walking related photos on the greenway site are of Mayo locations off the greenway, and very attractive they look too.

    What makes the greenway unique from an Irish perspective is that it offers a safe and easy multi-day cycling opportunity for the whole family. Whatever the formal title, that has been the main selling point in the media.


  • Registered Users Posts: 710 ✭✭✭WildWater


    smacl wrote: »
    Though you could be forgiven for making this assumption, as all the pictures on the greenway web site that include the trail are of people on bikes and people wearing helmets, and the supporting video focusses on cycling.
    I'm not sure I understand the relevance of this. An ordinary family user (like myself) could assume the greenway trail is a cycleway (as in a route on which you can cycle) and so it is for them/me. If however, like the OP, you think of a very particular thing when you use the term cycleway then I don't think it is appropriate to assume that it is cycleway that suits your definition on the basis of a couple of marketing pictures.
    smacl wrote: »
    Ireland is already served with some fantastic walking options. I don't think that the greenway is going to appeal to many walkers or hikers, when compared to a narrower less uniform trail through more varied terrain.
    Agreed but it could still have been developed as a walking trail only thankfully Mayo CC and others realised the value of dual use trail.
    smacl wrote: »
    To say it's a world class walking trail is to place it in the same league as the tour of mont blanc, the Camino de Santiago, the machu picchu trail, etc... whereas in all honesty I don't think from a walkers perspective it would stand up the circuit of glendalough. Incidentally, all the walking related photos on the greenway site are of Mayo locations off the greenway, and very attractive they look too.
    I was being mildly flippant when I said world class, did you not notice the wink? It is however and excellent example of an off-road dual use trail (walking and cycling). Are the examples you cite off-road purpose developed duel use trails that also accommodate the needs of the local community? If we make the definition narrow enough I'm sure we can call it world class but this is largely irrelevant to the substantive point of the OP.
    smacl wrote: »
    What makes the greenway unique from an Irish perspective is that it offers a safe and easy multi-day cycling opportunity for the whole family. Whatever the formal title, that has been the main selling point in the media.
    Agreed and again I think it unfair of the OP to criticise it for not being something that it was never designed to be. As I said IMO developing the greenway as a trial, as opposed to the type of cycleway that the OP suggests, was the appropriate thing to do in this instance.


  • Registered Users Posts: 261 ✭✭clonmahon


    WildWater wrote: »
    Going back to the OP. [FYI I have read all or almost all of the the posts so far and I know you have rolled back from the 'crap' comment.] I would however point out, because I don't think anyone has already, that the Greenway is a "trail" not a cycleway. It was designed to be a trail and is marketed as a dual purpose walking and cycling trail.

    This is a rather pedantic argument about the meaning of the words trail and cycleway.
    WildWater wrote: »
    May I further point our that walking always precedes cycling in the description of this trial.

    No it doesn't on the Greenway website at
    http://www.greenway.ie/Trail-AM-01.html
    it says "Terrain : Greenway off road cycle and walking trail"
    WildWater wrote: »
    I don't recall ever, until reading this post, seeing it referred to as a cycleway. Even the report which prompted the clonmahon to start the tread does not use the term Cycleway (although I stand to be corrected on that as I only glanced through it.)

    The Failte Ireland report uses phrase like "cycling and walking facility", "world class off-road cycling and walking route" and "drawing recreational users and visitors, primarily cycling and walking visitors", "Westport and Achill –
    where cycle hubs", "a world class cycling and walking route", "to permit the public to cycle or walk through"

    Every time the report uses the words cycling and walking, cycling comes first. Clearly the marketing people think cycling is the Greenway's unique selling point.

    How about this "cycling was much more popular among the visitor markets, with over 90% of domestic visitors and nearly 80% of overseas visitors participating in cycling as either a sole activity or in combination with walking"

    The report says that 51.0% use it for cycling only, 30.2% walking only and 18.8% for both.
    WildWater wrote: »
    IMO comparing it to a Cycleway, as described by clonmahon, is like comparing apples and oranges. Furthermore, I find it grossly unfair to criticise it for not being a world class cycleway when it was never designed or intended to be a cycleway.

    From the website again
    http://www.greenway.ie/Greenway-01.html
    "The World Class Great Western Greenway is a traffic free cycling and walking trail"

    As Smacl pointed out Ireland has many great walking trails, the Great Western Greenway is unique because you can cycle it on something other than a mountain bike. I cycled the Greenway and I made my judgement as a cyclist not a walker.
    WildWater wrote: »
    As a trail it has been very successful and a great boost to the local economy but that doesn't necessarily make it a good economic case study for a purpose built cycleway.

    the Failte Ireland report say that more visitors from outside Mayo cycled the trail than walked it. If you read the report it makes an excellent "economic case study" for the positive and dramatic economic impact of cycle trails.

    There is also lots of international experience from places like the Central Otago Rail Trail in New Zealand, 150 km gravel trail on an old railway line. Used by about 14,000 cycle tourists a year. It generates 12 million dollars for the local economy and is described by one local farmer as the biggest thing in the region since the Gold Rush.

    The economic case for building long range cycle trails is very strong indeed.
    WildWater wrote: »
    As some others have commented a cycleway would be substantially more expensive to build and may not appeal to such a broad spectrum of users as the Greenway. Thus on both cost and payback sides a cycleway would present a whole different set of economic variables.

    Why would it cost more to build a cycle trail than a cycle and walking trail. Why would a cycle trail that was suitable for all kinds of bikes and for walking not appeal to as "broad a spectrum of users" as a trail that is not suitable for fully loaded touring bikes, trikes, or tandems.
    WildWater wrote: »
    I am with you clonmahon I would love to see cycleways developed in Ireland. And indeed more cycling trails such as the Greenway, there is certainly scope for both.

    Agreed
    WildWater wrote: »
    However, I for one think developing the Great Western Greenway as a trail was the appropriate thing to do in this case.
    I made exactly this point earlier in the thread, the people in Mayo done an excellent pioneering job and made the best they could of the circumstances and opportunity available to them.
    WildWater wrote: »
    The missed opportunity for cycleways in this country was when we built and upgraded so many roads during the last 20 years. Everyone of them should have had a cycleway built alongside such as is the case in the video that clonmahon linked to. The only place that I know of where this was done was on a short stretch of the Clifden to Galway road.

    Agreed
    WildWater wrote: »
    The Greenway is a fabalous trail. I would even go so far as to call it a World Class walking and cycling trail. ;)

    The Greenway is the best cycling trail we have in the state, but can we learn from it and build the next one even better, I think we can. We will not do this however if we insist that the Greenway is beyond criticism.

    Is cycling the Greenway a great experience yes, the scenery is wonderful, Mayo people are friendly, no cars is heaven. Is it perfect and beyond any possibility of improvement, I don't think so. But these are only my opinions as someone who likes long distance cycle touring and found the Greenway less than perfect for use with a loaded touring bike.

    The key point I was making when I started this thread was that the Greenway proves that a lot of cycle trail can be built for quite small money, that they can give big economic returns very quickly and that our beautiful island and friendly people make this is very suitable place to build lots more of them. Nothing I have see or heard on this thread or anywhere else since then has changed my mind on this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,461 ✭✭✭mcgratheoin


    Jeez, thought this thread was dead and buried. Can we just all agree on the gist of things?

    As Eamonn would say, it's a good cycle trail. It's not a great cycle trail...

    00009195-314.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,969 ✭✭✭hardCopy


    I had a chance to ride the Newport to Westport section at the weekend. We had a great day despite the weather.

    We found the entrance at Attireesh has a much improved surface since our last visit (looks like it's been steamrolled).

    There seems to be road re-surfacing going on outside Newport, including a very nice asphalt section of Greenway, only a small section was open but we could see that it went on past the barriers. The Greenway is currently diverted away from the main road while the work is underway. This is the same section pictured in Green_Diesel's post and has progressed in the meantime.

    After suffering a couple of punctures on our previous trip we had another go with Gatorskins on our roadbikes and found this to be well able for the trail (apart from one section of about 10 feet where my front wheel sank in deep gravel.

    The gates are still annoying but more of them seemed to be open compared to last time and most are unlocked so could be opened if you had a trailer (except for one stupid one at the top of a steep ramp making it pretty much impossible to cycle through).

    We continued on into Westport and took the other cycle route out the far side of town towards Croagh Patrick.

    All in all we had a more positive experience than last time and would do it again on our roadbikes, with adequate tyres.

    One thing that would be nice would be some signposted parking at the various towns. Previously we parked in the Teagasc building outside Westport, this time we parked in a petrol station at Newport but we were slightly worried that we could have been clamped.


  • Registered Users Posts: 261 ✭✭clonmahon


    hardCopy wrote: »
    The gates are still annoying but more of them seemed to be open compared to last time and most are unlocked so could be opened if you had a trailer (except for one stupid one at the top of a steep ramp making it pretty much impossible to cycle through).

    I rode it from Newport to Achill Sound last week, and some of the gates were open. I also had the impression that many of the kissing gates were open wider than last year, giving a wider gap to ride through (or maybe my bike handling has improved).


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