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Royal Canal on a Road Bike

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,062 ✭✭✭cjt156


    I did a quick run from Leixlip to the 17th lock (past Kilcock) 2 weeks ago. From opposite Intel to Carton House is rough dried mud; fine for a CX or mountain bike - a bit ropey on 23's.
    From Carton, through Maynooth and Kilcock to the 17th the surface is fine compact gravel (I'm sure there's a name for it) perfectly fine on a roadbike with 23mm tyres.
    At the bridges and other points there is excellent quality asphalt, in some places there are older flagstones too.
    At the 17th you have to go back on road as the upgrade hasn't started yet, not sure where you pick it up again as I turned back there.
    Hope this helps!

    N7zDqvU.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 goverfe


    Why are you hitting the road there?

    because my search for Blackwater aquaduct earlier sent me much further along and confused me! when I look up Kilmore bridge now I can see it makes sense to go that far and rejoin the main road there as far as Moyvalley.

    so it becomes...

    Canal Greenway from Drumcondra to Castleknock
    Road from Castleknock to Maynooth
    Canal Greenway from Maynooth to Kilcock
    Road from Kilcock to Cloncurry bridge
    Canal Greenway from Cloncurry bridge to Kilmore bridge
    Road from Kilmore bridge to Moyvalley
    Canal Greenway from Moyvalley to Mullingar
    Old rail trail from Mullingar to Athlone
    Re: Canal Greenway from Maynooth to Kilcock and from Kilcock to Cloncurry bridge
    You can continue through Kilcock on the Canal Greenway as far as Fern's Lock (17th lock)/McLoughlin Bridge and then by road to Cloncurry bridge.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 goverfe


    BTW, when I was cycling from Leixlip Confey towards Maynooth yesterday I whizzed by a sign which I think said that the towpath from Confey to Maynooth would be closed for works from 28 or 29 May. Sorry I didn't stop to read it fully, maybe someone else has more details?


  • Registered Users Posts: 184 ✭✭Steoller


    Having the Maynooth to Leixlip tow-path complete would be awesome. It would mean no more cycling on the Leixlip road for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Missus Doubtfire


    I cycled from Intel to Maynooth last night. The towpath from Intel to Pike Bridge (Carton House) will be closed from May 26th to June 6th and from Pike Bridge to Straffan Road from May 28th to June 8th(if memory serves). It is being closed for site investigation prior to the upgrade as part of the Greenway.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 140 ✭✭guanciale


    Cycled Lucan to beyond Enfield and return this morning on CX bike.
    The secction Pike Bridge is open. It will lose from 31/5 to 5/6.

    There were several folks on road bikes and hybrids. Ferrans Bridge to Enfield is overgrown with reed and grass, but the narrow trail is easily passable on a cx. I had Conti speed kings (35mm) at 65 PSI and it was a rrqlly nice ride. Its 4.5km and slow enough but beautiful. Last year on the Long Heron the section west of Enfield was large rough gravel. Now it is fine sift gravel and really fast.
    The section opposite Carton House is possible doable on a road bike if one had say 28mm with a little pressure taken out. The trail is well defined. If a road bike can take Roubaix then it will work on 1-2km of hard dry canal trail.


  • Registered Users Posts: 690 ✭✭✭poochiem


    Hey, I've not been down the canals for over a year so just a quick question as a few people were asking me to bring them out (including some relative newbies to cycling) for an easy spin. Would town to Maynooth/Carton House be around an hour and a half for reasonably active people on an assortment of bikes? I'm thinking the weekend after next as I gather here there may be some works going on the next week or so.

    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 104 ✭✭CapnHex


    Cycled Ballymahon to Clondara (including Longford branch) yesterday. About 70 km total. I use Marathon Plus 28mm tyres. Surface mainly compacted fine gravel. Surface may be finished, but some gates still required. An enjoyable experience as ever on the canal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,113 ✭✭✭mr spuckler


    poochiem wrote: »
    Hey, I've not been down the canals for over a year so just a quick question as a few people were asking me to bring them out (including some relative newbies to cycling) for an easy spin. Would town to Maynooth/Carton House be around an hour and a half for reasonably active people on an assortment of bikes? I'm thinking the weekend after next as I gather here there may be some works going on the next week or so.

    Thanks

    do you mean to do this along the canal? if so, the path is not completed all the way from town to Maynooth. you can go from Drumcondra to Castleknock train station and then from Carton House to Maynooth, in between would need to be on the road.

    by road all the way going direct from O'Connell bridge is around 25km, so 1 1/2 hours should be fairly doable as long as bikes aren't too sh1t! note though that there are stretches with no hard shoulder and along busy roads to go the shortest route.


  • Registered Users Posts: 690 ✭✭✭poochiem


    do you mean to do this along the canal? if so, the path is not completed all the way from town to Maynooth. you can go from Drumcondra to Castleknock train station and then from Carton House to Maynooth, in between would need to be on the road.

    by road all the way going direct from O'Connell bridge is around 25km, so 1 1/2 hours should be fairly doable as long as bikes aren't too sh1t! note though that there are stretches with no hard shoulder and along busy roads to go the shortest route.

    Well that's confused me a bit. I've gone from porterstown (clonsilla past the strawberry beds) to Kilcock a good few times but also joined it around St.Catherines Park (Lucan) having come out from town on the grand canal as far as griffeen park.

    Are you saying it's gone bad from there to maynooth/carton house? Or am I remembering it in better condition than it was?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26 Missus Doubtfire


    There's a proper surface from Louisa Bridge Leixlip to Kilcock and beyond (cycled it at the weekend) except for about 1 kilometer between Intel and Carton House. This may extend as far as Leixlip Confey Station. I generally don't go down that far so I'm not sure. The last time I did cycle in that direction it was only a grass bank beyond Confey.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,113 ✭✭✭mr spuckler


    I'm relying on what others here have said in recent pages. see this post for a good level of detail.

    I plan to cycle from Dublin to Athlone on a road bike on Friday using the paths as much as I can, so should have a much better sense of it then.


  • Registered Users Posts: 690 ✭✭✭poochiem


    I'm relying on what others here have said in recent pages. see this post for a good level of detail.

    I plan to cycle from Dublin to Athlone on a road bike on Friday using the paths as much as I can, so should have a much better sense of it then.

    Thanks, I know about the difficulty pathing the deep sinking but hadn't realised the rest still sounds a bit less than ideal for novices. I've been along it as far as Mullingar a few times so I guess my memory has rosied it up a bit. I met do a recce on a road bike this weekend so.

    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,113 ✭✭✭mr spuckler


    poochiem wrote: »
    Thanks, I know about the difficulty pathing the deep sinking but hadn't realised the rest still sounds a bit less than ideal for novices. I've been along it as far as Mullingar a few times so I guess my memory has rosied it up a bit. I met do a recce on a road bike this weekend so.

    Thanks

    yeah closer to Mullingar is in a much better state alright. it's a shame the development is so piecemeal, would be great to have it all opened at this stage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 806 ✭✭✭devonp


    poochiem wrote: »
    Hey, I've not been down the canals for over a year so just a quick question as a few people were asking me to bring them out (including some relative newbies to cycling) for an easy spin. Would town to Maynooth/Carton House be around an hour and a half for reasonably active people on an assortment of bikes? I'm thinking the weekend after next as I gather here there may be some works going on the next week or so.

    Thanks




    here i did it last week (as far as Louisa Bridge) for my commute, after CK its very rough (i did it on a hardtail MTB) to Porterstown, then its rough track grass, mainly track), better after Confey , haven't gone to Maynooth in an age,
    i'd say 2 hrs for a non MTB advising walking the Deep Sinking section from CK to Porterstown,
    good luck and enjoy:)


    PS its also my intention to do Leixlip to Athlone this summer (by MTB)


    https://www.strava.com/activities/1591555483


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,779 ✭✭✭Carawaystick


    poochiem wrote: »
    Thanks, I know about the difficulty pathing the deep sinking but hadn't realised the rest still sounds a bit less than ideal for novices. I've been along it as far as Mullingar a few times so I guess my memory has rosied it up a bit. I met do a recce on a road bike this weekend so.

    Thanks

    Only the deep sinking is impassable on a road bike, from Porterstown Level crossing out is dust to Clonsilla station, rough clay to Confey, Dust to Intel and dunno after.
    divert through Roselawn Road, Delwood road, Coolmine Road, CLonsilla road, Porterstown road to avoid the deep sinking


  • Registered Users Posts: 690 ✭✭✭poochiem


    Went west past Leixlip Confey on a road bike with 25mm yesterday to check it out. It was fine. I just went about a km as had come from Harolds X on the grand canal and then up through Griffeen Park and along the liffey at Lucan then up through St.Catherine's Park. A lovely spin, I managed 44km in just under 2 hours and 90% of that is traffic free so I reckon be perfect for new cyclists. Thanks for the advice.
    btw east of Leixlip Confey is noticeably rougher and I felt I was risking spokes or flats on the road bike tbh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,285 ✭✭✭Mercian Pro


    According to the Royal Canal Greenway FB page, Waterways Ireland have advised that the towpaths between Confey and Maynooth will be closed intermittently over the coming weeks to facilitate site investigation works. Closures will be signed on site but will be reopened at evenings and weekends.

    Presumably the investigation works will be followed by upgrading to Greenway standard at some point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,728 ✭✭✭tnegun


    Stopped today to talk to the guys doing the survey work and they seemed to think the path would be done by the September/October from Maynooth to Leixlip.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,462 ✭✭✭KevRossi


    Cycled the whole of the Royal Canal on Saturday. Brief report is here:

    Bike: Cheap Halfords road bike 14 speed, Gatorskin tyres at front, Schwalbe Marathon Plus on rear (badly worm), both 7.00x25C

    Weather: light drizzle and 17C at start, strong sunshine and 24C during most of the ride.

    Travel: Irish Rail Dublin to Longford €13.80, bike was free, cycled to Tarmonbarry, excellent breakfast in Keenan’s. Cycled back to Cloondara to start cycle.



    Cloondara to Furey’s Pub (between Enfield and Kinnegad): ca. 95Km.

    This section is entirely paved. Some is tarred, some uses existing boreens, some is Limestone grit. Excellent cycling surface throughout. Some of the newer sections in Co Longford are closed to all cars, so car tyres have not “brushed” out a bare strip to make cycling a bit easier. But it’s still excellent.
    Signage not entirely complete. Use these maps here to determine which side of the bank to cycle on, as the older Royal Canal Walk signs are for pedestrians and the cycling track takes a different side in a couple of places.
    Go to royalcanalgreenway.ie , then the drop down menu on the right has Route Info. Good maps on this page. (Can’t post link, Sorry).


    Furey’s to East of Enfield.

    Greenway works are ongoing. Cycled along the road from Furey’s to Enfield, then turned right towards Cadamstown after 1 Km, go another 1Km to the canal bridge
    Looking west from here, core has been laid down and a base layer for the final covering. Looking east to Enfield, there is 850m of rough core to Blackwater bridge, this could be cycled carefully at about 8 km/h.
    Blackwater bridge to a point 2 Km east of Enfield called Cloncurry is excellent gritted surface with a short section on a quiet boreen

    Enfiled to 17th Lock

    No work done here yet, but planning signs up and some provisional work may have been done. Took a detour along a route north of the canal from Cloncurry Bridge to the 17th.

    17th Lock to Leixlip Louisa Bridge Train Station


    Excellent wide path from 17th Lock to Maynooth. Very good surface.
    Maynooth to Leixlip is a narrow path with a largely good surface with the exception of ca. 1 Km near Intel, which is easily passable.

    Leixlip to Dublin

    I did this by road as it was getting late. I’ve done this by road bike and it#s passable save for having to push the bike along the 2.5 Km to the west of Coolmine train station.



    Other.

    Distances along the canal are on the Royal Canal Amenity Group page.

    Food and Drink is rarely on the canal, but usaually 1-2 km away from it.

    Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre is less than 1 Km from it and is a stunning piece of our history, well worth a visit.

    Sorry, can’t seem to post links as I’m a newbie.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 104 ✭✭CapnHex


    KevRossi. What a great day out on a bike. Can you give a little detail on timings? Time on the bike. Total distance. I never get much above 20kmh on the canal, so it would be a long day for me. But you have planted a seed for sure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,462 ✭✭✭KevRossi


    CapnHex wrote: »
    KevRossi. What a great day out on a bike. Can you give a little detail on timings? Time on the bike. Total distance. I never get much above 20kmh on the canal, so it would be a long day for me. But you have planted a seed for sure.

    How long is a piece of string? ;-)

    The distance on the canal in total is 145KM. If you google Royal Canal Amenity Group, then they have the distances on the page.

    You can also take the train to Longford and cycle some of it back, the nearer you get to Dublin, the more frequent the train stations.

    I think when cycling I'd average 22 Km/h, but on a trip on the canal I'd stop a lot to llok at stuff, so I think as far as Kilcock I averaged 14 Km/h and then sped up a bit from there. This 14 Km/h includes stops for food etc.

    The route isn't always fast, in parts there are a lot of people out using the canal, families with kids, canoeists, walkers, dogs, fishermen and you need to take this into consideration. It's not a cycle only route, so at times you're almost stopping to not scare people. It#s a true leisure cycle, so take your time with it.

    The section west of Abbeyshrule and from Abbeyshrule to Ballinacarrigy are stunning, very different to each other and very quiet.

    An idea would be to plan it over a weekend and get to see a lot of things en route. You could also take the train to Carrick on Shannon and take backroads to Tarmonbarry and then do the canal if the canal only option is too short.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,462 ✭✭✭KevRossi


    DM1.

    Off the top of my head, food and drink are available here: Note that some of the pubs may only be open in the evenings, as is now typical in many rural areas. Some of them are not on the canal, but everything here is within 2 km of the canal, or less than 10 mins.

    Tarmonbarry: Shop, 2 pubs with Gastro food.

    Cloondara: Pub. Not sure if they do food.

    Killashee: Pub.

    Keenagh: Pubs, shops

    Foigha: Shop

    Ballybrannigan: Ballymahon is 1.5 Km away, decent sized town.

    Abbeyshrule: Pub

    Ballynacarrigy: Shop, pub

    Ballinea: Shop

    Mullingar: Large Town

    Mary Lynch’s Pub: Where canal crosses N4 – Food all day.

    Nanny Quinn’s Pub: 4 Km from Mary Lynch’s

    Hill of Down Pub

    Longwood: Mid Sized town with pubs and shops.

    Furey’s Pub: No food on Sunday, food other days

    Enfield: Large town. Shops, Pubs

    Kilcock: Large Town. Shops, Pubs

    There’s more that I probably forgot.


    Also the spur from the canal to Longford is tarred all the way. 8 Km or thereabouts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 723 ✭✭✭tigerboon


    KevRossi wrote: »
    The section west of Abbeyshrule and from Abbeyshrule to Ballinacarrigy are stunning, very different to each other and very quiet.

    Done this section with my 10 year old daughter on Saturday. Better than any nature class with all the dragonflies, herons etc. You can take a break and watch the planes at the aerodrome. Nice and quiet alright. Ballinacarrigy has a nice little harbour where you can grab an ice cream and relax for a while
    Done it on the mountain bike, more because to go slow along with the 10 year old, but would be fine for the road bike even on the grit


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,010 ✭✭✭velo.2010


    Hopefully not too long until its completed. Opens up a nice route to the West/Northwest for the bike and maybe overnighting before returning home.

    I know it would probably be suited to a road bike eventually, but I think something like a gravel bike would be ideal - mounts for panniers, more comfort etc. I think I'd have to sell one of my road bikes before I got one of those!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,285 ✭✭✭Mercian Pro


    Another post from the Royal Canal Greenway FB page:

    Plenty of progress between Movalley bridges (Fureys pub) and kilmore bridge (west of Enfield). The work has started at Kilmore going westwards. The new path (still behind fencing) is now only 500m short of Fureys on the south side of the canal. The below pictures were taken from the existing Royal Canal Way on the north side of the canal.

    Currently this leaves Ferrans Lock to Cloncurry Bridge (between Kilcock and Enfield) as the only non-started section of the Royal Canal Greenway west of Maynooth. With work now starting east of Maynooth it is all coming along well and will provide a road free route for the residents of many villages and towns along its length.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,817 ✭✭✭marvin80


    KevRossi wrote: »
    DM1.

    Off the top of my head, food and drink are available here: Note that some of the pubs may only be open in the evenings, as is now typical in many rural areas. Some of them are not on the canal, but everything here is within 2 km of the canal, or less than 10 mins.


    Ballybrannigan: Ballymahon is 1.5 Km away, decent sized town.

    Nanny Quinn’s Pub: 4 Km from Mary Lynch’s

    Skelly's in Ballymahon does nice food and Cooney's Hotel is a good shout as well.

    Nanny Quinn's grub was delicious the day I stopped there (was absolutely baltic and I was starving so maybe that's another reason!!)


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 goverfe


    tigerboon wrote: »
    KevRossi wrote: »
    The section west of Abbeyshrule and from Abbeyshrule to Ballinacarrigy are stunning, very different to each other and very quiet.

    Done this section with my 10 year old daughter on Saturday. Better than any nature class with all the dragonflies, herons etc. You can take a break and watch the planes at the aerodrome. Nice and quiet alright. Ballinacarrigy has a nice little harbour where you can grab an ice cream and relax for a while
    Done it on the mountain bike, more because to go slow along with the 10 year old, but would be fine for the road bike even on the grit
    Did Mullingar-Ballincarrigy-Abbeyshrule-Ballymahon-Longford yesterday on my city bike, and took the train back to Mullingar. Beautiful, hardly anyone around. This is the season for the dragonflies and the wild yellow irises. The 8km spur from the canal mainline to Longford has a different feel about it, the canal is mostly empty and overgrown, the path is narrower and more or less enclosed on both sides so it was like cycling through a lane.


  • Registered Users Posts: 806 ✭✭✭devonp


    just passed Confey bridge 20 mins ago and diggers at work on the section to Louisa bridge( this was the notice up for the last few weeks). walked the dog y'day evening , barrier at Louisa bridge but easy to get around, no diggers then but plenty of tracks from the machinery


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  • Registered Users Posts: 690 ✭✭✭poochiem


    devonp wrote: »
    just passed Confey bridge 20 mins ago and diggers at work on the section to Louisa bridge( this was the notice up for the last few weeks). walked the dog y'day evening , barrier at Louisa bridge but easy to get around, no diggers then but plenty of tracks from the machinery

    Thanks for the update. I'm bringing a gang on bikes out to Carton House in early July, wonder will they have that section done by then?


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