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Royal Canal on a Road Bike

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  • Registered Users Posts: 806 ✭✭✭devonp


    notice says 6/6 to 20/6 0800 to 1800 each day, for the section Maynooth to Confey, can't see them working at weekends...you should be ok , i'm local so i'll will post any updates


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


    It's only exploratory work, they'll be gone next week.
    I was chatting to a couple of the lads there yesterday. Didn't have a problem with me passing through, despite the signs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 goverfe




  • Registered Users Posts: 690 ✭✭✭poochiem


    So I've done the spin from town to Maynooth (incl. Carton House) a couple of times on the road bike. Yesterday I went with a few pals, two on road bikes and one each on a hybrid, a 'mountain bike' and a fixie. Grand Canal out as far as the bridge that transfers you to the other side and on through Griffeen Park, briefly on the road to get through Lucan then into Catherine's Park along the Liffey and onto the Royal Canal at Leixlip Confey.

    The only part that's a bit rough really is a few hundred yards after the 13th Lock but we were all well able for it, just keep an eye out for rocks and roots. Lovely spin and the return trip takes about 3hrs at 20kph approx. Highly recommend.


  • Registered Users Posts: 357 ✭✭loudymacloud


    Afternoon Folks,

    Anyone cycled on the stretch of the Canal from Hill of Downs towards Mullingar lately.

    Think it is the section up as far as Ballasport Bridge, according to http://royalcanal.ie/royal-canal-greenway/distance-table/ anyway.

    Did it last year and that section was pretty rough going.

    Planning to cycle the canal next weekend


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  • Registered Users Posts: 238 ✭✭comanche_cor


    Change of commute this morning and cycled from coolmine into town. I joined at the 12th Lock and followed along to Drumcondra. I was on the roadbike with 23cc tyres:
    - I found the surface at times to be awful: poor surface, ramps, potholes. I was really afraid of punctures.
    - The 'gates' are a real pain - see one cyclist go under the barrier rather than through the gate.

    I really hope that they improve this route soon. Its really not up to commuting standard unfortunately imo. Perhaps I am spoilt as my normal commute is the Sutton to Fairview cycle way.

    I am going back that direction this evening and I am seriously thinking of going through the park instead - disappointed :(

    You would think if they were serious about this they would get the commuter route right first.


  • Registered Users Posts: 104 ✭✭CapnHex


    Afternoon Folks,

    Anyone cycled on the stretch of the Canal from Hill of Downs towards Mullingar lately.

    Think it is the section up as far as Ballasport Bridge, according to http://royalcanal.ie/royal-canal-greenway/distance-table/ anyway.

    Did it last year and that section was pretty rough going.

    Planning to cycle the canal next weekend

    All this section is now done. In fact, from Fureys in Moyvalley to Clondra in Longford is now a continuous greenway of 95km. Enjoy your cycle.


  • Registered Users Posts: 357 ✭✭loudymacloud


    CapnHex wrote: »
    All this section is now done. In fact, from Fureys in Moyvalley to Clondra in Longford is now a continuous greenway of 95km. Enjoy your cycle.


    Super stuff, Cheers


  • Registered Users Posts: 357 ✭✭loudymacloud


    loads of info on this thread, which is great but im as confused as f**k :)

    is it possible to currently cycle on the canal from Kilcock to Moyvalley or would i have to go back on the road for a bit.

    Planning to head cycle down to Athlone from Dublin next weekend. Usually i hop on the canal at Hill of Downs, was looking to get a bit more of it in this time round.


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


    this was my plan from the end of May based on updates here, though it had to be shelved at the last minute and I haven't gotten around to it since! hopefully sometime before the end of the summer...
    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


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  • Registered Users Posts: 104 ✭✭CapnHex


    loads of info on this thread, which is great but im as confused as f**k :)

    is it possible to currently cycle on the canal from Kilcock to Moyvalley or would i have to go back on the road for a bit.

    Planning to head cycle down to Athlone from Dublin next weekend. Usually i hop on the canal at Hill of Downs, was looking to get a bit more of it in this time round.

    I did this section in reverse a couple of weeks ago. I'll try remember the sections.
    Kilcock to past Spin Bridge is done, at some point it becomes a grass track for about 6km? (currently as hard as any gravel section) towards Cloncurry Bridge? Then gravel as far as Enfield. After Enfield, gravel as far as Kilmore Bridge (?), then very rough 2 or 3 km to Moyvalley, narrow and rooty, whipped by branches and fronds. Work going on other side of canal for greenway eventually. After Moyvalley the greenway is complete.


  • Registered Users Posts: 806 ✭✭✭devonp


    cycled from Ballydangan to Leixlip today, via the Athlone Mullingar greenway railhead(?) a good cycling facility but boring compared to the canal, and then the Royal canal way, did it on an MTB hardtail as i needed to get this back to Leixlip after doing the Grand down a fews weeks ago.


    i would say all is doable on a road bike except for 2 sections


    1. the bit after Fureys (a bit like the deep sinking!) but work on other side is progressing, might even have chanced that if i'd looked closer,


    2. grassy section btw Enfield and Kilcock, prob doable on a road bike with the dried towpath, but that might be coming to an end (90% of my cycle was in rain today)


    i think CapNHex above might have better details on exact locations


    https://www.strava.com/activities/1704885270


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,204 ✭✭✭✭Hurrache


    Saw this this morning, looks like it's around the Deep Sinking section

    https://twitter.com/DubFireBrigade/status/1018516476196802562


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


    devonp wrote: »
    cycled from Ballydangan to Leixlip today, via the Athlone Mullingar greenway railhead(?) a good cycling facility but boring compared to the canal, and then the Royal canal way, did it on an MTB hardtail as i needed to get this back to Leixlip after doing the Grand down a fews weeks ago.

    just in case you're wondering who's requested to follow you on Strava that'll be me! couldn't view the link without following :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 goverfe


    CapnHex wrote: »
    loads of info on this thread, which is great but im as confused as f**k :)

    is it possible to currently cycle on the canal from Kilcock to Moyvalley or would i have to go back on the road for a bit.

    Planning to head cycle down to Athlone from Dublin next weekend. Usually i hop on the canal at Hill of Downs, was looking to get a bit more of it in this time round.

    I did this section in reverse a couple of weeks ago. I'll try remember the sections.
    Kilcock to past Spin Bridge is done, at some point it becomes a grass track for about 6km? (currently as hard as any gravel section) towards Cloncurry Bridge? Then gravel as far as Enfield. After Enfield, gravel as far as Kilmore Bridge (?), then very rough 2 or 3 km to Moyvalley, narrow and rooty, whipped by branches and fronds. Work going on other side of canal for greenway eventually. After Moyvalley the greenway is complete.

    Here is the situation up to about mid-July:
    - Kilcock Harbour to Spin Bridge (aka Allen Bridge) is done (on the north side of the canal, about 4km);
    - Spin Bridge to McLoughlin's Bridge/Feran's Lock is done (north side, about 2.75km);
    - McLoughlin's Bridge/Feran's Lock to Cloncurry Bridge (about 6km) is not yet done, but I think that it was (still is?) planned to do the upgrade on this section on the south side of the canal. I have not been able to find out what has been/ is delaying this section of the greenway. There has been no work done on it and there is no sign of any activity at the moment (mid July).
    - Cloncurry Bridge to Enfield (north side, about 3 km) is done.
    - Enfield to Kilmore Bridge is done (south side, about 4.5 km). The section nearest to Kilmore Bridge was only done in June/July and there is a bit too much loose gravel for my liking. Maybe this will get compacted over time.
    - Kilmore Bridge to Moyvalley Bridge (south side, about 1.75 km) not done yet, although vegetation has been cleared along about 1.25 km of this section, with the path ready for a first layer of the new surface. A workman further along the canal told me that the hold up at Moyvalley Bridge/R148 road bridge was to do with plans to install some kind of metal bridge or ramp to take the greenway over to the north side other side to join the existing greenway at Furey's Bar.
    - Moyvalley Bridge to Cloondara is all done (c. 94 km).


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


    Averaged about 21kph going from Phibsboro (Cross Guns) to Enfield yesterday. Obviously a lot slower at the Deep Sinking and grassy sections but able to compensate on the blinded gravel. The vibrations from the ruts left by the grass cutting tractors were probably the worst aspect of it. Coming back by road averaged about 27kph but there was a slight tail wind too. On my Cannondale Synapse with 28mm tyres which helped with the rough bits.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1756121946/overview


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 goverfe


    goverfe wrote: »
    - Kilcock Harbour to Spin Bridge (aka Allen Bridge) is done (on the north side of the canal, about 4km);
    - Spin Bridge to McLoughlin's Bridge/Feran's Lock is done (north side, about 2.75km);
    - McLoughlin's Bridge/Feran's Lock to Cloncurry Bridge (about 6km) is not yet done, but I think that it was (still is?) planned to do the upgrade on this section on the south side of the canal. I have not been able to find out what has been/ is delaying this section of the greenway. There has been no work done on it and there is no sign of any activity at the moment (mid July).
    - Cloncurry Bridge to Enfield (north side, about 3 km) is done.
    - Enfield to Kilmore Bridge is done (south side, about 4.5 km). The section nearest to Kilmore Bridge was only done in June/July and there is a bit too much loose gravel for my liking. Maybe this will get compacted over time.
    - Kilmore Bridge to Moyvalley Bridge (south side, about 1.75 km) not done yet, although vegetation has been cleared along about 1.25 km of this section, with the path ready for a first layer of the new surface. A workman further along the canal told me that the hold up at Moyvalley Bridge/R148 road bridge was to do with plans to install some kind of metal bridge or ramp to take the greenway over to the north side other side to join the existing greenway at Furey's Bar.
    - Moyvalley Bridge to Cloondara is all done (c. 94 km).


    Update Aug 2018 - here is some further information, from https://royalcanalgreenway.ie/home/currentstatus/, about the two bits not yet done:
    • Ferrans Lock to Cloncurry Bridge (July 2018):Planning in progress and route expected to be completed march 2019 (grassy towpath is open to cyclists/walkers)
    • Blackwater Aquaduct to Moyvalley (Fureys Public House) (July 2018): Kildare County Council and Waterways Ireland are working on this and this work is sixty per cent complete but the section cannot be completed until spring 2019.


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


    I'm currently planning on cycling Athlone back to Dublin tomorrow morning, am going to stick to the greenway and canal path as far as possible but am on a carbon road bike. From what I'm reading it sounds like I'll get to Fureys before needing to rejoin the road as far as Kilcock? Then will that take me to near Leixlip?

    I've a sore throat brewing so assuming that holds off I'll finally get to do this cycle I've been aiming for the last few months!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,440 ✭✭✭cdaly_


    How did it go? You can ride the full way though there's a very narrow section just after Furey's and it's grassy for about 10km thereafter.


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


    delayed reaction as only back to work this week.

    it went ok, would've gone better if I wasn't a bit thick! at some point between Mullingar & Moyvalley I made a stupid mistake - approaching a bridge, there was a sign to continue straight ahead on the Royal Canal Way on the same side of the canal and another sign pointing down the far side of the canal. Lazily I kept going straight instead of stopping and thinking - I ended up a few km later arriving at a stony section of road. rather than turn back and take the hit I kept going, assuming the next bridge couldn't be too far away! the stones ran out and became grass, which then stopped at a gate where a worn path in the grass led straight to 2 grazing horses :eek:

    I was in too deep at this point so dismounted and walked around the horses then kept cycling on the sh1t worn path in the grass (tree roots, horse feed etc), before hitting another 3 or 4 gates that needed to be crossed. at 1 point I called to woman walking on the other bank to see how much pain I'd left before reaching a sealed path - "another 2km or so" :(

    eventually I reached salvation, wrecked from the effort and the worry, with just another 65km or so to go! I rejoined the road at Fureys until Kilcock, then from there to near Intel (after some more brief off-roading after the Carton house entrance) and then on the road the rest of the way.

    to be honest, whatever thoughts I had of exploring more of the new paths were extinguished by the time I sat down in Kilcock for a brief rest. on the plus side I did several km of off roading on a carbon road bike with 23 tyres and didn't get a puncture :cool:

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1847760317


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11 goverfe


    Tough luck that! It can easily happen. I've cycled between Enfield and Mullingar several times now, and having made a few mistakes in the past, I now know when to take the northern or southern side of the canal. However, the signage that currently exists doesn't help much - it is basically for walkers (the brown 'Royal Canal Way' signs which were put up before the paths were upgraded for cycling), and there are few signs showing the route for cycling. At some bridges, walkers can take either side of the canal towards the next bridge, in some cases only one side can be walked. Sometimes there is a (walkers) sign for one side, sometimes there is a sign on both sides. Sometimes each side seems to be cyclable/walkable, but the path on one side may peter out somewhere in the distance. Also, I suspect that some of the signs have been pushed into the wrong direction by jokers.
    Ideally there should be new signs at each bridge showing both the walking and the cycling route. A colour-coded map on a sign might be a good idea.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,450 ✭✭✭Harrybelafonte


    Not to be a d*ck, but we didn't have this issue with it. I've cycled both canals now in their entirety and the only issue was with works blocking the side we needed so we basically just got around the fence and kept going. Thought signage was super helpful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,454 ✭✭✭mloc123


    Is Ferrans Lock to Cloncurry Bridge currently just grass? No gravel or prep has started at all?


  • Registered Users Posts: 485 ✭✭benneca1


    mloc123 wrote: »
    Is Ferrans Lock to Cloncurry Bridge currently just grass? No gravel or prep has started at all?

    Was a few weeks ago at any rate they are working from cloncurry to furys.


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


    ixh2rc.jpg

    Taken not far beyond Ferrans Lock in August and it was much the same all the way to Cloncurry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,923 ✭✭✭✭Thargor


    What's a roadbike actually feel like on grass like that? Is it doable?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,457 ✭✭✭ford2600


    Thargor wrote: »
    What's a roadbike actually feel like on grass like that? Is it doable?

    Yes but it is hard pedalling. I rode a cx bike but would have been happy enough on road bike other than Deep Sinking; which was a blast on cx bike

    Having done long sections of both canals on Long Heron 200 I kinda liked the variances in the surfaces. Give me that over a perfect Greenway surface any day

    The occasional need to figure out the route added to it more than anything.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26 sav1


    I did Mullingar "Baltrasna bridge" to "Ferrans lock" on the 8th of Sept.
    Darcy bridge is the only place I went a bit astray but lucky enough as I rolled down the left hand bank I looked over and realised the sign for the walking path was on the other side and turned back to follow it.

    The only time I came away from the canal was at Fureys Pub and came back on at Kilmore bridge.

    Cloncurry to Ferrans lock is doable on a road bike but very slow especially close to the Cloncurry bridge as the faint track was a bit "ripply" but smoothes out a bit better closer to Ferrans lock.
    Baltrasna to Cloncurry was 25kph Dropping to 18kph from Cloncurry to Ferrans lock.
    I was using a "Pedlec" Lapierre OVERVOLT SHAPER with MICHELIN PROTEK 42-622 tyres which helped with the grassy bit.


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


    Thargor wrote: »
    What's a roadbike actually feel like on grass like that? Is it doable?

    As mention in post #167 above, it's doable but not particularly pleasant. I think the "ripple" sections are caused by tractor wheels when the grass is cut in wet weather. If you try to build up speed, you just get shaken to bits even on 28mm tyres. I have also had to stop and clear grass from the rear derailleur on occasions.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,378 ✭✭✭RebelButtMunch


    As mention in post #167 above, it's doable but not particularly pleasant. I think the "ripple" sections are caused by tractor wheels when the grass is cut in wet weather. If you try to build up speed, you just get shaken to bits even on 28mm tyres. I have also had to stop and clear grass from the rear derailleur on occasions.

    The corrugation as mentioned is a nightmare. I've only ever done the tracks on a mountain bike, and even then you'll get shook to bits on those parts. I still enjoyed every minute thou :)


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