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Cycling the grand canal

  • 12-11-2017 1:35am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1 Pbreath


    Thinking of cycling some of the grand canal (as a training spin, on account of there being no cars). Was thinking of doing about 40k out (out to around naas) and then turning around and doing 40k back, wondering whether it’s cycleable by road bike, and whether people would recommend it (as a quiet long spin, not for anything above moderate intensity). Thanks in advance


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,450 Harrybelafonte


    https://touch.boards.ie/thread/2055943815/1/#post66469289

    Multiple threads about it. Here’s one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 414 ✭✭ LennoxR


    Pbreath wrote: »
    Thinking of cycling some of the grand canal (as a training spin, on account of there being no cars). Was thinking of doing about 40k out (out to around naas) and then turning around and doing 40k back, wondering whether it’s cycleable by road bike, and whether people would recommend it (as a quiet long spin, not for anything above moderate intensity). Thanks in advance

    It's doable in sections by road bike, but at least two sections, between Lucan and Hazelhatch Bridge and then the last section before Sallins are very muddy and rocky and basically, not doable by road bike.

    You have to find ways around those parts, fortunately there are some very nice quiet roads, notably 'Arthur's Way' in the area. Arthur's%20Way%20map.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 133 ✭✭ guanciale


    From Inchicore to Adamstown is tarmac.
    From Adamstown to Hazelhatch is grass, waterlogged and very marshy in patches. Its about 5km and unless its dry is hard going and a good workout in terms of rolling resistance and balance.
    From Hazelhatch to past Ardclough (junction of Kill-Straffan road) is tight gravel and tramac. That section is doable on roadbike.
    From there to Sallins is grassy and waterlogged. For me it is the toughest section on the entire canal. 6km and even in summer it is marshy.

    Most road-bike tyres wont get traction also the clearance will not work with mud and grass.
    After Adamstown you really need a CX or MTB type tyres and clearance.

    Lovely cycle though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 ✭✭✭ mi16


    ^^^ well said guanciale!

    I can echo this as I recently did Dublin to Tullamore on a hardtail MTB. The grass sections are far too soft for a road bike, even in summer I wouldn't say it's doable!

    The Royal is similar with a track only out as far as Blanch/Coolmine iirc.

    Another option if you're looking someplace car-free would be the Athlone-Mullingar greenway. Straight, flat and 40k each way..


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,605 ✭✭✭✭ silverharp


    a commuting question, where the canal hits the luas line out to the park west section, can you use the cycle path when its dark (winter evenings)? does the section have lights?

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer



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  • Registered Users Posts: 504 ✭✭✭ G-Man


    Yes cycle lane along canal from Blackhorse Luas to Parkwest is reasonably lit -and there is often other cyclists and walkers.

    I have never had a problem in years -- except hot friday summer evenings. The whole barge pub scene is replicated at every lock along the canal.. And its fierce funny for them to hassle a cyclist - sorry about that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,605 ✭✭✭✭ silverharp


    G-Man wrote: »
    Yes cycle lane along canal from Blackhorse Luas to Parkwest is reasonably lit -and there is often other cyclists and walkers.

    I have never had a problem in years -- except hot friday summer evenings. The whole barge pub scene is replicated at every lock along the canal.. And its fierce funny for them to hassle a cyclist - sorry about that.

    cheers and i'd imagine they aint the office worker or student set :pac:

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer



  • Registered Users Posts: 504 ✭✭✭ G-Man


    Ah now - easy on the stereotype, but it was not good sometimes..

    - I would say if walked through the barge pub set and asked them to clean up, dont make noise etc, you would get some hassle too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 712 ✭✭✭ devonp


    Cycled the Grand from Lucan 12th lock to Shannon Harbour Co. Offaly y'day.
    the spin was part of a new 300 Audax (in progress) doing the above part then crossing over to the Athlone -Mullingar greenway and back to Dublin via the Royal canal.
    official start is the Phoenix park, i was collected at Lucan.


    this was tough!!, i did it on a heavy hardtail MTB (35-38c tyres), others had lighter CX/gravel bikes

    it would be very difficult on a road bike especially the Grand part and i wouldn't recommend it on such. its mainly rough track /grass with some fine gravel and a few tarmac sections. we had to divert due to works near the end but got back on the canal to finish the Grand section at Shannon Harbour


    i had planned to finish at the halfway point, fathers day duties etc, and i was really whacked at this point anyway.
    two others completed the 300+ back to Dublin( major Kudos to them) and said the second half is much more doable with the greenwaying of the Royal, as is being monitored here on the Royal canal thread.
    one other left the Grand section early and made his way over to the Royal and still ended up with 200Km (Kudos), a bit like the Long Heron Audax.


    later in the summer i'll jump on the Royal at Louisa Bridge (local to me) and do the second half in reverse.


    Doing the whole 300+ is a real test..have fun:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 175 ✭✭ HugoMyBoss


    Very interesting.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 504 ✭✭✭ G-Man


    Well Done !

    IS the kildare part outside dublin the worst of it along the Grand Canal , rough grass I remember..
    I think there are proper paths the rest of the way along the Grand Canal. Of course many are gravel only, so no good for road bike.

    The 300 in 2 days would make a great way of getting short stay and residents themselves to do cycling over a weekend - it would revive many a midland village, which have very little tourism potential otherwise.. They could easily provide short routes as well. ... Say Edenderry to Enfield along old railway.. Or Tullamore/Ballycommon to Kilbeggan and lough ennel also.

    I read somewhere that kildare co/co only supported the royal canal as they said it connected more urban areas.. But its the two together that make a great cycle..


  • Registered Users Posts: 712 ✭✭✭ devonp


    yes its pretty tough until about Ardclough near the Lyons estate, but many sections are just rough track and grass, the paths (tarmaced sections are kinda rare!!) and around Tullamore there are more proper greenway type paths.
    but as i said the Grand isn't suitable for road bikes, (as a whole, except for the dublin bits prob.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,235 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    are there any plans to improve the Grand Canal track?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,929 ✭✭✭ nilhg


    loyatemu wrote: »
    are there any plans to improve the Grand Canal track?

    There are plans in Offaly, how long it will take to complete is anyone's guess

    https://www.offalyexpress.ie/news/home/304696/offaly-county-council-unveil-plan-for-32km-greenway-on-the-canal.html

    http://www.offaly.ie/eng/Services/Planning/News/Grand-Canal-Greenway-Planning-Report-280318-pdf.pdf

    I'm not aware of much being done in Kildare on the Shannon bound part of the Grand but there is a plan for the Barrow line known as the Barrow Blueway which is currently the subject of a very contentious planning battle, the canal part has PP but the river section was refused, which has been appealed to ABP by Waterways Ireland

    http://kfmradio.com/news/23022018-0751/permission-granted-kildare-barrow-blueway-project

    https://www.waterwaysireland.org/barrow-towpath-plans

    http://www.savethebarrowline.com/news/default.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 525 ✭✭✭ To Alcohol


    loyatemu wrote: »
    are there any plans to improve the Grand Canal track?

    I've been on to Local councilor and a TD in Sallins re the stretch from Sallins to Ardclough and the last stretch from Hazelhatch to Adamstown.

    The emailed me with some sort of case reference that had been opened with Kildare Co Council. Checked high and low on that website but could never find any update or any reference to the case reference.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,455 ✭✭✭ mloc123


    To Alcohol wrote: »
    I've been on to Local councilor and a TD in Sallins re the stretch from Sallins to Ardclough and the last stretch from Hazelhatch to Adamstown.

    The emailed me with some sort of case reference that had been opened with Kildare Co Council. Checked high and low on that website but could never find any update or any reference to the case reference.

    Adamstown to hazelhatch would be great to have done. At the moment it is passable on a CX bike but in winter not a chance.

    The alternative road route via peamont isn't too bad if you avoid it at peak commute times.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭✭ Missus Doubtfire


    Hazelhatch to Adamstown is mostly within the South Dublin County Council area. It might be an idea to check there for updates


  • Registered Users Posts: 504 ✭✭✭ G-Man


    The original funding was only as far as Adamstown. It was the ESB who wanted to bury a cable to the new Grangecastle industry parks from the inchicore substations..

    Just goes to show how much cycling is depending on random funding from others.

    Hazelhatch to Adamstown is nearly the worst stretch would mean so much - its train station, it also is a link to Celbridge town.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,929 ✭✭✭ nilhg


    nilhg wrote: »
    There are plans in Offaly, how long it will take to complete is anyone's guess

    https://www.offalyexpress.ie/news/home/304696/offaly-county-council-unveil-plan-for-32km-greenway-on-the-canal.html

    http://www.offaly.ie/eng/Services/Planning/News/Grand-Canal-Greenway-Planning-Report-280318-pdf.pdf

    I'm not aware of much being done in Kildare on the Shannon bound part of the Grand but there is a plan for the Barrow line known as the Barrow Blueway which is currently the subject of a very contentious planning battle, the canal part has PP but the river section was refused, which has been appealed to ABP by Waterways Ireland

    http://kfmradio.com/news/23022018-0751/permission-granted-kildare-barrow-blueway-project

    https://www.waterwaysireland.org/barrow-towpath-plans

    http://www.savethebarrowline.com/news/default.html


    First signs of something stirring in Kildare,

    https://www.kildarenow.com/news/kcc-talks-extend-grand-canal-greenway-south-kildare/232484


  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭ feartheclaw


    Hi all, is this route (Dublin to Shannon Harbour) possible on a hybrid bike at this time of year?
    Thanks,
    ftc


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  • Registered Users Posts: 48 ✭✭✭ mi16


    Hi all, is this route (Dublin to Shannon Harbour) possible on a hybrid bike at this time of year?
    Thanks,
    ftc

    I would think sections on grass would still be doable on a hybrid at this time of year. Don't underestimate how much tougher it is cycling on the unpaved sections though + you could get a nice westerly headwind punishing you too.

    I did Dublin to Tullamore last November on a hardtail MTB and found it very tough. And I do a lot of road cycling!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,182 ✭✭✭ a148pro


    Hi all, is this route (Dublin to Shannon Harbour) possible on a hybrid bike at this time of year?
    Thanks,
    ftc

    I did dublin to sallins on a gravel bike with very wide tyres (47 mm) last week but I'd say it would be well doable on a hybrid. Not necessarily comfortable or ideal, but doable. There is a reasonable amount of grass but as it doesn't seem to get much traffic and we haven't had too much rain there aren't that many muddy parts.

    Hope to do more past sallins tomorrow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,455 ✭✭✭ mloc123


    a148pro wrote: »
    I did dublin to sallins on a gravel bike with very wide tyres (47 mm) last week but I'd say it would be well doable on a hybrid. Not necessarily comfortable or ideal, but doable. There is a reasonable amount of grass but as it doesn't seem to get much traffic and we haven't had too much rain there aren't that many muddy parts.

    Hope to do more past sallins tomorrow.

    I tried Straffan to Sallins recently and gave up after 1km... it is doable but not enjoyable


  • Registered Users Posts: 651 ✭✭✭ Roadtoad


    Both canals are well served by trains, one could cycle west and train east kind of thing, for people uninterested or unable for a big loop or out-and-back.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,182 ✭✭✭ a148pro


    Did shannon harbour back to tullamore, reasonably tough going west of pollagh even on 47mm tyres. It would certainly be doable on a hybrid but would involve several sections of several miles on reasonably long grass. Also some long sections of unpleasant bumpy stone paths. If it came at the end of a long cycle, heading west, would be pretty challenging. Long lengths of clay path also but very little wet mud thus far.

    Tullamore to pollagh was good surface the whole way.

    Will have to come back for the middle bit!

    Yes quite doable by train, inter city stops at tullamore and sallins, commuters may stop at more

    Whatever lads managed the 360km audax over both canals in one day deserve some kind of award


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    Has anyone come up from Athy to the Grand Canal on a bike?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,182 ✭✭✭ a148pro


    Has anyone come up from Athy to the Grand Canal on a bike?

    That's next on list - as in the full barrow way. I gather from the book that encouraged me into doing these in the first place, that of the 3 routes, barrow is the hardest going, though not sure if that covers the portion you described. As I understand it there is one stretch that is gritted, the rest is grass so it can be tough after rain


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,353 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    Hi all, is this route (Dublin to Shannon Harbour) possible on a hybrid bike at this time of year?
    Thanks,
    ftc

    I've done city centre to Digby's bridge and back quite a number of times at this time of year on a hybrid with CX tyres. Only concern at present would be the reports of attacks by scumbags at Bluebell which has kept me away from this route for some time now. In terms of bike, it comes down to the tyres and how much mud you're willing to put up with. Also much slower and more tiring when its been wet, which will affect the distance you're likely to cover. Fantastic craic at the same time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭ blueballfc


    smacl wrote: »
    I've done city centre to Digby's bridge and back quite a number of times at this time of year on a hybrid with CX tyres. Only concern at present would be the reports of attacks by scumbags at Bluebell which has kept me away from this route for some time now. In terms of bike, it comes down to the tyres and how much mud you're willing to put up with. Also much slower and more tiring when its been wet, which will affect the distance you're likely to cover. Fantastic craic at the same time.

    I recently did Edenderry to Daingean and back, 41 tyres, tough slog alright, doable on a hybrid for sure but be prepared to go slow slow slow


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  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭ blueballfc


    a148pro wrote: »
    Did shannon harbour back to tullamore, reasonably tough going west of pollagh even on 47mm tyres. It would certainly be doable on a hybrid but would involve several sections of several miles on reasonably long grass. Also some long sections of unpleasant bumpy stone paths. If it came at the end of a long cycle, heading west, would be pretty challenging. Long lengths of clay path also but very little wet mud thus far.

    Tullamore to pollagh was good surface the whole way.

    Will have to come back for the middle bit!

    Yes quite doable by train, inter city stops at tullamore and sallins, commuters may stop at more

    Whatever lads managed the 360km audax over both canals in one day deserve some kind of award

    never realised that that Pollagh to Tullamore was paved, that must be a 20 km stretch right ?


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