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Viable CX /gravel trails

  • 01-10-2020 1:24pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,691 ✭✭✭ Taxuser1


    what are considered the best trails for CX and gravel bikes in Dublin and/or county or incorporating North Wicklow and SW Kildare - i'm kind of on the border and could do without crashing again by hitting stumps.


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Comments

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


    That's a good question

    Grand canal has green bits once you get past Clondalkin until you get to hazel hatch. I've found the woods around Prince William's Seat and Djouce Woods very good. Cruagh, Tibradden and Massey, Chrone are all cycleable but its hard to get a long spin in them, though you could combine them to make something longer.

    I've been working on those and the Wicklow way in and around them but haven't gotten further south yet.

    My problem with gravel is its hard to get a long route. If you search for a thread called irish gravel compendium or mini weevil you will find some routes that people have posted, a user called Alek out up some very long routes that looked really interesting with a great youtube video showing the terrain but I haven't gotten to try them yet. I'd like to be able to take the raw data of the GPS and break it into shorter bits to do in whichever direction I want but haven't learned how to do that yet.


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


    There's a reasonably active gravel cycling group on Facebook here, https://www.facebook.com/groups/IrishGravelCycling/ but I haven't seen much local to Dublin that I didn't already know about. As a148pro pointed out, the difficulty is getting length where you need to patch gravel and road together to get a longer route. Start of the Wicklow way here coming out here is a nice segment to add to a spin. You can easily add bits of Tibradden, Cruagh and Masseys to this but these have become very busy with walkers at the weekends and I'd usually only include them on midweek lunchtime spins. Once you get as far as Roundwood a loop of the reservoirs is very attractive and easy going and also worth adding to any spin. Possibly a bit too far from your specified range, but there's also lots of tracks around Trooperstown worth exploring. Same area, one on my to do list is the lough Dan Inchavore trail, starting here up to Military road coming out here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,664 ✭✭✭ JMcL


    Taxuser1 wrote: »
    what are considered the best trails for CX and gravel bikes in Dublin and/or county or incorporating North Wicklow and SW Kildare - i'm kind of on the border and could do without crashing again by hitting stumps.

    Have a look at https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=105747354 - lot of info in there


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


    smacl wrote: »
    There's a reasonably active gravel cycling group on Facebook here, https://www.facebook.com/groups/IrishGravelCycling/ /quote]

    So THIS is where all the gravel chat is, I'm not on facebook. Just flicking through there looks like a wealth of information.

    Is there a way of joining facebook without it automatically seeking out everyone you know and you being bombarded with their ****e? Basically can you create an identity or go anonymous. Barely scraped onto one twitter subscription without it linking me to anyone in my phone book.


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


    Op David Flanagan has a reasonably long route in the forests above glendalough, haven't tried it yet but hope to at some point. Could be combined with that off road back up towards military road.

    Also was up wicklow gap today and there are loads of options in forests either side of the descent towards blessington. bits of St kevin's way might be doable, an intriguing track off the top near the reservoir stuff, though not sure how far it goes. Then more stuff off the side of that magical road from blessington lake over to manor kilbride, and again either side of the road that leads up past the firing range over to botharnabreena balinscorney.

    I've found an app called komoot very good. You can plot a route on your laptop and send it to your phone, it'll then read you directions. Alternatively just get out and explore and use the app to see if stuff is a dead end or not. It's actually fun if you don't have great expectations.

    I've been meaning to refine some routes into gps files and post them on that other thread but haven't gotten round to it. Winter will give me more opportunities.


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  • Registered Users, Subscribers Posts: 2,061 ✭✭✭ wanderer 22


    Alek created this route - https://www.strava.com/activities/1859015415 - plenty of great trails within that


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


    Someone on that FB group posted this

    https://gravelmap.com/

    Not very much in southern Ireland on it, I've thrown up a few bits local to me here, maybe a few others might feel like adding in a few bits and pieces, it could be a useful resource.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,623 ✭✭✭ cletus


    Your obviously very local to me too nilhg :D

    I've nothing else I could add, I don't think, but can routes be imported from Strava? If so, it mightn't be a big deal to add some of the other suggestions from both this thread and the gravel compendium one

    *Edit* popped in a short segment that nilhg hadn't covered, easy enough, and there's an import option too


  • Registered Users Posts: 414 ✭✭ Whatwicklow


    West Wicklow = gravel 😊


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,623 ✭✭✭ cletus


    West Wicklow = gravel 😊

    Feel free to log your favourite routes...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,623 ✭✭✭ cletus


    I tried to uplaod some of the routes from the gravel compendium thread, but it requires the GPX or TCX file to do it, so it would probably be easier for the creators of the route to do it

    I exported one route from Strava, "Hard Gravel Loop" by one of the posters here, but it attributes the route to me. Its a fairly simple process though, especially if people have a a Strava account


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


    Am I right in thinking there is literally one route for the whole of Dublin and Wicklow otherwise, or am I missing something?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,623 ✭✭✭ cletus


    a148pro wrote: »
    Am I right in thinking there is literally one route for the whole of Dublin and Wicklow otherwise, or am I missing something?

    There's one route uploaded. I did it this morning. All it would take is people to import whatever routes they have from Strava


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


    This renewed lockdown and likely Garda presence at the Gap if not before will probably force me onto the fireroads anyway so I'll try and add to it in due course. There's a great spin around Prince William's seat then down to the river and along Wicklow Way to Chrone, up the right side of Chrone and across to Powerscourt viewing point then on to Djouce woods. Just have to refine it into a handy GPX.

    I'd love to do a few of Aleks suggestions if I can break them into doable bits. 100k with a lot of climbing is enough for me. He seemed to like at least twice that!


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


    cletus wrote: »
    There's one route uploaded. I did it this morning. All it would take is people to import whatever routes they have from Strava

    Actually I see yours now and its basically the route I had in mind, only I'd go up Kilmashogue, over to 3 rock and then down into the Gap and Glencullen, rather than doing that by road. Then maybe keep going at Powerscourt, into Djouce woods, up to Ballinastoe as much off road as possible, around and over the shoulder to the Wicklow Way, down into Laragh and back up the off road route to the military road. Haven't done that second bit yet but would be a worthy excursion, prob 100k return with about 2k of climbing. I'll have to get it done.

    I also see someone's just posted a long route down in Clonmel and Northern Ireland is peppered with stuff, good to see.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,691 ✭✭✭ Taxuser1


    a148pro wrote: »
    Actually I see yours now and its basically the route I had in mind, only I'd go up Kilmashogue, over to 3 rock and then down into the Gap and Glencullen, rather than doing that by road. Then maybe keep going at Powerscourt, into Djouce woods, up to Ballinastoe as much off road as possible, around and over the shoulder to the Wicklow Way, down into Laragh and back up the off road route to the military road. Haven't done that second bit yet but would be a worthy excursion, prob 100k return with about 2k of climbing. I'll have to get it done.

    I also see someone's just posted a long route down in Clonmel and Northern Ireland is peppered with stuff, good to see.

    Sounds class. If you do it please share the file.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,623 ✭✭✭ cletus


    a148pro wrote: »
    Actually I see yours now and its basically the route I had in mind, only I'd go up Kilmashogue, over to 3 rock and then down into the Gap and Glencullen, rather than doing that by road. Then maybe keep going at Powerscourt, into Djouce woods, up to Ballinastoe as much off road as possible, around and over the shoulder to the Wicklow Way, down into Laragh and back up the off road route to the military road. Haven't done that second bit yet but would be a worthy excursion, prob 100k return with about 2k of climbing. I'll have to get it done.

    I also see someone's just posted a long route down in Clonmel and Northern Ireland is peppered with stuff, good to see.


    That's not actually my route, I just exported the gpx file from Strava that another user posted in the gravel thread, mostly just to see how hard it would be to populate that map


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,317 ✭✭✭ Macy0161


    Really not sure we should be suggesting getting around (soon to be legal) travel restrictions by following off road routes to avoid checkpoints!


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,623 ✭✭✭ cletus


    Im not sure that's what was being suggested


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 Orro


    I bought a gravel bike a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it, Im from Blessington and ive found loads of fire/forestry roads in the hills around lakes and there seems to be more in Hollywood, near Donard in Glen of Imaal and along the Wicklow Gap towards Glendalough. There is also Saggart Woods near tallaght and then a bit further a field is the Curragh in Kildare all which I'm yet to check out.

    Open google maps on satellite view and look for for wooded trail etc and then use street view to check for entries either private or coilte type black and yellow barriers. I'm ignoring the farmer gates and hitting the forestry/fire roads. Seems to be loads about and you can usually find routes with 50/50 road vs off road (depending where you live of course)

    Anyone else on here from out this way?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,317 ✭✭✭ Macy0161


    cletus wrote: »
    Im not sure that's what was being suggested
    OP is Dublin, looking for Wicklow and Kildare trails, and...
    This renewed lockdown and likely Garda presence at the Gap if not before will probably force me onto the fireroads anyway so I'll try and add to it in due course


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,347 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    mod note to all - if (and i emphasise the 'if') you are violating county lockdowns, that's on you, but please don't talk about it on here.

    i haven't read back up the thread, so this is just general advice rather than a warning to anyone.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,691 ✭✭✭ Taxuser1


    Macy0161 wrote: »
    OP is Dublin, looking for Wicklow and Kildare trails, and...

    if i sneeze i land over the border in either Kildare and/or Wicklow depending on wind direction. couldnt' be closer to either and if i go offroad in the general saggart woods area i might accidentally find myself breaking county restriction rules.

    i'd love to know more of the routes around the saggart/brittas/blessington areas for when we head out of restrictions.


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


    Orro wrote: »
    I bought a gravel bike a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it, Im from Blessington and ive found loads of fire/forestry roads in the hills around lakes and there seems to be more in Hollywood, near Donard in Glen of Imaal and along the Wicklow Gap towards Glendalough. There is also Saggart Woods near tallaght and then a bit further a field is the Curragh in Kildare all which I'm yet to check out.

    Open google maps on satellite view and look for for wooded trail etc and then use street view to check for entries either private or coilte type black and yellow barriers. I'm ignoring the farmer gates and hitting the forestry/fire roads. Seems to be loads about and you can usually find routes with 50/50 road vs off road (depending where you live of course)

    Anyone else on here from out this way?

    I'm in Kildare, and have been eyeing up those roads in the manner you suggest, even have a few routes done up on strava, but due to time pressures haven't made it up there yet so I'm not 100%sure they are as accessible as the look on google maps. Maybe you could have a look and let us know if they work? I'm going to be confined to Kildare for the foreseeable future, won't get up myself.

    https://www.strava.com/routes/2746823503449289164

    https://www.strava.com/routes/2731651138325824140

    Curragh is wel worth a spin around for anyone who can make it

    The


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,317 ✭✭✭ Macy0161


    The frustrating thing is so many dead ends on the fireroads. I hit one when under 1km of trail would create a loop - it maybe viable on mtb, was getting too narly (for me) on a gravel bike.

    I don't think "gravel" is on the radar at all, in Wicklow at least. They'd rather go for nonsense "greenways" in and out of Kilcoole that'll cost millions when a few hundred thousand would produce long routes or gravel/ tarmac loops.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,691 ✭✭✭ Taxuser1


    i've seen blogs to suggest a lot of the wicklow way on the dublin side can be ridden, possibly even over to enniskerry? or is a mountain bike needed?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 Orro


    Let's not over react here. I think we're all sensible enough to obey guidelines but we won't be in lockdown forever and I don't see the problem in sharing routes to explore when the time comes. Might give us all some routes to plan for when the restrictions are lifted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 Orro


    nilhg wrote: »
    I'm in Kildare, and have been eyeing up those roads in the manner you suggest, even have a few routes done up on strava, but due to time pressures haven't made it up there yet so I'm not 100%sure they are as accessible as the look on google maps. Maybe you could have a look and let us know if they work? I'm going to be confined to Kildare for the foreseeable future, won't get up myself.

    https://www.strava.com/routes/2746823503449289164

    https://www.strava.com/routes/2731651138325824140

    Curragh is wel worth a spin around for anyone who can make it

    The

    Hi John, I've done all those routes and they're great imo, the views of the lakes at sorrel hill are fairly epic

    I'm yet to loop the back of sorrell hill out onto the Gap road. Which would link up your route nicely. You may spot a little dirt road where 5he forest ends and there is a little singketrack diagonal down to the right and leads on to the Gap road. I've heard it's very do able.

    Hope I'm explaining that well


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 Orro


    Sorrell hill area

    Maybe go for a spin when the restrictions are lifted?


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


    Taxuser1 wrote: »
    i've seen blogs to suggest a lot of the wicklow way on the dublin side can be ridden, possibly even over to enniskerry? or is a mountain bike needed?

    Parts are and parts you have to carry. I'm working on an off road route that involves little to no carrying but broadly follows the wicklow way and joins it whenever possible. Will post when I eventually get it done, have done about the first third so far may attack djouce woods to laragh tomorrow.


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