Boards.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more x
Post Reply  
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
05-01-2018, 22:39   #1
rollingscone
Registered User
 
rollingscone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,414
Irish Gravel Compendium

Ahoy,

Has anyone started compiling a guide to mostly offroad and contiguous "gravel" type routes?

Been exploring the back road up Three Rock and the route Alek mapped out from Masseys wood to Prince William's Seat lately and would love to do more.

The two Canal Towpaths in Dublin have their merits but are either shared spaces or prone to invasion by Scobies.

Having grown up in surrounded by farms and private quarries I've always assumed that there must be miles and miles of fire roads and tracks running across this type of land but I've no idea where or how accessible any of this trail might be?

It seems to me that the development of contiguous "gravel" trails crossing 100km+ would be a logical extension of the various Greenway projects as both tourism and quality of life infrastructure.

Last edited by rollingscone; 05-01-2018 at 22:44.
rollingscone is online now  
(2) thanks from:
Advertisement
05-01-2018, 23:12   #2
Alek
Registered User
 
Alek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Dublin
Posts: 4,242
I can only say about the area around Dublin: there is plenty of short routes that can be connected by road. 170km Weevil had 60-70% gravel, but continuous 100km in this SimFarm land? Fageddaboutit or emigrate...
Alek is offline  
05-01-2018, 23:27   #3
ford2600
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4,403
The mapping of routes take a bit of work but ime it is the best cycling I've done.

I've only done one ride in East Cork, but have a lot of exploring done in S Tipp/West Waterford.

If you mix quite roads with forest tracks it is streets ahead of any greenway; it is honest pedalling though. Typically 20m climbing per km so not for everyone.

You will get lost a bit but what harm.

My last spin had these 2 river crossings

I did a 100km spin to Cork city in August with a mix of county roads and some off road. Building it with more off road wouldn't be that difficult but it would still be predominantly tarmac or once was tarmac more than gravel
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20171230_111945.jpg (3.46 MB, 247 views)
File Type: jpg 20171230_112303.jpg (3.15 MB, 192 views)

Last edited by ford2600; 05-01-2018 at 23:31.
ford2600 is offline  
05-01-2018, 23:42   #4
nilhg
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Rathangan, Co. Kildare
Posts: 4,444
If you come out into the main commercial bogs there would be plenty of gravel service roads and possibly even some unused bog railway lines that navigable on a CX/gravel bike.

For example you'd have 15/20kms of unbroken gravel either side of here, some of it would be rough enough though.

As Ford says you could join various stretches of road like this with L roads and canal bank and make a considerable distance, plenty of the L roads are often no much better than gravel tracks in places
nilhg is offline  
(2) thanks from:
05-01-2018, 23:57   #5
nilhg
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Rathangan, Co. Kildare
Posts: 4,444
Actually, when peat use at the power station in Clonbullogue stops the railways are going to be a useful piece of infrastructure for some nice greenways.

See here and here and here, that stretch goes from almost at the old briquette factory near Derrinturn to close to the new Windfarm in Mt Lucas, which has public grave roads that bring you out the Tullamore side of Daingean
nilhg is offline  
Thanks from:
Advertisement
06-01-2018, 14:40   #6
smacl
Registered User
 
smacl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 10,245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alek View Post
I can only say about the area around Dublin: there is plenty of short routes that can be connected by road. 170km Weevil had 60-70% gravel, but continuous 100km in this SimFarm land? Fageddaboutit or emigrate...
A number of the longer ones around Wicklow are also dead ends that leave you tantalisingly close to the road you're trying to get to only to be forced to backtrack. Starting in Laragh, this is a nice one which takes you up the other side of the river almost as far as Glenmacnass. My approach has been to look at possible routes on google maps satellite view and/or OSM, create a route for the Garmin and try to follow it on the ground. Makes for some good exploring but also loads of doubling back and pushing the bike on terrain that is beyond my technical ability..
smacl is offline  
06-01-2018, 15:16   #7
rollingscone
Registered User
 
rollingscone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alek View Post
I can only say about the area around Dublin: there is plenty of short routes that can be connected by road. 170km Weevil had 60-70% gravel, but continuous 100km in this SimFarm land? Fageddaboutit or emigrate...
A new quest for you Alek.

#you'rewelcome
rollingscone is online now  
06-01-2018, 16:06   #8
timmyjimmy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 184
Lots of interconnecting forest roads in West Waterford/South Tipp and east Cork. Get lost enough and you'll even find a waterfall

https://www.google.ie/search?q=bally...w=1276&bih=703
timmyjimmy is offline  
(4) thanks from:
06-01-2018, 19:33   #9
ford2600
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4,403
Quote:
Originally Posted by timmyjimmy View Post
Lots of interconnecting forest roads in West Waterford/South Tipp and east Cork. Get lost enough and you'll even find a waterfall

https://www.google.ie/search?q=bally...w=1276&bih=703
Good man Timmy.

You'll eat your dinner after this
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26685090

I've ridden most of it, some fording and porting maybe required!
ford2600 is offline  
Advertisement
06-01-2018, 19:39   #10
bingobars
Registered User
 
bingobars's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 70
OP you have an opportunity here to get this guide up and running. It would be great to see. Like mentioned already in the thread peat bogs are great locations then forestry roads of course and has anyone cycled around a wind farm? Amazing terrain as they are normally hilly, vast and accessible by vehicles so good fast gravel
bingobars is offline  
06-01-2018, 19:47   #11
ford2600
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4,403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bingobars View Post
OP you have an opportunity here to get this guide up and running. It would be great to see. Like mentioned already in the thread peat bogs are great locations then forestry roads of course and has anyone cycled around a wind farm? Amazing terrain as they are normally hilly, vast and accessible by vehicles so good fast gravel
There is a very occasional poster on here with a book on such roads about to go to print.
ford2600 is offline  
(2) thanks from:
07-01-2018, 14:31   #12
novarapid
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by ford2600 View Post
Good man Timmy.

You'll eat your dinner after this
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26685090

I've ridden most of it, some fording and porting maybe required!
Hi Ford2600, any chance of sharing some of your routes, in West Waterford and would like to do some exploring, the link you posted is private thanks
novarapid is offline  
Thanks from:
07-01-2018, 18:37   #13
timmyjimmy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ford2600 View Post
Good man Timmy.

You'll eat your dinner after this
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26685090

I've ridden most of it, some fording and porting maybe required!

Would love to see your route, it doesn't seem to be public. BTW, it's very close to where I grew up! My brother has an offroad jeep and he would be very familiar with that area. I know that sometimes he goes from near Lismore to nearly Kilworth, completely offroad.

I was actually up there on xmas eve on the mountain bike. There's fire roads that nearly go as far as the Vee. Worth checking out if you're willing to put in the effort!

Last edited by timmyjimmy; 07-01-2018 at 18:45.
timmyjimmy is offline  
07-01-2018, 19:38   #14
df
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ford2600 View Post
There is a very occasional poster on here with a book on such roads about to go to print.
I am that occasional poster but can't mention the project for fear of banning.
df is offline  
(2) thanks from:
07-01-2018, 19:42   #15
df
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollingscone View Post
Ahoy,

Has anyone started compiling a guide to mostly offroad and contiguous "gravel" type routes?

Been exploring the back road up Three Rock and the route Alek mapped out from Masseys wood to Prince William's Seat lately and would love to do more.

The two Canal Towpaths in Dublin have their merits but are either shared spaces or prone to invasion by Scobies.

Having grown up in surrounded by farms and private quarries I've always assumed that there must be miles and miles of fire roads and tracks running across this type of land but I've no idea where or how accessible any of this trail might be?

It seems to me that the development of contiguous "gravel" trails crossing 100km+ would be a logical extension of the various Greenway projects as both tourism and quality of life infrastructure.
Coillte forest must have thousands of kilometres of gravel road. Technically illegal to cycle on however. I discussed with them the possibility of relaxing this rule in certain locations and they were open to the idea, that said there has been no further progress.

There certainly is huge potential to create some long off road (as opposed to mountain bike) trails that would be a huge attraction. I think many of the long distance walking trails would be more suited to cycling than walking as many contain long stetches of road and not many people have the time to complete then on foot (you could cycle in a weekend what you would take a week to walk roughly speaking).

Last edited by df; 08-01-2018 at 09:48.
df is offline  
Post Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Remove Text Formatting
Bold
Italic
Underline

Insert Image
Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text
 
Decrease Size
Increase Size
Please sign up or log in to join the discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Share Tweet