The appetite for adventure sports in Ireland has certainly grown in the past 5 years. There are far more surf schools, kayak trip providers and climbing activities being provided, and this trend is set to continue with massive investment into cycling and adventure biking facilities.
Successful Irish Cycling Initiatives
Take for example the Ballyhoura Mountain bike trails which was openned in recent years in Greenwood near Ardpatrick in County Limerick. The trails range from moderate 6 km loops to the demanding Castlepoop loop which covers over 50 km, with some white knuckle twists, turns and descents.
Ballyhoura Mountain Biking Trails from john staunton on Vimeo.
Other biking and cycling initiatives are being piloted around the country after the success of Ballyhoura and other cycling routes like the Mayo Great Western Greenway which uses the old Westport to Achill railway route which has been closed since 1937.
Other schemes seek to use long disused railway lines in a similar fashion. Currently there is a pilot scheme that that will combine areas in County Kerry such as Camp to Dingle, via Annascaul. This route is close to the famous Dingle Way walking and hiking routes, and is rumoured to use old railway as well as adding new cycle lanes along the roads.
It is also rumoured there is a cycle trail being planned from Glenbeigh to Mindard Castle, this remains to be seen.
Accommodation Providers Take The Opportunity
There is huge potential for tourism to grow with the development of cycling in Ireland, which has largely been neglected until very recent times. The accommodation providers who cater for cycling visitors with secure bike storage, cleaning facilities, and built to purpose drying rooms will benefit most.
Irish Cycling Clubs And Family Cycling Trips
Of course, because Ireland is a tourist destination, and much of our industry centres on tourism, it’s easy to forget to mention the improvements these cycling facilities will bring to Irish people too. Cycling clubs have grown in popularity in Ireland in recent years, and many families enjoy the opportunity to get out for a cycle on quite country roads, and designated cycle lanes with their children. The health benefits are obvious, and our mild temperatures make cycling an activity we can enjoy most of the year.