People standing in front of LimerickGreenway sign

5 Tips before you cycle the #LimerickGreenway

Are you excited about all the Greenways that are opening in Ireland? Are you thinking of cycling the #LimerickGreenway? Recently the Limerick Greenway opened, 45 km of dedicated, traffic-free cycleway !! Let me share 5 Tips before you cycle the #LimerickGreenway

If you like cycling for fun ( and love eating cake),  join my  Facebook Group Gort Cycle Trails and

Check out the trails I have mapped out so far – more to follow:)

It’s 115 km from where I live and wanted to cycle it. As I had never cycled the #LimerickGreenway before, I asked a few people if they were interested to join me to check it out. We settled on Sunday the 5th of December. The weather was glorious, we couldn’t have wished for a better day — yes, I am #grateful!

People on bikes

Group of friends wrapped up on a Frosty December Morning

Tip 1 of 5 tips before you cycle the #LimerickGreenway 

Know your geography !! Do you know where Rathkeale, Ardagh, NewCastle West, Barnagh, Templeglantine or Abbeyfeale is on the map ? I had no idea! Take some time to study the below map, and check out the information-packed website of the #LimerickGreenway here. There are many access points, and you want to orientate yourself before you go. And maybe you want to walk, not cycle, there are many options. Download the map here

Tip 2  before you cycle the #LimerickGreenway 

How fit are you? When was the last you sat on a bike? Has it been a couple of years? Or are you a regular cyclist? Are you cycling on electric bikes? Mechanical bikes? Are you bringing kids? How old are they, and how far can they cycle ( as far as you know)Have you cycled hills before? Do you know how to handle gears? 

I was all for cycling 45 km, the full distance of the #LimerickGreenway , but would I be up for 90 km? I wasn’t so sure ( and I would consider myself fairly fit after all the cycling I have been doing since the Pandemic)  If I only cycled 45 km how would I get back to the car?

So we parked at Barnagh, which is 13 km from Abbeyfeale — there is an ever so slight downhill gradient /downhill cycle, so if you leisurely cycle, you can get there in under an hour. But that means you don’t stop and enjoy the beautiful scenery, listen to nature, have a picnic on any of the benches etc.. so unless it is a race, allow plenty of time to enjoy your ride!

We had “brunch” at Tea & Tales in Abbeyfeale to then return to Barnagh. It was a particularly cold day, and it was a real treat to enter a warm cafe with friendly staff and yummy food. They even had a Greenway Bagel! 

My friends in front of TeaTales

My friends in front of TeaTales in Abbeyfeale

Picture of Irish Breakfast

Breakfast at TeaTales

Return Trip from Abbeyfeale to Barnagh ( 13 km)

The return trip was a slight climb,  a few times it was helpful to have the support from the ElectricBike but not essential. If you are on a mechanical bike, you’ll just have to bring down your gears and pedal that bit harder!

Ultimately the cycle from Barnagh to Abbeyfeale and back could be a  day trip/half a day trip, where you take little breaks along the #LimerickGreenway, and have a longer break at Abbeyfeale to refuel and then cycle back to Barnagh ( or veer off to smaller villages on the way ).  Two of our group are fit cyclists and they cycled onward to the border with Kerry, returned back to Barnagh, had lunch there, and cycled to Rathkeale and then back to Barnagh  — so it all depends what your mission is! It’s not one size fits all! 

Tip 3  before you cycle the #LimerickGreenway 

What clothes do you need? On its own you don’t need “special” clothes, but you do need to think about the ( ever) changing weather.

We cycled on a particularly cold December morning, gloves and neckwarmer/cowl was absolutely essential! A windproof jacket, a few layers of clothing( Merino Wool is highly recommended – it is pricey – Aldi & Lidl do great undergarments too, padded cycle pants ( I know, they look silly, but trust me, if you haven’t cycled in a while, you’ll be glad for the comfort), warm socks( why oh why did I decide to wear pop socks that day) and raingear. It was cold BUT it was very sunny… so sunglasses will make your ride so much more enjoyable. I’d always recommend you use Suntan Lotion ( regardless of the season) and lip balm, as I found the wind will burn you. You’ll always end up with a bit of a healthy glow afterwards! 

Tip 4 of 5 tips before you cycle the #LimerickGreenway 

Transport to the #LimerickGreenway ? Do you have a car? Do you have a bike rack?

For now, the #LimerickGreenway starts /ends at Rathkeale or Abbeyfeale ( Soon Abbeyfeale to Listowel will open) The #LimerickGreenway largely follows a disused Railway Track, the nearest Railway stations are Limerick, Charleville or Tralee.  It was not clear to me if there are ways to travel by bus to any of the access points. If you are bringing your own bike, make sure you double-check if the bus company can take our bike, and how much it will cost. 

If you are travelling by car, go check out the website to find out where there are parking facilities. We parked at Barnagh, there was plenty of space and great facilities.  Equally, at Abbeyfeale (old) railway Station, there is plenty of parking. 

Tip 5 of 5 tips before you cycle the #LimerickGreenway 

Need to rent a bike? There are a number of places you can rent a bike, check out this website with options.

I wanted to rent an electric bike and picked the very helpful people at likebikes, and booked the bike on-line. After some discussion with my friends, we decided to park halfway at Barnagh ( not to be confused with Barna in Galway !) This meant that the bike would have had to come from Abbeyfeale, so Diana was very cool about it and refunded my booking. If you are reading this Diane, just to say hello!  It was Diane who recommended I’d talk to the folks at Locomotion rental at Barnagh, as they also do bikerental and hired an electric bike there. The advantage of hiring a bike is that should something go wrong( flat tyre, flat battery( hopefully not) help is only a phone call away – just something to think about!

Locomotive Bike Rental

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Join the Gort Cycle Trails Group here and check out my new website .If you found any of this useful, why not share it using any of the buttons below!

Thank you,

Katleen 

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