The IrelandWays.com travel specialists get you ready to hit the road with these essential tips for your cycling holiday in Ireland:
Being prepared for the weather is one of the top tips for any cycling and indeed walking trip, wherever you might be going.
The famous Irish weather can throw pure gloriousness at you, but also not-so-nice days. However we are strong believers that there is no such a thing as bad weather, only not the right clothes. Include wind proof and rain proof gear to your packing list and you will be ‘grand’ as we say in Ireland. Changeable weather has other benefits: showers can be pretty quick so they can be the best excuse to stop for a little rest and a nice cup of tea.
What many people don’t realise is that there are many hours of daylight in the Summer months in Ireland and you will need to protect yourself from the sun.
It is also a good idea to bring a woolly hat and/or cap, depending on the time of the year: the woolly hat will keep your head and ears warm; while the cap will help with visibility and protect from the sun.
You can check average temperatures and rainfall per month for your route clicking on the ‘weather’ tab in each of the IrelandWays.com tours (see image), so you can choose the most suitable time of the year for you.
This is probably the single most essential tip for your cycling holiday in Ireland: always keep left, if you are cycling the Wild Atlantic Way as you will be sharing the road with car traffic. If you are cycling the Great Western Greenway, this is not as important, as it is a traffic-free trail but it is worth keeping in mind when meeting cyclists coming from the opposite direction and also in small stretches of road, getting into Newport for instance.
Apart from packing rain/wind proof gear, other important pieces of equipment for your cycling holiday in Ireland are:
A helmet, to protect your head in case of a fall. It is not compulsory by law but highly recommended.
Comfortable clothing, including padded shorts; remember you shouldn’t use underwear with padded shorts, to avoid chafing.
Cycling gloves to keep your hands warm, improve grip and protected in general.
Sun lotion, always a must when spending time outdoors.
On the Wild Atlantic Way, you will be sharing the road with car traffic, as mentioned before. Some road will be bigger than others; and in some cases you will meet unexpected traffic, for instance sheep.
Our Product Manager Emmet, who organises an annual cycling race around Ireland has warned us about the sheep in particular. “They are wild,” he says “They will sit by the side of the road and then jump and cross the minute you are about the pass them.” So the best advice is: watch out for crazy sheep!
Other practical tips for your cycling holiday include:
Using your back break first, to avoid brisk stops.
Watch out for gravel on the side of the road and bends, specially on descents.
Avoid using headphones while cycling so you can have all your senses alert, for instance, hear cars, fellow cyclists, walkers or indeed sheep! coming.
Pack plenty of water and snacks in your panniers; in some areas you will encounter plenty of small shops, pubs and restaurants but some other sections might have less shopping options. Check the route notes the day before so you can be prepared.
If you are bringing your own bike, make sure you pack a repair kit (spare tube, pump, puncture kit, tools). If you are renting a bike with us as part of your cycling holiday, this should be included in your package.
At IrelandWays.com we have cycling holidays in Ireland suitable for all levels, if you’d like to get some inspiration to help you plan your trip, please read our blog post: 4 Amazing Cycling Holidays in Ireland.
For more information and advice about our tours or to book your cycling holiday in Ireland, contact our travel specialists