EuroVelo-Cycle your way through Europe
Cycling has fast become a sport du jour and bikes have become one of the most popular modes of transport for many city dwellers who have given up on public transport and who want to keep fit.
Not content with using the bike 9 to 5 however, many have taken to going on cycling holidays. It’s for that reason that EuroVelo has been developed. EuroVelo is a network of 14 long distance cycle routes connecting and uniting the whole European continent. There are currently 14 routes, some of which are still under some development, but the hope is that all will be complete by 2020.
Not wanting to let us down, Ireland has 2 routes; the Atlantic Coast Route and the Capitals Route.
The Atlantic Coast Route is the more developed of the two and it stretches from Newtowncunningham in Co. Donegal all the way to Rosslare where you can catch the ferry to Wales and carry on cycling, presuming your arse hasn’t seized up into a permanent state of immobility by then.
Cycling the Atlantic Coast Route is a fantastic way to experience Ireland’s west coast and revel in some of its most beautiful and majestic scenery. If you’re a fan of the two wheeled mode of transport and feel that there is a lot of this isle you are yet to discover then this is one for your ‘to do’ list.
The Capitals Route goes across the country from Dublin to Galway. It is still under development and while some parts of the route can be cycled, others are still under construction making it tricky to cycle continuously. When it is complete you’ll be able to cycle along the canal path from Dublin as far as Mullingar and then onto a disused railway and onwards to Galway.
Compared with the Atlantic Coast Route the Capitals Route will be a quick jaunt so it will perhaps be more appropriate for those of you who are like me and say you “cycle” when the last time you cycled was to the shops on your Raleigh Splash when you were ten.
If you’re looking to do something a bit different for this year’s holiday then this is certainly something to look into. With Ireland’s romantic beauty, warm hospitality and all the exercise, your endorphin levels will be at an all-time high upon your return to the humdrum of 9 to 5.
So slap on the lycras and start doing your lunges, maybe do the lunges before you put on the lycras, and get cycling all around Ireland and all over Europe with EuroVelo.
For more details check out the Eurovelo website.