Canals & Greenways 300 of Leinster (permanent)

Organisers: Rory Flynn & John McElligott

E-Mail: flynn.rory@gmail.com

Only available to be ridden as a Permanent, Entry fee €5 to be paid to paypal@audaxireland.org

All riders must have a Cycling Ireland Licence, as One-Day Licences are not allowed.

Ride with GPS Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31210866

Route Description

Proof of passage by GPS track or receipts. Controls are; Edenderry, Shannonbridge, Moate. 

This is a flat spin that showcases Ireland’s two major canals and crosses its longest river. The route does use some road sections, but much of it is away from roads and riders will enjoy a tranquil spin through a rural landscape. 

As of August 2019 the Royal Canal Greenway is complete. That said, there can be waterways works on either canal, so some diversions may be necessary. Greenways are for mixed pedestrian and bicycle traffic, we’ve encountered dog walkers, large Park Run groups, and many fishermen. Respect other greenway users. 

The route starts in the Phoenix Park, crosses the Liffey, and joins the Grand Canal beside the Blackhorse Luas stop in Inchicore. The Grand Canal connects Dublin to the Shannon. This 132km section is a mix of road and canal path. Some sections of canal path are grass track making for a tough but rewarding spin. A wider tyre is advised, particularly if the weather has been wet. 

From Shannon Harbour the route takes roads across the Shannon at Shannon Bridge, through eastern Roscommon and back across the Shannon at Athlone. The next 110km are on hard surfaced Greenways and decent average speeds are possible. The Old Rail Trail runs from Athlone to Mullingar and is closed to motor vehicles. Outside Mullingar the route joins the Royal Canal Greenway. Cars do use some limited sections, but most of the ride is on a bike/footpath. At Leixlip the canal path becomes more mixed. Care should be taken on this last 8km of canal path if it’s dark. The route leaves the canal at Porterstown Bridge (294km) as the Deep Sinking section is not suitable. A final few kms brings cyclists back to the Phoenix Park. 

Anyone who loves Ronnies Long Heron/Aquaducts will appreciate this ride which is an extension of it.

Since last year the canal has improved and there are more gravel sections and fewer grass sections. That said, CX or MTB tyres with clearance are recommended. Plenty of pubs on the canal for a cool pint to wash the dust or mud from a weary rider.