By: Michael Lander
|Cyclists are a common sight throughout many parts of Ireland. This|
cyclist is riding on English Street, which leads to Down Cathedral in
Downpatrick and to the grave of St. Patrick.
Ireland…… It has been called the Emerald Isle and this green jewel in the North Atlantic is an enchanting and captivating land with an incomparable charm and an unparalleled beauty that is unlike any other place in the world.
There is so much to see and do and to experience in Ireland, whether it is in one of the cities or towns that dot the landscape, the scenic shorelines and cliffs, the rugged mountains, or the picturesque countryside.
And, one of the better ways to see and to explore one or more of these places is to do so on a bicycle.
Cyclists are a common sight throughout both the north (Northern Ireland) and in the south (the Republic of Ireland) and the popularity of cycling is clearly evident, especially in the bigger cities.
|Cycling in Ireland can be made all the more fun|
with friends and family and getting to see sites
like the Rock of Cashel in Tipperary County are
an added bonus.
Part of the popularity of cycling is due, at least in part, to some tax credits and other incentives that are given to those who are willing to ride their bikes, and there are laws to ensure that cyclists have equal access, but also certain restrictions as motorists do, on the roadways.
For those who would rather ride a bike than drive a car, there are plenty of bicycle rental businesses to be found, and there are also bike share programs in some of the larger cities like Belfast, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, and Cork.
The only challenge for most, especially those coming from places like the U.S., is that all vehicles and cyclists ride on the opposite (left-hand) side of the road.
|Cyclists are often treated to some beautiful views like this one on the|
Northeastern coast, but they get a challenging workout on some of
the steep climbs in this region.
Those who are not accustomed to this, or who are apprehensive about it, should consider riding with a larger group, led by those who are more acclimated and experienced in doing this and guided bicycle tours offer a nice alternative as well.
For those looking to venture out on their own, other than doing some preparation and pre-planning, for either a multiple day bike tour or just a few one-day trips, there may no better way to see all that Ireland has to offer at a slower, more leisurely pace.
For those who wish to combine bike riding with mass transit options, you can always take the Irish Rail to get around even better or you can get on one of the ferries to ride or hike on a nearby island.
|Ireland offers up some scenic views that aren't seen in many other|
places and there may not be a better way to take it all in. This
photo was taken in the Glens of Antrim.
Click here for the Top 6 and the Top 10 cycling routes and the Seven (7) places best seen from a bicycle in Ireland.
Those who want to ride a bike on the Emerald Isle, should come prepared for riding a bike on some rather steep hills, some small, narrow roads with little or no signage, and some occasional strong winds and rain, too.
While Ireland’s climate is mild and often lacks temperature extremes, thanks to its location and the moderating presence of the Gulf Stream, it does see a fair share of rain, but when it does rain, precipitation levels are generally light.
The average number of wet days, with more than 1 mm, (.03 inches) is about 150 days a year along the eastern and southeastern coasts to about 225 days a year in the western parts of the island.
|This Belfast cyclist is one of thousands who regularly commute on|
a daily basis in and around the city. The school of Computer
Science for Trinity College is the colorful building in the
In the eastern half, there is a yearly average of 750 to 1000 mm, (29.52 to 39.37 inches). In the west it is 1000 to 1400 mm, (39.37 to 55.11 inches), and there is at least 2000 mm, (78.74 inches), in the more mountainous regions.
Should you overcome the issue of riding on the opposite side of the road, and the rain does not deter you, you will be rewarded with one of the better ways to sightsee and to experience Ireland.
Aside from the magnificent and breathtakingly beautiful scenery, Ireland has so much to draw you in and to help you fall in love with it.
The Irish are seen as being some of the friendliest people in the world and they, their heritage, their history, their traditional music, dance, and so much more will leave you wanting even more.
|These cyclists in County Clare are among several hundred riding|
in a cycling event on a rainy mid-October day. Even though it
frequently rains in many parts of Ireland, rainfall amounts are
not as great as many people might think.
Ireland may be best known for its Celtic and Gaelic origins, its love of its stouts, ales, and lagers and the potato, which has been a big part of the diet for the island’s inhabitants from the 17th century through today.
For most people around the world, Ireland, more often than not, is most commonly associated with one of the most widely known Christian missionaries that the world has ever known – St. Patrick.
It was St. Patrick who contributed the most in bringing Christianity to the island and infusing Celtic Spirituality into Christian traditions.
What may be lesser known about Ireland is its rich, ancient history and how it played a pivotal role in shaping our world and making it what it is today. If it had not been for the Irish, author Thomas Cahill contends in his book, entitled “How the Irish Saved Civilization,” the world and western civilization would not exist as we know it today.
|Bike Share is very popular and it is a viable|
and a much more economic alternative in
transportation in cities like Dublin that
tourists can also enjoy as well.
For those who are fortunate enough to visit Ireland, they are more than likely to find that it is a very special place that few leave without the hope of one day returning.
To learn more about bicycling in Ireland, click here.