As the capital’s foremost fun ride, The Great Dublin Bike Ride returns next month promising an exhilarating day for all those taking part. Forming part of the European Week of Sport celebrations, the ride will see thousands cycle through Dublin (and Meath!) and offers two routes to cater for all ability levels. Read on to find out more about the event, how to register and what sights and sounds a pedal through The Pale is sure to promise!
Back with a bang
Taking place this year on Sunday 25th September, The Great Dublin Bike Ride is the only cycling event of its kind to happen in the capital. There are two different routes for riders to choose from; the 100km route for avid cyclists looking for a challenge, and a shorter 60km route for those who fancy a more leisurely pursuit.
Organised by Cycling Ireland in conjunction with Sport Ireland, Dublin City Council, Healthy Ireland and Fingal County Council, 5,000 cyclists are expected to jump in the saddle and take part in this year’s festivities.
A leisurely jaunt
The 60km route, which starts and finishes at the main DCU campus in Glasnevin, looks to be an ideal option for enthusiasts after a less-taxing ride. Cyclists will first head towards Sutton Strand, a tombolo which links Howth to the mainland, promising breathtaking views out towards North Bull Island and Dublin Bay.
The route will then take cyclists on to Baldoyle and the Velvet Strand at Portmarnock, where the sea breeze is sure to delight those working up a sweat. Be sure to look out for Portmarnock’s Martello Tower, an architectural gem and one of the 26 Martello Towers located across Co. Dublin which were built between 1804 and 1806.
Malahide is also visited during this whistle-stop tour of Dublin and its surrounding counties, with its bustling village centre and marina providing a beautiful backdrop. Riders will proceed towards Swords and rural North Co. Dublin, where the lush countryside provides a real change of scenery before cyclists pass through the welcoming charm of Co. Meath and its villages.
Participants will then complete their 60km loop in style, with the home stretch bringing them back into Co. Dublin, where the finishing point at DCU may well be a welcome sight!
A real challenge
The 100km route offers the perfect opportunity for those on the lookout for a challenge! The first stage mirrors the 60km version, but as cyclists reach Swords the route will take you north rather than west – on to Naul, a village nestled on the Dublin and Meath county border, and beyond.
Cyclists will then head west towards Kentstown, before the loop heads for Ratoath, a small town in Co. Meath and home of Fairyhouse Racecourse, one of the top horse racing courses and host of the Irish Grand National Steeplechase since 1870.
Once again, participants will enter the penultimate stage of their cycle by traversing through Co. Dublin, before finishing back at DCU.
Get ready, get set, go..
A training schedule which works for you is key to ensure you’re well prepared for this – or, indeed, any – big day. We’ve put together our top three tips for anyone looking to improve their pre-event training plan:
Slowly build up your stamina
It’s best to gradually build up towards longer rides so that you’re never dramatically out of your depth. Once you’re comfortable with a distance, increase your ride by another 15-30 minutes and see how that treats you; once that’s comfortable, ramp it up again, and so on. It’s really important that you pace yourself and learn the new challenges that come with each increase in distance.
Make training fun
Whether it’s setting yourself goals or finding the perfect partners, training for big events is a whole lot easier when you enjoy the preparation! It’s true all year round, too, which is why you’ll see loads of road racers spending their winter trying their hand at cyclocross – a fun and challenging way to vary your activity. Take a look at our beginner’s guide to cyclocross for everything you need to know.
Keep on top of your diet
Yes, you’ve probably heard this one before – but winners are built in the kitchen! Make sure to include plenty of protein into your diet; whether animal or plant based, it’s what helps you to build and maintain muscle. You should also try to avoid saturated fats and refined sugars where possible. For snack ideas, why not try making your own graze bags of dried fruit and nuts, or energy bars to pack a punch?
If you’re interested in taking part in The Great Dublin Bike Ride, registrations for both routes are open now via Eventmaster. Tickets cost €55 per person for the 60km route, and €65 per person for the 100km route. Participants can also expect medical and mechanical support along the route, and everyone taking part will receive a goodie bag, refreshments at designated stops and an exclusive medal.
You can keep up to date with the event by checking out the dedicated Facebook page and to find out more information you can contact the organisers at email@example.com.
If you’re looking for more route inspiration, check out our recommendations on the best Irish cycling lanes and routes, perfect for all abilities. And, be sure to make the most out of your cycles with our pre-ride warm up sequence.