Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking is taking to the hills and trails on two wheels. Faster and more exhilarating than walking, more exciting than road riding, it brings the rider into the heart of the countryside.

Where to Ride?

The MTB (Mountain Bike) Commission* of Cycling Ireland is the best source of information. The ideal, situation is for areas of wild land to be dedicated to the sport, so that trails of different degrees of difficulty can be constructed, but so far in Ireland this has only happened at Gorton Glen Forest in Tyrone. The next nearest are in Mid-Wales.

Biking in Coillte forests, although attractive, is not permitted by Coillte. But almost any other trail or path opens up new possibilities for the biker. The Mournes, in County Down, for example, have miles of challenging, stony trails. Much mountain biking relies on toleration, rather than permission, for the moment. This means that bikers need to take utmost care not to upset other recreational users, land-owners and others.

How to get involved

A mountain bike is essential. The lighter the bike, the easier it will be to drag up a steep hill, but a basic bike costs under 200 euro. Knobbly tyres and low gears are the two essentials. For high quality bikes, the sky is the limit. Once you have a bike, join a club or otherwise find out where to bike.

Mountain biking is covered by the national body for cycling Cycling Ireland (*)

A Risk Sport

Remember that this, like all adventure sports, is a risk sport. Before you take to the hills make sure you are properly equipped, don't go alone (mobile phone coverage is often poor in wild areas), make sure someone knows where you are going, and have spare clothing. Some spare parts and a basic toolkit will also help. A helmet is essential.


Websites

MTB Commission: www.mtbireland.com - a site with a strong competition focus
National body for cyclists: www.cyclingireland.ie
Mountainbiking Association of Dublin: www.mycyclingclub.com


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