Dublin to Athlone cycle via Royal Canal

I intended to cycle to Galway last Thursday, the route was the canal towpaths out of town as far as Moyvalley bridge, then along the old N4 to Galway, hopefully getting as far as Ballinasloe, Oranmore or even Galway city. Instead of starting at 6am like I intended, I actually started at 8am, which really hurt on the far end. I made it as far as Athlone before I ran out of time (I was getting a lift at the far end). Realistically, I could have made it to Ballinasloe, but not Galway city itself. (Lesson: go to bed before 3am the night before.)

My Surly Crosscheck at the 12th Lock
The canal route was pleasant, and I don’t regret cycling it, but now that I’ve done it, I think I’ll stick to a road route in future – the canal section was just too slow and wasted a lot of time early in the day. If I was on my hardtail my average speed would have been a lot better on the canal section (but not on the road ) I did take quite a few photos, but had the camera in my bar bag so that didn’t slow me up much at all. Will post all 4 videos I took while moving onto YouTube, first here: Royal Canal

Flickr set with all pictures is here

Fuel strategy was good. I made an enormous pasta bake the evening before (enough for 6 people ), ate it for dinner that night, and for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the cycle. Had 1.5l of DIY sports drink (oj/water/salt/sugar), and a camelbak of plain water. Bought some sweets (see pics) towards the 100km mark when I thought it might prevent bonk, though I was still going strong – increasing speed in fact!

The route was along the towpaths from Croke Park as far as Kilcock, then after that I was on the old N4 for most of the way. I’ve thought a lot about the next route that I’ll do, Dublin-Mayo, I’ll write up a new post for that in a couple of weeks.

All videos will be here after YouTube processes them

By the numbers

Distance: 133km
Time: 7 hours 40 mins
Avg: 17.3 km/h (approximately 12-13 km/h on the canals, 21-22 on the road)
Mechanical: 1 (broken front fender after going over a branch)
KCals (according to HRM): 6557
Average HR: 126
Max HR: 163