Our bike ride on the Waterford Greenway.

Oh how times have changed. I swapped a night on the tiles, for a day on the saddle of a bike for my 35th birthday at the weekend.

My one birthday wish was to cycle on the incredible Waterford Greenway and boy was it worth it. Luckily for us the Waterford Greenway is close to home and it was something I was interested in doing since last year but I was pregnant, so I figured I would wait until I had Oscar and then plan for the four of us to do it together.

That WAS the plan…

We hired our bikes from Waterford Greenway Bike Hire . Our bikes cost 20 euro each to hire for the day and that included the child seat for Oscar. Initially Olivia was coming with us too but she was adamant she wasn’t going to cycle it herself and we weren’t sure whether there was a child seat big enough to carry her. She’s only five years old but she’s very tall and of course I didn’t book our trip in advance, no, I waited until the day we went so there was only a small child seat available for us. But luckily for us Olivia was quite happy to spend the day on the beach with my mam and sister. Phew!

We collected our bikes in Dungarvan where Waterford Greenway bike hire have one of three depots to collect and depart from. Waterford City and Kilmacthomas are the other two. When I phoned to book, they were very busy on Monday and the only available bike with a carrier was in Dungarvan so that’s why we started our journey from there. The guy at the depot informed us that our journey to Kilmacthomas would take approx. 2 hours but with stopping to take photos, rehydrating and checking on Oscar, it took us a little while longer. The weather was gloriously sunny but thankfully with a breeze and some clouds to hide the sun every so often.

Before Aaron and I started our journey, we made sure we had all of Oscars essentials with us, I won’t lie it was a bit daunting starting a two hour plus journey with a 9 month old on a bike, especially when you wouldn’t be used to this sort of thing. But as usual Oscar was a dream baby and he was quite happy to keep moving once I had started to peddle. It sounds so corny, but I was so excited about our little adventure together.

Once we hit the Greenway it was clear that it was super busy the whole way along with people cycling and walking in both directions. But it never felt congested which was lovely. Everyone was moving at their own pace and enjoying the breathtaking views.

There were some exceptionally stunning views along the way and my favourites were of Dungarvan Bay – overlooking the cliff onto the water. Then there was the area just beyond Ballyvoyle tunnel – we both agreed it felt like we were in a Jurassic Park movie. The tropical style greenery was just beautiful the way it enveloped above and beside us. Next was the Durrow Viaduct – it was absolutely amazing to look around from but I couldn’t look down for more than a few seconds because we were so high up, it was so scary but very cool. There literally wasn’t a point where we were bored. The landscape and views made the journey so enjoyable. There was even a playground along the way, a perfect location for a family picnic too. gw13

Near the end of our journey we saw the sign for Kilmacthomas and I thought to myself, ‘yes we’re here, we made it without any hiccups’. But my excitement was short lived because we were at the wrong bike drop off point (there are two bike rental companies) And to my disappointment ours was further up the track. There were no signs to tell us that and that’s why I want to share it here because apparently a lot of people make that mistake. It doesn’t sound like much of a big deal but when you’ve cycled over 20km to dismount your bike and walk up a steep dirt track for another few minutes to be told you’re at the wrong place was disheartening. So back up we had to get and cycle another 2km up the track.

I was so tired at this stage and those 2km seemed like the longest part of the journey for me but when we finally we arrived at The Coach House, we were greeted by extremely friendly staff who took our bikes from us and made us feel like we had just won a marathon. On the way in I had spied a sign for ice-cream and smoothies and that’s all I could think of as we stretched our legs around the yard. I didn’t get a look at the menu of the coffee shop but there was plenty of room to sit inside and outside and get a bite to eat. We had a BBQ planned when we got home to New Ross so a drink and some ice-cream satisfied our palettes until it was time to get the shuttle bus back to Dungarvan, which was free by the way. What a service! gw6

Our experience cycling over half of the stunning Waterford Greenway was just brilliant. We can’t wait to pick up where we left off and finish the track to Waterford city and hopefully bring a few friends with us too. I just have to wait until the pain in my ass eases. Ouch!

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