Not so at the end of last week as the sun came out and pushed Dublin to a tolerable temperature. I decided to get out and make the most of it--exploring farther west along the Grand Canal than I've ever gone before. Sadly, the wind was still a-blowin' this day, limiting my western progress a bit.
Just had a great ride on a sunny-but-crisp day on the Grand Canal in #Dublin pic.twitter.com/59Cu5T2oQa
— Cory Hanson (@HansonCory1) December 19, 2014
From the Suir Luas stop, I hopped on the canal towpath--formerly used to pull heavy barges but now a nice canalside walking trail. The low sun should be evident from the photos, it was almost exactly midday as I pedaled through the long shadows.
|Grand Canal from Suir Luas Stop|
I kept running into not-very-cycle-friendly gates. I never actually saw a NO CYCLES sign, but I had to navigate through a number of narrow gates designed to keep either bicycles or motor vehicles off the trail.
I ran into another one at the Blackhorse Luas stop, where I saw the following sign:
|Lansdowne Nature Park Trailhead|
I wanted to check out this little suburban park. It seemed to have everything I needed: a small creek (called a river here), trees, and a trail winding through it all.
Sadly, after fighting through a tricky traffic-and-Luas intersection, I ran into a closed gate, keeping me and my bicycle out. I had to settle for a photo through the iron gate.
|Well, That Would have been Fun!|
Sticking to the canal, I noticed that the water has finally returned to normal levels. After a very dry November, we've finally had some rain to refill the rivers, lakes, and canals.
|Water Flowing over a Lock|
Going farther along the canal, I knew that I was getting out of the city when I rode past a grazing horse.
|Chillin' on the Canal|
I was in the Bluebell village, and saw the following sign with canal fishing tips.
|Bluebell Angling Club Fishing Tips|
Just like the Portobello Angling Club closer to the city, this club seems to maintain a stretch of the canal for recreational angling. The waters of the canal seemed to be (just a little bit) cleaner and more accessible out here in the suburbs. Maybe there could be fishing potential out here, less than an hour's ride away on a windy day.
Once I reached Ballyfermot, near Dublin's round-town motorway M50, I decided to turn around. I was faced with more annoying gates and tricky intersections, and the wind was just a bit chilly in my face as I pushed up the hill into west Co. Dublin. Looking at the map, it seems I was very close to entering farm fields and pasture rural Ireland territory. Good to know that the country is closer than I had thought.
That does it: next summer, I'm going to try a bike trip on the canal to the Dublin/Kildare county line and back. Maybe I'll take my fishing pole with me.