If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll no doubt have seen our mountain bike escapades at some point. If you haven’t, go check it out, our pics are awesome Mountain biking takes you to some pretty epic places and the views can be breathtaking.

Now before anyone else says it, I’m the first to admit that I’m not particularly good at it! Both wheels spend most of their time firmly on the ground. Does that mean I don’t enjoy it??? Absolutely not!! Mountain biking is an absolute blast. If you haven’t tried it, you must, at least twice! The first time you be nervous, the second time you’ll be hooked! I’m focusing on my experience here. There are far more trails out there than covered here but that’s for another day.

My hopes here are to give you some pointers, some advice and most importantly share the lessons I learned when I first took the plunge. I knew absolutely nothing about mountain biking when I made an impulse buy of a hardtail mountain bike. As the saying goes, the valuable lessons are hard learned! Despite some epic Googling, I know now, I spent too much on a bike that technically is a mountain bike but it’s more of a “I cycle my mountain bike to work kind of mountain bike”! I could have gotten a bike that was far more suitable for less money… valuable lessons and all that.

I had great aspirations when I got the bike. I’d heard about the local trails near me, Ticknock & Ballinastoe trails are within easy reach but I was apprehensive about going up. I didn’t know anything about the trails or indeed mountain biking. “What about all the jumps and rocks etc?” Was I going to get myself into a world of trouble?! If I remember correctly it took me the best part of 6 months to build up the guts to go up Ticknock! It’s easy to look back now and say it was fine but in reality, I had no idea what was up there, and it was very much putting me off. If you’re still reading this, its safe to assume you’ve experienced similar and are interesting in find out what its like. I can tell you now, there is nothing in either Ticknock or Ballinastoe that should be putting you off trying. Absolutely everything is doable with both wheels on the ground in both locations but especially in Ballinastoe. Put your apprehension aside and go try it. You don’t need to buy any special gear or spend a fortune on a bike to try it.

“But aren’t I going to need to buy a bike???” Actually, no.

Well technically yes, but you don’t need to buy one!! The guys in both Biking.ie and Mid Ireland Adventure hire bikes, and proper mountain bikes at that. They even supply the necessary safety gear to get you going. You can literally turn up and try mountain biking for less than €50!!! I genuinely don’t know why I didn’t do this when I was starting out. A couple of sessions with these guys and you can decide if you want to invest in your own bike. No upfront investment! If you want to get into mountain biking and aren’t sure about it, a local trail centre with bike hire is the way to go! I’ve specifically called out Biking.ie and Mid Ireland Adventure as I know their trail are beginner friendly and they hire mountain bikes. Their catchment areas are south Dublin / Wicklow and the Midlands / Slieve Bloom Mountains. There may be other trails centres providing the same offering around the country that I haven’t mentioned because I’m not aware of them. If you know of any let us know and we’d love to check them out. Also, feel free to reach out to us with any questions you might have.

Bike for Hire

Bike Hire is available from www.biking.ie & www.midirelandadventure.ie and both also offer tours. When you’ve been bitten by the bug, Biking.ie also offer some excellent mountain bike specific courses that are well worth checking out.