An Epic Day of Mountain Biking in Westport

mountain biking westport

Offroad Mountain Biking in Westport

All we knew is we were going mountain biking.

We awoke, feeling good with smiles on our faces, but with our bodies a little worse for wear after three days of hiking, walking, climbing, surfing and kayaking.

All of us thought that a nice relaxing cycle along the Westport Greenway while we enjoy some cakes and coffees will be a great way to loosen out our bodies.

Little did we know what Anthony at Westport Bike Hire had in store for us.

westport bike hire
Westport Bike Hire

With little experience of mountain biking or cycling between us, we decided to mix and match the bikes.

With little experience of mountain biking or cycling between us, we decided to mix and match the bikes.

We went for two racers, two mountain bikes and a fat mountain bike racer. With our guide and instructor being a professional cyclist, he was itching to go, so he threw us a few bicycle helmets and said, “Come on, let’s hit the road.”

The first beautiful section which made all our heads turn was cycling through Westport House. An incredible property of beauty, architecture, land, lakes and nature.

We were probably ruining a few people’s relaxing strolls as we rallied through the grounds laughing like hyenas while we got used to the bikes on the exciting forest trails.

Finding your groove, you realize that the bikes are no ordinary bikes. With professional gears, they offer great speed.

Once out onto the road, we kept at a good pace until we reached the Grainne Uaile Pub in Newport. We pulled in to regroup and catch our breath.

Anthony explained the route ahead and that we would turn off to head up into the mountains where it would get a “little bit more exciting”, as he put it.

With jackets off and seats adjusted, we set off.

Leaving Newport, the Greenway becomes much more off-road, where the track itself becomes immersed and surrounded by nature, trees, lakes, bridges, and more.

The beauty in your eye line is quite spectacular, and the fact that it’s fleeting as you move quickly through the tracks on your bike seems to make the experience all the more enjoyable.

With fresh air filling our lungs, and a sweat most definitely broken, a desire for coffee and cake was growing.

riverside cafe westport
The Riverside Cafe on The Gourmet Greenway

To catch our breath once again and have the craic, getting to know our tour guide Antony, we pulled into a perfect little quaint spot along the Greenway – the Riverside Cafe.

We smashed through many a cake and coffee, preparing ourselves for the next section.

riverside cafe westport
The Riverside Cafe

Fueled with smiles, coffee and sugar, we made our way over the bridge out onto the Greenway and offroad as we headed up to the boglands of Westport. This is around the time when leisurely Greenway cycling began to morph into a face-paced, back-stabbing, competitive off-road mountain biking.

riverside cafe westport
The Riverside Cafe

The weather turned and the wind and rain came in hard. Would you believe we were all thankful for it, as we were bursting with sweat.

As we made our way through the bog, competitiveness kicked in and speeds, turns and skill levels were pushed with each of us trying to overtake the other.

mountain biking westport
Overlooking the boglands of Co. Mayo

As the rolling clouds and rains passed, we all stopped at a high point overlooking the entire vast bogland of Mayo.

Coming off the ridge and surrounded by incredible scenery, we made our way into the homestretch. It is here where the race was on. With the finish line in sight, moving into the last five minutes of the race, the order of Guinness was sent ahead to Doherty’s Pub.

mountain biking westport
There's a reason why Co. Mayo is called big sky country

The last smooth stretch as you come into Mulranny Hotel is beautiful, as it is pretty much a roll.

The wind in your face, you can take in the entire Clew Bay to your left. A little too sweaty and dirty for Mulranny Hotel, we needed a local and no better was found than local pub Doherty’s, where five of the nicest creamiest pints we had ever tasted awaited.

What was meant to be a cheeky one pint turned into three as they were going down faster than I did when I fell off my bike.

dohertys pub mulranny
Doherty's Pub, Mulranny

Bruised, battered, exhilarated and full of Guinness, it was another exciting and exhilarating day of adventure in Westport, with all of us truly ready to hit the town.

We couldn’t have thanked Antony and Lorraine of Westport Bike Hire more for an amazing day.

Inner peace and outdoor adventure ticked and smashed!

Paul Feeney
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