Irish Cycle Facility of the Week

IrishCycle.com was able to cycle the newly opened Castlebar to Turlough greenway over the weekend — which is not currently linked to the Great Western Greeenway but is for some reason already counted as part of that route.

One of the most notable features on the new route is a mini version of a similar but much larger fun steep slope feature on the Great Western Greenway proper at Mulranny.

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In the case of  Castlebar to Turlough, there’s is a warning sign which makes the potential danger clear — although, on the way up, the sign pictured above is small and only visible on the hairpin turn where the slope starts.

We have some understanding that these routes are constructed on a shoestring budget and with restrictive permission access arrangements which require landowner agreement. But advance warning signs don’t cost the world… and if these inclines are required the gradients could be better.

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If the slope is 15% of the incline overall, the worst section at the start of the slope which is pictured in the foreground above, is far greater than 15%. Warning signs should warn of the worst slope, as well as the overall incline.

Climbing this is maybe easy on a racer, but not so when you have a child on a seat on the back. Trailers are likely the same, while cargo bicycles would struggle even more. Dismounting and wheeling the bike with a child on board is no walk in the park. Forget about most people cycling it using trailers or cargo bicycles. Wheelchairs and mobility devices will likely have access-barring or access-limiting issues also.

 

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If you get to the top it gets worse. At this point our chain was off and we were lugging a bicycle with a four-year-old on a rear seat — the path does not even level out fully before coming to this swing gate which you have to pull in while holding a bicycle.

The issue with a trailer here would be as bad or worse, and with a cargo bicycle there’s little way you could safely hold the bike and open the gate. How a wheelchair user is supposed to operate this is beyond us.

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This is the view from the roadside — if the route is busy on a sunny summer’s day and people enter the area behind the gate things would get even more messy for those making the climb up to the gate.

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Note how the incline does not level off before the corner — we felt drag right up to the gate. Most of the others using the route while we held the gate and fixed our chain were walking with their bicycles.

Image: IrishCycle.com
Location: Leckneen, Co. Mayo
Local body/authority: Mayo County Council
Street View: Current view shows before greenway

Send suggestions to hello@irishcycle.com. And make sure to view the original and UK-focused facility of the month page on Warrington Cycle Campaign’s website.

4 Comments

  1. Mike McKillen May 19, 2015 at 10:47 am

    It also looks miserably narrow as a track! Why does cycling infrastructure have to be so narrow? Drivers would not accept being fobbed off with cart tracks.

  2. Very dangerous right angle bends there, definitely needs warning signs for visitors who do not live in the locality It is made worse by being so narrow, coming at a bit of speed you need the extra space not to hit the fencing.

    The bend or bends need to have those sharp corners taken away, get rid of those right angles . At least there needs to be a declaration at the beginning of the green way warning people of a series of sharp bends.

    This will bea whole lot worse when starting to get dark.

  3. Kevin O'Farrell May 19, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Do the people who design and build such ever cycle ? Do they have any idea what they are actually doing ? Do they actually think anybody is going to be able to use that at all ? Looks like a complete waste of time and money to end up with stuff like this. Why would anybody want to subject themselves to this crazy crazy obstacle course ?

  4. Laura Heneghan May 20, 2015 at 9:34 am

    The Turlough Greenway is beautiful, the river and woods make it really special. There are some danger spots but it is definitely worth noting the positives as well!

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