Start of an Adventure: Biking 2500 kilometers of Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland

July 8, 2014 Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

Bike touring in Ireland I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

It was just an idea, put to me by a friend, and I tried to brush it off. It would take too long, be too strenuous, probably cost too much and I wouldn’t be up for it anyway. I laughed it off and kept wondering what it would be like to have my own little adventure without the family for once, and bike 2500 kilometers/1500 miles in a place I’ve come to love over the years. I sent a text message to my husband, tongue in cheek I claimed, but sounding serious.

“I’m planning to cycle this new coastal route in Ireland this summer. It’s 2000+ kilometers. Maybe just half. When would suit you?”

Surely he would question my sanity or at least biking ability I thought. Biking long distances has never been my forte, although not that I would really know. Until the decision was made I had never done anything past twenty or thirty kilometers a go. And now the budding plan was to bike hundred kilometers a day, five days a week for five weeks.

“Sounds good for June, the kids?” was the answer I got.

Sounds good?! Really?! WHAT!?

And that was that. The beauty of sharing my life with someone who thinks nothing is impossible and “crazy” plans don’t exist. I was going to bike the Wild Atlantic Way, the new scenic route in Ireland this summer, all 2500 kilometers of it despite my total lack of knowledge regarding bike touring. Having baby number two last August and going through slightly complicated pregnancy had done no favours to my general fitness either, hence there was some work to be done in that department too.

Ride Wild 2014 in Ireland I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

Ride Wild 2014 – Three ladies and 2500 kilometers of Wild Atlantic Way

Since the exchange of text messages last October, the plans moved on first slowly, and then with exceeding speed with the help of Ireland Tourism and North West Adventure Tours in Ireland, and Birk Sport, a biking store chain here in Norway, and the departure date is now looming only a month away. It hasn’t been only me getting excited about this bike trip but my friends too, and now we have an international ladies’ team hitting the Irish roads in a few weeks time with few guest appearances for shorter sections of the journey. I’m even hoping that I could still convince my parents to join in for a part of the trip!

I suppose the burning question here is if we can we bike 100 kilometers, five days a week for five weeks, and to be honest, I don’t know yet. I have been on two shorter multi-day bike tours here in Norway this summer, and I know now that hundred kilometers in a day is very doable, even with a mountain or two to climb and headwind most of the way. But for five weeks? Day after day?

For some crazy reason I think we can do it!

#RideWild2014 via Instagram I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

Join #RideWild2014 – virtually at least!

Want to follow our journey? We start biking from Derry on August 4th and finish in Kinsale close to Cork on September 5th. If you happen to be along our route, do come and join us one evening or weekend for a pint, or even better – bike with us for a day or two.

Even if you can’t make it to Ireland you can join us – at least virtually, and here is how:

  • See Destination Unknown for latest news, blog posts and the finalised route (coming soon) – there is also a page dedicated to all about Ride Wild 2014
  • Want to see what the Wild Atlantic Way really looks like – have a look at Destination Unknown’s Instagram images (once we get to Ireland, that is!)
  • Got something to say while we are busy biking – it’s probably easiest is to get in touch via twitter
  • And last but not least, in Facebook, see Destination Unknown and Skimbaco Lifestyle for regular updates

In all social media you can search for #RideWild2014, and don’t forget to check the Wild Atlantic Way section of Ireland.com – it is beautifully done and may result in a spur of the moment flight booking to Ireland’s west coast…

Skimbaco Lifestyle is the main media partner for Ride Wild 2014, as what could better encapsulate this whole adventure than Skimbaco’s motto “Live life to the fullest”!

destination unknown, travel blog, adventure travel

I love to explore the world to new destinations. If you love traveling as much as I do, please subscribe to Skimbaco Travel weekly email and never miss a travel post.

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

Satu Vänskä-Westgarth decided to take a year off from her nine to five marketing executive life in Finland early 2009 to travel with her kayak, bike or skis and sometimes without. "One year" turned into a new lifestyle as a travel writer, accompanied with a not-so-British entrepreneur husband from Britain, who seems to spend more time outside the borders of his homeland than within, and their baby, who has already spent more months outside Norway than at their home in Norway, where the family resides at the moment. For more stories from the road, visit Satu’s blog Destination Unknown and connect with Satu on Twitter @SatuVW.

Comments (3)

    • Satu Vänskä-Westgarth

      Thanks Ali for commenting and I think so too, can’t wait to explore the coast for the five weeks!

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