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Don’t drive in Ireland, Electric-Bike it

Bikes in Dingle
Biking along the Dingle Pensinsula, Ireland.

On our podcast, we’ve previously discussed whether you should rent a car or take a tour bus when visiting Ireland.

The overwhelming answer was: drive, because it gives you the freedom to see Ireland at your own pace.

Time moves on, though. Since recording that podcast episode, I’ve become more aware of the carbon dioxide cost to just about anything we do in life. If you were to drive a long tour in Ireland, your car could be emitting 45kg or 100lbs of carbon dioxide. On your sight-seeing trip to the beautiful coastlines, towns and cities, you’re taking responsibility for emitting that much extra gas into our atmosphere.

In steps the electric bike! I’m going to concentrate on the Dingle Peninsula – Corca Dhuibhne, which we’re written and spoken about many times before. It’s an absolutely beautiful spot in Ireland. Daingean Uí Chúis town (that’s Dingle town) is reachable by public busses. Once you’re in the town, you can spend a few days there, and then head out west to come up against the expanse of the sea.

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Emissions-wise, a quick estimate tells me that a 100 mile bike trip (whoa, that’s far) would emit 1 kg of carbon dioxide (plus the extra your body would produce from the health-driving exercise).

A quick internet search brings us to dinglebikes.com where they sell you on the “Dingle Electric Bike Experience”.

Biking Switzerland
Eoin biking the kids, this time along the Bodensee in Switzerland.

What abour rain? Yup, rain happens. Especially along the Atlantic coast of Ireland! But I’ll argue that without being out in a few summer rain showers, you haven’t gotten a true experience of your trip. A little pain can give you much better stories to tell the family at home! My wife and I still talk about a bike trip out the Dingle peninsula we made out in the rain, drank a couple of ciders, and it felt like the up-hill was down-hill on the way back to the B&B. Your body will experience so much more of the trip if you’re move involved, rather than sitting into your gas-powered wheelchair.

What if I’m too old? As long as you’re capable of getting up on a bike, I won’t take too many excuses from you! The question is, how far do you want to go? Is it 2 miles out of town to experience the coast a bit better? That’s not a great trip around Dingle, but would still be good fun. Along the Dingle peninsula, you could book B&Bs every 10 miles, for example, and treat that as your ebike-powered day trip. Three nights to do the peninsula should be quite comfortable.

So over to you. Are you planning a driving trip to Ireland? Tell us by leaving a reply on this blog. Would you consider taking busses and then electric bikes?

Sources: globe.gov blog giving 0.65kg emission per litre drive. I assumed 7 litres usage per 100km. treehugger.com blog about e-bike missions, giving 0.2lbs emission per mile cycled.

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8 thoughts on “Don’t drive in Ireland, Electric-Bike it”

  1. james donal faulkner

    Ba mhath liom an rothair-dealain a bheith agam i nCoirce Dhuibne, ceart go leor. Beidh me an sin go luath, pé scéal é.



    1. Go raibh maith agat as do theachtaireacht, James.

      Is é an focal Gaeilge atá ar “electric bicycle” ná “rothar leictreach”.

      Bain sult as do laethanta saoire in Éirinn!

      Le meas,

  2. Michael MacFaden

    I moved my family to Cork in 2013 for a three month work assignment June to August. First thing I bought a bike for the 5k/3mi commute between UCC/west Cork and office in Ballincollig. Riding in proper gear is very important. Jacket and cover pants that breath but keep water out are best. And it does rain sometimes but rarely was I forced to take shelter in a pub, you’ll know this case since the rain seems to be coming at you sideways.

    Another point I’d make is safety. Stay mindful of blind spots, look for black circles posted along roads and know they indicate this danger. Drivers are mostly careful of bicycles, better than US but distracted driving is not only a US problem these days

  3. What a brilliant idea! I am hoping to visit the West Cork Gaeltacht via public transport after being in An Rinn, and I know that there are very few ways to get to Cúil Aodha, for example, via public transport. I know it would be extremely challenging for me via a regular bike — that really isn’t an option.
    But an electric bike might be an option if there are electric bikes to be had in Ballyvourney, or I guess Macroon.