Articles

Cycling in Phoenix Park

Like every other family, the Smartt family wanted to do something different. Here’s their experience of how they got on when they heard wind of this fab activity.

“We wanted to do something as a family that was a bit different to the usual. My brother suggested we try out the bike hire service started by the OPW in the Phoenix Park. A couple of minutes later I'm on their website www.phoenixparkbikehire.com an email is sent and two minutes later we had 12 bikes booked, including two tandems, a bike with the kiddie trailer to take my two kids, a bike with a baby-seat on the back and a few kids mountain bikes. We were a bit apprehensive but were keen to give it a shot.

We arrived at Phoenix Park Bike Hire, conveniently located at the main entrance on Park Gate St. When we got there I was surprised at just what a setup they have there. I mean they have everything from bikes with baby seats on the back, to hybrids to mountain bikes, kid's bikes, men's, ladies, racers, and ten tandems! Very impressive. But what really impressed me was how professional the staff was. Every one in our group got the attention they needed, (which in itself was no easy task as most of us hadn't ridden a bike in years!). It's quite obvious that the people running the show there, (the McQuaids, quite a famous cycling family) are taking this very seriously.

From the moment we headed up the bike lane to when we made our way back we had the best craic. After a few minutes getting used to the bike, (it had 24 gears after all) I remember thinking 'This is amazing'! We headed up the bike path to where it turns left half way up the main road and were greeted by the most amazing sight – a herd of wild deer! None of the kids with us had ever seen them, and most of the adults had to admit it was their first time too. After seeing the deer we cycled on up the path and had a lovely lunch at the Visitors Centre, which was amazing! I had no idea this place even existed. After lunch we all hopped up on the bikes again and took the western bike path all the way around to Aras and back up to the Phoenix monument where we made our way back down to the bike hire base. By now the kids were beginning to get tired, (weren’t we all!) but honestly, what a great experience. The Park is amazing and well done to OPW to help in setting this all up.

What a way to spend three hours. It was just €5 an hour per bike or €10 for three hours!! And even after that they gave us a deal for the group. Is this the best value activity in all of Dublin?! Get there, and bring your friends and family before they put their prices up to at least where they should be! Very well done to the OPW and the McQuaids for a very good value, professionally run service.”

Written by Janathan Smartt

Rent-a-bike started off with 24 bikes, and 2 tandems. They currently have 160 bikes, 10 tandems and 12 high end racers. Special needs bikes are ordered but they can't take delivery until they get a new building built. They are completely different to 'normal' bikes and will be a great addition. For more information see www.phoenixparkbikehire.com or phone Paul on 086 26 56 258 and don’t forget to tell them you read about it in 4kids!

First published 4kids Summer 2008