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Fat Bike on the Wild Atlantic Way

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"And you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles...” – Flann O’Brien, Irish novelist and playwright, The Third Policeman

One of the most fantastic features of the Wild Atlantic Way is the variety in topography you’ll encounter as you travel along its craggy nooks and crannies.

Among spectacular scenery, shining sunsets and glistening surf, the ground beneath you can change from beach to bog to mountain in moments, from the lofty cliffs at Slieve League to the inimitable karst backdrop of The Burren to the sandy beaches and impressive landscapes of the Ring of Kerry

Fat wheels on the edge of the world

One of the best and most adventurous ways to explore the Wild Atlantic Way is on top of two fat wheels. A fat bike is an off-road bicycle with oversized wheels - up to 100mm wide - with tyres to match. It is designed to allow riding on soft unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, bogs and mud. The improved traction when riding through sandy or swampy ground is a result of a set of monster tyres that allow a bike to roll where it’s never rolled before.

For example, the beautiful landscapes of Connemara contain a wealth of scenic trails just begging to be explored. The Maumturk Mountains and the pewter-tinged peaks of the Twelve Bens hide a trove of biking treasures. 


Further north, the Slieve League sea cliffs are among some of the highest in Europe and will exercise your eyes and legs as you climb towards spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay.

To get a flavour of some of the views you can expect from the saddle, the video featured above follows the adventures of three intrepid fat bikers as they cycle through the backwaters of Connemara and Donegal.

Spectacular views are only a pedal away

To sample the freedom in real life, MBW Bike Works offer professionally maintained and serviced fat bikes for rental. Located in Moycullen, County Galway, their shop boasts a surrounding countryside providing a kaleidoscope of bog and mountain.

For a more detailed account of conquering wild Atlantic ways by fat bike, read MBW owner Garry Davoren and his friend William O'Connor's account of their adventures in North Donegal. 

Of course, for those with less of an ‘over, under, through’ mentality, there are plenty of alternative cycling options available all along the route, which you can explore here.

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