Just outside the city, there’s something extreme going on. Tyres hit gravel and muck at speed. Hearts thump in chests. And adrenaline pumps through veins. To find out more, we spoke to Niall Davis.

Introducing Biking.ie

Biking.ie offers mountain bike rental, lessons, tours, youth camps and bike maintenance workshops to beginners and experienced bikers.

With two locations – one in the Dublin Mountains at Ticknock and one in the Wicklow Mountains at Ballinastoe – Biking.ie is the perfect base for beginners and expert mountain bikers alike. Its hubs can be used as an information point or a meeting place for people starting their spins. They do tea, coffee and snacks too.

As Niall Davis, founder of Biking.ie, says: “It’s basically… a little foothold in the hills to give mountain bikers a good place to meet.”

A true passion project

Biking.ie began life in 2007. It was the brainchild of Davis and his wife Tarja Owens. Between them, they have represented Ireland at both the Olympics and The World Championships.

Owens is a native of Wicklow, while Davis grew up on the other side of the Dublin Mountains, near Glencullen, Co. Dublin. Davis tells us he’s been exploring the mountains by bike since he first learned to cycle. “Maybe aged 5?” he says. Then, at the age of 12, he officially took up mountain biking as a sport.

His dad was a motorbike fan and, it would appear, he passed a passion for bikes on to his son. “It was always my number one passion,” Davis says. “Something I obsessed about.” And that’s how he came to launch Biking.ie.

Niall Davis (back left) and the Biking.ie team

“As a family, we were always crazy into bikes and going up to the mountains. But there was never really anywhere to go,” he explains. “I guess when we started building the trail, we saw an opportunity to go up and set up something really good for bikers.”

Since then, Davis has been eager to share knowledge of the trail he helped forge and his familiarity with the mountains. Biking.ie has attracted a great community of mountain bikers.

Biking.ie also promotes and hosts bike events all around Ireland too – from charity rides through to global competitions.

What you can explore from Biking.ie’s base

Dubliners are lucky to have such beautiful mountains and sea views so close by. And Davis is on a mission to make sure more people can experience them on two wheels.

“[The mountains] are just on Dublin’s doorstep,” he says. “It’s pretty unique in the world to have nice facilities just there and to have a set-up with so much potential”.

For those who haven’t explored the mountains by bike, it sounds like they’re missing out. At Biking.ie, you can rent a high-spec Vitus bike and head out on your own. Or join a tour and explore Glendalough, the Dublin Mountains, the Sally Gap or wild Wicklow. These guided tours usually take between two and four hours.

“In Wicklow, there are some pretty amazing places,” Davis says. “You start in Ticknock and you ride towards the backside of the mountain. Then you’ve got two views. In front… into the Wicklow Mountains. Then, you turn around, and you’ve got the city right behind you. That’s pretty special. There’s no end to nice spots up there.”

However, when it comes to mountain biking for beginners, he recommends starting with the trails in Wicklow. “At the moment, with the conditions of the trails, definitely Ballinastoe is more beginner-friendly,” he says. “It’s got a lot more flow and it’s a much nicer place to ride.”

However, the Ticknock trails have come a long way and they make for a great riding experience too. Best of all, they’re suitable in all weathers.

In Dublin, mountain biking is an all-weather pursuit

“We’re lucky in Ireland,” Davis says. “A lot of big resorts, like Whistler [in Canada], and the French ones, like Morzine, have to close down for a bit, but Ireland is alright all year round. Plus, the hills aren’t massive, so there’s no need for chairlifts. You can pedal everywhere”.

Whether you’re looking for mountain biking rentals, lessons, guides, tours or simply the company of people who share your passion, Biking.ie is the place to go. And Davis enjoys every moment of it. “I’m lucky enough that I don’t consider I’ve ever had to work a day in my life,” he says.

For more information or to book a bike, visit Biking.ie’s website.

Last Updated: 14th August 2022
Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

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