RIDE WILD 2014

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Ride Wild 2014 I Destination Unknown - Adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland

I needed an adventure. Badly (having two babies back to back does that to you). And thought that biking the 2500 kilometers of the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland would be adventurous enough for someone who doesn’t bike on roads, long distances anyway. And then two of my friends got excited about the idea.

So then it was the three of us, Kate from the UK, Anne-Marit from Norway and me, Satu from Finland, and five weeks on the Wild Atlantic Way this August. We started on August 4th from Derry, and finished on September 5th in Kinsale.

Ride Wild Team I @SatuVW I Destination Unknown

I had no real idea what biking this kind of distance would take. But I did know that the scenery would be amazing, the food great, the weather – well, it would probably be raining, but it would be good, it was Ireland after all!

Sounds easy, huh!?

FOLLOW ALONG: UPDATES, IMAGES, VIDEOS

The adventure is over! And what an adventure it was…

See all the posts from the trip here, find the videos on this page and in social media you can check #RideWild2014 for the updates along the route. Sign up also for the latest posts and newsletter, we’re already planning the next adventure.

THE ROUTE

Wild Atlantic Way

We did roughly 100km a day, five days a week for five weeks and stayed put over the weekends. See the full itinerary on the Route page.

  • August 4: Ride Wild 2014 begins in Derry!
  • August 8th in Donegal and 9-10th in Rossnowlaugh
  • August 15-17: Westport
  • August 22-24: Tralee
  • August 29-31: Kenmare
  • September 5: Finish in Kinsale!
  • September 7: Heading back to Dublin

PARTNERS

There are few people and companies I can’t thank enough as they have made this trip possible. I could be sitting in the office (earning money), but feel very lucky to be doing this instead. Not a bad deal, I think.

Media Partner: 

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Sponsors:

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Product Sponsors:
Canon Finland
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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Margaret | Destination Here&Now May 21, 2014 at 1:26 AM

OMG I am seriously jealous about this idea Satu. In 1985 as a young backpacker I cycled the Ring of Kerry. Make sure you watch Ryan’s Daughter – you’ll cycle through all their territory, Dingle, Dunquin etc – it was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to Ireland in the first place. And northern Donegal. There used to be a lonely youth hosted right up the top somewhere … isolated and wild. My highlight though was a week spent at a folk festival near the Cliffs of Moher. We stayed at a little hostel in Liscannor and I remember all the kids, youngies from all around the world, transfixed as we watched 10 hours straight on television of the very first Live Aid concert. Awesome. That’s the only thing I’d say, you’re setting yourselves a pretty intense itinerary … make sure you take time to smell the roses … and taste the Guiness … and have yourselves some ‘might craic’ x

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth May 21, 2014 at 9:14 PM

I know, It is VERY intense itinerary, and I’m already gutted we can’t spend more time in many of the places… But we just have to take it as it is, and at least all the weekends we can stay put and explore. Few of these places are already familiar to me from previous trips, but there’s going to be SO much new as well, can’t wait! Why don’t you come and join us for a bit….? :)

I really need to check out that Ryan’s Daughter, never heard of it before though! And hey – what’s that about watching 10 hours of TV on a folk festival!!!
Have a look! Satu Vänskä-Westgarth recently posted..The many returns – over ten years of Italian village life revisitedMy Profile

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Margaret | Destination Here&Now May 22, 2014 at 2:40 AM

No we were going to the folk festival every day – live. Just took a day off to watch the LIVE AID concert, the first one that Bob Geldorf ever did with big acts from all around the world. I’m showing my age haha. Us and about 1.9 billion others apparently :0 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Aid

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth May 22, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Age is just a number and it sounds like that was an amazing experience!!

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Katja of Skimbaco May 21, 2014 at 9:31 PM

You.are.amazing!!!

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth May 21, 2014 at 9:41 PM

And you are very generous. Please keep repeating that comment to me while we are half way through the cycling!! 😉
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Liz May 22, 2014 at 6:02 AM

Satu this looks awesome I can’t wait to follow along, what a great adventure! If it goes well, come and do it in New Zealand with me?
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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth May 22, 2014 at 10:34 AM

I’m so looking forward to this! Slightly nervous now, it feel so much more real now that have I shouted it all out to the world… :) And YES YES YES, we should do this in NZ next!! My plan actually was to put an “action plan” together this autumn for few bigger adventures to come, the only way to stay sane I reckon in those days when life is bit busy with the little ones…
Have a look! Satu Vänskä-Westgarth recently posted..Start of an Adventure: Wild Atlantic Way and Ride Wild 2014!My Profile

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Frankie May 22, 2014 at 9:24 AM

So impressed and so proud of you! What a wonderful WILD adventure you’re going to go and yes, it will be so beautiful! x
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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth May 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Thank you Frankie!! I hope you can still be proud in mid-August when we are in the middle of it all… 😉
Have a look! Satu Vänskä-Westgarth recently posted..Start of an Adventure: Wild Atlantic Way and Ride Wild 2014!My Profile

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Laura/Jungle and the city May 22, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Wow, sounds like a real adventure and adventure is always a good thing! Looking forward to hearing more about this cool and ambitious project. Will be a tough one, but for sure it’s going to be worth it and something to remember! :)
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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth May 23, 2014 at 1:59 PM

I know, it’s definitely ambitious and tough, but that’s how adventures should be, I think… I’m super excited (and little nervous) about August!! :)
Have a look! Satu Vänskä-Westgarth recently posted..Start of an Adventure: Wild Atlantic Way and Ride Wild 2014!My Profile

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olivia May 28, 2014 at 10:51 PM

That looks amazing – I am sooooooo jealous, what a trip. I will follow you with lots of envy and admiration in equal measure! If you have time, we should have a playdate in Dublin – maybe I could take you to Dollymount beach of Howth to see the seals:)

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth June 8, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Yes! We should definitely meet up with the kids, my husband should be there for the last two weeks with our little ones before he goes on his travels, and I’m hoping to have couple of days in Dublin after with the family. And you are not so far, you should come along for a day or two….? 😉
Have a look! Satu Vänskä-Westgarth recently posted..Start of an Adventure: Wild Atlantic Way and Ride Wild 2014!My Profile

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Kaukokaipuun Nella August 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Satu, it’s going to be an amazing adventure! So proud of you and looking forward to hear a lot of stories! Take care!

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth August 4, 2014 at 12:15 AM

Thanks Nella!! Right now the thought of biking 100km tomorrow seems slightly bizarre, it’s almost midnight and we just got settled into our B&B. Exciting to see what tomorrow brings! :)
Have a look! Satu Vänskä-Westgarth recently posted..Little Escape in my Home Town – Why It’s Good to be a Selfish MotherMy Profile

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Sanna Wallenius August 4, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Wow!!! I´m so proud of you! This trip sounds too amazing and worth of biking. Can´t wait your posts! <3 :-)

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth August 4, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Thanks Sanna!! One day down and loving it! Maybe five weeks won’t be enough… :)
Have a look! Satu Vänskä-Westgarth recently posted..Derry – the Point of No ReturnMy Profile

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Leigh Powell Hines @Hinessightblog August 4, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Yea! For you……And glad you did the B and B and hotel route.
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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth August 4, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Ha ha, I knew you would like it. Looking forward to staying in some amazing properties!!
Have a look! Satu Vänskä-Westgarth recently posted..Derry – the Point of No ReturnMy Profile

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Kevin Doyle March 22, 2015 at 7:06 PM

Hi Satu! I was thinking of doing this cycle for several months now and am now planning to do so in September. I’m a little unsure about how I should approach it in terms of logistics.. What I should pack, where I will stay etc. i cycle a lot but I haven’t done a long distance cycle like this before. What advice would you have for me in terms of booking accommodation and what I should pack? I would really appreciate your response because it’s something I really want to do for myself personally and I believe I am capable but don’t want the logistics of it all to turn me away from it. Thanks, Kevin.

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth March 22, 2015 at 7:18 PM

Hi Kevin!! Sounds brilliant!! I so would like to go back…. :)

Regarding packing – you need surprisingly little. If you give me a week, I’ll make a post about it, it’s been sitting in the drafts for a LOOOONG time!

When it comes to accommodation, we booked something for every night. In a way that was nice, we always knew that we’d have roof over our heads, but it also made it bit more stressful especially in the beginning, as it was hard to estimate how far we’d really get. We had planned doing approx. 100km a day, but sometimes 100km flew past, other days we might have had to take some short cuts to make it to our destination. Depending on how much time you have, i.e. if you are going to take some brakes (we stayed put each weekend), I would probably book those “break times” in a nice location you know you’ll want to spend some time in, and then rest of the time take it as it comes, i.e. maybe make a booking 1-2 days ahead?

I hope the logistics won’t turn you away, especially as you’ll be doing it out of peak season which means you shouldn’t have trouble finding a spot to stay for each night. One thing to check as well would be warmshowers.org, that way you could stay with other like-minded cyclists every now and then?

But as said, I’ll make a proper post about the logistics and packing for next week (not the one starting just now as it’s looking like a hectic one) :)
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Kevin Doyle March 24, 2015 at 8:52 AM

Thanks so much Satu! Will keep my eyes peeled for that :) It’s a great achievement for you and your friends! Thanks again!

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth March 24, 2015 at 3:45 PM

No worries, it’s kind of good that I’ve now set myself a deadline 😉 And thanks, it was an amazing trip!!! I so hope you’ll do it too!
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Bella Murray May 27, 2015 at 7:07 PM

Satu, I am so jealous right now! A world tour has always been on top of my bucket list, but I don’t think I am athletic enough and I don’t think my savings are enough either :((

But I really wanna go!!!

Any advice?

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Satu Vänskä-Westgarth June 2, 2015 at 9:40 PM

Hi Bella, sorry for the delayed reply, I was in Italy last week with next to no internet connection!

So first of all, your fitness. You don’t need to be an athlete to do this. You could totally pace yourself and either do shorter daily distances (and maybe shorter section of the WAW), or get bit of training in before going. It’s amazing how much stronger you will get in five weeks, the difference for me was visible!

Secondly the cost of the trip. Of course if you wanted to stay in luxury properties the trip would become VERY expensive, but if you are happy to either camp, stay in hostels or maybe using some of the free “online community” accommodation (I personally love http://www.warmshowers.org although couch surfing is a good alternative also), you could really do this quite cheaply. Food along the way is not very expensive, and we tended to have snacks and picnic style lunches with us each day.

I really hope you get to do this one day, it was an amazing experience and I would actually love to do it again! :) Please let me know if you have any other questions and I’d be happy to help!
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Fleur September 2, 2017 at 10:03 AM

Hi Satu,
We met your brother and wonderful niece this summer during our bike tour of Switzerland. We were initially planning a tour of Ireland and your brother pointed us to your website.
Thanks for sharing!
Cheers,
Fleur

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