TLDR – Bought Maddex a bike from Adverts. Maddex, Cullen and I rode 8k to the DART, took the DART to Howth Junction, rode 5k more to Portmarnock, picked up the bike, DART back to Sandycove, Lunch at the Peoples park farmers market, then rode 9.8k up 130m of hill back home.
Finding the Bike
A few weeks ago I made an offered 30€ on Adverts on a bike for Maddex. The seller accepted the offer. We were going to go last weekend to pick it up but the seller turned up busy for the weekend. We made plans before he checked with the head of his party planning committee (his wife). After the misstep, we agreed to reschedule for Sunday, today. Cullen was over yesterday playing and Maddex and they talked me into taking Cullen along with us.
Getting to the bike
The plan is for Maddex to ride the folding scooter while Cullen and I bike to Blackrock DART station. We’ll board the DART and take it to Portmarnock Station. Where we’ll meet the seller in the parking lot. The ride to Blackrock station is 90% downhill. Google maps indicate 110m of elevation drop over 8km. Downhill is brilliant for us getting to the DART. Sad face, the downhill might be an issue on the way home. We made it to the DART station with about 6 minutes to wait for a train to Howth and 34 minutes to wait for the train we needed to Malahide.
Looking at the map Portmarnock is the next stop after the Howth junction stop where the two trains diverge. We opted to take the sooner train and ride to the next stop vs sitting at the train station picking our noses for half an hour. The boys were mostly well behaved on the train. What can you expect from two seven-year old boys? They played some Ispy between fighting over a corner of railing to sit on.
Right off the bat after the stop, we have to carry our rides up two flights of stairs, walk over the train tracks then down three flights to the exit. Cullen tried his best to carry his bike, but it proved too much for him. I took over and carried his bike and my bike. Maddex bragged about how easy it was to carry his tiny scooter… About 100meter from the station Maddex took the award for the first wipe out. He hit some slime on the road and fell forward onto his hands; no major injury
Next injury was not far off. Cullen hit another slimy patch trying to turn and fell over on his bike. We made it another 20 minutes before Maddex hit some mud on the side of the road and fell face into a large puddle. Hurt his leg a bit and got himself and me wet, but he was able to carry on. The mud wipeout was not all his fault the sidewalk vanished and he was trying to avoid ridding on a narrow road on the tiny dirt patch to the side. After the puddle, we moved to the road. By the time we made it to the DART station the train was just arriving.
Made it now back we go
We waited about five minutes for Maddexs bike to arrive. He took it for a quick ride while I paid for it then we went to the train and waited 10 minutes for the next train to Bray. The kids were racing up and down the DART station on their bikes while we waited. Thankfully the station was void of other people for them to annoy. On the train, we decided to hit the DunLaoghaire farmers market for lunch. It’s maybe 5-10 minutes longer ride home for great lunch options; worth it. On the train, the boys talked about Pokémon the whole ride to Sandycove. Oh my. Blah bla GX bla scratchy bla bla.
We took the no car foot bike path from Sandycove to the Peoples Park for lunch. Cullen and Maddex both had Burgers for lunch. I wanted meatballs, but the meatball vendor had replaced the balls of beef with a chicken dish. They provided a sample we ate while waiting for our burgers and unanimously agreed it was good and we needed some. We bought an order of chips and the chicken dish then sat on some steps and had lunch. After lunch, the kids hit the play area for a while.
On the way out of the park, we bought a 10 pack of pork dumplings to eat mid-bike ride back home. The GPS says 9.5km home by walking. Annoyingly the iPhone does not have a bike option for navigation, so I use walking. Walking tells me there will be sidewalks for the kids to ride on, and the route will avoid motorways. About 5km into our ride we passed by a play area the kids stopped and played it. Was also a nice leg break for them as they were both starting to complain about their legs and hills
After the play area, we still had 5Km and about 80m of elevation to go. Thankfully we were out of turns on the route home; my phone was at 3% battery life. Forgot to charge it this morning and all of the GPS sucked down the battery. We did not make it too far after the park before we started walking the bikes for small stretches. Our tough competitive boys goaded each other into riding a bit more than they wanted to. Eventually, we made it home – Super Proud of the two boys for a ride well done.
Cullen thinks it’s the longest ride he has ever been on. Being as it was Maddexs first ever bike ride in Ireland, and the first ride out of the yard it was also his longest. They both kept on going and did not complain at all, and rode more than they walked up the hill. Impressed by Cullen and Maddex!
Spent as much on the DART and lunch as we spent on the bike. The bike being so far away was a plus to me because it forced us to have some adventure. Great early birthday bike adventure.