Route Number: 3305

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Maiden City Tour

Location: Mountain Bike Routes
Grade: D  -
Length: 8m
First ascent: xx
Route Description:
    Derry/Londonderry.  Map OSNI 1:50,000 Sheet 7 (Better to get a city map from the Tourist office) The Ride The Maiden city is a convenient ‘cop out’ avoiding the Derry v Londonderry v Doire mantrap, but it could be more aptly called the Phoenix City nowadays, having risen magnificently from the ashes of the troubles. Two of the main factors in its wondrous recovery were regarded with some cynicism by many, including myself, but the construction of the Peace Bridge and the 2013 UK City of Culture, boosted the pride and elevated the self belief of the citizens to an entirely new level.  The river front has been developed with cafes, perfect for a promenade, and a greenway links the now much more accessible St Columb’s Park with the Foyle Bridge.  This route links these two features via the Peace and Foyle Bridges, and throws in a couple of extras! Terrain. Custom built cycle track.  Some steps if the City walls are included Time 1- 1.5 hours.  Distance ?? Approach A good place to park, and start, is the Foyle Arena leisure centre car park in St Columbs Park. This is on the Limavady Road. Coming into the city from Belfast, follow the signs to Coleraine/Limavady,  turning left at the roundabout just before the Foyle Bridge.  This is initially dual carriageway, but narrows at the 30 mile a hour limits.  The Arena is on the right a couple of minutes beyond. The Route Leaving the car park, follow the stream-side path through St Columb’s Park downhill to a children’s play area, from where the greenway can be accessed, running north beside the railway line. This level track, much used by dog walkers and pram pushers, leads eventually to the approaches to the Foyle Bridge.  Turn left, initially along the footpath and then climbing gradually up a protected pathway, with traffic roaring and snarling on your right, to the high point of the bridge.  Freewheel down the other side and enter the first layby on the left, from which a track descends beside the bridge to the Bay Road park below. A number of alternative tarmac tracks lead back through the park towards the city, past Da Vincis Hotel.  Just beyond a busy roundabout, turn left on a footpath to access the riverside walk and promenade, which leads delightfully past several coffee shops by the marina to the Peace Bridge. (Visitors to the city might wish to circumnavigate the historic walls either by foot or by bike.  In which case, cross the main carriageway at the Guildhall, and be careful with the steps and courteous with the many tourists you will meet there on most days).  Otherwise, cross the Peace Bridge, through the Ebrington Centre (lunch or more coffee here), keep left through the security gate, crossing a quiet road into St Columb’s Park again, and make your way back to your transport. Should you wish a further diversion, ignore the Peace Bridge and continue along the promenade to the double decker Craigavon Bridge.  On the other side of this, the old railway has been made into a foot and cycle path, running for some miles along the river.  Due to an access problem it cannot continue directly into the Donegal village of Carrigans, but climbs uphill and out onto the road. Return can be made either along the road or back along the track.  


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