Leitrim Cycling Festival will take place from the 22nd to the 24th of June in Manorhamilton and Dromahair. The aim of the festival is to celebrate the locality for its wonderful cycling routes, to bring people together to learn about the future of cycling in the area, to build a community that can be involved in developing the area and to have some fun.
Schools all over County Clare were preparing for National Cycle to School Day taking place on Wednesday 13th of June as part of Bike Week. They organised free bike maintenance and cycle training workshops with An Taisce’s Green-Schools Travel Education officer for Clare, Róisín Ní Gháirbhith.
Record numbers of children cycled to school in Clare that day. It is so obvious to me that children now love cycling just as much as we did 30 years ago. It is more important than ever that we create opportunities for children to cycle and look for more investment in infrastructure and speed reduction in order for them to be able to enjoy cycling as a normal way to get around.
“It’s the most bikes I’ve seen at the school in 30 years” said principal of Ennis National School. “Children were born to cycle and so few do so regularly now that when you create an opportunity for them to do so, they jump at the chance. They really love being shown how to care for their bikes as well and certainly seemed empowered by the ability to adjust their saddle height, fix a puncture etc.
It seems to me that most kids have a bike and pretty good ones at that, but yet they are not really connected to it. I get them to discover the useful information on the tyres, follow the cables to see where they go and what they do. I show them how to adjust their saddle height and the marks on minimum insertion for the seat post. They learn how to use allen keys and spanners and how gears work etc. They love it and it demystifies their bikes and connects them with their bikes. I always say if you take care of your bike, your bike will take care of you. Then I’d cover the essentials of: mounting the bike on the left hand side and why, primary and secondary road riding position, looking over the shoulder, hand signals and cyclists’ rights and responsibilities on the road.
For more information visit An Taisce Green Schools Travel Theme
PLANNING AN EVENT ON BIKE TO WORK DAY
Bikeweek 2018 runs from 9th to 17th June with Wednesday 13th June nominated as BIKE TO WORK day.
Is your employer / company participating in BIKE TO WORK DAY. If not, print out our flyer (hyperlink) and bring it to your HR/Personnel Department. What do other companies do? Well, all sorts of things like
- Free breakfasts for cyclists
- Lottery for staff who cycle
- Gift voucher for local bike shops
- Gift voucher for restaurants
- Cycling clothes
Why should businesses participate? Well if they are interested in congestion, staff productivity, climate change, sustainability and community health, they should – increased cycling has a positive effect on all of the above.
See also Poster
On March 6th a number of us plus Stephen McManus of IBIKEDublin, Irish Cycle’s Cian Ginty and a Cycling Ireland crew went to the Sport Ireland workshop on how to #GetIrelandCycling facilitated by Dr. Damien O’Tuama (consultant to Sport Ireland) and Sandra Velthuis.
Keynote speaker was Damien’s collaborator Angela van der Kloof, of Mobycon who said unless you have a coherent network of segregated cycle tracks/path criss-crossing urban areas you will not get more people cycling. She said “Children are precious and must be protected from fast traffic”. It was good to see senior officials from Healthy Ireland and Departments of Health and Transport there too along with Road Authorities and Local Sports Partnerships folks. Super. Con O’Donohue of AGS National Roads Policing and two colleagues were also there.
We got a chance to speak and harped about the urgency of government appointing a National Cycling Coordinator in Department of Transport along with a team and a promotional budget.
We need to keep repeating this as a mantra in public as often as we can. It’s a key recommendation of the NCPF.
We were asked to post an estimate of the percentage of commuters who would be using a bike by 2025. I posted 6% nationally; the NCPF called for 10% by 2020!
“Freedom Machine” launch by the Dublin Cycling Campaign
Press Release 7/03/2018
On the 8th of March on International Women‟s Day we celebrate #Votail100 and the historical link between the bicycles and the emancipation of women. Launch of „Freedom Machine‟ the theme for the Dublin Cycling Campaign’s participation in this year‟s St. Patrick‟s Day Parade.
Venue: Bewley’s Cafe, Grafton Street, join us for tea, coffee and a chat about Freedom Machine.
When: 8th March 11am Starting at Bewley’s Café where Hanna and Frank Sheehy Skeffington used to meet regularly to discuss feminism and politics, Bewley’s Café and the Quakers have a historical link with the Irish Suffragette movement.
Photo opportunity Outside Leinster House 11.30pm Donna Cooney will be joined by Joanna Donnelly (MetEireann #andacyclist)) and Artist Laragh Pittman. After the launch and refreshments we will cycle in suffragette costume with replica handcrafted banners to Leinster house Kildare Street, where at 11.30 Senator Ivana Bacik (convenor of Oireachtas Cycling Group) will join us to say a few words of support. In celebration of one hundred years since women “got the vote”. #Votail100 #VotesforWomen FreedomMachineWebsite “I’m really looking forward to participating in the Parade. Combining my passion for cycling with the celebration of the victory of the vote is something I had never considered. I’ve been cycling around Dublin since school, I’ve never been a fan of public transport, there’s nothing like the freedom cycling can give you. Up on the bike and away you go. And letting my daughter see me out there, celebrating in this way makes me delighted.” Joanna Donnelly Meteorologist and she say’s “all we need is fine weather and that’s not a problem…” ‘I am delighted to support the idea of the ‘Freedom Machine’, or ‘Suffragette Cyclists’, who will be taking part in the St Patrick’s Day Parade dressed in suffragette costumes. I think it’s very timely to do this in 2018, as this year marks the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland – it is 100 years since the passage of the Representation of the People Act which first gave women the right to vote, and December will mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 General Election in which Constance Markievicz was elected as the first woman TD or MP. The suffragette cyclists will not only mark this important centenary, but will also play a vital role in encouraging more women to take to the bicycle and to promote cycling generally – as a committed cyclist, I am really delighted to support them.’ Senator Ivana Bacik
Freedom Machine from the Dublin Cycling Campaign.
In St. Patrick‟s Day Parade 2018 we will have one hundred women of all ages cycling in our Freedom Machine pageant in suffragette costume.
We celebrate the important historical role of bicycles for suffragettes and the emancipation of Women.
The theme for the Dublin Cycling Campaign is titled #FreedomMachine.
Donna Cooney, an Artist, Activist, Campaigner and Cyclist developed the Freedom Machine concept and also co-ordinated the team of Artists, makers and participants in the Dublin Cycling Campaign for the St. Patrick‟s Day Parade 2018. “Freedom Machine has one hundred women of all ages in suffragette costume with their bicycles in the parade, hand crafted replica period banners, sashes and placards, followed by a smaller group of their family, supporters and members of the Dublin Cycling Campaign on bicycles and cargo bikes”. “Many women cyclists would still claim those feelings of self-reliance and independence, but sadly in 2018 the number of female cyclists is dwindling, with three times more men than women choosing to cycle” “As we parade on our freedom machines we hope to encourage more women to enjoy leaving their homes and return freely and safely on their bicycles”. Donna Cooney Artist and Coordinator The American civil rights leader, Susan B Anthony, wrote in 1896:”I think the bicycle has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes the picture of untrammelled womanhood.” We are joined in the parade by Senator Ivana Bacik Chair of Votail100, Joanna Donnelly Meteorologist who are daily cyclists and by ninety eight other women who enjoy their freedom on their bicycles. We also have the support and endorsement of Micheline Sheehy Skeffington granddaughter of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Senators Alice Mary Higgins and Catherine Martin TD of the Votail 100 Dail committee. We are generously supported by Dublin City Council in funding this event. We are grateful to Jim Wolfe of Wolfe cycles for the loan of High Nellies.
Contact Donna Cooney: M: 083 3317190 E: [email protected] Freedom Machine Project Website and please use #FreedomMachine
Over 200 people of all ages had a most enjoyable 10km walk or cycle along the old railway from Barnagh(N21) to Newcastle West on Wednesday 27 December 2017. The event was organised by the Great Southern Trail, the voluntary group that campaigned, developed and managed the Greenway until 2015). We were blessed with the weather on the day, crisp and bright. It was great to meet old and new faces including participants from our neighbouring counties of Kerry and Cork along with visitors from further afield.
Thanks to Phelim and Margaret of Coach House Travel and Pat Liston, our driver, for transporting everyone to the starting point from where the view over the Golden Vale was at its best . The walkers then had an easy downhill stroll along the Greenway which was in pristine condition thanks to the work of Joe O’Connor and his team in Limerick City & County Council along with the Rural Social Scheme personnel. The newly installed bilingual townland signs were also favourably commented upon.
After a walk of about two hours Triona Dore and her staff at the Longcourt House Hotel ensured that everyone had a nice cup of tea/coffee to wash down the seasonal mince pies. This was the largest ever participation in the Christmas walks/cycles organised by the GST over many years and we wish to thank the local papers, radio and parish bulletins for the generous coverage they have always provided to GST events. Bliain Nua Sonasach daoibh uilig i 2018.
In 2018, please God, the GST hopes to organise a similar walk/cycle from Barnagh to Abbeyfeale once Limerick City & County Council have reconnected the wonderful Barnagh Railway Tunnel to the Greenway. [At present the tunnel is a ‘stand alone’ feature and only accessible from the N21 Layby at Barnagh]. With Kerry County Council preparing to continue the Greenway to Listowel 2018 could also witness an Abbeyfeale to Listowel walk/cycle and we encourage our Kerry supporters to contact their public representatives on the necessity to not alone link Listowel to the Greenway but to continue westwards to Tralee and Fenit along the old railway that Kerry County Council have already purchased from CIÉ. Greenways revitalise rural communities; one need only visit the Waterford Greenway to witness that at first hand.
Finally, the GST is hoping to visit the Mayo Greenway on Bank Holiday Monday 7 May 2018: The group will be limited to 40 people with the cost being €60 including breakfast/evening dinner and coach travel from Newcastle West but not including bike-hire. Email [email protected] or phone Pat Condon 06962344 if interested.
The annual Christmas Walk along the Great Southern Trail Greenway will take place on Wednesday 27th December at 12.30p.m.. Assembly is at the newly opened Longcourt House Hotel (formerly the Courtenay Lodge), St. Mary’s Road, Newcastle West. The hotel is on the N21 and the public bus services stop alongside it. Walkers will be transferred by courtesy coach to Barnagh from where they will walk the 6 miles[10km], all downhill and mostly along the old railway, back to the Longcourt House where they can enjoy seasonal mince pies, whipped cream and tea/coffee at their leisure. All walkers must wear visibility vests as the final section is through the streets of Newcastle West and involves crossing the busy N21 which must be crossed at the zebra crossing close to the hotel. Cyclists, with visibility gear, helmets and lights, are also welcome and we suggest that they also meet at the hotel at 12.30p.m. and cycle outwards along the Greenway for approximately one hour to Barnagh or beyond and then return in time to enjoy the refreshments. Beidh fáilte roimh gach éinne ar an lá.
As Christmas is coming a nice gift to oneself or to family/friends would be the Great Southern Trail Limited’s newly published “Limerick & Kerry Railway: Twilight Years” by Liam O’Mahony which is laden with information about the Greenway’s railway history. It is not alone a personal memoir by Liam of the 1950’s to 1980’s railway finale but also reproduces several historic documents. These include a list of the 300 or so shareholders (many of which names are still to be found locally) in the Rathkeale & Newcastle Junction Railway Company which built the line to those towns 150 years ago. Another historic gem which is included is a chapter from “Through the Green Isle”; a Victorian era travel guide which extolled the historic attractions of Adare, Askeaton, Foynes, Ballybunion and Ardfert along with the then newly operational Lartigue railway in Listowel. Liam’s book is very well illustrated with thirty of the photographs being in colour. Twenty full colour railway posters advertising excursion trains to Dublin, Thurles, Cork, Killarney, Knock Shrine and Listowel Races during the 1950’s to the 1970’s will bring back memories to many.
Copies of the book will be delivered throughout all of Ireland for €15 (inc.postage). Orders from all of Britain will be £17stg and from all other countries €20 due to overseas postal rates. The book has 187 pages including a 32 page colour section. It is 170mm x 240mm format, soft cover. Enquiries to Liam O’Mahony, 9, Bishop St., Newcastle West, Co.Limerick V42HT66, Ireland to whom cheques should be made payable[or phone/text 00353876471956]. If payment by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is preferred please email your name and address to [email protected] and you will be provided with the bank BIC and IBAN. Please remind the bank to include your name on the EFT.
In the past week two more people have lost their lives while cycling on roads in Ireland, bringing the total number of cyclists killed in 2017 to 14*. That is *four more than were killed in all of 2016, and it makes 2017 the deadliest year for cyclists in more than a decade. The number of people who cycle who have been seriously or fatally injured is available at the Road Safety Authority
The members of each of our groups are sick and tired of the silence and inaction by government, both local & national, when it comes to cyclists’ safety. We have been calling for increased funding and resources for cycling and for the Garda Traffic Corps, so as to increase the member and officer complement from its present low of approx. 700 to a strength of 1,200, but those calls have fallen on deaf ears, and cyclists continue to be killed as a result.
Just yesterday we had a report on Facebook of a club cyclist clipped by an overtaking vehicle while out on a club spin. It was yet another hit-n-run caused by dangerous overtaking, which is a statutory offence covered by the Fixed Penalty-Points regime. However we never see any statistics published by An Garda Síochána to show how many FCNs are issued for this offence. We need this vital data. There is silence and inaction from the key government ministers – Minister Ross (Transport) & Minister Flanagan (Justice) – who hold responsibility for road safety and policing, respectively.
Colm Ryder (Chair of Cyclist.ie) stated: “The number of cyclists dying on our roads is growing, while other vehicle casualties drop. This government needs to invest in cycling to protect vulnerable road users from these increased tragic losses of life. Our thoughts are with the two most recent casualties, who came from both ends of the age spectrum. This trend needs to be reversed, and can only be reversed by the Government making the right decisions and investing more in active travel. MAKE CYCLING SAFE!”
Dr. Paul Corcoran (Chair of Dublin Cycling Campaign) stated that “the number of vehicle fly-parked in the mandatory-use cycle tracks on the streets of our capital, and right across the land in urban areas, during their period of operation is unacceptable. Illegally parked vehicles force cyclists out into the fast-moving traffic-stream putting riders at increased risk of being hit. They are not an aid to doing business”.
Clara Clark of Cycling Without Age, www.cyclingwithoutage.ie, “asks all road planners and users to respect and look out for cyclists on all our roads. We want Cycling Without Age trishaw trikes to become an accepted form of mobility for our older and mobility-impaired citizens. Cycling offers sustainable and healthy travel to all. Motorists need to recognise and allow space and for safe overtaking, safe road use, particularly at junctions, and parking for cyclists. We call on government and local authorities to consult with cyclists and cyclist groups when planning and upgrading new road layouts. For example, Cherrywood in south Dublin new road proposals offer unrealistic and bicycle-unfriendly junction options”.
Stephen McManus for IBIKEDublin says: “Death by car should never become normalised in a society that cares for its people. Thirteen parents, children, partners, siblings have been killed while cycling to work, school or while just out going about their lives.
The state must act immediately and make infrastructure safer for pedestrians and cyclists to avoid further deaths.
The Dáil must also pass the Minimum Safe Distance Passing Bill into law immediately.
Every death is one too many.”
Phil Skelton of ‘Stayin Alive at 1.5’ says: “Many motorists are simply not aware of the rights of bicycle riders and the challenges they face in navigating a road system designed primarily for motor vehicles, underpinning a stubborn prejudice that bicycle riders are “rogue” road users.
The Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign, has made use of social media, various awareness videos, vehicle signage, safety campaigns, press releases etc. to ask motorists to “give space” to bicycle riders. The RSA has been active in this area too, but this has been ongoing with cyclists for some time now and and although has some positive effect it doesn’t reach the target audience we need to engage, those who are might view people on bicycles as road furniture, as an inconvenience, which needs to be overtaken hastily and at the first opportunity. those unwilling to take on the message or dismissive of vulnerable road users altogether.
Introducing a minimum passing distance law would be a significant and progressive step in changing the focus on sharing the road”.
This Tuesday, 21st of November, we are joining forces as #Cyclist.ie #IBikeDublin, #StayingAliveat1.5, #DublinCyclingCampaign and #Cyclingwithoutage to let the Government know that the issue of cyclists’ safety can no longer be ignored.
Join us from 5.30pm as we hold a vigil in memory of the people killed while cycling on Irish roads.
- Colm Ryder: 087-237 6130
- Stephen McManus: 089-977 5896
- Phil Skelton: 086-811 4118
- Paul Corcoran: 086-103 5617
Events on all round the country
All details at Bike Week
Check out events in your area