Cycling Ireland is the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of cycling on the island of Ireland and it is affiliated to the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). As an NGB it has access to specific levels of government funding (via Sport Ireland), the bulk of it related to cycle racing, but it also runs a variety of programs supporting cycle training and casual or leisure cycling. We in Cyclist.ie work with Cycling Ireland, and we are close to signing an updated Memo of Understanding (MOU), which will cement support to Cyclist.ie from Cycling Ireland over the coming years, and enable us to work more closely together on agreed cycling targets.
This year’s Cycling Ireland AGM, held on Saturday 17th October 2020, was a successful online event to which Cyclist.ie was officially invited for the first time, and whose Annual Report contained a dedicated page on Cyclist.ie, also for the first time – see below.
It is interesting to note that despite the largest element of funding for Cycling Ireland being allocated to competitive cycling, the largest block of its paid-up members is leisure cyclists – nearly 70% of the total membership. This is also reflected in the results of its membership survey carried out this year, which shows that their main reason for cycling is leisure, not competition, and many of them participate in Cycling Ireland organised leisure events. This important membership category was recognised a number of years ago by the setting up of a separate Leisure Commission within Cycling Ireland. And looking at the objectives of this Cycling Ireland Leisure Commission, it is notable to see the number of aims that coincide with some of our work in Cyclist.ie, such as:
- Promote Safe Cycling by devising and implementing Initiatives.
- Continued support for AXA Community Bike Rides.
- Promoting courses to train members as ride leaders.
- Build communication with schools and promote cycling as a healthy activity for both physical and mental well-being.
- Promote cycling as an environmentally friendly activity and an alternative means of transport for short journeys.
- Build communication with local County Councils with a view to having an input regarding cycling infrastructure at the planning stage.
Cycling Ireland is also to be commended for the wealth of education and awareness programs it operates such as the flagship national Cycle Right training program, and also a variety of other programs geared towards getting more women and children cycling such as Bike Like Me, Sprocket Rocket, Bike for Life etc. Check out the Education and Programmes section of the Cycling Ireland Annual Report
So, we in Cyclist.ie look forward to future cooperation and development of cycling together with Cycling Ireland. Why not contact your local cycling club and see if they are interested in moving everyday cycling forward on your Local Authority agenda?
All of the above are reasons to be optimistic!