Our Report on Bike Week 2021

Bike Week 2021 ran from Sunday 12th to Saturday 18th September and Cyclist.ie’s member groups ran a wonderfully diverse array of events countrywide. We highlight a selection of these events here – it is certainly not exhaustive!

Well done to all of our amazing groups and active members for running these events and enabling a lot more people to try out the bike – for the first time for many people.

Cyclist.ie hopes that these events will help to grow the cycling advocacy movement at a local level, which in turn will help to grow strong cycling cultures countrywide.  

Skerries

Skerries Cycling Initiative’s first cycling festival took place on 22 August – a little in advance of the formal Bike Week! It was a lot of fun and definitely something to build on it, going forward. We started off the day – a lovely one weatherwise – with a 5km and a 25 km cycle from Skerries Mills car park. People of all ages and abilities, just as we hoped for, took part. This was to be a day for celebrating cycling as a healthy, normal way of getting around, whether you chose a simple one speed bicycle or something sleeker (as shown below).  

For more information on Skerries Cycling Initiative, visit their website here https://www.skerriesca.com/cycling/ 


Wexford

WexBUG (Wexford Bicycle User Group) held two events for Bike Week 2021.

First of all, the Norman Way taster route saw a group of cyclists led by WexBUG given the opportunity to sample a section of The Norman Way. This included a fascinating talk with Wexford Co Co Heritage Officer, Catherine McLoughlin at St. Mary’s Church in Bannow Ba.y

And secondly, the Get Back on your Bike spin focused on those who hadn’t ridden a bicycle for a while. WexBUG delivered some basic Cycle Right training combined with defensive cycling tips. This was followed by a coffee spin through Wexford Town and surrounding area to put these skills into practice in the real world environment.

More information on WexBUG and its campaigns can be found at http://wexbug.org/.  

Kilkenny

Kilkenny Cycling and Walking Campaign organised the first Slow Roll in Kilkenny in conjunction with Kilkenny County Council. Sunday 19th saw cyclists take to the streets of Kilkenny in a parade of wonderful bikes. The smallest participants were transported in cargo bikes and trailers, while younger children travelled through the streets with stabilisers and balance bikes.  Adult wheels varied from vintage bikes, to fold-up bikes to electric bikes. 

This colourful troupe was led off by Charlie Parsons and the community Gardaí, with local club members from Marble City Cyclers escorting the group safely through the streets. Charlie, one of Kilkenny’s Axa Community Bike Ride leaders, had a gorgeous route picked for the day that brought the group through the medieval centre with a picturesque finish along by the canal. Cllr. Maria Dollard, who assisted in the organisation of the event, said:

“Events such as these highlight the benefits of a cycle-friendly city centre. If our children and people can move independently through the streets, the reduction in congestion and emissions benefit everyone. Cycling for journeys also allows people to experience a sense of connection with their community and their neighbours, building strong, resilient communities.”   

Well said Cllr. Dollard!

For more information on the KilkennyCycling and Walking Campaign, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1521646008055500

Slow Roll led off by the Community Guards and Charlie Parsons, local Axa Community Bike Rides Leader


Príomhoide of Gaelscoil Osraí, Seán o hArgáin captures the cyclists on High St.

Sligo

Thirty participants of all ages took part in Sligo Cycling Campaign’s Culture Night Community Cycle. First stop was Cranmore Community Garden. Host, Connie Nell was thrilled that one third of the Culture Night visitors to the garden arrived by bicycle. The richness of our biodiverse environment was evident with displays of beekeeping, a wormery and a myriad of colourful flowers and vegetables including, we are told, a very sweet cherry tomato! Sligo Cycling Campaign hopes that this event will be the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with Cranmore CoOp. The area is part of Sligo County Council’ss decarbonisation zone and so is ripe for active travel initiatives. We were delighted to be accompanied by Nick Doran on his Development Perspectives cargo-bike to promote the Global Goals – as shown below. Nick took time out to admire Lough Gill.

Dublin

Dublin Cycling Campaign held a virtual public meeting called ‘Why We Cycle: Dublin Stories’ featuring ten short presentations from people who get around Dublin by bike or trike. We heard from people who live in various parts of Dublin and use their bike or trike for a range of purposes, such as travelling to work or school, bringing children to school, keeping pets entertained, making deliveries, or boosting physical and mental health. Thank you to all our speakers and attendees, and a special thanks to our guest chair, Joanna Donnelly of Met Éireann. You can listen back on YouTube here

Dublin Cycling Campaign also joined Crumlin Community Cycles and Bloomin’ Crumlin to cycle to PedalPalooza in Fairview Park on Sunday 12 September. We had people of all ages join us for the 16km round trip, which took in some of Dublin’s best cycling infrastructure such as the Grand Canal Way Premium Cycle Route, and the Royal Canal Greenway between the Docklands and North Strand – as shown below. At PedalPalooza we enjoyed trying out unusual bikes, meeting other fans of cycling, and taking part in interactive workshops and in the Cycle Bus drop-in session.     

Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin – Cycling Without Age 

Meanwhile, in DLR, Cycling Without Age took part in the DLR Family Cycle of inclusive bikes: tandems, cargo bikes, trishaws, handcycles – we love them all!

See https://twitter.com/dlrcc/status/1439137159433310208?s=09 for more information. 

Cycle Sense – West Cork, Skibbereen 

Cycle Sense had a busy and fun week. A few highlights included: 

  • Working with the children and adults on the Learn to Cycle Taster as they cycled for the first time. What a privilege it was to witness their sense of surprise and accomplishment. 
  • Fixing bikes with inhabitants in Clonakilty Refugee Centre was chaotic and satisfying. Good to know they have roadworthy bikes now! 
  • Meeting women for the Women on Wheels taster session. Congregating in our workshop was a highlight for us as it was our first event to be held from our own workshop. Working with women is always great and after the introduction we enjoyed a small cycle round the lanes of Skibbereen.   
  • The Mystery Cycle Buffett is always a highlight. Booked out straight away this event always manages to have great weather. Participants were taken on a mystery tour feasting on West Cork delights, scenery and accompanied by live music. What could be better ?!
  • The Skibbereen Cycle Bus kids all received a bike pump and puncture repair kit. Hooray for them!
  • Our workshop was the base for a family day of obstacles, bike doctor and bike Art. A multiple range of things were made from discarded bike parts! 

Skibbereen Cycle Bus 

Family day 

Start of Cycle Buffet 

On the Cycle Buffet 

Gort Cycle Trails – West of Ireland, Burren Lowlands 

Katleen from Gort Cycle Trails set up an event to get people on their bikes and to show them a very quiet road from Gort into Coole Park. The total loop is just over 9 km. It’s called Glenbrack, but Katleeen has renamed it the Gort Mini-Greenway, as it’s only about 2.5 km long. Almost 40 people turned up, the youngest person being 5, the oldest 71 and with five people coming by train from Galway, and a further five arriving by train from Ennis. It turned out to be a great day. 

The hot drinks and cake from the Coole Park Tea rooms went down a treat, and people were keen to find out when the next cycle will be organized! Check out https://workinglivingtravellinginireland.com/gort-cycle-trails with a number of loops in the Burren Lowlands and join the FB Group here to find out when the next event will take place.


Leitrim Cycling Festival

What I learnt in Kilty

Leitrim Cycling Festival 2021

I learnt that I will never win a slow bicycle race

Or ride a penny farthing

And that cycling round and round

a village roundabout is mesmerising

I learnt that a colourful friend

is the key to colourful gear

And that for some, moving clouds

is something you can hear

I learnt you can take a line for a cycle

And that bikes are instruments too

And cycling up hill is not easy

after two platefuls of stew

I learnt you can fit six people on a single bicycle

(according to the Rock)

And that wise men like Ken

know how to take a knock

I learnt that the Tottenham Estate

cleverly grew within their grounds

pineapples and lemons

while famine raged all around

I learnt that the ‘nuachta’ of old was always the ‘buamai’ in Belfast

I learnt that the fiercest streets of Dublin

are learning to care

and that within every community  

there are gardens to share

I learnt that when the measurements are wrong

a curry feast can go on

and on and on..

I learnt that ‘Kilty Live’

brought life to the street

and watched with glee as the Wandering Bandstand

brought people to their feet

I learnt that the pub has only 24 pint glasses

I learnt that you can dance in the rain

with the Cosmos in an awning

and that sticks for the fire

can be delivered at two in the morning

I learnt that Leitrim

 is even more beautiful than I knew

And that Kilty can definitely

teach me a thing or two

So thank you Kilty

From all of us cycling crew

Jo Sachs-Eldridge

A poem inspired by a  wonderful weekend of playing, listening and gathering stories inspired by the Human-on-a-Bicycle Library project.

Tents and bikes of all shapes and sizes at the Leitrim Cycling Festival!

Note also that the featured image at the top of this webpage is another photo from the Leitrim Cycling Festival. More lovely photos available at https://www.facebook.com/leitrimcyclingfestival 

To find out more about the Leitrim Cycling Festival and all that is happening on the cycling front in Leitrim, visit https://leitrimcyclingfestival.com/

Cork

The Cycling Community in Cork organised two events – the Cultural City Cycle on the Friday night which happened to be Culture Night and on Saturday there was the cycle to Cobh. We were very pleased with the running of each event.

The Cultural City Cycle

The Lord Mayor opened the festival with a few words and posed for photos.  He was very engaging and gave a very relevant speech – talking about combining bus travel with cycling. The Council were hoping to adapt buses to put a bike rack on the front. We then went to the City Hall where Councillor Kieran McCarthy gave a speech about the history of Cork City.  We then went down the Centre Park Road along the new cycle path to the Marina, around Páirc Uí Chaoimh and back via the new cycle path on Monaghan Road and the footbridge off Rockboro Road.  This led us to Casanova where we had a stop for ice cream – the ice cream here is really good!

We now went to UCC where we stopped at the Quad for music with Andrew Desmond and his band. We had food delivered from Tedo and Luigi Malones.  We then dispersed after the meal.

The Cycle to Cobh

We had two mechanics from Cork Community Bikes on hand at 10am at the Fountain in the Grand Parade. We stayed there until 10:30 so that participants could get their bikes checked and tires pumped. With that we started out via the new cycle lanes in the South Mall and along the quays to the Marina, Blackrock Castle, Rochestown and Passage. Here we took the ferry and cycled to Cobh. We pottered around Cobh for a while, had some nibbles along with free ice cream that we had arranged. We made the return journey again via the ferry and stopped in the Marina market for a complimentary meal. The feedback from the participants was very positive.

Galway

Four community groups held simultaneous Sunday family cycles before converging to make one supergroup to show support for the proposed temporary Salthill Cycleway.

Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) and Cllr Owen Hanley (SocDems) led about 60 ‘passengers’ on the East of the Corrib Cycle-Bus with Galway Cycling Campaign through Terryland Forest Park on the cycle-bus’s first community cycle. 

Let’s Get Biking Together (LGBT) Galway, the city’s newest cycling group, started their route from University Park, opposite NUI Galway.

The Galway Urban Greenway Alliance departed from their usual monthly starting point at the Claddagh Hall.

About 270 children and adults of all ages and abilities joined in using bicycles, tricycles, cargo bikes, ebikes, and bike trailers, on what was a stunning autumnal morning of sunshine and blue skies in the city of the tribes.

Reg Turner, co-organiser of the East of the Corrib Cycle-Bus, said, “On Friday morning, we had our biggest numbers yet cycling to the five city centre schools. So to see dozens of people joining in on Sunday confirms to us the huge demand for safe routes to school using Galway’s beautiful woods, rivers, canals and coastal roads.”

Parent Roselyn Carroll said, “The smiles say it all. Our kids jump into the cargo bike to join in. I want my kids to cycle independently when they are bigger on safe segregated cycle routes.”

Participants chanted “Greenway for Galway”, led by enthusiastic children ringing their bells, as bystanders and onlookers in vehicles clapped and cheered as the supergroup cycled around the city centre.

At the end, the cyclers gathered for coffee and cake at Ground & Co on Salthill’s seafront. 

The campaign for the temporary Salthill Cycleway created a major buzz on social media, on local radio station Galway Bay FM, and in the city’s newspapers The City Tribune and Galway Advertiser, as well as being picked up by national media. 

On Monday 27 September, Councillors voted 17-1 for the motion for the Salthill Cycleway. This is a huge endorsement of the people of Galway’s desire for safe cycling routes of connected urban greenways.

Organisers would like to thank the Gardaí who joined by bike and patrol car, and to Deputy Mayor Martina O’Connor, Cllr Niall Murphy and Senator Pauline O’Reilly of the Green Party for participating. Cllrs Mike Cubbard (Ind) and Frank Fahy (FG) sent their apologies and best wishes for the Bike Week event.

Sunday family cycle in support of the temporary Salthill Cycleway. Credit: Galway Urban Greenway Alliance

See videos here:

Video of four Galway community cycles joining up into one supergroup to show support for the temporary Salthill Cycleway. Credit: Galway Urban Greenway Alliance https://twitter.com/GalwayUrban/status/1437496863154913280/video/1 

Video of Mayor Colette Connolly leading the East of the Corrib Cycle-Bus community cycle through the Terryland Forest Park https://twitter.com/RegJTurner/status/1437093745221046280?s=20 

Video of community cycle with Galway Urban Greenway Alliance, Galway Cycling Campaign, East of the Corrib Cycle-Bus and Let’s Get Biking Together (LGBT) Galway. Credit: Paul McSpaden

Navan

Navan Cycling Initiative were delighted to host Navan Bike Fest, a week-long series of events which took place during National Bike Week. Navan Bike Fest kicked off with a hugely successful half-day Family Day held at Coláiste na Mí on Sunday 12 September, the highlight of which was our Family Cycle around Navan with over 100 participants of all ages and abilities taking part. Other activities on the day included weird and wonderful bikes, a slow bike race and a junior cycle track and race area. We even had a special ice-cream bike!

Also during the week, we ran a Scavenger Hunt, partnering with businesses around Navan to hide twenty-six playing-cards for participants to seek out with some great prizes to be won. We also held two online public meetings on ‘Cycle Network and Greenways Update’ and ‘Race Across America and Ultra Cycling, with Alan Heary’. To finish off Navan Bike Fest in style, on Saturday the 18th we had a social spin to Slane Castle along the banks of the River Boyne, and movie night at the Solstice Arts Centre where we showed a selection of inspiring, feel-good cycling documentaries including ‘Cycling Across Europe in the Pandemic’, ‘All Bodies on Bikes’, and ‘Why We Cycle’.

Limerick

A lovely cycle was followed by lovely chats in Arthur’s Quay Park as the moon came up. What a fab evening! 

Some terrific videos can be seen here: https://twitter.com/CyclingBusLmk/status/1439285874869608450
https://twitter.com/sarsfieldsride/status/1439130097643106309 

Kinsale

Kinsale Loves Bikes is delighted to announce that it’s new Community Bike Repair Station is now available to all cyclists. Located on the pier beside Food U cafe, the repair station has a pump for inflating tyres as well as all the tools required to repair and maintain your bike. 

Kinsale Loves Bikes secured funding to purchase this amazing amenity and Cork County Council kindly installed it so everyone can avail of quality bike repair tools without charge.

Well done to all member groups within Cyclist.ie on the fabulous campaigning work. It is all helping to recreate a strong cycling culture countrywide. We are already looking forward to Bike Week 2022!

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