Last week a Zoom meeting was called for any interested groups, to discuss creating a new sub-collective of Cyclist.ie in order to build a mutual support network to promote and celebrate cycling in towns, villages and in between. Cyclist groups introduced themselves and discussed their strengths, challenges and the vision for the collective. As smaller ‘rural’ groups often struggle with fewer volunteer resources, expertise, and energy than larger city-based initiatives, by banding together the idea is that they will be able to move forward more efficiently and effectively, with mutual support (and with less-burnout!).
Towns and cities represented at the meeting were Thurles, Bandon, Skiberreen, Clonakilty, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Sligo, Navan, Bandon, Kerry and Wexford.
While the mission and manifesto of the collective are currently being worked on with a launch expected later this month, the aim is to work alongside one another to better engage and work with relevant authorities and stakeholders, and to help bring forth a national transition towards a cyclist-friendly Ireland. To spread the love of bikes and work towards their manifesto goals, the collective will propose regular actions, fun-cycles and campaigns that member groups can host in their own communities. By joining forces to gain momentum, allies, and media attention the sum of their local actions will be greater than the sum of the parts.
If you, as a group or individual would like more information, or to get involved, please contact Allison Roberts (Cyclist.ie Executive Member/Clonakilty Bicycle Festival)
The team at the Clonakilty Bicycle Festival started a podcast! Now on it’s 7th episode it was started to spread the news about their festival and have decided to keep it going on a weekly basis year round! Already on the podcast at warmshowers.org are interviews with Tahverlee, Mairead Forsythe (Love30), a cycle-history of West Cork, an episode with Cycle Bus leaders from around the country and more!
You can find the Clon Bike Cast most places you get your podcasts, or here. Please share and subscribe!
The Clonakilty Bicycle Festival had it’s 9th year in June at it was a roaring success, by branching out and re-envisioning what was possible in the lock-down organizers put together a programme of ‘anywhere in the world’ events, live streaming talks, film screening with director Q&A and more. Thank you to all who joined in, especially for our Global Scavenger Hunt which had 28 teams and over 100 participants from all corners of the globe. We are so looking forward to next year – our 10th Clon Bike Fest – we are already hatching plans to take over Clon with bikes… will you join us?
Cyclist.ie was delighted to be part of the AGM of the European Cyclists’ Federation on Thursday last 25 June 2020. Cyclist.ie is the member for Ireland of ECF.
Irish cycling campaigners have been engaged with the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) for over 20 years, while ECF itself goes back to 1983 when some of the larger national associations came together to form a federation of cycling bodies. The aim was to pool advocacy expertise and to affect change at a European level and especially through the European institutions.
For the last 10 years, Cyclist.ie has been increasingly plugged into the ECF, and from 2013 to 2016 Cyclist.ie was part of the ECF’s Leadership Training Programme for ECF member organisations ‘punching above their weight’ in changing mobility policy at a domestic level – see Cycling and Bonding in Sofia with our Continental Colleagues.
One of the pleasures of taking part in the AGM – albeit an online version over Zoom this year – is to connect with campaigners from ECF’s member organisations (74 in 47 countries representing 210,000 individual members). ECF now has new leadership in the form of two co-CEOs, Jill Warren and Morten Kabel (see Staff), and an eight-member board spanning the four corners of Europe. The current ECF President is Christophe Najdovski, Deputy Mayor of Paris for Transportation, Mobility, Roadway and Public Space, while Damien Ó Tuama from Cyclist.ie is a board member since 2016. All in all, there is a strong team working on behalf of cyclists’ interests at an EU level and supporting member organisations at a national level.
This year’s AGM approved the 2019 ECF Annual Report which includes a section on the hugely successful 2019 Velo-city International Conference which took place in Dublin – see ECF_Annual_Report_2019.pdf. Two new member organisations joined ECF – the Hungarian Cycling Tourism Association (as a full member) and Funbici from Spain (as an associate member). The membership also approved a new 2030 strategy for ECF which will be developed into a public document over the coming period.
In summary, Cyclist.ie’s membership of ECF is valuable to us in being part of a broader European movement to create a low carbon mobility system and more liveable communities, and learning from our colleagues.
Please Contact us in Cyclist.ie if you would like to be kept abreast of what is happening at the European level in cycling advocacy.
People across the country have been (re)discovering the joys of cycling over the last few months. And with the promise of increased funding for cycling it feels like the start of a real cycling revolution.
Cyclists have a lot to celebrate right now. What better way to do it then by taking part in this year’s “Leitrim Cycling Festival 2020” (or wherever you are). This is not another online event. This is happening in your home, your county, this weekend. It’s a very simple idea – we can’t all be together so why not have our own mini cycling festivals wherever we are, while following the safety guidelines.
The Leitrim Cycling Festival is a celebration of bicycles, communities and Leitrim. But you don’t even need a bicycle to take part. The festival programme always includes lots of family friendly activities like picnicking, art making, dancing, eating cake. This year’s festival is no different. The Leitrim Cycling Festival team have put together a simple programme of events for the weekend of the 20th and 21st June 2020 which includes a picnic in your garden or local park, a slow bicycle race, a ceili in your kitchen, more cake and of course some bike rides. You can join in with their ideas or come up with your own.
Although this year we may not all be able to enjoy the beauty of Leitrim, we can all celebrate the wonders of cycling and communities. Communities have never been so important so even if you have not joined the cycling revolution, why not join in with some of the other events? Why not just eat cake! And although the festival is not online the team are encouraging everyone to post pictures and videos so that we can all join in with each other’s mini festivals, wherever you have them.
Cyclist.ie has had a strategic partnership with Cycling Ireland since 2016 – the aim is to jointly promote and advocate for the development of cycling on the island of Ireland. We meet Cycling Ireland staff and volunteers on a regular basis, we and keep up-to-date on what is happening in the sports and leisure side of two wheeling – and equally, we share what is happening in the campaigning and advocacy spheres with them. Mary Corry, Development Officer for Cycling Ireland’s AXA Community Bike Rides, sent us the following update on what is happening with the bike ride programme they organise during the COVID crisis.
With the current restrictions in place, unfortunately AXA Community Bike Rides are unable to take place in their current format. For now, we are conscious that many of our members may like to take part in other cycling related activities within their home environment, such as taking part in strength exercises for cycling or learning about interval training. Others may like to find out – Is my saddle the right height for me? How do I fix a puncture? Is my helmet fitting properly? How do I clean my bike chain?
As a result, the AXA Community Bike Rides team have worked on developing short video clips on the above such topics so that for those who want to improve their cycling technique, they can look to engage with strength training clips or interval training, or for those who may like to improve their bike fitting and maintenance skills, they have access to short tutorial clips on how to go about doing this, see below
This year the Clon Bike Fest will widen its spokes, reaching wide and inviting bicycle lovers all over the world to participate in a series of events, online and on your bike – wherever you are!
While the organizers are still finalizing details of the weekend, they are offering this snap shot:
The main on-yer-bike event of the weekend will be a 4 day ‘Photo Scavenger Hunt’ – open to small groups of bike lovers around the world. Register a team of 2-6 people (respecting your local COVID-19 guidelines) and prepare yourselves for 4 days of cycle hunting and photo posing – each item on the list will be assigned point values – and the team with the most points will win a wheely wonderful prize pack! Scavenger hunt list will be published on the evening of Wednesday June 3rd and entries will close mid-night on the 8th.
The Bicycle Festival will also host a live streaming ‘Bicycle Lovers’ Forum’ to discuss topics from ‘Cycling beyond the Pandemic’ to community bike shops to bike-buses, and everything in between. You can also expect live streaming Bike Repair with community bike mechanics from our very own Bike Circus as well as a virtual Cycle-in-Cinema and ideas and invitations to set up small cycle obstacle courses for your street!
T-shirts are being designed, digital posters and programmes will be available from May 15th – Please spread the word!
A lot of cycle campaigning work takes place behind the scenes – pouring over plans, drafting submissions and participating in public consultation events.
One of the latest events attended was the Stakeholder Engagement Event on a Review of Sustainable Mobility Policy organised by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) on the 21st of November. Dr. Damien Ó Tuama was there for Cyclist.ie and Mairéad Forsythe for Love 30 (a member group of Cyclist.ie). On the day we restated some of our main campaigning demands: 10% of the transport pie for cycling (or 20% for walking & cycling), making built-up areas permeable and attractive for active travel, and radically improving the integration between cycling and public transport.
The purpose of the event was to start the process of developing a new Sustainable Mobility Policy and to seek the views of the main stakeholders.
Cyclist.ie will be examining the various papers prepared by DTTAS and preparing a submission ahead of the deadline of 24th of January 2020. Details of the formal consultation process can be seen here.
If you have time to help out with examining some of the background papers (in particular, Paper #2 on Active Travel) or with helping to draft a response to the consultation, we would love to hear from you. Contact us.
Organised by Great Southern Trail Greenway (a member group of Cyclist.ie), the annual Christmas Walk/Cycle along the GST Greenway will take place on Friday 27th Dec 2019. This is an important event to maintain and build public support for the completion of the GST Greenway. Assembly is at the car park of the Rathkeale House Hotel, Rathkeale, Co. Limerick, V94NP54 between 12.30pm and 1.30pm. Bus Éireann services from Kerry and Limerick stop a few metres from the hotel for those who wish to reduce their carbon footprint.
Walkers will be transferred by Coach House Travel courtesy of shuttle coach from the hotel car park to Ardagh from where they will have a 5 mile [8 km] stroll (a shorter option can also be provided) along the old railway back to the Rathkeale House Hotel which is alongside the Greenway. There they can enjoy seasonal mince pies, whipped cream and tea/coffee at their leisure. Cyclists are also welcome and we suggest that they also meet at the hotel at 12.30 and cycle outwards along the Greenway for approx one hour or more towards Newcastle West / Barnagh Tunnel and then return in time to enjoy the refreshments. The round trip to the tunnel is close to 30 miles [48 km]. Bike hire will also be available (preferably by prior booking) with [email protected] 0868134061. Nollaig Shona do gach éinne agus beidh fáilte romhat ar an 27ú.
A coalition of transport and environmental groups freed Dublin’s South William Street from motor traffic today, creating a space for people by preventing motor vehicles from accessing the area.
Dublin Cycling Campaign, Dublin Commuter Coalition and the Irish Pedestrian Network joined forces for today’s action, with additional support from Extinction Rebellion activists. The groups say that the time has come to fight back against the dominance of motor vehicles in our towns and cities.