Get on your bike for National Bike Week

City manager Joe McGrath and Deputy Mayor Peter Keane get into the saddle at the launch of Galway's Bike Week.

City manager Joe McGrath and Deputy Mayor Peter Keane get into the saddle at the launch of Galway's Bike Week.

Galwegians will be encouraged to leave their cars at home and get on their bikes for National Bike Week which runs from this Sunday until next.

National Bike Week will feature a broad range of different events catering for beginners, second time around cyclists, leisure cyclists, and the more serious bicycle enthusiasts.

The Bike Week programme was launched on Tuesday and also marked the introduction of a trial contra-flow cycle lane at Newtownsmith from the Salmon Weir to Abbeygate Street. It will be in operation from Monday June 14 to Friday June 18.

“This trial contra-flow lane will give cyclists a taste of the range of measures we aim to put in place in support of cycling as part of our smarter travel agenda,” said Joe Tansey, head of the Galway Transportation Unit.

The week opens with a Family Bicycle Treasure Hunt in NUI, Galway organised by the Galway Cycling Campaign on Sunday June 13. There will be a Bikes and Barbecue event in Glenlo Abbey Hotel on June 14,

The Galway Transportation Unit is collaborating with the Galway County Council, Galway Chamber of Commerce, and the Galway City Business Association to promote Cycle to Work Day on Friday June 18, which aims to encourage workers, particularly born again cyclists, to take the plunge and cycle to work on June 18.

According to Galway Transportation Unit, 47 per cent of people in the Galway Metropolitan Smarter Travel Area live 4km or under from their work/education with 17.1 per cent of the population of Galway city residing within 1km of work/education.

All organisations that participate in Cycle to Work Day will be entered into a draw to win four bicycles and a bike rack. Further details on how organisations can participate in Cycle to Work Day are available from Galway Transportation Unit: (091 ) 894328 or by email: [email protected].

A one hour city-wide Critical Mass Cycle, open to all, also takes place on June 18 at 1pm, opposite Ward’s Shop on University Road. There will also be a 14km guided cycle of Errislannan loop on June 19 in conjunction with the launch of the Clifden Cycle Loops.

The Bike Week programme also features Off The Beaten Track, a four-hour leisurely guided heritage cycle of Galway city, which takes place on Sunday June 20. Participants are advised to bring a packed lunch.

As well as these events there will be bike maintenance workshops; bike rental in Eyre Square; a night of bicycle films; promotion of the opening of the N59 Derrylea Cycle Way; a cycle safety initiative; the arrival of the Raleigh Around Ireland Cycle in Galway; NUI, Galway Cycle to Campus initiative; and a fun as Gaeilge cycle involving three local Irish-speaking schools.

An Taisce Green Schools Travel Programme is also working with schools in Galway to encourage parents, teachers and schoolchildren to cycle to school during Bike Week.

“This programme is aimed at encouraging everyone to participate in the week by travelling to school, work, sporting events and work by bike,” said Mr Tansey. “By doing so, it’s good for people’s health and fitness, good for the city, and good for the environment.”

The programme for the week’s events can be viewed or downloaded from www.galwaycity.ie

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