Controversial bike lanes to feature in fest

The network of controversial new bike lanes in Cork city are to be celebrated and reclaimed as part of an annual cycling festival next week.

The team behind the Cork Cycling Festival announced details yesterday of two special events which will allow participants to explore the new routes which they said have made cycling in the city more accessible, quicker, safer, and more fun.

“We want to put the new cycle lanes to use, and show motorists a variety of cyclists using them — that you don’t have to wear lycra, and that not all cyclists are weird and reckless,” festival chairwoman Sarah Thelen said.

“We hope that the more people who are seen using the cycle lanes, the more they will be respected.

“Cycling has really taken off in Ireland and whether you do it to improve your fitness, save the planet, or boost your bank account, it is an enjoyable way to experience our beautiful city and a quick way to get around.

“The festival has now been going for seven years and we are delighted to continue to offer a fun and interesting programme of 100% free cycling events for all to enjoy.’’

Packed with free events, the nine-day ‘Shrink the City’ themed festival kicks off on Saturday, July 19, with a bike-repair workshop and a ‘bling you bike’ session, before cycle safety training takes place on the Sunday.

Two events will look to reclaim the bike routes: A cycle along the commuter route from Douglas to the city, and a tour of the city centre’s new network of bike lanes.

There will be a series of cultural and educational cycle tours around the city, a Rothspraíocht as Gaeilge on July 23, and a Vintage Velo Run on July 26.

One of the festival highlights will be the Ride the Skies event in collaboration with CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory (BCO) on July 25. Cyclists and astronomers will take an evening bike ride along the Marina, stopping to view Saturn and Mars along the way, before returning to BCO for stargazing with the Cork Astronomy Club and BCO Labs. The festival also features longer cycle tours to the National Maritime College of Ireland, to Crosshaven, to Cobh, to a secret waterfall in the Lee Valley, and to Blarney.

The more energetic can join the Cork County Cycling Club for a 30km-50km leisure spin on July 19.

Full details of all events are available on corkcyclingfestival.com.


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