Get on your bike!
This week has seen a multitude of events around Cork, which will continue until Sunday, promoting the use of bicycles. With the Tour de France just after finishing also, and some form of dry summer thinking of coming out, now is a good time to jump up on that saddle once again.
The Cork Cycling Festival, now in its fifth year, is entirely free to the public and open to all ages of those who want to take part.
There has been a marked transformation in Cork on cycle lanes in the city over the past number of years, allowing greater freedom, and safety, for existing and potential cyclists in the Rebel Capital. Roadworks currently underway throughout Cork are seeking to install further laneways to complement the ever growing number of cyclists that are clamouring for space on the city’s roads. National policy is now changing to take into account road users other than cars, a move that surely will help cyclists in Cork.
The success of public schemes in London and Dublin have show that public interest in cycling is forever rising and with the Government examining Cork for a similar scheme, bikes could become an ever present factor on Cork’s roads.
With the increase in obesity in the country, cycling has been proven as a fun, easy and enjoyable way to keep fit and explore the city and countryside we live in. Through cycling you can keep your heart healthy, keep endorphins flowing and strengthen muscles all over. With some stylish cycle gear out there also, this keep fit pastime can quickly turn into another fashion statement for all to admire, if that's something you are after.
Besides the health advantages of the sport, it is also a fun, family or single activity. Cork is full of coastal and green areas where cycling is easy to get to and wide enough for parents and children, courting couples or speed enthusiasts to take part in. The area surrounding Blackrock Castle in Mahon can regularly be seen to throng with walkers, rollerbladers and cyclists with a route taking you all around to as far as Rochestown on the old Railway line. Green areas and parks in Ballincollig, Bishopstown, the Tank Field and in Blarney also offer a vast landscape in which cycling.
The Cycling Festival continues today (Thursday) with a touring cycle of Blarney and the countryside starting from the Festival headquarters on the Grand Parade.
Other highlights of the Festival for the rest of the week include a cycle tour as Gaeilge on Friday lunchtime with TG4’s Pádraig Ó Duinnín of Muintir na Mara. There is also a costumed ride planned for Friday at 6pm at the Grand Parade where participants are urged to costume up or customise their bikes.
However, the big attraction will be the Cork World Naked Bike at 3pm, timed to coincide with the Festival itself as the world record is attempted right here in Cork. For more information on the record attempt, visit www.wnbrcork.wordpress.com.
To find out more about the Cork cycling Festival, visit www.corkcyclingfestival.com.