Back on the saddle – CycleCoffeeCake pedals to Renmore this August Bank Holiday weekend

CycleCoffeeCake pedals off again this August bank holiday weekend on Saturday 1 August at 10.30am from the Huntsman Inn, College Road. The route will explore quiet and calm routes to and through Renmore, Ballyloughnane beach, and Roscam.

The first CycleCoffeeCake event pedalled from Nimmo’s Pier in the Claddagh to Blackrock and finished and Ground & Co Salthill.

CycleCoffeeCake is a gentle social cycle event for adults of all ages and abilities. People who are new cyclers, nearly-new or who have returned to cycling during coronavirus lockdown are particularly welcome.

For contact tracing purposes, participants must register in advance for CycleCoffeeCake here.

The cycle will last about one hour and end at a local café for coffee, cake and chats.

The Galway CycleBus will host a family cycle in Renmore with more later in August so parents who are considering cycling with their children to Scoil Caitríona and Scoil Dara in just a few weeks time may find that CycleCoffeeCake gives them the boost of confidence they want to feel able and safe cycling within their neighbourhood.

Organiser Martina Callanan says that a remarkable two thirds of participants of CycleCoffeeCake events this summer are women who are new to cycling or have hopped back on the saddle after years, or decades, of absence.

Women are the reason we have a bike boom this summer. It’s almost impossible to buy a new or second hand bike in Galway. Mammies have rediscovered their own joy and freedom in cycling after spending time with their children on bikes during lockdown.

Many want to feel confident again on bikes, and CycleCoffeeCake events shows them quiet routes in their neighbourhoods as well as access to a community of people who want cycling to be a very real and safe option for everyday transport. “

Neasa Bheilbigh of the Galway CycleBus in Knocknacarra says that many parents want their children to cycle to school.

Cycling is quick and independent transport, which saves parents time, and is easy exercise for young people. As we prepare to go back to school, mums, parents and caregivers want safe and quiet cycle routes for their children and teenagers. CycleCoffeeCake is a great way for parents to regain their own confidence on bikes.

Eqre Square is about 12-18 minutes by bike from Renmore and 24-30 minutes from Roscam. Travels times are based on a gentle pace of 16kmph and include wait times at junctions.

Saturday mornings are better with a cycle, coffee and cake

Join us this Saturday 18 July 2020 for CycleCoffeeCake at 10.30am from Nimmo’s Pier through our vibrant city centre and ending at the wonderful Ciarlantini of Woodquay. This is a gentle inclusive cycle for new or nearly-new adults on bikes. All ages and abilities are welcome. We particularly welcome mams who want some confidence before cycling with their children to school in September. Please register – we have limited numbers and need details for contact tracing.

Our first CycleCoffeeCake explored Salthill and the Prom. Kevin Nugent of Ground & Co Salthill sponsored coffee and cake for a vibrant and diverse group of new, nearly-new and returning cyclers.

CycleCoffeeCake is a new initiative of the Galway Cycling Campaign and aims to encourage new, nearly-new, and returning cyclers to hop on their saddles and join together in gentle, inclusive cycles around Galway city.

The event particularly welcomes women on bikes, especially mums who want to get more confident cycling around the city before the school year begins, and women of all ages and abilities who are returning to cycling. The bike boom of 2020 is a result of these two groups buying bikes in Galway, and indeed across Ireland.

Galway Cycling Campaign hopes to encourage those who want to become more comfortable cycling and those who would enjoy some support as they gain confidence in cycling around the city.

Please register for this Saturday’s event for contract tracing purposes. Numbers are limited. People who arrive on the day without signing-up will not be accommodated.

Event details

Saturday 18 July 2020
10.30am – 12 noon 
Meet: Claddagh Hall, Nimmo’s Pier
Route: Galway city centre routes, detours, things to watch out for, and bike parking spots
Coffee & Cake: Cafe Bar Ciarlantini, Woodquay

Click on the image above to go to the registration page

The inaugural CycleCoffeeCake event took place last month and the sounds of chats and bell chimes was heard as the group cycled from the Claddagh Hall to Blackrock before enjoying coffee and cake sponsored by Kevin Nugent and Ground & Co in Salthill.

CycleCoffeeCake sponsor: Bar Italia Ciarlantini of Woodquay

This month, CycleCoffeeCake will again start at 10.30am at the Claddagh Hall and explore routes around the city centre, show useful detours away from major routes, and point out bike parking. The social cycle will end in Woodquay at Bar Italia Ciarlantini.

Lolita of Ciarlantini will sponsor coffee and cake for the first 15 registrations.

Lolita of Bar Italia Ciarlantini in Woodquay is sponsoring CycleCoffeeCake July edition.

Martina Callanan, spokesperson for Galway Cycling Campaign, said, “Cycling is an easy, fun activity for people of all ages and abilities. We want to show newbies and novices safe and pleasant bike trails across the city that end at local cafés where we can enjoy coffee, cake and chats.”

“As we kickstart the economy, we want to support our friends and neighbours who own local businesses, especially those that have safe and secure bicycle parking nearby,” she added.

Kevin Jennings, chairperson of the Galway Cycling Campaign, commented, “As we look ahead to schools reopening in a few weeks, we want to help parents, particularly mams, feel more comfortable cycling their kids to school, especially if they do not have a local Cycle Bus. CycleCoffeeCake is a great way for adults to meet with others who feel the same way and to share tips from more experienced people on bikes.”

As the route will be on roads shared with buses, vans and cars in the city centre, numbers will be limited and only those who have registered in advance will be able to participate.

Keep an eye on our social media @GalwayCycling on Twitter and Facebook.

Delicious coffee and cake awaits us at Bar Italia Ciarlantini, Woodquay

Councillors puncture cyclists’ hopes of pop up Salthill cycle lane

The people of Galway have clearly said, ‘We want a safe cycle lane on the Prom for our families during Covid-19.’ We are disappointed that our Councillors have not asked the Chief Executive to apply for special Covid-19 funds through the National Transport Authority (NTA), which would fund the proposed pop-up cycle lane along the Prom, plus more pedestrian crossings and extensive bike parking. Given that future permanent cycle facilities are now tied to the development of flood defences, nothing will happen in Salthill for years and years. The status quo remains: families will continue to share the road with buses, cars, and vans.

Maire Silke of Salthill with her son, daughter-in-law and 8-year-old grandson and members and supporters of the Galway Cycling Campaign at a flashmob gathering to support Council plans for a Covid-19 temporary pop up cycle lane, pedestrian crossings and extensive bike parking in Salthill. Photo: Mike Shaughnessy, Galway Advertiser

The following statement from Galway Cycling Campaign was published in The Galway Advertisers on 16 July 2020 under the headline, Councillors puncture cyclists’ hopes of pop up Salthill cycle lane

“The people of Galway have clearly said, ‘We want a safe cycle lane on the Prom for our families during Covid-19.’ Over 200 of the 1400 public submissions for covid mobility measures received by the Council were for a Salthill cycle lane.

Over 1,400 submissions were received by Galway City Council during a six-week public engagement exercise online.; overr 200 requests were for a safe cycle lane in Salthill. Click on the image to view the map, submissions and comments.

Yesterday, our flashmob gathering on the Prom vibrantly showed that people of all ages and abilities want safe cycling and mobility infrastructure during coronavirus. 

Children, four-legged furry friends, and adult trikes and cargo bikes and joined the Galway Cycling Campaign flashmob gather on Tuesday 14 July to show support for the Galway City Council plans for a Covid-19 temporary pop up cycle lane and associated cycling facilities

“We are disappointed that our Councillors have not asked the Chief Executive to apply for special Covid-19 funds through the National Transport Authority (NTA), which would fund the proposed pop-up cycle lane along the Prom, plus more pedestrian crossings and extensive bike parking.

“Given that future permanent cycle facilities are now tied to the development of flood defences, nothing will happen in Salthill for years and years. The status quo remains: families will continue to share the road with buses, cars, and vans.

There is only one safe and separate path for a child to safely cycle in Salthill – the short path from Blackrock diving tour and behind Galway Golf Club. Photo: Alan Curran

“Now, we must turn our energies towards creating safe routes to schools when they reopen at the end of August. Social distancing will be with us for as long as this killer virus is present.

“We need to enable children and teenagers to walk and cycle safely to school, especially as bus capacity has shrunk and parents may have concerns about car-pooling between different families.”

Galway Cycle Bus hosted a Family Cycle through Knocknacarra from Miller’s Lane to Cappagh Park on Saturday 11 July. Photo: Mike Shaughnessy, Galway Advertiser

A warm welcome to Minister Hildegarde Naughton

Galway Cycling Campaign warmly welcomes the news that Hildegard Naughton will serve as Junior Minister in the Department of Transport in An Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s Government. 

Minister Hildegarde Naughton

Kevin Jennings, chairperson of the Galway Cycling Campaign said, “We congratulate Minister Naughton on her appointment to the Department of Transport. This is good news for Galway city and county.

Minister Naughton regularly engages with us on cycling issues and our ongoing Change Our Streets movement for more space and less speed for people walking and cycling.

As former chair of the cross-party Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, Minister Naughton understands the intimately intertwined social and economic challenges of congestion, public health, and quality of life.

The Programme for Government rightly recognises cycling as a sustainable solution to these collective challenges.

We all want Galway to be a safer, healthier and happier city and county for all ages and abilities to live, learn, work, and play.

We look forward to working with Minister Naughton to make cycling a very real and very safe option for all.”

Addressing the Teen Cycling Gender Gap – Research and Action

An online public meeting for parents, teachers, and youth workers about trying to understand the gender gap in lower cycling rates among teenage girls will be held by Galway Cycling Campaign on Thursday 2 July at 7.30pm on Zoom.

An Taisce Green-Schools staff will address the meeting and share how the #AndSheCycles campaign supports schools and teenage girls to start cycling and stay cycling.

#AndSheCycles is a campaign by An Taisce Green-Schools to encourage young women to cycle, especially teenage girls. Photo: An Tasice Green-Schools

Green-Schools have been working with schools around the country to increase cycling numbers for over ten years.

In Ireland, just 2.1% of teenagers cycle to secondary school. In The Netherlands, that figure is 75%.

New research and a public awareness campaign looks at what needs to be done to enable teenage girls – and their parents – to feel more comfortable and confident cycling everyday.

Allison Phillips, Cycling Development Officer with Green-Schools, said, “An Taisce-Green Schools supports schools and teenage girls through training, funding, campaigns, and audits of cycling routes to school. We have been working with schools around the country to increase cycling numbers for over ten years. The #AndSheCycles campaign works with teenage girls across Ireland shine a light on barriers that are preventing them from cycling and help girls get – or get back on – their bikes.”

Allison Phillips and Robert Egan of An Taisce Green-Schools will address a public meeting for parents, teachers and youth workers about cycling and teenage girls.

Green-Schools are exploring the cycling gender gap among teenagers to understand its origins and find creative ways to increase cycling to school amongst teenage girls.

“The #AndSheCycles research is ongoing and we intend publishing results in early 2021, “ said Robert Egan, Secondary Schools Travel Officer, a researcher who recently completed a PhD at Trinity College Dublin on gender and everyday cycling.

He continued, “Young women, particularly teenagers, face concerns that most people on bikes face, such as feeling unsafe sharing roads with HGVs and vans due to a lack of cycle lanes. However, teenage girls also deal with social issues such as peer pressure and harassment on the roads from drivers and young men.”

Cycling is seen as something for boys and not for girls. What is emerging from the research are reflections for parents, teachers and policy makers about how teenage cycling is gendered and how this process of gendering can be neutralised. We want girls to enjoy the same access to cycling and the same feelings of freedom that boys enjoy.

In 2016, only 694 secondary school girls across Ireland cycled regularly to school and over 2,000 drove themselves, while in 1986 there were over 19,000 girls cycling to school, according to Census data provided by the Central Statistics Office.

The #AndSheCycles campaign by An Taisce Green-Schools supports schools and teenage girls to start cycling and stay cycling. Photo: Green-Schools

Happily Galway remains one of the highest rates of cycling to school in the country. And yet, the gender gap is stark.

Of the children in Galway aged 5 to 18 years who cycle to education, about 73% are male and 27% are female, according to Census 2016 data from the Central Statistics Office. 

Cécile Robin, Secretary of Galway Cycling Campaign, commented, “We’ve seen with the school strikes last year that young people are highly engaged with climate action. The bicycle does three things: gives a freedom machine to young women, gives back time to mum and dad who no longer need to act as a frequent private taxi service, and creates life-long habits for good mental health while also reducing carbon emissions.”

“Teenagers want independence. Parents want their children to be safe, “ commented Neasa Bheilbigh, teacher and co-organiser of the Galway Cycle Bus for primary school children.

We want to make cycling a very real and safe option for all who would like to choose to do so.

This event will give parents, teachers, youth workers and policy makers things to consider as we look ahead to schools re-opening in September.”

Log-in details for the online event on Zoom this Thursday 2 July 2020 are available by emailing [email protected]

#AndSheCycles is a campaign by An Taisce Green-Schools to support teenage girls to cycle.