It is interesting to note some major cycling initiatives happening in Galway city and county schools, developed by local Green Schools committees and supported by the An Taisce Green Schools Team. The Green Schools website section on cycling contains some useful resources to make cycling a viable alternative to being driven to school. It includes ideas for schools hoping to encourage more students to explore whether cycling is a safe and viable alternative means of travel, by organising bike training and bike maintenance sessions, and intriguingly to hold COW days – not travel of the bovine kind, but Cycle on Wednesday (COW day) promotions. Tiarnan McClusker, from An Taisce, cited in the Galway City Tribune on the 18th of February, noted there has been a national increase of 25% of children cycling to school since 2008, since such initiatives began.
One new scheme launched this week – again by the An Taisce Green Schools Team, along with Galway Healthy Cities and West of Ireland Cycling – has offered five free bikes to teachers on a hire basis for a month, within the Galway city, Claregalway, Barna and Oranmore areas. More information about the scheme is available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Another upcoming event includes a week long cycling challenge for secondary school students, parents and staff, from the 7th to the 11th of March 2011 (see their website for more information). This is open to anyone who wants to take part, and is willing to get on their bikes in the city or county, in preparation for the run up to National Bike Week 2011, to be held in June. If you are a regular cyclist, be sure to wave hello at the increased number of cyclists Galway will see out on the roads on this week.
Watch out for information on events in your locality, or perhaps consider organising similar challenge where you work. Oil up your chain, pump up your tyres, and keep an eye out for some of our Galway Cycling Campaign bike accessories, which we’ll be distributing to cyclists out and about.