Making everyday a COW Day

Mick, Elaine, Aine, and Aengus!
Photo: Mick, Elaine, Áine and Aengus from NUI Galway who volunteered to share some great bike accessories around the campus for COW day

Cycle on Wednesday/Cycle to Work day on the 9th of March 2011 was launched with warm praise from students and staff around the NUI Galway campus, who returned to find their bike saddles kept dry with the help of four volunteers, Mick, Elaine, Áine and Aengus. Over 230 saddle covers, 200 reflective leg bands, and 200 wheel spoke reflectors were distributed all around the bike stands, before the goods ran out. We counted, at a conservative estimate, that at least over 400 people made the choice to commute by bike to the main campus on a drizzly Wednesday, indicating the popularity cycling by a very healthy group of road users.

Here are some comments overhead by commuters around campus today:

“Cycling to campus is much faster than walking, and my lectures start at twelve on Tuesday, so there’s no way I’d get parking if I drove. Anyway, I prefer to be on the bike. It saves me petrol money, and I’m not stressed out waiting in traffic”, noted one student.

“I started cycling this year when I moved into an apartment in Salthill. Before, I used to walk to the campus from Hazel Park, but now that I’m a bit further away I like being on my bike and can make it in to college in less than ten minutes”, said a second year Arts student.

“When I’m on the main NUI Galway campus, I park in the Dangan park and ride, and throw the bike in the boot. This means I can spin down to the campus quickly, and get back to the car when I need to”, commented a staff member normally based in Carraroe.

“You’d be mad to drive to college in Galway- it’s so easy to get around on a bike with everything so close”, said an IT student originating from Dublin.

Several others in the city and county got in touch to let us know they were taking part in COW day too, including Marco, from GMIT, and Vernise in Loughrea (thanks to both of you!). Other special thanks goes to Dr. Aoife Collins and Paul O’Donnell from the NUI Galway Green Campus, and to Mary Rose Bogan who helped publicise the event.

Áine took some beautiful photos of bikes around the grounds today (see below): COWday @ NUIGalway
Check out some more of her pictures online.

Later on, James held a bike workshop in 091 labs, which hopes to soon become a regular event.
Teaching some tricks...
Some early bike repair projects have been identified, including the revamp of a decathalon bike with loose brakes, and a chain that keeps skipping out of it’s chainset. Watch out for more from James on future workshop events.

COW day – Wednesday 9th March 2011

What is COW? = Cycle on Wednesday
On Wednesday the 9th of March 2011, everyone in Galway is encouraged to cycle to work, school, college, or to get to wherever you need to go. That includes you!

Photo by Wreford Miller on Flickr (cc)

Why take part?
Bike Week 2011 is coming to Galway this year, with the National Event being launched in the city in June. As part of a lead up series of events, the An Taisce & Green Schools Secondary School are encouraging a city-wide Cycle on Wednesday (COW day) (see their website). This simple idea is also being promoted, by individuals and organisations across the city. The more people who cycle, the safer our roads will be. So why not take part?

What’s happening on COW day?
Some lucky staff and students who cycle on COW day at NUI Galway on the 9th of March will be getting goodies from the Galway Cycling Campaign to acknowledge their contribution to a healthier and less congested Galway. A team of student volunteers via the Community Knowledge Engagement Initiative (CKI) on campus have offered their time to share these out, with passer-bys around the campus on this date.

If your school or workplace, or organisation, or even yourself as an individual is taking part in COW day on the 9th of March, let us know, and we’ll do our best to get a bike saddle cover, or bike accessory out to you too. Email us as soon as you can on: [email protected]