Bi-cycle with Pride

‘Bi-cycle with Pride’ was a special edition of CycleCoffeeCake and the penultimate event of the Galway Pride Festival 2020.

Bi-cycle with Pride, co-hosted by Galway Cycling Campaign and Galway Community Pride for Galway Pride 2020 – Photo: Paula Healy

‘Bi-cycle with Pride’ was the penultimate event of the Galway Pride Festival 2020 last weekend. Co-hosted by Galway Cycling Campaign and Galway Community Pride, the social cycle took a gentle route through Galway’s Westend and the Claddagh, by the markets and up to Eyre Square before returning along the Canal Road to end at Gourmet Tart on Raven Terrace. 

This was a special edition of the popular CycleCoffeeCake events for adults who are new, or nearly new, to cycling.

Many women aged 35 to 55 years hopped back on the saddle during lockdown and feel determined to keep pedalling. These weekend morning events at weekends help boost confidence to cycle on city roads and so make cycling a real option for everyday urban transport.

Nearly 70% of the participants use their bikes for everyday transport to local shops, visit friends, or travel to work. 

The bike boom of 2020 is due to women buying bikes, with the comfortable stepthrough frames of hybrid bikes being the most popular bicycle sold.

The organisers wish to thank Cllr Owen Hanley, Galway City East, and Cllr Níall McNelis, Galway City West, for their support, as well as An Garda and Galway City Council.

CycleCoffeeCake spins to Renmore and Roscam

An August Bank Holiday with a different spin – a gentle social cycle from Renmore to Roscam hosted by the Galway Cycling Campaign

CycleCoffeeCake at Ballyloughane Beach, Renmore

CycleCoffeeCake pedalled away to the Galway city east for the August Bank Holiday with new and returning faces joining the group.

The route was led by Dan Clabby, Treasurer of Galway Cycling Campaign and a local, who gave shared some local history as the route travelled from The Huntsman Inn, down the Black Path to Lakeshore Drive for stunning views of Lough Atalia, a stop at Ballyloughane Beach, and on to a mostly unknown short lane between Lurgan Park and the Dublin Road.

The direct route from Moneenageisha junction to Supermacs on the Old Dublin Road near the entrance to Merlin Park University Hospital is 2.1km on a busy arterial route, which is unpleasant to cycle. It includes an identified bicycle blackspot for collisions and injuries.

The quiet route that CycleCoffeeCake explored shows that it possible to make this journey on quiet calm streets away from the noisy main road with buses, trucks and vans.

After a brief dismount to walk the footpaths in front of Galway Crystal, the group continued to the Rosshill Road, a quieter road which connects to the Old Dublin Road and the coastal route to Oranmore.

The group returned along most of the same route, only changing after Lurgan Park to continue by the Kingfisher sports centre, Renmore Scouts Den, Renmore Playing Fields, Scoil Chaitríona primary school, the Galway Hospice and Church of St Oliver Plunkett, to the Full Duck Café on Renmore Road.

The next CycleCoffeeCake will take place as part of Galway Community Pride on Sunday 16 August 2020 in the city centre.

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