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Cork’s biggest 100% free festival coming soon! (Download)
The fifth Cork Cycling Festival which runs from 21-29th July is gearing up for another nine days full of reasons to get out on a bike. This year’s festival promises to be more visible than ever, with lots of day-time events, including themed city cycles and countryside tours, a shop-front art trail, a Bike Fair and three parades. Every event in the festival is free to attend – just bring your wheels!
Themed cycles around the city include: An Abhainn sa Chaithair, a tour as Gaelige guided by Pádraig Ó Duinnín of TG4’s Muintir na Mara; a tour of Cork’s street signage led by author Tom Spalding; Histories and Memories of the Lee Valley by historian and city councillor Kieran McCarthy; and a mystery tour of Hidden Cork by architect Adam D’Arcy. There will also be a Community Gardens cycle to visit a number of gardens and sample the produce and a cycle to the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind centre.
If you’re up for a challenge and want to explore some of Cork’s beautiful countryside, check out some of our touring cycles. Expect castles, harbours, riversides and hidden waterfalls. While some cycling experience and moderate fitness is required our patient stewards will make sure everyone has a pleasant experience and we can take our time.. Enjoy the rich landscape with five cycles in total visiting Dungourney, Barryscourt Castle & Cobh, Mullinhassig, Blarney, and Crosshaven.
There is an emphasis on family cycling solutions this year, with Astrid Fitzpatrick of Dutch Cargo Bikes travelling to Cork to showcase the kind of practical solutions that are a way of life in Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Families are welcome at all events and are the stars of the Kid luv Bikes exhibition in Cork City Library. This year also sees the first Bike Shorts competition for young film-makers, whose work will also be showcased at Cork City Library. Both these competitions are run in collaboration with Cork City Council’s SMILES project.
Three bicycle parades will enliven the city with everyone invited to come and take part. The first will be the Cycle of Lights, it’s an evening parade and an opportunity to decorate your bike for night-time that will take in Blackrock Castle Observatory for some stargazing. The Grand Bicycle Parade is an ‘anything goes’ evening parade through the city centre with music and costumes. The Vintage Velo Run invites Cork to drag your high nellies out of the turf shed and dust off your tweeds for a jolly good vintage parade around the city. Even if you don’t have skirts, tweeds or nellies come along anyway to join the craic of this rollicking ride, with music from DJ Gary Baus!
2012 sees the annual festival art exhibition move onto the streets for the first time ever. Gallery on the Go is Cork’s first ever shop front cycle art exhibition with a number of artists installing bike-themed art in shop fronts around the city. The exhibition aims to ensure a festival presence throughout the city while anyone who wants to view the whole exhibition can do so easily from the comfort of two wheels. Viewers can cast their vote for their favourite artists and the winning artist will win a €300 voucher for Kilgrews Cycle Shop.
The final event in this year’s festival is a Bike Fair which will take place on the Grand Parade on Sunday 29th July. The final festival day will include plenty of attractions, including market stalls with luscious bikes and cycling accessories; Trike Trials for smallies and Bicycle Olympics for young and old; Family cycling solutions demo and advice; Cargo Bike show, Interactive science demo ‘The Beautiful Machine’; Safety training workshops; and Live music and bike-powered refreshments. Photographer extraordinaire Marcin Lewandowski will be making complimentary Bike Portraits of visitors and their bikes at a pop-up photography studio.
To keep hungry cyclists fuelled festival-goers can avail of a special discount on packed picnic lunches from Natural Foods bakery on Paul Street and Blackrock and available options will be published on the festival website and can be ordered by phone.
This year’s Cork World Naked Bike Ride has been planned to coincide with the festival once again, on Saturday 28th July. It will include a brave world record attempt for the most body painted people ever, the current record was set in New York in 2007 at 264 people.
LISTINGS INFORMATION BELOW!
Ppsssst! Did you know?
- The average person will lose 13lbs in their first year of cycling to work!
- Scientists at Stanford University have found that cycling regularly can protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the signs of ageing.
- Studies have proved bikes are 50% faster than cars during rush hour!
- Researchers from Illinois University found that a ﬁve percent improvement in cardio-respiratory ﬁtness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus – the region responsible for memory, which deteriorates from the age of 30.
- 20 bikes can be parked in the same space as 1 car!
- 30 minutes daily cycling saves hundreds of euro on medical costs annually!
- Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who take no exercise, it says.
- The happiest cities worldwide all have a high number of cyclists according to John Helliwell, a renowned happiness expert and economist at University of British Columbia.
ReDiscover your city…
- Guide Dogs Cycle: Mon 23 July,17:30-20:30, Start @ GrandParade
- Histories & Memories of the Lee Valley: Tues 24 July,13:00-14:30, Start @ Grand Parade
- Community Gardens Cycle: Tues 24 July,18:00, Start @ GrandParade
- Hidden Cork Wed 25 July,13:00-14:00, Start @ GrandParade
Evening City tour: Cork’s Signage Wed 25,18:00, Start @ GrandParade
- An Oige Cycles Thurs 26 July,19:00, Start @ Cork Opera House
An Abhainn Sa Chathair Fri 27 July,13:00-14:00,Grand Parade
- Festival Opening: Sat 21 July, 13:00, Grand Parade
- Bike maintenance workshop: Sat 21 July, 14:00-16:00, Grand Parade
- Cycle of Lights: Sat 21 July, 20:00-Late, Start @ Grand Parade
- Gallery on the go! Guided tour Sun 22 July, 13:00-15:00, Grand Parade
- Grand Bike Parade: Fri 27 July,18:00, Start @ Grand Parade
- Vintage Velo Run: Sat 28 July,13:00, Start @ Grand Parade
- Cork World Naked Bike Ride: Sat 28 July, 15:00-17:00, Grand Parade
- Bike Party and BBQ: Sat 28 July, 18:30, The Flying Enterprise , Sullivans Quay
- Bike Fair: Sun 29 July, 12:00-18:00, Grand Parade
Barryscourt & Cobh touring cycle: Mon 23 July, 10:00-17:00, Grand Parade
East cork longer touring cycle: Tues 24 July, 10:00-19:00, Grand Parade
Mullinhassig touring cycle: Wed 25 July, 10:00-17:00, Grand Parade
Blarney Short touring cycle: Thurs 26 July, 13:00-17:00, Grand Parade
Crosshaven countryside cycle: Fri 27 July, 10:00-17:00, Grand Parade