For the most part, summer is well and truly with us and this brings long, warm evenings and sunny days. The bike racks around Kilkenny city are constantly full which shows that people are taking to the bike more than ever. Kilkenny is the ten-minute city for cyclists – you are never more than a 10-minute spin when needing to get to work or to socialise.
So far this year, Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership have organised two successful Get Back On Your Bike programmes for those who might not have cycled for a while and who wish to become more confident when cycling. We have also had a very successful Couch to 40k programme, a Family 10k cycle, our annual Castle to Castle 40k Spin and our first ever Bike Buffet. In addition to this, the annual Ciclovia Kilkenny was a huge success on two Sundays in June.
It is good to cycle all year round. However, there really are no excuses for not cycling during summer. Here, we present some ideas to get your wheels spinning. You do not need any fancy gear (just a working bicycle), the pace is always leisurely and it is healthy and fun.
Why not bring a picnic on the bike or go for a spin somewhere and have lunch alfresco before setting off on your return journey home or back to work? Kilkenny city and county has abundant cafes and food stops to fill even the most ardent foodies/cyclists desires. You could even keep it simple by just cycling somewhere for an ice cream cone or 99 – again, Kilkenny has many top class ice cream outlets!
In the not too distant past, there was no other way to travel to a hurling match other than walking or cycling. These days, we are constantly being made aware of the need to be more physically active. Each week Kilkenny has many games in all sporting codes. For the next game you attend (hurling or soccer) why not leave the car at home and cycle to the venue instead? Better still, why not cycle to the game with other family members?
Kilkenny Arts Festival takes place from August 11 to 20th. Why not get dressed up and bike to the many exhibitions, literary and theatre events and concerts that are taking place during the Arts Festival? Similarly, why not start arranging to do something for Culture Night, which takes place on September 22. Plan to attend several events with friends while travelling by bicycle.
If you are planning to have a meal or coffee with friends, then why not get there by bike? Instead of spending time searching for and paying for expensive parking, why not bring the bike, park for free and work off those extra calories by cycling home. You will feel so much better afterwards! Another nice idea is to cycle to the Thursday Market on the Parade Plaza, lock up your bicycle and browse the stalls. Remember to bring a basket or bag to bring home your shopping in.
For Bike Week 2017, Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership hosted Kilkenny’s first ever Bike Buffet. A group of 28 availed of the opportunity to take a citywide culinary tour. Participants sampled a different course at separate venues. You would be surprised how easy it is to work up an appetite while travelling between venues. A similar event is planned for Savour Kilkenny, 2017. More details from 087 3567884.
Local cycling club Marble City Cyclers host the Tour de Kilkenny on August 5th (Bank Holiday weekend). A variety of routes and distances are on offer for all cyclists. However, we are highlighting the family cycle. This 20k event costs only €20 for two adults and two children (€10 for an individual entry). This is a great event for all the family to cycle in. The family group will have leaders and the route is not difficult. A friendly welcome awaits you and refreshments will be served. Helmets are mandatory, as is a bicycle in good working order. See http://marblecitycyclers.com/tour-de-kilkenny for more details.
If spectating at sports events is more your thing then why not cycle to any of the stage finishes in the 12th edition of Ras na mBan? The premier women’s cycling event in Ireland will have Kilkenny as its base from September 6 to 10th. With stage finishes in Gowran, Castlecomer and Kilkenny (Medieval Mile) and the exciting, high speed one-hour Criterium race on a Kilkenny city circuit on Saturday, there is an opportunity for all the family to come and see this exciting spectacle. See www.rasnamban.com for more details. This is an opportunity to watch world class cyclists battle it out for victory right in the heart of Kilkenny.
For information on cycling and active travel matters in Kilkenny please do not hesitate to contact Seamus Nugent at Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership on 056 7794957, 087 3567884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org