For almost a decade Cycling Ireland has been bringing Bike Fest to Dublin at no cost at all to participants. We caught up with Cycling Ireland Coach Education and Development Administrator + Programmes Officer Róisín Hickey to find out more about this free event as it grows to become a nation-wide initiative.
Can you please give us a brief summary of Bike Fest?
For the last nine years Cycling Ireland has organised the FREE Family Festival BIKE FEST in St. Anne’s Park in Dublin to promote cycling for all ages. Every year it is a huge success. This year we are taking BIKE FEST round the country to biking venues where everyone can get access to bikes, helmets, coaching and trails.
Why have you seen a need for something like Bike Fest?
This is a great opportunity for people to see the fun side of cycling in a purpose-built environment. Also, when Bike Fest is over they can come back and still get to enjoy the sport again in the same great venue.
What kind of cyclist is going to get the most out of Bike Fest?
The events are aimed at beginners to intermediate cyclists. We want to give people a taste of biking and hopefully help more people into this ever-growing sport. Increasing numbers of women partaking in the last few years has been amazing. And there is something for everyone, so the whole family can join in together.
Are the people running the actual sessions qualified?
All the coaches are fully qualified through Cycling Ireland and are also Garda vetted.
Can you paint a picture of what will happen once we turn up?
After you book in and register a time with a venue, you will arrive to be fitted for a bike and a helmet, then you will complete a coaching session, to be followed with either pedaling around the beginner trails or taking to the uplifts to head up to higher trails.
How long does the event go for?
Most venues are having morning, afternoon and/or evening slots. Each venue is different but there should be a time that suits you.
Who else is involved in Bike Fest?
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport are funding Bike Fest and we are very happy to have teamed up with Trail Riders, Biking.ie, The GAP and East Coast Adventures to bring you these seven events. Lastly, a big thank you to all the coaches and helpers, without whom none of this would happen.
Where and when is Bike Fest happening?
There will be four locations with seven events taking places.
Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd June in Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trail, Limerick from 10am to 4pm
Monday 24th & Friday 28th June in Ticknock Mountain Bike Trail, Dublin from 5pm to 8pm
Wednesday 26th June in The GAP – Glencullen Adventure Park, Dublin 18 from 10am to 5pm
Thursday 27th June in Ballinastoe Mountain Bike Trail, Wicklow from 5pm to 8pm
Saturday 29th June in Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails, Newry, Down from 9am to 5pm
What if the weather is really poorly?
You will have even more fun in the muck and rain!
How much does it cost?
Entry is FREE! But you must contact the venue to book your place.
How do we register?
To register and book your place please contact:
Ballyhoura - www.trailriders.ie
Ticknock - www.biking.ie
Ballinstoe - www.biking.ie
Glencullen, Dublin - www.thegap.ie
Rostrevor, Down - www.eastcoastadventure.com