By Allison Roberts
2020 will mark exciting changes for cyclists in West Cork with long-awaited signposted cycle routes being launched early next year. The six routes span from the Kilbrittan whale bones to Glandore and Drombeg stone circle, making use of existing roads to connect and showcase the quietest, flattest and most beautiful routes between our local beaches. As Allison Roberts (The Bike Circus/Festival and executive member of cycling.ie), explains, “the routes received great support at the recent ‘Cool Clon’ expo and really fits in well with its objectives. It was great to be able to speak to members of our local Chamber of Commerce as well as several local councillors who were all very enthusiastic about the project.»
This comes at an opportune time as there is national funding available as part of a Europe-wide push to make cycling more accessible to the general public. Ireland has lagged behind other European countries in its cycling infrastructure. These sign-posted routes will create spaces on the roads where car drivers are more aware of cyclists and will also guide novice and touring cyclists on to the most suitable roads (and away from faster-moving vehicles). “The aim for us is to help cyclists feel more comfortable on the roads and increase the use of this sustainable mode of transport in our area. This is a win-win for everyone and an important part in the Cool Clon initiative”.
As well as the launch of these six routes, The Bike Circus and Clonakilty Bicycle Festival are growing from strength to strength. The Bike Circus, community bike workshop, opened in June this year (in the Christmas yard by Spiller’s Lane, Clonakilty) and has over 100 members already. They are also training up seven new bicycle mechanics as a part of their apprenticeship program. The Clonakilty Bicycle Festival will mark it’s 9th year June 4-9th 2020 by welcoming members of Biciclistas de Corella, a sister community cycle group from Spain, and our great Erasmus partners. National representatives from Cyclist.ie, the national cycle advocacy network will also be coming to join in the fun.
To learn more, visit www.facebook.com/thebikecircus