With 25 events planned across the county for Bike Week (9-17 June) and the fine weather set to continue, Donegal County Council is hoping that the interest in cycling for commuting and leisure purposes will continue to increase.
In Dungloe on Thursday next (14 June), staff in the Dungloe Public Service Centre will get on their bikes with a lunchtime cycle around the beautiful town and will be joined by Councillors and youth councillors.
“This is a great way to spend your lunch break,” says Mairead Cranley Social Inclusion Co-Ordinator with the Council. She continued: “this is about getting new people on the bikes and it is for all levels of cyclists. It is giving people the opportunity to get up from their desk and out into the fresh air.
“It’s amazing the amount of exercise you can include during your 30 minute lunch break. Most importantly there is a great social and fun aspect to this initiative, creating team bonding between colleagues and other agencies within the building while getting your exercise too,” Ms Cranley said.
The Council has gone one step further and installed a state-of-the-art bicycle shelter at its headquarters in Lifford, which is the latest example of its commitment to its employees. If successful, the Council plans to roll out similar shelters to all its offices, including the public service centres.
With the bike shelter now in situ, the Council hopes that more staff will consider cycling as a mode of transport when travelling to the Lifford office. This option will be further enhanced with the Lifford-Strabane segregated cycleway due within three years as part of the Council’s North West Greenway Network development.
Ronan Gallagher, the Communications Manager for the North West Greenway Network said: ‘BikeWeek is a fantastic opportunity to encourage people – young and old – to dust down their bikes and take to the county’s roads and cyclepaths again’. He continued: ‘the Council’s commitment to cycling infrastructure is highlighted throughout the new County Development Plan, which places great importance on greenway development for modal shift, tourism and leisure activities.’
A full schedule of bike events taking place across Donegal can be found at www.bikeweek.ie. The programme is supported by Donegal Sports Partnership, National Bike Week and Donegal County Council.