Back in 2019 I cycled Gort’s Mini-Greenway with a friend so I thought that would be an ideal loop cycling the #GortMiniGreenway for #BikeWeek2021 . It’s a 9.2 km loop starting from the Gort Railway Station, via Glenbrack ( which I renamed the #GortMiniGreenway) into Coole Park and then return over the motorway bridge onto the main road, back into Gort.
If you like cycling for fun ( and love eating cake), join my Facebook Group Gort Cycle Trails
Using EventBrite to set up an event for #BikeWeek2021
I messaged a few people with the registration link, put it onto Twitter and very quickly I had 26 reservations. Towards the end, there were a few cancellations that were very quickly snapped up by others that were interested to join the Cycle. The one headache/concern I had was insurance for such an event. I recently joined Cyclist.ie which put me in contact with many more rural cycling initiatives, and the added perk of insurance… so that part was covered. Definitely recommend using EventBrite so you know who has committed to coming.
RSA & Galway Sports Partnership goodies and Drink Bottles
Thanks to the very efficient team at both RSA and Galway Sports Partnership they turned around my order super fast and I received a number of drawstring bags, high viz backpack covers, safety straps, facemasks. All ready for cycling the #GortMiniGreenway !
I separately ordered Drink Bottles via Printon Galway. I highly recommend them as they got my order printed in time!
I’d love to see pictures in my Facebook Group of people using the #GortCyCleTrails bottles – please post them in the group!
Additionally, I also got Wheely Lights for the kids! Did anyone succeed to actually install them? (Click on the image to order)
Hot Drinks and Bailey’s Chocolate Cake at Coole Park TeaRooms
Part of the funding I received from Galway Sports partnership for cycling the #GortMiniGreenway was for the participants to get treated to hot drinks and cake from the Coole Park Tea Rooms… I pre-ordered for almost 40 people so there was no congestion — it all worked out perfectly. Big thank you to the Coole Park Tea Rooms for having it all perfectly organized and ready .
I decided I wanted to invite people to come to Gort by rail and pay for their Return Trip. I had added this as part of the funding, and 5 people came from Galway and 5 people came from Ennis! Check out the video I took as the Ennis Group arrived at the Gort Railway Station.
As I was booking the tickets, I realized there were very limited spaces available to book Rail Tickets with bikes. Turns out that there is a maximum of 2 bikes that can be booked in on the train that comes from Limerick or Galway. Luckily they were all let on, but it does make me wonder if more people would use the train to get into Galway/Gort and bring a bike, if they can’t actually book their bike online, they may not choose that way to travel.
Setting up an event requires you to ensure the participants are as safe as they can be, so I did a short safety talk, recorded by Lilya, who has been promoted to the chief photographer for Gort Cycle Trails.
Check out the safety talk here before we headed off cycling the #GortMiniGreenway
Thanks to my husband who drove the front car, and Karen O’Neill for driving the back car. Couldn’t have done it without your help!
I am currently taking a Cycle Right course by Cycling Ireland to become a Qualified Safe Cycle Instructor and it’s thanks to this course I was able to talk about some basics, such as when and how to break, what to look for etc. There is more to cycling than meets the eye.
Setting up an event also requires you to do a risk analysis, so I cycled the route again to remind myself where there are risks, and there are quite a few. I contacted the Local Garda Station who were extremely helpful and provided us with our very own escort from the Gort Railway Station to just past the Roundabout.
Once we left Coole Park on our return journey, I rang the Garda to stop traffic so we could safely cross the main road back into Gort. Looking back this really made the cycle very enjoyable, the look of surprise on people’s faces as they saw a sea of people cycle on the streets of Gort was priceless.
I had a dream
I think it was when we were campaigning for #RedRoute5 I had this vision /dream of seeing a sea of people cycle in Gort. I hadn’t really given it much thought until I looked back on our way to the roundabout and saw…. A sea of people..
Also looking back as we were cycling the #GortMiniGreenway, I saw a sea of people cycling and smiling
Call me sensitive, but I cried….. A dream came through when I least expected it.
Videos taking during the Event.
One of my favourite clips is this one where Amelia – 5 years old, heads up the whole group and we are just turning into the #GortMiniGreenway — the weather was on our side at that point:)
Here is a longer clip I created from the footage I took on my phone.
Thanks also to Joe( Amelia’s dad) for taking this footage on his rear-facing camera whilst cycling the #GortMiniGreenway
Go Pro Footage from Gort to Coole Park cycling the #GortMiniGreenway
Well, I have been talking about the Woodford to Flagmount cycle quite a bit now, it’s 25 km one way, but it is not the easiest of cycles( read = hills). If you are interested to join this cycle, just fill in this form (if you haven’t already ) and I’ll be in touch when we will do this one ( very likely next year)
Another cycle on my radar is the newly opened Limerick Greenway. It’s 45 kms but it’s flat – so that’s the one I’d like to cycle first.. As it’s a Greenway, there is no need for Garda etc, making it quite a bit easier to organize it. All you need to bring is a bike ( or rent one) and bring good humour. I haven’t planned it yet. Register if you are interested to join this one – I do hope to get this done before the end of the year, the sooner the better… just need a semi-dry day for it:)
Come say hello in the FaceBook Group or contact me here.
Thanks all for coming & Thanks for sharing!
#GortCycleTrails #SafeCycleTrails #BurrenLowlands