Cycling was truly celebrated in South Tipperary during Bike Week 2012 which ran from Saturday 16th to Sunday 24th of June. On Monday evening the 18th June, Carrick Wheelers kicked off activities with the final of their Annual Cycle League, with over 50 competitors. Luke Dunne took the honours in the single lap event while newcomer James Nugent won the 3 lap event.
The sun came out on Tuesday evening for the 5km Family Cycle held by Clonmel Cycling Club in partnership with South Tipperary County Council and South Tipperary Sports Partnership. Chairman of South Tipperary County Council Michael Fitzgerald launched the event for over 60 participants who rode through the streets of Clonmel with the assistance of Clonmel Gardai. Valerie Connolly, South Tipperary Partnership commented, ‘This was a wonderful event with participants as young as 3 years of age on their bikes and it was fantastic to see families out cycling together”.
Over the last number of months a cycling programme which was offered to all national schools in the county and partially funded by South Tipperary County Council, South Tipperary Sports Partnership, the Road Safety Authority and more recently the Department of Transport (in association with Bike Week). As part of this programme, Liam Collins from Safer Cycling and his crew visited 29 national schools and provided cycle training to over 1,000 children between the ages of 9-12 since last September. On Friday, 22nd June, a Bike Skills Day was facilitated to celebrate Bike Week and the Safer Cycle Programme in the Dr. Pat O’Callaghan Complex, Clonmel. Towards the end of the event, Declan Byrne of Clonmel Cycling Club arrived with five of Ireland’s top cyclists who competed in the National Championships including the 2012 National Champion Matt Brammier rode in on their bikes to meet the participants. Carol Creighton Road Safety Section of the County Council said ‘it was fantastic to see top cyclists such as Matt Brammier, Ronan O’Loughlin, Sean Downey, Adam Armstrong and Steven Halpin join us and meet the kids, it made their day’
Maureen Purcell from STAG and her staff assisted the pupils to complete a mural which was displayed over the weekend of the National Cycling Championships. . Congratulations to Killurney NS who were judged to have the best ‘National Cycling Championship’ project.
In addition to the skills tests by Liam and his crew, there was a bicycle related treasure hunt, facepainting, Road Safety information by an Gardai Siochana and safety playing cards provided by Mark O’Reilly and Brendan Martin who previously won the National Entrepreneur Award.
A special thank you to the following
All national school teachers and pupils who travelled to the event and made it such a huge success, Safer Cycling Team - Liam Collins and his crew, South Tipperary County Council Road Safety Team, South Tipperary Sports Partnership, An Garda Siochana, the Civil Defence, Clonmel Cycling Club, Woodelo and STAG.
Schools who attended on the day included: Ballyneale NS; Gael Scoil Cluain Meala; Holy Trinity, Fethard; Kilsheelan NS; Killurney NS; Lisronagh NS; Mullinahone N.S; Presentation Primary NS, Clonmel; St. Mary’s NS, Irishtown and St. Olivers N.S, Clonmel.
The end of the week saw Clonmel Cycling Club host the 2012 National Championships from Thursday 20th to Sunday 24th. Bike Week in South Tipperary ended in style with Matt Brammier taking his third title in a row at the National Championships on Sunday 24th ahead of Nicolas Roche in second. A marvellous week for cycling in the county.