Bike Week took place last week, from June 10-18 and Offaly hosted a range of events from school day cycles to lunchtime cycles.
Local cycling clubs also hosted a range of events in Birr, Ferbane and Tullamore. As a follow p to Bike Week, Offaly Sports Partnership has profiled a number of family friendly cycling venues in Offaly and its environs; so why not strap on the bikes, strap in the kids, pack the helmets, and sample one of these venues?
1. Lough Boora Parklands
For those that have not visited Lough Boora Discovery Park, it’s well worth the trip. Offering miles of safe cycling on marked trails in a unique environment, there are a number of routes available:
- 5km Sculpture Park trail around the outskirts of the sculpture park
- 6km Farmlands trail
- 9.3km Mesolithic trail
- 15.8km Turraun trail
Each trail explores a different habitat within the park and provides plenty of opportunities to catch a glimpse of the grey partridge, corncrake or any other number of birds, animals, flora and fauna of the park. Families can bring their own bikes, or rent them from Lough Boora Bike Rental which can be found beside the cafe in the park. Route maps and more information can be found by visiting www.loughboora.com.
2. Bike Park Ireland at Fairymount Farm, Ballingarry, Roscrea
Looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush, then Bike Park Ireland is for you! With six mountain bike trails, an uplift service on certain days, a 2km enduro climb, and the largest pump / bmx track in the country; Bike Park Ireland is suitable for those aged six years plus. Bike hire (eight years plus) and safety equipment is available on site. Route maps and more information can be found by visiting www.bikeparkireland.ie.
3. the new Grand Canal Greenway
The Grand Canal Greenway is a purpose built off-road shared pedestrian and cycle way trail, along the Grand Canal. Currently being developed; tarmacked for the first 3.5k, and generally flat with a smooth surface and some gentle slopes, this trail is ideal for family groups of all ages, and all types of bikes.
4. Mount Lucas Wind Farm
It’s not just wind energy that’s being produced at Mount Lucas Wind Farm; Bord na Móna Powergen has completed the development of a 7km walk / cycleway around the farm. This colour coded route is proving a big hit with fitness and biodiversity enthusiasts because as well as providing pathways for walkers, runners, joggers and cyclists, the site also allows people to view first hand a cutaway bog and its re-vegetation. With approximately 500 people using the facility a week; and car parks at the northern and eastern ends of the site, the park is going strength to strength. For more information on Mount Lucas Wind Farm as a cycling destination, check out www.bordnamona.ie/corporate-responsibility/amenities/mount- lucas/
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