Free breakfast for Belfast cyclists

Published Friday, 20 June 2014
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Belfast cyclists commuting to work on Friday were offered a free breakfast at the City Hall café as part of Bike Week.

The Lord Mayor, Nichola Mallon, met hundreds of cyclists participating in one of the highlights of Bike Week which began last Saturday.

Breakfast was available between 7.30am to 9.30am for cyclists who registered on arrival at City Hall.

Participants could eat in the Bobbin cafe or, if they were short of time, had the option just grab a complimentary coffee from a van on the front lawn.

"We are encouraging everyone to get on their bikes and ride to work, college or the shops," said the Lord Mayor.

"Besides the treat at the end of the ride, it is an easy way to keep fit, reduce carbon emissions, and save money on petrol or bus fares," she added.

"With the thousands of people enthused by the Giro D'Italia we are hoping that even greater numbers than usual will take to two wheels for the day."

Belfast City Council is promoting the 'Bike to Work Breakfast' as a part of Active Belfast and in partnership with the Department for Regional Development.

Free advice from the PSNI on anti-theft and bike marking was also available at City Hall.

Speaking to UTV about Bike Week, Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said that, in light of recent accidents, safety remains of paramount concern.

"All efforts have to be continued to be made to make cycling safer and the overall infrastructure easier for people to travel in," he commented.

He said that cycling proficiency is "important" and added there are strong arguments to take it further than the school setting.

Mr Kennedy said his ambition was for Belfast to become the 'Copenhagen' of western Europe.

"It will take time to achieve that, it will be a cycling revolution that will take time," he added.

"I think it's important to stress that we have momentum, Giro d'Italia helped that, but I think more generally people increasingly are using cycling as a sustainable mode of transport - [there is] 20% extra in terms of cycling in Belfast itself."

Gordon Clarke, director of Sustrans NI said that he would like to see every child in Northern Ireland trained in cycling proficiency.

"Ultimately, if they don't become a cyclist in later life, they're a car driver, and that training will have helped them significantly so it's an investment in both the appreciation of the driver and the cyclist so we're very supportive of that."

He stressed that more infrastructure and improvements to the "disjointed" network need addressed.

"Where there's good infrastructure, more people cycle and that's important but equally important is behavioural change - and that [means] working with drivers but also school children.

On Thursday night, the mayor also held an event honouring the volunteers who helped make sure the Giro d'Italia spun through Northern Ireland smoothly.

© UTV News
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6 Comments
jennifer in belfast wrote (155 days ago):
thats discrimination against people who dont have a bicycle!
Davymac in fermanagh wrote (155 days ago):
1. Are climate does NOT allow regular cycling with comfort. 2. Arriving at work, sweating from cycling, requires a shower, change of clothes and TIME to do all that. 3. All to do again on the return home, through the rain, cold and wind. THIS IS NOT HAWAII, THIS IS NOT THE CARIBBEAN, THIS IS NOT CALIFORNIA - IT'S NORTHERN IRELAND, THE MOST WESTERLY ISLAND IN EUROPE, SLAP BANG IN THE ATLANTIC..
City cyclist in Belfast wrote (155 days ago):
Great event and its great to cycle in Belfast and the improving cycle lanes is making even better.
Anon in Belfast wrote (155 days ago):
Thats all well and good, free breakfast at City Hall Cafe, but was it free, who really paid the bill, bet it wasn't the council. Tax payers get hit for silly bills like that all the time, and we all get told "It's for free" half of those cyclists most likely took time out of work to do that, just to get on tv, whoopee, ya gonna loose money for time off and your tax will pay for your "FREE" breakfast. I am a cyclist, but I do not endanger my life cycling around belfast.
roadrunner in top of the mountains wrote (155 days ago):
that's very well if you live in and around belshaft with cycle lanes, try cycling from 18 or 25 miles to work on country roads, waken up and smell the coffee and talk a bit of sense.
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