What an amazing weekend!! Bikes, music, art, food, dancing, theatre, pizza, beer, sun and a great community involvement!
Leitrim Cycling Festival was held in Manorhamilton and Dromahair in North County Leitrim, in the North West of Ireland, on the weekend of June 22nd – 24th.
On the Friday night, at the candle lit cafe-styled Glens Theatre, Manorhamilton, we had guests speakers Mary Russell and William Bennett inspiring us with their tales of cycle and travel adventure. Mary talked about her experience travelling through pre war Syria and William about his three year round the world trip by bike. Afterwards, a few hit the pubs sharing their own cycling adventures while others headed for their tents pitched near the local GAA pitch in Manorhamilton town.
On the Saturday we started the day with a morning loop through boreens over the rolling hills that surround Manorhamilton, returning for coffee at the Castle Cafe where we were based for the day. Throughout the day we had a variety of workshops and activities celebrating the bike. We had art workshops, screen-printing, a cycle fun-fair constructed by artist Paddy Bloomer, music by The Knotted Chords, Kid’s Cycling Picnic, a heritage walk and lots more.
Late on Saturday afternoon we had a mini cycle tour from Manorhamilton passing farmland, lakes and forests and eventually arriving to our campsite on the edge of the village of Dromahair where we joined in the festivities of the annual Dancing & Trad music at the Five Crossroads and bonfire.
The following morning we woke up to the smell of a giant BBQ breakfast been prepared on the campsite for all who camped over night. A breakfast fit to fuel a bunch of hungry cycle tourers for the day! After breakfast we had the Great Greenway Cycling Circus Carnival! A parade of fancy dressed cyclists and beautifully decorated bikes wheeling up the Dromahair greenway to the sound of The Old Market Street Swing Band. We finished up on the Sunday by launching a trishaw, designed and delivered by ‘Cycling Without Age‘, that will help elderly members of the community enjoy the village’s Greenway.
The weekend was a huge success highlighting a community spirit that’s very prevalent in this corner of Ireland. Using the bike to bring young and old together we wanted to normalise the bike, to encourage discovery, sustainability and to reincorporate it back into every day life.
For one sunny weekend in June the bike was king!
Long live the King!