Belfast Telegraph

Pedal power holds key to a summer of action

Cycling enthusiasts have been finding out how they can get involved in Two Wheels: Two Weeks of cycling activity, with DRD Travelwise NI.

The workshop at Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey Borough Council's civic headquarters, last week, was the first in a series of three organised by Travelwise NI to encourage partners and potential event organisers to plan for regional cycling events across the province.

Andy Bready, of Travelwise NI, said: “This is an ideal opportunity for us to provide an update on plans for Two Wheels Two Weeks 2011 and to help others explore opportunities for holding their own cycling events.

“We are encouraging local authorities and event organisers to help make this initiative a success. Cycling offers so many benefits — including health, financial and environmental benefits. Two Wheels: Two Weeks offers an ideal platform to celebrate those benefits and to get as many people as possible involved in cycling.”

At the Newtownabbey Workshop, Travelwise NI representatives shared creative ideas, practical tips and advice on the organisation, marketing and promotion of events.

Wendy Brolly, of Newtownabbey council, also made a presentation at the event, sharing the Newtownabbey experience of Bike Week 2010 when they held a successful event with local schools.

Alderman Tommy Kirkham, Deputy Mayor of Newtownabbey, said: “It is important to allow plenty of time for planning events so it is useful to have this workshop a few months ahead of Two Wheels:Two Weeks. Creativity is a key part of a successful event and the ideas shared here today are sure to help in deciding what will work best in attracting participants.

“Here at Newtownabbey Borough Council we are keen to support sustainable travel and find that initiatives like these really help to focus our efforts and to engage all our citizens in a worthwhile campaign. We look forward to welcoming more participants than ever in 2011.”

This year Two Wheels:Two Weeks will run from June 18-26. Last year was the first year Travelwise extended Bike Week into Two Wheels:Two Weeks of cycling activity, with the numbers of people getting involved reaching a record high.

Those interested in organising cycling events should contact Travelwise NI at travelwiseni@drdni.gov.uk or at 0845 378 0908.

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