Belfast Telegraph

Vintage kicks into gear with Belfast’s first ‘velo jaunt’

by Natalie Gorman

A cavalcade of old-time bicycles and similar fashioned cyclists brightened up the North Belfast shoreline last weekend with the inaugural ‘The Olde Belfast Velo Jaunt.’

Last Sunday, July 31, over 60 cyclists, took part in the 14 mile round trip that took in Clarendon Dock, Duncrue, the harbour and the shoreline of Belfast Lough, to reach Hazelbank Park in Whiteabbey — where they all disembarked to enjoy a collective picnic.

Ryan said: “Whilst the idea for this kind of event is far from original, nor indeed mine to claim, it does appear to have been unique to Belfast and people genuinely seemed to enjoy it.

“It all grew from a conversation I had with my fiancée Kathy that we were not able to make this year’s Tweed Run in London, and how it would be great to see an event such as that here in Belfast.

“We organised it and put the word out through social media, facebook really, and it worked really well — I didn't do a complete head count but I’d safely estimate 60-70 people made it. The event was free, you just had to bring a bike, but it was great that so many people dressed up in vintage style. Although this was not compulsory of course, it was great so many made the effort and it really added to the event.

“Because it was our first one we decided for a soft opening and didn’t contact any media agencies. Safety came first and we wanted to do a dry run so to speak, to iron out any problems there may be — everything went fantastically well though so we definitely would like to do another — perhaps make it bigger and better.

“This journey fully utilised a section of National Cycle route 93 and therefore participants did not have to mount their bikes on the road. The entire journey was on purpose built cycle path and shared use cycle path. I have been absolutely overjoyed with the response that the event has had.

“I had a lot of help with the organisation, planning and execution of the event from some very good friends. People have been really nice about the event, and many people took the event to their hearts and helped me by passing on details of it to friends and family which really helped.”

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