A new Gaeltacht-based cycling project has been launched which aims to encourage people to participate in the sport, as well as develop gravel bike routes.
Gaeltacht.cc wants to provide a club for Gaeltacht-based cyclists and multisports athletes, and will work towards developing outdoor recreation infrastructure in Gaeltacht areas.
“Gaeltacht areas have a common denominator in language but are spread across seven counties mostly along the west coast,” said the man behind the project, Pádraic Quinn.
“We see huge value in bringing cyclists throughout the Gaeltacht together under a single club and brand, while respecting existing clubs that already thrive in individual Gaeltacht regions,” added the former pro cyclist and owner of the Velotec clothing brand.
The project has already begun to work with different stakeholders with the aim of creating a world-class gravel bike network in the Connemara Gaeltacht.
“We’ve begun to work with local community development organisations, social employment schemes and Údarás na Gaeltachta in coordinating an expansive new gravel bike network based on existing bog roads,” said Gaeltacht.cc’s Operations Manager, Jade Lydon.
“A great example is the work carried out by work schemes in Seanamhach in Casla, which we have identified as a central hub from which to expand.”
In keeping with its Gaeltacht identity, the club is being sponsored by TG4, Údarás na Gaeltachta and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, and is already involved in organising events, despite just being launched.
Having just confirmed that Gaeltacht.cc will host the Connacht Cyclocross Championships this December, the project has already been involved in a pan-Gaeltacht cycling project encouraging families and new cyclists to get out as part of Bike Week.
This past week saw Gaeltacht-based cyclists from Donegal to Cork participate in the virtual Rothaí Gaeltachta challenge, run in conjunction with Gaeltacht Language Planning Officers.
“The Rothaí Gaeltachta challenge speaks volumes to what we’re looking to achieve,” added Pádraic Quinn.
“It’s a way of getting young and old onto bikes, and to make a fun and healthy pastime accessible to all.”