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Street velodrome a highlight of 10-day cycling festival across borough

Fans of pedal power will be in a spin as Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council gears up for the NI Festival of Cycling, which offers a packed programme of cycling events and activities for all ages from June 9 to 19.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Darryn Causby, recently swapped his chain of office for a different type of chain to launch the festival.

“I’m delighted the Council are fully involved with the Northern Ireland Festival of Cycling. Cycling is a great way for all the family to keep fit and have fun in the great outdoors whilst enjoying our stunning local landscape,” he said. “I encourage everybody, from yellow jersey veterans to baby bikers, to get in the saddle and get involved.”

Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Cllr Darryn Causby Launch of Northern Ireland Festival of Cycling Pleasure Gardens Portadown 13/05/2016 CREDIT: LiamMcArdle.com

Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Cllr Darryn Causby
Launch of Northern Ireland Festival of Cycling
Pleasure Gardens Portadown
CREDIT: LiamMcArdle.com

One of the main highlights of the festival is the arrival of the Street Velodrome track to Solitude Park, Banbridge on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 June. Street Velodrome is an exhilarating high speed pop up course which offers cycling enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the thrill of competitive racing.

Schools and clubs will take to the track on Friday and on Saturday the public will be able to pop along and get to grips with the gears. Saturday will also offer up a fantastic bicycle themed family fun day.

Loughgall Country Park will be wheeling out a series of fabulous Family Cycle events on Wednesday 8 & 15 June from 6pm-7pm and again from 7pm-8pm. A limited number of adult cycles will be available but little ones should bring their own bikes.

Craigavon Watersports Centre will be staying on dry land for a Family Fun Cycle on Thursday 9 and 16 June from 6.30 – 8pm suitable for 7 years and over. To keep you on the right track they will also be hosting a Cycling Safety Workshop on Tuesday 14 June from 6 – 7.30pm.

First there was Giro d’Italia, then Gran Fondo now it’s the turn of Gran Piccolo and the first ever ABC Sportive!

On Saturday 18 June the Gran Piccolo, a family friendly led ride, makes its way around the lakes and pathways of Craigavon City Park offering a choice of 5km, 10km or for the very energetic, a 15km course. The day also dishes up a tasty BBQ, fun activities and free prize draw.

The festival reaches the finishing line with a marathon sprint as the ABC Sportive covers the entire council area with a long distance challenge for the seasoned cyclist who can choose from a testing 60km or mammoth100km route whilst enjoying the beautiful countryside the borough has to offer.

Advance booking is essential for all activities with the exception of the Street Velodrome on Saturday 11 June which is a turn up and try event. Further details of all events including booking information can be found at www.craigavonactivity.org or by emailing caroline.mccann@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk

Picture: Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Darryn Causby saddles up for the NI Festival of Cycling.

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