3,000 Cyclists Complete the Great Dublin Bike Ride

13th September, 2015

Smithfield hosts the first cycling festival in Dublin


Dublin, 14th September, 2015: On Sunday, the Lord Mayor of Dublin was on hand in Smithfield, to officially start the inaugural Great Dublin Bike Ride. The first cycling event of its kind to happen in Dublin was an outstanding success with over 3,000 cyclists taking part including Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar TD, and the British Ambassador, Dominic Chilcott. Over 28 nationalities from around the world and 30 counties in Ireland were represented on the day with participants ranging from 17 -73 years old.


The Great Dublin Bike Ride was an initiative by the Irish Sports Council, who worked in conjunction with Cycling Ireland and Dublin City Council as well as the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Healthy Ireland, Fingal County Council and Meath County Council to make it happen.


From 8am onwards Dublin city came to a standstill as thousands of cyclists left Smithfield Square and poured onto Aaron Quay to tackle the two scenic routes (60km and 100km) specifically designed for the event. Along the route, cyclists took in the views of well-known landmarks such as Bull Island Bridge, Malahide Harbour, Portmarnock Coast, National Sports Council and Dublin Airport.


The Great Dublin Bike Ride is based on the successful sportif model used internationally, promoting cycling and mass participation. The Great Dublin Bike Ride worked hard with the Gardaí, Luas, Dublin Bus, Civil Defence and key city and county councils to ensure the success of the event.


Speaking about the event, An tArdmhéara, Críona Ní Dhálaigh said:  ‘I am delighted to have played an important role in the first ever Great Dublin Bike Ride. Cyclists, spectators and organisers will agree that this was a unique opportunity to showcase all that is fantastic about Dublin and its environs. Congratulations to everyone who took part and was involved in making this such a success. Comhgairdeachais le gach duine a gals paírt’.


Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, TD, said: ‘The Great Dublin Bike Ride, which was the highlight event in the European Week of Sport and Physical Activity was a great example of how to encourage more people to take part in sport and sporting events.  I was thrilled to meet so many people who used this event to start cycling and to set themselves new sporting challenges. It was also fantastic to see the community of Smithfield open its doors to the cycling world’.


The Great Dublin Bike Ride provides a cross departmental, cross government approach to mass participation and physical activity. Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, TD said:  ‘I firmly believe that we need to improve our health as individuals and as a nation. Greater physical activity helps people to lose weight, stay fit, and improves mental health as well. I am delighted that Health is working with Sport on this exciting new initiative to promote cycling’.
Chairman of the Irish Sports Council, Kieran Mulvey commented: ‘Cycling continues to dominate adult sporting participation and this is reflected in The Great Dublin Bike Ride. This high profile event has proved to be extremely popular and I have no doubt it will be a tremendous success again next year”

Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council, John Treacy, said: “We are extremely proud today to have brought such a successful event to cyclists and fans alike. Over the past few months we have been working tirelessly with Cycling Ireland and our partners into making today a huge success. It was great to see everyone enjoying the event and we are particularly proud to see our Bike for Life Groups who have been training hard all summer achieve their goals and cross the finish line’.