Kilkenny BikeFest, 13th and 14th of May

Garda Andy Neil and Ride Leader, Charlie Parsons discuss the logistics prior to the Slow Roll as part of Bike Fest 2022

BikeFest returns this year bigger than ever before on the 13th & 14th of May 2023. Growing to a multi-discipline festival, there are more things to experience; test bikes, leisure cycles, sustainability talks, films, food, music and so much more! Cycling Ireland and Kilkenny County Council have teamed up for this free, fun-fuelled programme of events and activities, for the passionate and casual pedlars of all abilities with the Sunday festival supplying activities that the whole family can enjoy together.

Saturday 13th kicks off with “leisure rides” exploring the Kilkenny countryside, departing from the main gates of Kilkenny Castle at 9.15am with our local cycle club, Marble City Cyclers and at 10am with Charlie Parsons, our local community bike ride leader (age group: 18+). That night, we have “Cycling the Change” in Billy Byrne’s. Mary Reynolds, a gold medal winner at Chelsea Flower Show and founder of the global movement: We Are The ARK will talk on her experiences of rewilding and re-establishing biodiversity in gardens and public spaces. Ireland’s great travel writer, the late Dervla Murphy, will be celebrated with a screening of the documentary of her worldwide travels by bike (age group: 18+). A great night’s entertainment and free event.

On Sunday the 14th, starting at 12pm to 4pm, Kilkenny County Council County Hall will be transformed for Bikefest – Family Day, a celebration of cycling and sustainability for all the family. Arrive early for our Slow Roll, a fun, slow cycle through the city for all wheels, abilities and bikes, leaving County Hall at 12 noon. We would particularly love to see any upcycled, weird and wonderful bikes! For cyclists of all abilities, there are leisure rides, family cycles, balance bikes, learn to cycle, obstacle courses, mountain bikes and off-road zones. Workshops are planned for bike maintenance and the more technical build-a-bike workshops. Our well-being area offers free yoga sessions, drumming workshops, storytelling, sound journeys and workshops from our local food and craft producers. Kitty Scully, the renowned organic gardener, and Maura Brennan, founder of The Acorn Project, will join us for conversations on restoring biodiversity and organic growing. The weekend will be brought to a close with some lively tunes from our local traditional musicians! .”

An Cathaoirleach, Pat Fitzpatrick, a keen cyclist, is delighted to see Bike Fest return to County Hall. “This is a fun opportunity for everyone to try all types of cycling. Cycling is a great way to get around but it also brings a smile to people’s faces, young and old. The Active Travel investment programme will provide the infrastructure that’s needed to ensure everyone can enjoy cycling in safety.”

Bike Fest is just one of the events scheduled in Kilkenny for Bike Week. The full listing is available here. Bike Week is funded by the Department of Transport through the National Transport Authority.

The Slow Roll on route back to County Hall after a spin around the city during Bike Fest 2022
Next “Roots” – Gallery of Modern Art Waterford