Volunteer Ride Leaders are the backbone of Community Bike Rides and without our wonderful Leaders, we simply would not be here today. Growing in size since the initiative’s inception in 2019, our community of Leaders is now almost 130 strong!
Since the turn of the year, we’ve been excited to welcome a cohort of new Ride Leaders from across the island into the community, some of which have already hit the ground running, while others are preparing for the imminent beginning of their Leader journey.
Martina Kerrane, based in County Tipperary, explained her process of becoming a Leader.
“I have been cycling for a number of years with a local cycling club and I was influenced by a cyclist with the group who is a (Community Bike Rides) Leader.”
Martina has been leading rides in Tipperary since February and has found tremendous joy already from the experience.
“I have found leading the group to be very rewarding. I find that the participants appreciate my efforts & I enjoy contributing the knowledge and love I have for cycling. I enjoy seeing how much the participants love the cycles. They really enjoy the interaction with one another. I love making out routes on small, quite back roads locally and the group love the back roads too!”
Further South, Leader Jack Thiel is also preparing to explore the back roads. California born, Jack now calls County Wexford home as he prepares to offer Group Rides from New Ross on a consistent basis.
“I’m at a place whereby I want to give back and at the same time, I think there are those who would like to cycle, but for whatever reason, are not” Jack explains.
“(I’m most looking forward to) drawing people back to cycling in my area. Getting people back on bicycles, helping them to gain more rewards from cycling and hopefully to get them to spread the word in our community.”
Jack will be leading his first Community Bike Ride, a short 17-kilometre spin into the Wexford countryside, on April 2nd. There are still a few places available if you would like to join Jack on his maiden voyage.
Also in the South-East, Eddie Cassidy is a long time Community Bike Rides Member who has recently completed his Ride Leader Training.
Eddie has been participating in Group Rides for well over two years under the guidance of Leaders Nick Sheridan and Georgina Gaul and is looking forward to taking the lead himself.
“I became a Community Bike Rides Leader because I enjoy leisure cycling so much. I love the carefreeness of exploring country roads and lanes around Wexford. I also enjoy sharing this experience with fellow cyclists. There is always so much to learn about our local area. Somebody always has a story about a place that is of interest or a piece of local history that is intriguing.”
“I would love to see people who have never cycled before or who have only cycled a little take to the roads and increase their cycling distance gradually over a period of time. I know there are people out there who are a little nervous of doing so but with the right encouragement, advice and guidance they will conquer their fears.”
“I would certainly advise other cyclists to become Leaders because the more Leaders we have the more people we can encourage to take up cycling. Everybody has different experiences and ideas and it is very important that we all share these ideas with other cyclists.”