No lycra or gears welcome for this old fashioned heritage cycle through south Laois

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

No lycra or gears welcome for this old fashioned heritage cycle through south Laois

Kathleen Bolger, 101, with High Nelly enthusiasts at the launch of the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally at Donaghmore Workhouse Museum.

If your idea of cycling is more of a gentle meander on a country lane than a high octane race, then Laois is offering the perfect two day event to celebrate its heritage.

The Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally on the last weekend of August 26 and 27, is a vintage cycle through South Laois and North Kilkenny, with not just vintage bikes but clothes encouraged for participants.

It is the third year of the cycle which is inspired by Offaly travel writer William Bulfin’s unique cycle around Ireland in 1902. Throughout the vintage cycle, participants will enjoy guided tours, storytelling, music and local folklore while visiting historical and heritage sites of interest in the area.

The entire event will be the subject of a heritage film, produced by the students of Portlaoise Institute, Creative Media Team.

"Park the racer, the mountain bike, the 24 gears, the carbon fibre, and mount a bicycle from another era...something steely & sturdy with a saddle to match...maybe even something with a little bit of rust peeping through," say the promoters, Legends Vintage Cycling Club.

"The wearing of suitable period costume is encouraged for the duration of the cycle, not to mention, the cameras. It’s about leaving the Lycra and dressing up for Ancient Ireland; sharing the joys of our heritage, music and storytelling in the company of overseas guests, and generally enjoying the Craic," they say.

Participants in the 70K event will enjoy an “Irish Bog Buffet”, participate in a re-enactment of life in an Irish Famine Workhouse, and engage with Austrian tourists to celebrate the Irish/Austrian heritage of Aghaboe Abbey.

The cycle is part of Heritage Week, supported by the Heritage Council. The €100 cost includes all food, accommodation in Donaghmore Workhouse, and a souvenir medal. Book online here. Book by post to Noel Mooney, Tinweir, Durrow, Co. Laois, or email enquiries to durrowdoings@gmail.com