27 Sept 2022

Light up your Bike Santa Cycle returns to Laois this Christmas

Light up your Bike Santa Cycle returns to Laois this Christmas

The second annual Light up your Bike Santa Cycle returns to Portlaoise this Christmas.

The second annual Light up your Bike Santa Cycle returns to Portlaoise this Christmas.

The Barbacks annual Light up your Bike Santa Cycle is back bigger this year, giving some much needed festive cheer to Laois and support to two local charities.

The event is organised by a group of local men and this year they are splitting the funds raised equally between Down Sydrome Centre Midlands and the Cuisle cancer support centre in Portlaoise.

The event is on Saturday, December 12, from 5.30pm leaving Joe Mallon Motors in Portlaoise. It is a gentle 14km cycle with everyone dressed in a Santa suit, and Santa himself in a trailer waving to everyone.

Cyclists are encouraged to add as many lights -including Christmas fairy lights - to themselves and their bikes as possible. 

"Go crazy with the amount of lights, the more the better," says Jason O’Neill, one of the organisers.

The organisers are the Barbacks, a group of friends mostly living in Portlaoise and working in the Defence Forces or in local garages. They include Jason, Tom Reddy, Jason Tynan and David Murray.

"We are all only too aware of the difficulties every charity in the country have had in raising much needed funds, so we appreciate every cent donated," Jason said.

"We are looking forward to getting out and bringing a bit of joy to the sad year it has been," he said.

Assembly is at Joe Mallon Motors, Abbeyleix road, Portlaoise from 4pm to depart at 5:30pm, returning at about 7pm. 

Registration is open today November 4, and the first 100 entrants will get a free Santa suit (adult sized only). 

This event is for people 12 years and above, however small children can take part if in a bike trailer pulled by an adult. Anyone under 18 needs signed parental permission and must be accompanied by an adult. All participants must adhere to the rules of the road, helmets, front and rear bike light. Everyone must also adhere to all Covid-19 social distancing regulations. 

Tickets are €22.20 with discounts for groups and an option to just give a smaller donation instead of doing the cycle. 

Due to Covid there will be an online raffle only with the first prize from PicMonkey.

In the event of a repeated lockdown people outside the 5km can participate virtually by doing the cycle on the same day in their local area and forward on pics to post on The Barbacks facebook page.

Registration will be a click and collect system using eventbrite

Buy tickets for the Light up Your Bike Santa Cycle here. 

Last year the Santa cycle raised €1,388 each for Down Syndrome Centre Midlands and the Teac Thom suicide charity.

See photos below. 

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