All aboard... we had a ball at Bike Week dance event in Cork

Blending beats with bikes is a magical combo, so says Kathriona Devereux
All aboard... we had a ball at Bike Week dance event in Cork

Pupils from Beaumont Girls NS in Cork with Paul Staniforth from the Wobbly Circus, at the launch of Bike Week 2023, which runs to Sunday, May 21. See for more. Picture: Brian Lougheed

THE Bee Gees played the Mardyke, Abba was heard on Western Road, and Katrina and the Waves blasted We’re Walking On Sunshine in the actual sunshine on St Maries of the Isle on Saturday afternoon.

The flesh and blood musical acts, or avatars in the case of Abba, were beyond the budget of the organisers of the iBop bike event, but a portable sound system loaded into a cargo bike pumping out classic disco is all you need to bring a flavour of these great acts to the people of Cork.

iBop is a disco on bikes and the colourful flotilla of cyclists following the leader, Tom Hennessy, brought tunes and smiles to passers-by as they made their way around the city.

The family-friendly event was part of Bike Week and the start of an extravaganza of bike-friendly events to encourage everyone to hop on a bike. The weather gods were clearly pleased with the notion of promoting cycling and rewarded the iBop participants with a glorious day.

Dancing and cycling might sound like mutually exclusive activities, but you’d be surprised how much you can get your groove on on a saddle. For some reason, blending beats with bikes is a magical combo.

The UK DJ Dom Whiting has become an online, and in real life, sensation, playing drum and bass gigs on a bike with thousands and thousands of cyclists/revellers following him throughout major cities for two hour sets. He played Dublin last year in an epic cycling gig and we must work on getting him to Cork some time soon.

For a more sedate, but no less fun, disco on bikes, go along to a regular iBop event, which usually happens on the last Sunday of the month (assemble outside Grand Parade library at 2pm). The next iBop event, which is a Junior edition, is happening next Sunday May 21, at 11am on the Marina (meet at the coffee place Cortado).

There is something joyous in seeing kids cycling freely on roads devoid of cars, so if your kids are mad for road, this might be the Bike Week event for them.

Or maybe a free ice cream and cycling without musical accompaniment is more their style, in which case go along to Blackrock Castle car park next Saturday, May 20, at 11am for the ‘Down the Line with 99’ return trip cycle from Blackrock to Passage.

Coordinated by Cork Sports Partnership, Cork City Council and Cork County Council and supported by an army of volunteers, Bike Week is a wonderful opportunity to promote cycling to a wide cohort of society.

On Sunday, I went along to an event on the Grand Parade featuring inclusive bikes for people who want the freedom a bike offers but might not have the balance or physical ability to ride a two wheeler.

SportsAbility, as part of Cork Sports Partnership, offers taster sessions to people who want to try specialised or adapted bikes before investing. I was just curious to see what was on offer.

Handcycles powered by arms, adult tricycles, tandems with side by side seats and recumbent trikes with laid back seats which alleviates pain points including poor balance, fatigue, joint pain and more, were all on display.

It was wonderful to see so many different types of bike getting a spin in the safety of the Grand Parade.

If you have been considering cycling, but are cautious about getting back on the road, check out to find friendly and safe events that you can tag along with.

Maybe the free 99 ice cream might entice you!


I know we are supposed to wear sunscreen all year long, but this weekend marked the official start of the season of sunscreening your children from head to toe.

Whenever my kids complain about having to stand still for 75 seconds I say “Freeze! Do you want to end up old and wrinkly like your parents?” That usually stills them.

If the protests continue, I say: “Thank your lucky stars you don’t live in Spain where you’re zapped with a sunscreen gun.” Slight exaggeration.

My friend, who is a teacher in Spain, says children in her school walk around with large swipes of white on their faces and limbs, because who has time to carefully massage sunscreen into the back of the ears of 20 kid?

Most of the time, I’m pretty fastidious about sunscreen protection, covering every exposed inch in SPF50.

Well, dear reader, I’m sharing a cautionary tale with you this week so you can avoid my pain in the coming summer months.

Maybe I was dazed by the sun, or was experiencing the Irish phenomena of ‘sun panic’, where you have to do some gardening, go to the beach, wash your windows, have a barbecue, and enjoy all the summer outdoor pursuits in one day while the sun is shining in case, it doesn’t make an appearance for another few months.

For some inexplicable reason, I completely forgot to put sunscreen on my left shoulder blade. I slathered everywhere else and even reapplied a couple of times because of the blazing sunshine on Saturday, but, alas, I continued to leave my poor left shoulder blade unprotected.

My back is now a violently contrasting shade of puce red and bán white and a perfect, if misfortunate, display of the county colours for the upcoming Cork and Clare match.

I showed my kids the result of my sunscreen stupidity and they were suitably horrified. The upshot in the peeling skin, elevated cancer risk, unsightly shoulder episode, is that I now have another cautionary tale to exploit when they resist putting on sunscreen.

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