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The Giro d'Italia Big Start Approaches!

07th, May 2014

As the 2014 Giro d’Italia Big Start approaches we look at Cycling in Northern Ireland and why safety should come first when you decide to take you and your family out on the road.

As the 2014 Giro d’Italia Big Start approaches we look at Cycling in Northern Ireland and why safety should come first when you decide to take you and your family out on the road.


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Cycling is a great way to get exercise and better for the environment. Depending on how vigorous your cycle outing is, you could burn anywhere from 200- 1100 calories over an hour.

However, safety should always be your first priority before you take your bike on the road. Statistics show that Cyclists account for 1% of Northern Ireland traffic accidents but account for 7% of people killed or seriously injured on our roads. (Sources: PSNI recorded Injury Road Traffic Collision Statistics 2012, DRD NI Travel Survey 2010-2012)

Despite these figures, cycling is more popular now that it ever has been and the welcoming of the Giro d’Italia Big Start marks a prestigious first for Northern Ireland’s cycling history moving forward.

At Kingsbridge Private Hospital Belfast, we know cycling can result in the odd minor injury which is why we have a dedicated Private Casualty and Sports Clinic to help treat cuts, breaks, bruises, sprains and lots more.


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Our top cycling safety tips to ensure you have a safe journey:

  • Stop at red lights. It's safer and could save you a fine.
  • Stay central on narrow roads. Try to ride away from the gutter. If the road is too narrow for vehicles to pass you safely, it might be safer to ride towards the middle of the lane to prevent dangerous overtaking by other vehicles.
  • Stay away from parked cars. Ideally, keep a door's width away in case the door opens suddenly. Also, try to ride in a straight line past parked cars rather than dodging between them
  • Stay back from HGVs, lorries and other large vehicles might not be able to see you clearly, so stay well back behind them.
  • Always pay attention. Stay focused on what's going on around you so you can see what other road users might do.
  • Make eye contact. Try to make eye contact with drivers so you're sure that they have seen you.
  • Don't cycle on the pavement or up a one-way street (unless clearly marked for cyclists)
  • Wear bright clothes. Stay safe by wearing bright clothes during the day and reflective clothing/accessories at night.
  • Night lights. Use lights after dark - white at the front and red at the rear. You may be fined if you don't have them.
  • Signal. Use appropriate hand signals to indicate that you're turning left or right.
  • No phones or devices. Don't use a mobile phone or earphones.
  • Helmet. Consider wearing a helmet.

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Lisa Neligan, GP at Kingsbridge Private Hospital Belfast said “Cycling is a great sport and a great way to keep healthy. Cycling is something that all the family can get involved in and in Northern Ireland we’re lucky to have some beautiful cycle routes.” 

“It’s important, like in any sport that you don’t over-do things when you start out. If you are cycling on the roads, it’s important to also put your safety first, especially if you are cycling in congested areas. The Giro competitors have a big challenge ahead of them and Kingsbridge Private Hospital will be with the team as Official Medical Partner every step of the way as they travel through Ireland. Our dedicated Doctors will be on hand to help any of the competitors who need medical attention.”

The National Sports Clinic at Kingsbridge Private Hospital offers treatment for a wide range of sporting injuries with access to Sports Medicine Professionals to ensure you have the very best in sports care. To find out more about the clinic visit www.thenationalsportsclinic.com


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Did you know?


  • The number of Belfast cycle commuters increased by 60%* in the last decade (*in top UK towns/cities) – In the same period, cycle commuting in the rest of NI dropped by 12%.
  • Females cycling to work in Belfast are outnumbered 5 to 1 by males cycling to work (Source: Northern Ireland Census 2001)
  • Cycling is a transport tool in a modern city – 44% of Belfast households have no access to a car (Source: DRD NI Travel Survey 2010-2012)
  • Over 60% of Northern Ireland households don’t own bicycles. Just ¼ own more than one. (Source: DRD NI Travel Survey 2010-2012
  • Every year the average person in Northern Ireland makes 5 Journeys by train but 7 journeys by bike. (Source: Department for Regional Development, DRD NI Travel Survey 2010-2012
  • A decade ago the average Belfast resident cycled 12 miles in a year. They now cycle 55 miles a year. (Source: DRD NI Travel Survey 2010-2012vs 20101-2003)

Schedule:


Giro Entourage Arrivals
Thursday 8th May – Sunday 11th May

Giro d'Italia Opening Event - Come Meet the Riders!
Thursday 8 May, grounds of Belfast City Hall
This will be a great opportunity to see the teams up close and enjoy the party atmosphere. This event is free to attend but will be ticketed access. Tickets will be released to the public on a first-come, first-served basis at 9am, Thursday 24 April via the Belfast Welcome Centre. See here for details.

Day 1 Belfast-Belfast: Friday 9 May 
Start – Titanic Quarter
Finish – Belfast City Hall

Day 2 Belfast-Belfast: Saturday 10 May 
This 218km leg of the race starts in Belfast and goes to Antrim, Ballymena, Bushmills, taking in the Causeway Coastal Route from Cushendall to Larne onto Whitehead and Carrickfergus before returning to Belfast.
Start – Titanic Quarter
Finish – Belfast City Hall

Day 3 Armagh-Dublin: Sunday 11 May 
Start – The Mall, Armagh
Finish – Dublin City Centre

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