Belfast Interface Area Cycle Club
Church Club Cycle Maintenance Class

Bridging Communities

Two cycle clubs were developed at the Macrory and Fortwilliam Presbyterian Church sites in Belfast that bridge the Duncairn interface area.

Clubs were developed at the Macrory and Fortwilliam sites because more and more young people were observed to be riding bikes in both areas. There was also a well-documented need to address health inequalities, not only to tackle physical inactivity, but also the community stress associated with anti-social behaviour and community division.

The first time we had a mixed group at a club, (New Lodge and Tigers Bay kids), we had to decide where to do our cycle training. The New Lodge kid was happy to go to Tigers Bay, (because the Tigers Bay kid was afraid to go into the New Lodge), but the Tigers Bay kid was also concerned whether the New Lodge kid would be safe or not. The kids, who never before had met each other, bonded before the training had even started."

Richard Higginson, community worker

The opportunity came about through the Cycling UK cycling officer's work with Belfast City Council organising National Standard Instructor Training, cycle maintenance instruction and access to equipment.

A programme was developed to enable four participants from each side of the Duncairn interface to engage in a six-week course, training them in the National Standards, and encouraging ongoing cycling through a 'Cyclist of the Month' award based on odometer-readings.