One of Belfast’s biggest successes – the Coca Cola Zero Belfast Bikes – celebrated its first birthday this week.
The City Hall was transformed with circus acts from Premiere Circus on vintage bikes, delicious Belfast themed cake, music and live entertainment.
Meanwhile, the 33 docking stations throughout the city celebrating by giving away Coke Zero goodies.
Prizes and giveaways as well as free cycling advice helped celebrate the initiative, which was launched on April 27 last year.
Since then more than 191,000 journeys have been undertaken, covering a staggering total of 174,000 km. The scheme has some 3,500 annual members.
Belfast Bikes have been gaining in popularity since its launch, with people relieved to find an alternative to their typical morning routines of sitting miserably in traffic.
Indeed, it seems the people of Belfast have adapted quickly to the new offering, relishing the opportunity of getting exercise on the go rather than paying ever-rising costs of public transport.
People aren’t just relying on them for their daily commute to work either, as young professionals are favouring the ease of jumping on a bike to get to a meeting quickly – rather than the hassle of a taxi with the meter running in the (far too often) traffic standstill of the city centre.
And for any high heel devotees, Sarah Fox of MCE Public Relations, uses them often – often in her highest stylish stilettos…
“I signed up to the Belfast Bike scheme last year, just before it arrived in the city. They are so handy for me – I work in the city centre and if I have a meeting anywhere in the city, I would just jump on a Belfast bike and go.It is super handy and much quicker than walking.
“Plus I feel like I’m getting a bit of exercise in the fresh air which is nice. I tend to just cycle about in my work clothes, heels included! It’s easy to cycle in heels and even skirts, though I do get some funny looks occasionally!”