In Charleville, I Want to Ride My Bicycle
I might be imagining it, but I am sure that on my arrival at CBS Charleville they were playing the song “Bicycle” by Queen. It would have been wonderfully cheesy if they had so they must write and tell me if they were!
Well, this project was something close to my heart, as I cycle most days into Dublin City Centre. Let me tell you—while the country roads (potholes aside) are quiet and during this current season quite pleasant, the experience of entering City Centre is like being in a video game.
The boys and incredibly supportive teachers of CBS Charleville seem to know this only too well. Their Green Mile initiative is an ongoing project with the wonderful vision of turning Charleville into a model of sustainable transport. They hope to see town (not just the students of CBS Charleville) go carbon neutral, and take on the bicycle as its mascot.
With a very tasty scone and a cup of coffee I was able to chat with the teachers, principal and most interestingly the local business sponsors of the project. These sponsors donated their time and products to the Green Mile project.
From the moment this group sat up to work on the project, they never sat down again. So much work and passion has gone into the Green Mile project, with lots of people getting involved from Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keefe, right down to the youngest members of the school.
They designed a comprehensive plan, raised awareness about cycling, contracted bike safety classes and convinced the local planning manager that safe cycle routes can and would help the local community.
Talking of the local community, what about them? The boys got out on the streets of Charleville to talk about traffic, CO2 emissions and—of course—cycling.
Nobody escaped their message. And whether they liked the idea or not, most people were happy to talk. Some even got on board, like the kind sponsor who provided t-shirts and Hi-Viz jackets.
A very different dream to the one I saw in Laurel Hill. But just like that one, it had a strong sustainable future with committed people and an idea that will benefit the whole community.