Dozens of cyclists of all ages have been flocking to Limerick city centre to experience the spectacular street velodrome which has been erected as part of the Bike Week celebrations.
The velodrome, which is operated by UK company Cube Management, is one the main attractions on O'Connell Street which will remain closed to traffic between its William Street and Roches Street junctions until 4pm this Saturday.
"What we discovered during London 2012 (Olympic games) is that track cycliing and veledrome racing really appeal to the broader audience - the non-cycling audience. They just get in instantly, so what we did is we melted that down literally and we bring it to them and they can come and get a sense of the drama and the excitement of track racing," said Carl Thompson, director of Cube Management.
Today marks the first day of #bikeweek2019 There is so much activity lined up all around the country. Check it out here https://t.co/pg4o06r0jz. We are asking everyone this week to get on their bikes and play their part. Tell us about your journey this week #bikesforchange pic.twitter.com/85iMrjF2Ih— BikeWeek.ie (@bikeweekie) June 22, 2019
The street velodrome, which is in Limerick for the first time, will tour other parts of the country during Bike Week including Kilkenny, Dublin and Tipperary.
Families from across the region have travelled to Limerick to try out the velodrome at O'Connell Street since it opened at 11am this Saturday.
"It was brilliant, great fun. It's great to promote the cycling and to the outdoors. It's great for Limerick city centre we've - never had a velodrome before - it's a great idea," said Kieran Scullane from Ballina who raced his son Jack.
"I thought it was deadly - it was really with fast bends and I nearly crashed," said 23-year-old Jack Farrell from Carlow who is visiting Limerick for the weekend.
View this post on Instagram
A number of cycling and stunt demonstrations are being performed at the street velodrome while other events which are taking place at O'Connell Street include a free bike repair service, face painting and a garda road-safety event highlighting the blind spots of trucks.