Bike Week 2023


Bike Week is a celebration of active travel, sustainable transport and simply the joys of cycling a bike!

In partnership with the National Transport Authority, this year Green-Schools will celebrate Bike Week from Saturday May 13th until Sunday 21st. National COW Day (Cycle on Wednesdays/Weekdays) will be held on Wednesday May 17th. 

Benefits of Cycling 

There are multiple environmental and health benefits to cycling to school, but most importantly, cycling is one of the most efficient and rewarding ways to get to school. Cycling, as a mode of travel, is on the increase with more people choosing to cycle for shorter journeys.  

The Green-Schools Travel programme aims to encourage more students to regularly cycle to school. To support this aim, these programmes focus on promoting the benefits of active travel, reducing the number of cars at the school gate and delivering cycling infrastructure to schools. 


We’ve compiled a list of resources for Bike Week 2023 to help you get the most out of the week. Don’t forget to keep an eye on our social media for updates too. 

Bike events will be taking place across Ireland and you can find out what activities are happening in your area by visiting the NTA’s dedicated Bike Week page. Green-Schools Travel Officers will also be hosting bike workshops, so please contact the Green-Schools Travel Team on or your local Green-Schools Travel Officer with any enquiries. 


For Bike Week 2023, we have two competitions to motivate and reward you!

COW (Cycle on Wednesday)

Green-Schools would like to invite all schools currently on Travel and Global Citizenship Travel to participate in Bike Week. Schools who have already been awarded the Travel flag are also welcome to participate in the initiative and are invited to enter the competition to see which school has the highest number of students cycling on National COW. 

Remember to keep a record of how many students cycled to school on National COW Day. Simply complete and submit the entry form to ensure that your numbers are included in the count and to be in with a chance of winning great bike prizes for your school. 

My Bike Journey

Do you cycle to school, or will you cycle during Bike Week 2023? How does cycling make you feel? What do you see, hear and smell on your journey?? Who do you meet along the way?  Do your friends join you on your cycle or is it a solitary adventure? 

For Bike Week this year we want you to create a map on the theme of “My Bike Journey”. This isn’t just a normal map however -it’s a sensory map! We want you to get creative and capture the things you hear, see, smell along on your bike ride and how it makes you feel! We have an example map created by one of our Travel Officers Ciaran to help inspire you. 

What is a sensory map? 

It’s a picture map of things you might hear when you go for a cycle near your school or house. Go for a cycle and when you are out listening to the sounds, try and remember where you heard them along your route. When you get back from the cycle you can create your map.  

It’s okay to distort distances on your map -Don’t worry about getting everything accurate! You can draw the sounds/icons first, then fill in the route afterwards. 

You don’t have to draw the exact object that is making the sound. For example, someone cutting the lawn could be a lion roaring! Our Travel Officer Ciaran has drawn the squeaky birds in the tree as an alien with a zap laser beam gun! Be creative.

Make sure to write down beside it what you have drawn: 

Squeaky birds that sound like….an alien with a zap laser beam gun! 

A gate that sounds like…. a flute.  

An old tractor that sounds like…. Potato, potato, potato. 

Tips to create your sensory map: 

  • Use symbols. Noisy swings could be up and down lines, birds singing in the trees could be musical notes, wavy lines could be a particularly windy bit, maybe there is a bumpy part on the path? Make sure to write beside your symbol what it is!  

  • You can include icons- or little pictures that represent a site. For example, you don’t need to draw the actual building – it could be anything!  A robot, a unicorn, a cup of hot chocolate, an ice cream whatever is fun and that reminds you of that specific site.  

  • Think of small scale too.  Stop and take a break and sit down on the grass perhaps. How does the grass feel.  What different things do you see and hear when you sit down? 

  • If you have more room, consider placing a title, compass, an inset map or a legend too! 

  • You could include: Great place to rest, park your bikes, play football, great view? 

  • Make it colourful. 

  • Use all 5 of your senses! 

We are looking for creative maps that capture the feelings of the bike journey, from students in all schools. Glacfar le hiontrálacha as Gaeilge.

The categories for entry are: 

  • Junior Primary (Junior Infants – 2nd Class)

  • Senior Primary (3rd Class – 6th Class) 

  • Secondary Schools students. 

 Here’s a template that might help younger students. For the other age categories unleash your creativity and design your own Sensory Map! 

Entries can be submitted online (scanned or photographed entries) to the email address:  or posted. Please note that we cannot return any entries posted to us. We are asking schools to submit max 10 entries per category and encouraging schools to hold in-class or in-school competitions to send their best 10 entries to us.  

The closing for entries is Friday May 19th, 2023. Posted entries should be sent to Green-Schools Bike Week Competition, An Taisce EEU, 5a Swifts Alley, Francis Street, Dublin 8, D08 TN88.

Please ensure that each entry has the following information on the overleaf of the map:

  • Name of student AND  Age/Class Group;

  • Name of School AND Contact email or number of coordinating teacher.  

  • For Secondary School students- additional email contact for post-term time

Don’t forget to share your photos and news with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by tagging @GreenSchoolsIre and @TFIupdates, using #BikeWeek. 

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