Thinking about cycling, in Dublin

(Shameless bit of self-publicity, but ….) I’m off to Dublin in a couple of days, to deliver Dublin Cycling Campaign’s Annual Cycling Research Lecture. As part of my preparation, I’ve been reading about the current state of cycling in Ireland’s capital city; it looks as though there have been some interesting, and encouraging, developments there recently. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to ride around the city whilst I’m there, and aim to find time to reflect on the experiences when I’m back in the UK. Next week feels like the first week in months when I have no plans to travel beyond Lancaster (except, of course, by bike), and I can hardly wait. Among my plans are to blog about some of the things which I’ve been doing and thinking about recently …

If you want to find out more about cycling in Dublin, the Dublin Cycling Campaign is probably the best place to start. We’ll have to wait and see whether they want to thank me for going across the Irish Sea to talk to them, but sincere thanks from me to them, and especially Damien o’Tuama, for inviting me over there.

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2 Responses to “Thinking about cycling, in Dublin”

  1. John Says:

    You will be made very Welcome in Dublin, a lot of interest has Built up among the Cycling Community about this visit of yours to Dublin. A lot of Events are happening now because of our Forthcoming National Bike Week in June. One of these is the Danish Dreams on Wheels Exhibition in City Hall and a Cycle Chic Fashion Show Co Hosted by the Danish and Dutch Embassies and Mikael Colville Anderson of, cyclechic.com /copenhagenize.com will be there as well.

    Pre 1970 Ireland was a very pro Cycling Country with the preferred Mode of Transport being the Bicycle. But after that People started getting more Prosperous and the Bike was put aside in favour of the Car. Result the Roads became choked with Traffic. The more better and wider the Roads and Motorways that were introduced the more the situation just got worse with more Traffic. They each cancelled out each other. Still more People were using Cars than ever. The reason being was Houses started to get Dearer the closer you were to the City and People started moving out further to where it was Cheaper. The same thing was happening in practically every other Country in Europe and the US. Some People now have to Commute 40 Miles which leads to more Car use.

    Now things are going back to the way they where with more People using Public Transport and especially Bicycles because they cannot Afford a Car anymore because of the Recession. Also they want to improve their Health.There has been a lot of Support from the Government who want to stop our over Dependence of the Car because of Health Costs and Limiting our Carbon Footprint. However we still have the Car Lobby and some City Councillors who like Promoting Car use and Fight Tooth and Nail if any new Infrastructure is proposed. It is a bit like Britain same type of People unfortunately who just hate any improvements which Limit the dominance of Car use like Dedicated Cycle Lanes, Contra Flow use for Cyclists, removing Street Parking,the 30km/h Limit.

    If you get a chance to Cycle around Dublin beware of the Potholes in Pearse Street and Nassau Street caused by the Buses and in other Areas. You will notice that you can get Doored when on our inadequate Cycle Lanes and be careful at Junctions when Traffic tries to cut you off turning Corners. A lot like Britain’s Rubbish Cycle Lanes. Try and go Cycling around the Phoenix Park to the West of the Metropolitan Area of the City very nice and Relaxing. The off Road Cycle Path at Clontarf and Sutton along the Seafront is very nice.

    I will be going to the Lecture in Trinity, it should be a great Night. I hope you have a Pleasant Stay in Dublin and manage to see some of the Countryside like Wicklow while you are here, Good Luck.

    • Dave Horton Says:

      Thanks very much John, for your insights into the Irish situation, your advice on things to watch out for and places to go, and your good wishes for my trip and the talk – all very much appreciated! Some of the issues you raise are things which I will be mentioning in my talk on Thursday night, and I hope there’ll be some good and productive discussion around them; for example, and especially, how can those kinds of conditions which you describe, for cycling in Dublin, conditions which it seems fairly easy to label as ‘hostile’, how can they possibly produce a cycling culture?

      I really look forward to meeting you and others later in the week.

      Very best wishes

      Dave

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