I went and bought myself a bike to get around Dublin on. I have to say, it’s definitely the best way to get around the city centre during the traffic.
A lot of people think I do it for the fitness. I really don’t, I run a bit to keep fit. The main thing is actually to get from A to B at a reasonable pace. I don’t really use a car much anymore, it’s mostly a waste of time in the city centre anyway.
It’s really been ten years since I cycled in Dublin. Cycling in traffic isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. There are a good few streets in the city which are quite pleasant to cycle on, but it takes a little while to figure out where they all are.
Also, the bus lanes do make a huge difference to the cycling experience.
When you find a nice street, Dublin seems like a town again, rather than the big city it has become in the last few years. You are close to the footpath and aware of everything that’s happening. Being in a car makes everything so remote.
There is a lot more to be done for cyclists (and pedestrians) though. It is becoming easier to be a cyclist, but it’s not really going to attract an awful lot of people until there is a safer way to cycle through central areas whilst avoiding the really heavy, crazy traffic. Also, there have to be more bike parking spaces allocated, and there has to be some sort of realistic action to reduce bike stealing, at least to keep the professionals out of the game.
If they can do this, it will have a big impact. If a few percent of current car journeys within the city were switched to bikes, it would make a big difference to the road congestion.