30 March 2010

The way of Health.

Last Week the Weather was very Mild for Saint Patrick's Weekend ,People were able to use Tee Shirts it was so Warm. Now this Week with the Change of the Clock's to Summertime it is back to the Winter with Sleet and Rain and the Weather gone very Cold.

I had an Electricity Bill to pay but did not want to leave the House it was so bad . So reluctantly I put on my Pull up Wet Weather Trousers and my Gore Tex Jacket and my Waterproof Avenir Bike Gloves and got out my Trek Bike intending to only go to the Post Office in the Supermarket as quick as I could then back Home. I paid the Bill and got outside and decided to go for a Spin around the Clontarf Coast inspite of the Rain. I ended up on Bull Island watching the Ships coming in. This is a favourite Walking and Cycling Area for Dubliners and the only really Decent Area for Cycling on the Coastal Cycleway from Clontarf Railway Bridge out to Sutton and then Howth.

Pics are The Wooden Bridge out to Bull Island Dollymount, My Bike on the Promonade, Stena Line Ferries leaving and arriving in Dublin Port,one Ferry bringing in Bikes for the Chain Halfords in a Container on the Stern.People walking on the Promonade. One Cyclist on the Cycleway at Sutton . Various Signs promoting Cycling and Walking with the Words in Gaelic Slí Na Sláinte The Way of Health. Pics of Saint Annes Parkland. I was actually glad I went for a spin on my Bike very Invigorating,I warmed up very quickly. It is truthfully the way of Health Cycling Slí Na Sláinte .

24 March 2010

Shared use Cycle Lanes,good or bad.

These shared use Cycle Lanes only really work well on the outskirts of the City where you will not find many People if at all walking on the Paths. Choosing rather to Travel by Motorcar or Bus in most circumstances and hardy ever by Bike. The closer you get to the City you will have increased levels of Pedestrians vying for the space on the Pathways.

My Pictures shows starting from the bottom up approaching the City of Dublin from about 4km then eventually about 2km. At Fairview Park you can find People often Walking on the Cycleway oblivious of Approaching Cyclists from behind in spite of the Bike Markings on the shared use Path. You will notice a Bus stop,when People are Queuing for a Bus that means less space for those walking by and also the Cyclists,often there can be a large amount of People waiting for a Bus which means they will be standing on the Cycle Path causing less Room.

This is a Major Commuting Route for Cyclists which means there can be very fast Cyclists Trundling their way into the City in the Morning coming up against Pedestrians walking on the Cycling area. So you tinkle your Bell if you have one ,then you have to raise your Voice but often they just do not hear or care . It is not really their fault but the bad infrastructure in place. You have a very wide Road,the obvious thing would be to narrow that Road and put in proper off Road Cycle Lanes. On this stretch of Road you have a further Hazard with that Pedestrian Bridge over the main Road. When you come to it you suddenly have to turn at a Sharp Right Angle to the left to avoid it to get back on the Cycle Path,it is even worse if you meet a Pedestrian walking on it and possibly with a Dog on a long Lead. It has happened to me a couple of times People with Dogs on long Trailing Leads. Some Cyclists actually go to the right of those Bridge Supports it can be safer to do this.

About a further 1 1/2km further on you come to the North Strand,further Hazards with another Bus stop. Then you come to a small crossing and go to the far side of Road where you attempt to go on the marked Cycle Lane and find that the Path is not Champered in line with the Cycle Path. If you continually use this route you will know about this but a Stranger using this Route for the first time could be thrown off their Bike if they Automatically believed the Champered Curb was in line with the Cycle Lane. There are instances of this all over Dublin and Ireland generally,it is just bad Infrastructure. These are the little things that do not cost much Money to fix and are so obvious to all but the Planners.

17 March 2010

Saint Patricks Day á la Velo Dublin

I took part in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade as part of the Dublin Cycling Campaign Group and there was another big Contingent from Wolf Cycles on Sundrive Road who dressed up in Old Fasioned Clothes and brought the Old Fashioned Bikes mainly Messenger Bikes and Butchers and Bakers Bikes .A lot of People took their Children and some of those who had Helmets on their Children took them off as they realised how safe it was,the rest did not have Helmets anyway on their Children. It was a great Day out,I went on my Dutch Bike all Pimped up for the ride and I am here with the Streamers unfortunately it was a bad Picture. On the Reviewing Stand can be seen Her Excellency The President of Ireland Mr's Mary Mac Aleese and Her Husband with a Young Boy,I dont know if it is their Child. These Pictures are reversed the bottom ones are where the Parade Assembled in Western Way in Phibsborough with the Top arriving in O'Connell Street and the very top two Ending in Clanbrassil Street.The Bicycle Group was at the End of the Parade. It was all stopping and starting and trying not to bump into each other and Ringing Bells and Horns. The last Picture is Jame's on his Bicycle at the bottom.

06 March 2010

At the Garden Shop in Dublin City.

On Friday I headed off into the City to my favourite Garden Shop Mr Midleton in Mary Street to have a look to see if they got any interesting Plants in for the coming Growing season. I had to pass through the North Strand area on my way. I got to the Hill where the former Strand Picture House was on the Nth Strand Road . There is an off Road Cycle Lane to get you away from the Buses and Traffic on the Hill. It is clearly Signposted but as usual it was blocked by Cars parking on it. I gave out to the Individuals in the Car but it did not Faze them in the slightest. I told them it was Illegal and they just said so what. If I reported it I would have to stay there for over an Hour and there is no Guarantee that any thing would come of it. The last time I reported something I was just left waiting and I had to go off after a few calls and calling down to the Police Station. I got a call two Weeks later telling me they had gone to the wrong spot .This was on the Coast at Clontarf. So you can understand why I did not bother. They did not bother to check it properly. Cycling is very low down on their Priorities.

I eventually ended up getting Compost and two Packets of Seed, Courgettes and Climbing Beans,and got some Fish for Dinner on the way Home in Marino.

05 March 2010

Trip to Howth 4th March 2010 Spring Day.

As it was such a fine Day yesterday I thought I would take a spin out to Howth Fishing Village about 10 KM or 7 Miles away.There was no Wind at all as I Cycled along the Cycleway at Sutton and it was great no effort at all.
Pics are 1 Girl on Her Bike at Sutton Cycleway.
2 Cars lined up for the School Run Saint Fintans School Sutton,hardly any of them walk or Cycle anymore but get Chauffered .
3 School Bus blocks the Cyclelane,as a Cyclist goes onto the Coastal Cyleway.
4 Cyclling Family presumably after picking up the Children from School heading to Howth.
5 Howth Lighthouse.
6 King George the 4ths Feet,he had these Cut in Granite after his Visit in 1830,why didnt he just scribble his Name on the Ground like everybody else does.
7& 8 Seals being Fed by the Tourists,Irish and Foreign they buy the Fish of the Fishmongers Shops nearby.Plenty of Tourists even in February,there was a Group of French Speaking Tourists in Howth that Day and others and there was a Coach nearby.
9 Roy Barker 2 RNLI Howth Lifeboat with the Station behind.
10 Myself with Mr Trek on Howth Summit with Dublin Bay behind.
11Howth Summit viewing Point all the Rubbish lying around from the Snack Boxes,terrible.
12 On the way back down towards Sutton on Thormamby Road,looking out over Dublin Bay and the Dublin Wicklow Mountains,towards Bray on the left.
13 At the Bridge to Bull Island,a Group of Cyclists.