26 June 2010

Dublin Critical Mass 25th June 2010 St Stephens Green.

I went to the Dublin Critical Mass as Usual Starting at The Memorial Arch outside Saint Stephens Green Park at 5.30. It started of late at around 6.15 pm with more People arriving at the last minute. There usually is around 30 - 35 Cyclists but this time there was 50 starting off in the Glorious Warm Evening Sunshine.

It was a stirring Sight to see the Mass of Cyclists Reclaiming the Streets from the Cars. Showing that Cycling has arrived in Dublin. We headed off down Dawson Street then Nassau Street ,Trinity Street then Dame Street up to Christchurch Cathedral,down Winetavern Street then out onto Ormonde Quay on the River Liffey ,Bachelors Walk then into O 'Connnell Street then Finishing at the Garden of Rememberance Parnell Square.It was a nice Leisurely Cycle no Fuss.

When I got Home I had a nice Dinner Peas and Brown Rice and Mackerel with a Butter and Lemon and Pepper Marinade covered with a White Sauce and Washed down with some Czech Lager with Bananas for Dessert and a Mug of Strong Coffee, Cycling makes you very Hungry .

21 June 2010

National Bike Week 13th- 20th June.

At the beginning of the Week Monday Morning I was laid low with a Stomach upset,I think it was Food Poisoning. I starting getting Pains in my Stomach on Sunday Night and by Monday Morning I had a Dose of what can only be described as in Dublin Parlance as Johnny Jump up,in other words I had the Runs.

This continued until 11 am on Wednesday and I could not leave the House . I missed the Dublin Cycling Campaign AGM and anything that was happening for Bike Week. I tried getting to the Post Office to pay a Utility Bil but had to get back to the House when I started getting the Pains in my Stomach. I tried again on Tuesday and made it there and back with the Bill paid.

By Saturday I was feeling much better and decided to have a look at the Cycle Races in Dame Street which had been closed off all around the Cobblestoned Narrow Streets of Temple Bar then up Dame Street to Christchurch Cathedral and back around Templebar in a Circuit of around 2 KM or 1 1/2 Miles. I looked at the Womens Race but could not stay for the Mens as I had to get Food and get Home. I tried to stay but realised it would be very late by the time it was over after 8 pm. The Mens Race the Excitement for it was Building up by the time I had left at 5.30 pm,an Eclectic Group of Irish Riders from Irish POST Sean Kellys Team and others in a Five Nations Race, Ireland ,England,Scotland,Wales,France.

On Sunday I went with the Dublin Social Group on a Trip along the Grand Canal to Roberstown but we only went as far as Sallins because we were all Knackered Tired. The Pathway or former Towpath was nicely Smooth as far as Clondalkin because the City Council done a Grand Job on it but those Metal Barriers was Cruel trying to go under them over them and through the Gates. That was the only annoying thing about the Trip. After Clondalkin the Pathway became rough and Wild and you were Cycling through Long Grass then Gravel as you were in the Countryside. Also there was some Muddy Motorbike Tracks that I got caught in and fell of the Bike Twice. Most of the Group had MTB's with just three of us with ordinary Bike's.it would have been better with the Thick Tyres in the Rough Ground.

We stopped in Hazelhatch at a Canal side Pub for some Drinks at 12 am but it was still closed so we had some Lunch at the outside Picnic Tables.

Then continued on to Sallins and had our Lunch and Drinks there and Elected not to go any Further to Roberstown as we reckoned we had enough. The Sun was very Warm,it was just like the Mediterannean and these little Canal side Pubs are very Inviting. There was some kind of Pro IRA Festival going on in the Town with Bands and Singers Playing Rebel Songs and Loads of IRA Banners and the noise was Deafening,I found it Objectionable and so did the rest of the Group. So we coasted around to get some quiet Pub away from the Ru Rah Ra and Political Overtones.We Cycled up the Road then back down the Road of the Little Hamlet of Sallins,the Police were in force directing the Traffic Jam which had Developed. Then we found ourselves back at Square one at a Pub on the Canal side and settled back to some Food and Drinks.

After an hour or two we headed back to Dublin and at Leeson Street we gradually said our Goodbyes until the next trip. I was accompanied by a Polish Girl to the Malahide Road then we both went our separate way and said Goodbye until the next meet up.

It was very enjoyable and I estimate we went 65 km or 40miles 33 out and 33 back. It was sapping on the Energy because of the rough Ground and also those annoying Barriers to keep the Joy Riders off the Paths.
Pictures are 5 Pics of the Womens Cycle Race around Templebar and Dame Street ( All Hail the Conquering Champions ) the three Winners.

Dublin Social Cycle Group ,Trip to Sallins along the Grand canal Dublin, Ornate Pub at Hazelhatch,Englisman and his wife Browseing at the Canal side and Canal Barges. The Group having Lunch at Hazelhatch,two Polish Girls one English Chap and the rest of us Irish.
Along the way Ornate Cottage stop for Rest and Pictures.

13 June 2010

June 12th Odyssey around Dublin in search of the perfect Bicycle.

Saturday was a perfect Day lovely and warm with the Sun Splitting the Tree's.I had heard the previous Day there was to be an Phillipines Independence Day Celebration in St Annes Parkland Raheny, The former Estate of a Relation of the Guinness Family and I wanted to have a look at it.

The event started after 10 O Clock Mass they are very Religeous The Phillipino's. I arrived after 12.00am and I was surrounded by Thousands of Phillipino's from the Four Corners of Ireland. There was Pavillions all over the Park Celebrating all things Phillipino,Food,various Groups like Photography,Nursing,Culture Etc. I then went down to the Red Stable Farmers Market and had Lunch of a CrepƩ and Coffee from the CreperiƩ then headed off to the south side of the City to Sandymount.

There was hardly any Traffic on the Roads it was perfect for cycling. After Coming across the Liffey at Ringsend (Called Ray Town by the local's because it was once a Fishing Centre)The Toll Bridge and Shipping in Alexandra Basin.

I wanted to have a look at the New Bicycle Shop in the Village of Sandymount ,in Sandymount Green( twowheels.ie ). I was very impressed by the amount of Bicycles and the great amount of Dutch Bikes for Sale particulary this Bakfiets from Gazelle. I asked them about a Touring Bike and they mentioned a Trek I think it was a 520 that they took on Touring themselves. I said was it Steel and he said it was. Trek does not do Touring specific Bikes as far as I know but most bikes can be used for Touring ,they said they could get one on Order if I was interested. So I started to head off when I spotted this Cycle Chick in the Village looking at the Art on the Railings and took a Picture. Statue of a Girl in the Village Enjoying the Joys of Spring,must be a Cyclist after completing her Ride and is Happy. Childrens Bikes outside the Spar Shop in the Village.

Coming up the Ringsend Road over the Grand Canal Bridge,Bicycle Tour Group of the City,nice Bicycles but why do they have to wear those Stupid Helmet's. Nice Road Bicycle in an Apartment Window about 4 Floors up about 2 Hundred Metres further on in Pearse Street. I arrived in Merrion Square Park and took a Photo of Oscar Will's Fingal O'Flaherty Wilde otherwise known as Oscar Wilde The Great Irish Dramatist and Writer of the 1880ties then some Photo's of the Memorial to the Irish Defence Forces Commemorating the Personnel who Died on Active Service mainly with the United Nations.

I then went off to Penny Farthing Cycles in Camden Street to see what they had and had a look at MC Donald Cycles in Wexford Street. Then back to the City Centre and City Cycles in Parnell Street,I ended up buying a new Pump and a Jar of Assos Cream then I went Home.It was a Brilliant Day,the next Day Sunday it was back to the Wind and Rain but after 4.00pm it has stopped and it is getting nice now.So I will have to think about getting a new Tourer,it involves some Monetary Pain.

I mean to do a lot of long Distance Cycling and my Bottom End Tends to get very Sore so the Assos Cream will Alleviate this hopefully .Last Pictures are,I got this Magnetic Saucer lately to prevent my Screws and Nuts and Bolts getting lost while I am Fixing the Tyres and Punctures on my Bikes,two new Inner Tubes for the Brompton I have been meaning to change the Inner Tube for this Bike for a few Months now,the new Specialized more compact Pump and the Old Zefal Pump. The New Pump fixed on the Trek.

Bicycles,Dogs and Demonstrations.June Bank Holiday Weekend.

Last Saturday during the Bank Holiday Weekend there was a large Demonstration in Dublin Protesting against the Israeli Government Hijacking the Humanitarian Aid Ship to Gaza and Killing 9People in the process. So I decided to take part in it and I went off on the Trek into the City to the Garden of Rememberance. On reaching Fairview I noticed this sign warning Motorist to be careful of Cyclists and Pedestrians. This is a new thing lately but they do not leave it up all the time unfortunately,it is only because of the Holiday when they are surmising there are Pedestrians and a lot of Inexperienced Cyclists on the Roads and they change the sign after the Holiday is over.

The last few Years because Cycling has become so Popular,People are taking their Bikes everywhere and it is not unusual to see loads of Bikes at Demos as well as Dogs and Children. This is me in the Red Shirt with the Cycling Gloves and the next Picture is my Bike beside someone else's. The Procession eventually Ended up at the Department of Foreign Affairs,Iveagh House on Saint Stephens Green . There was many Speeches calling for the Government to Expel the Israeli Ambassador and a Boycott on Israeli Goods,but the Government was Fudging as usual.

They Condemned the Israeli Government but did not do anything else ,it is just typical. After awhile it will be all forgotten about except that there is a Load of Pressure Building up to do something about it. Certainly the ordinary People will be having a Boycott of Israeli Goods and these are the ones that will force the Government to stop doing nothing.

Everywhere you go Bicycles are everywhere,this is a new Golden age if only the Infrastructure would improve it would be really great.