28 November 2010

Bike's on Demonstrations,Snow and New Tourer.

I went to Critical Mass as usual on Friday Night the Dawes Audax had a Puncture so I decided to take the Dutch Bike. It went off very well Twenty Cyclists turned up for it only . This might have been because of the Freezing Weather or because of not much Publicity. I dont have any Pictures because I forgot the Camera. We had Tea in Shomra Spraoi/Fun Room after the Critical Mass ,the Alternative Social Club and a little Chat as you do. It had gotten really bad after I left to Cycle Home,with Ice forming on the Cars at 10 pm.

In the Nightime bad Thunder and Lighting at 3.30 am and then loads of Snow falling covering everywhere. It is unusual to get it so early if at all, we usually only get it in the New Year in January or February. The Next Day I headed off to the National Demonstration against the Government and the Austerity measures they are trying to bring in. I brought the Dutch Bike with me and was able to proceed fine in the Snow until I was going the last few Metres of our Estate onto the main Road. Then I slipped on a piece of Ice,I tried to remain upright but fell sideways but did not hurt myself because of the extra Clothes I had on ,I only though about Deflating the Tyres a little bit to give me more Traction Today . I picked myself up and twisted the Ding Dong Bell back into position and headed off to the City and Christchurch Cathedral  at the start of the Demo. I kept meeting People on the way into Town  I knew either going to the Demo or else going about their Business in spite of the Snow on their Bicycle's. I met a few more People I knew on the March to the GPO with their Bikes.

I also got a new Surly Long Haul Trucker Touring Bike last week and it is Beautiful. It is  26'' wheels with Contact City  Tyres and a WTB  Saddle which I dont like. I went off and bought a Brooks Flyer Saddle and Bottle Cage's and a Bottle of Bike Cleaning Fluid. It looks like we will have this Snow for a Week or two it seems.

Pics are Myself on Gerty the Dutch Bike, Woman with Bike and Child on Demo, Protestor on O'Connel Monument in O' Connell Street, Snow in Gardens and my Road, The New Surly LHT.


The Wrong Girl said...

I only heard about Critical Mass when I was googling about bike events in Dublin a few weeks ago. That's how I found your blog. It's not a very well advertised event, unfortunately...it could be really big!

l' homme au velo said...

I had forgotten about it being on and was reminded by someone enquiring about it and I posted on their site on Facebook. Then People started Talking about it.

It is held on the last Friday of the Month,however it will be on the 17th of December this Year because it is Christmas.

There will be People Advertising it with Leaflets.

They hope to have a Winter Soltice Gathering on the 21st December and Barbecue in the Phoenix Park BYOB Non Alcohol or Bring it if you wish and mostly Vegetarian but do not mind if People Eat Meat,bring Food. This is in the Planning stage.

Trevor Woodford said...

Hi Jack
Glad you were OK after your spill on the bike.
We have not had any snow as yet but it is bitterly cold.
I like the look of the Surly.

ian... said...

Nice new bike - people rave over LHTs - I'm sure it won't disappoint :>)

The Wrong Girl said...

Thanks. The solstice sounds really cool too. Please keep us updated :) I haven't been cycling for a while unfortunately, so I'll probably be like a novice. I'll pass the info on.

Mr. said...

Critical Mass is huge here in Chicago - many of city neighborhoods and suburbs have their own versions as well as the city-wide ride.

What kind of Dutch bike do you ride? I'm going to be writing up a post about biking as transportation in Dublin, and about Dutch bikes in particular, so any information would be useful. And do you or anyone ever use studded snow tires on your Dutch bikes? The folks over at Bear Bikes said they are not used in the Netherlands or Dublin. I'm gathering info from Dutch bike riders all over.

l' homme au velo said...

Hi Trevor ,I normally do not slip ever ,well not fall over anyway just slide a bit in the Snow. They do recommend that you Deflate your Tyres a little bit in the Snow to give them more Traction. I only thought about that the next Day and was also reminded by Bear Bicycles on their Site.

Yes I was always trying to get a Tourer eventually and picked the Surly LHT. I also like Thorn Sherpas or Ravens but it was easier for me to get the Surly.

l' homme au velo said...

Thanks Ian I am delighted with it.

l' homme au velo said...

The Wrong Girl, The Soltice is in the Planning stage just yet and I suppose it depends on the Weather at the time. I dont know if it would go ahead in the Present Weather.

They wanted it in Glencree but it might be Terrible up there in the Wicklow Mountains at this time of the Year that is why they Opted for the Park. Also the Hill of Tara was suggested.

l' homme au velo said...

Hi MR. The present Dublin Critical Mass has been around now for a Year the previous one was held about six Years ago then stopped. So it is a bit Chaotic as regards Publicity but it is held every last Friday of the Month starting from Saint Stephens Green Memorial Arch at 6.00pm.

It can have up to 60 People but is mostly around 30 to 50 Cyclists. We have a lot of People from Overseas at it with Spanish ,Polish, English , American and of course Irish People. At this time of the Year when it gets very Cold you can have a drop off in the Numbers turning up.

I have an Azor Kruisframe Pastoorfiets /Crossframe Pastors Bike from Work Cycles in Amsterdam and I got the Crate from Bear Bikes at the Flea Market in the George Bernard Shaw Public House in Richmond Street although they Sell their stuff from their Web site mostly http//:www.bearbikes.ie

It is not a European thing to use Studded Tyres although you will get MTB ers using them probably but certainly not on Dutch Bikes.

There are a few Bike Shops selling Dutch Bikes now in Dublin. One very good Bike Shop is 2 wheels .ie in Sandymount and Monkstown selling Gazelle Toer Popular and Betavus.

There is a Bike Shop on Rathmines Road selling BSP Dutch Bikes and Velorbis Danish Bikes.

There is another Company getting set up the Dutch Bike Shop .ie

There is the Bike Courier Company using Bulitt Cargo Bikes the Danish version of the Long John .

/Velocity /

There is Mike Rubos Video he did with Andrew Montague the Dublin Councillor who got the Dublin Vélib/ dublin.ie up and Running last Year on his Site http//:www.situp - cycle.com that is very interesting about Cycling in Dublin comparing Dublins Success against Melbournes Lack Lustre Efforts in Bike Share. You will see my Replies on the Comments Section.

Cycling was in the Doldrums for Years in Dublin since the 1970ties with only Die Hard Cyclists on the Road up to 1998 then it began to take off in a big way slowly at first then suddenly loads of Cyclists back on the Road due to People wanting to improve their Health also the Recession influenced things,long may it continue. Although the Infrastructure is still very bads.

m e l i g r o s a said...

really like the 2nd foto, explains pretty much all
greetings from SF

l' homme au velo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
l' homme au velo said...

Thanks Meligrosa for your kind Words. Happy Christmas to everybody in San Francisco and on the Bicycle Blog

Change your Life Ride A Bike CYLRAB

Ryan said...

We're still waiting for snow here in Southern Ontario.
The closest we came was a few days ago when wet snow fell for about 2 minutes.

l' homme au velo said...

That is unusual Ryan it looks like we got your Snow. We just are not used to it and everything just Clogs up.

It just got worse every Day even down in the City Centre it was bad. Of course they are only Gritting and Salting the Main Arterial Roads and the Paths and Cycleways just get ignored. We have had this Snow now for seven Days since Saturday.

I just did not bother taking the Bikes out since Sunday it looked Dangerous because of the Cars Sliding but I noticed a couple of People with MTBs and Knobbly Tyres.

I was clearing the Path outside my House and my Neighbour who is an Eldery Woman and I dug a Taxi Driver out whose Wheels were stuck. I advised him it would be good to take a Shovel with you.

Ryan said...

Weather all across the world seems quite unusual. Parts of Western Canada where snow is rare has seen massive amounts fall.

On our news here they keep showing across Europe all the airport closures do to all the snow.

Over here most are encouraged to take a small extendible shovel with them in their cars. Of course most don't.
Nearly every year when I'm clearing the snow from the driveway I'm stuck helping someone get out.

It's unfortunate that living in a country such as Canada, where snow is almost a 99.9% guarantee, people do not need to take driving lessons during the winter.

l' homme au velo said...

Ryan over here they only bother clearing the Main Roads and do not bother with side Roads and Roads in Housing Estates,so these Roads are often full of Snow .

They basically do not have enough Salt or Grit for extended periods of Snow. Our Snow usually only lasts about a Day or two in January then it is gone,but these last two Years we have got extendeded periods of Snow sometimes lasting two weeks. So they normally Ration it out and it is getting very low,but they promised that they are getting more Sat next week.

We are not like the European Continent with better Facilities like plenty of Salt and Grit and Snow Ploughs and where they actually clear the Cycle Paths.We are like the UK with very Shoddy Services.

Ryan said...

I suppose not having regular snow falls each year is why snow clearing services are limited.

I guess with the past two years you receiving a fair amount, that may have to change.
Last year we had very little snow here, so it appears when we receive very little it all heads over to Europe.

I'm fortunate that I live on a corner lot and border a major road, which is usually one of the first to get cleared, as I live down the road from the area where all the snow ploughs & salt are kept.

This is one of the first years since I've been biking that I actually would like some snow. Of course once it falls and I'm on the road riding or out clearing the driveway or sidewalk, I'm sure my attitude will be different.

l' homme au velo said...

We are also having a lot of Floods lately as well in the Spring. The Shannon is our Longest River and there is the Shannon Flood Plain and this causes large areas to be Flooded from Clare up to Fermanagh.

I doubt if they will ever get enough Grit and Salt or Snow Ploughs they try to get away without spending Money on anything save for the high Government Wages and Perks that they give themselves.

This Recession and Austerity will only make it worse. They are trying to Tax everybody more except People have even less Money in their Pockets.

Carolyn said...

Wow, you got a bit of snow there! Tons here now.

Sorry to hear about the fall, but glad you are alright. Oh, and I love the new bike! I like Surlys, good quality bikes.

l' homme au velo said...

Hi Carolyn ,that was only the start of it,it got much worse. However there is a very slow Thaw now and that Snow is turned to Ice. The Roads are still like this on side Roads and in Estates and in the shade where the Sun does not shine it is Lethal.There are very bad frosts once it gets dark.

The fall did not hurt me as I had extra Clothing on,an extra Cardigan and Tee Shirt and also Overtrousers which helps to protect against the Cold.

I love the Surly but have not had a chance to try it out since I rode Home from the LBS the three miles/5KM on the 24th November last. I want to fit a Pletscher two legged Kickstand on it ,Surly do not recommend a Single Leg Kickstand on the Chainstay but a double on the Bracket behind the Bottom Bracket. I need to get a bit of Old Inner Tube Rubber to act as Gaskets to protect the Metal of the Bike when putting on the Kickstand. Happy Christmas to all the Bike Riders in your part of Canada.

bluegreenplant said...

Noël est décommandé cette année. Pleurez pour les scientifiques paraguayens.

l' homme au velo said...

Le Meteo c'est Tré peculiar Tré mal au le moment dans L'europe et le Monde entire.

Rechauffement possiblé,Irelande ne pas avait un Grande quantite de le neige toute occasions, mais cettee temp un grande Inundations de neige.

Merci pour repondez et Bonne Noel ,Bluegreenplant.