Cycling in Irish Cities

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:45 pm

Devin wrote:Yeah I notice this in Amsterdam too. All the hotties cycle.


Not just the hotties- it's everyone.

From a cursory daily examination, I'd say the profile of cyclists in Dublin is widening daily, though the numbers here are still way below the Danes, Dutch, Germans, etc. In Copenhagen, for example, 35% of trips to work and school are by bike, and 28% of all trips. And take it from me, it's a beautiful thing to see in action (and I'm not just referring to the ladies!). I spent a few days there earlier this year, and I found my habits changed when I returned- more laid back, less aggressive and antagonistic. Sadly, that didn't last.

(I still don't break the lights though, Devin! ;))

One correction I'd make to the article, though- "The Government promotes helmets for cyclists" is not entirely true. The RSA promotes them, but other organs of the state have the opposite view, one informed by the common sense approach evidenced in the article above. The problem really is that there is no consistent message from the Govt. on the matter, and the RSA is the only branch making noise about it, hence the article's understandable conclusion.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby weehamster » Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:35 pm

SunnyDub wrote:Why do all the PC heads insist on helmets? Even Boris Johnson has to wear one now for fear of offending them!


This is obviously a statement by someone who has never cycled in Dublin City in recent years. :cool: I think I'll put this comment forward for the 'Stupid Comment of the Month Award'. :rolleyes:
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:09 am

Can we not have that debate, please? There are never any winners. In essence, each to their own. The end? :)

(I can link to many versions of it that exist on the internet already, if anyone's interested. All you need and then some can be found at: http://www.cyclehelmets.org/)
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby SunnyDub » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:25 pm

I've cycled plenty in the city in recent years as it happens...and I would welcome much better facilities, and I've no problem with people wearing helmets...but why do some people have a problem with others not wearing them...

Anyway, anyone know any good shops for cruiser bikes?
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:28 pm

I don't know if any shop here stocks either of these, but you could always treat yourself to a trip to Leipzig or Copenhagen. ;)

http://www.retrovelo.de/ (Review.)

http://velorbis.com/ (The Scrap Deluxe would get my vote- Review.)
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby SunnyDub » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:19 pm

Now that's what I'm talking bout, cool bikes, it's a pity Irish bike shops only really sell mountain bikes and racers, why no trad street bikes?
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby SunnyDub » Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:43 pm

Excellent article from today's Guardian on cycling & road safety...

Elle Macpherson deserves a medal for defying the health and safety gods

The press are idiots to condemn the model for cycling without a helmet. The real villains are over-active traffic managers

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/sep/19/transport.transport

Simon Jenkins, The Guardian, 19th Sept 08

The model Elle Macpherson was this week pilloried by the tabloids for bicycling in a London street without a helmet and with her (helmeted) son on her handlebars. "Elle on wheels," cried the Mail. "What the Elle are you doing?" screamed the Mirror with an editorial titled "Elle to pay". Even the Times demanded a response to her behaviour from the gods of health and safety. The answer from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents was a predictable howl: "Illegal and dangerous!"

The truth is the opposite. Macpherson was probably the safest cyclist in London that day. Like the mayor, Boris Johnson, she is signed up (I guess by instinct) to the Wilde-Adams theory of compensatory risk assessment. By not wearing a helmet, she lowers her risk threshold and thus rides more carefully. She commendably cycles rather than drives a car and protects her child, who cannot manage his own risk. The society should give her a medal, not insult her. The press were idiots.

By chance, this week sees the publication of another tome in the mountain of evidence that Britain's safety culture is making us increasingly unsafe. Tom Vanderbilt's Traffic collates a mass of evidence about how we drive cars and use roads. It demonstrates the extent of mendacious brain-washing inflicted on the public by health-and-safety lawyers, bureaucrats and sellers of expensive equipment.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby weehamster » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:56 pm

why do some people have a problem with others not wearing them

Maybe when you cycle somewhere that doesn't have heavy traffic like a park.

I do have a problem when someone is seen not wearing a helmet, especially one who is famous face (and in this case, the influential world of fashion). This is seen as it is ok not to wear helmets (or probably in this case ,not fashionable to wear one). Do you think it is a positive message to send out.

This same irresponsible reaction by people occurred during the law for mandatory helmet wearing was brought in for users of Motorbikes. Helmets help to greatly reduce head trauma. This is the reason why everyone should wear one, not because someone is tell you to do so.

I don't like wearing them. They look stupid, unless you have the entire cycling gear on and and you have the physique of a racing cyclist. :rolleyes: I wear them because drivers, pedestrians and cyclists can be idiots and totally unpredictable.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:51 pm

This same irresponsible reaction by people occurred during the law for mandatory helmet wearing was brought in for users of Motorbikes. Helmets help to greatly reduce head trauma. This is the reason why everyone should wear one, not because someone is tell you to do so.

Sorry you are arguing by aristotelian logic; as an admirer of empiricism, I need more to be convinced.

The case for motorbike helmets is black and white and has been proven so in study after study. Ditto for seatbelts.

This is absolutely not the case for bicycle helmets; there have very conflicting results in the research - google it and you will find studies which have found them to cause more harm than good. Thus criticising someone for not wearing a helmet is unreasonable in my opinion.

The case for bicycle helmets seems to largely based on the idea that "it stands to reason that they improve safety". On that basis, would you criticise pedestrians for not wearing helmets? I'm sure many die of head trauma when involved in accidents with motorised traffic.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby SunnyDub » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:06 pm

"I do have a problem when someone is seen not wearing a helmet, especially one who is famous face (and in this case, the influential world of fashion). This is seen as it is ok not to wear helmets (or probably in this case ,not fashionable to wear one). Do you think it is a positive message to send out"

Even if you disagree with the evidence that societies with mandatory helmet laws have more accidents, and they do, it strikes me as very illiberal, if not downright fascist, to force other people to wear a helmet to assuage your guilt. people are responsible for their own actions and are well able to make informed decisions...in fact, given that there are less accidents where mandatory helmet laws are absent, it is good for society and others based on your interfering logic.:p
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:54 pm

weehamster- did you have a look at the link I posted above?

All you need and then some can be found at: http://www.cyclehelmets.org/


Seriously- it's impossible to have this debate without knowledge of the content of that site.

weehamster wrote:I do have a problem when someone is seen not wearing a helmet, especially one who is famous face (and in this case, the influential world of fashion). This is seen as it is ok not to wear helmets (or probably in this case ,not fashionable to wear one). Do you think it is a positive message to send out.


Absolutely. This is the most positive message it is possible to send out. The more people realise that it is not necessary to have any special equipment - aside from a bike and night gear - the better. I was delighted to see the photos of Elle Macpherson - and Agnes Deyn (regularly) and Pixie Geldof (see yesterday's edition of the Star [go on- just this once]) - riding a normal bike in a normal way as part of her normal day.

Image

And in the last week I've seen Gordon D'Arcy and Denis Hickie both riding bikes in Dublin city- neither one wearing a helmet. (Doing Leinster proud!)

I'm not saying I would carry a toddler on my handlebars as Elle did, but your objection to the photo was on the grounds of the absence of a helmet on her own head.

weehamster wrote:This same irresponsible reaction by people occurred during the law for mandatory helmet wearing was brought in for users of Motorbikes. Helmets help to greatly reduce head trauma. This is the reason why everyone should wear one, not because someone is tell you to do so.


What do you mean 'greatly reduce head trauma' [my emphasis]? That's a statement bordering on the meaningless, and typical of the groundless generalisations proffered by the promoters of helmets when all fact-based research and analysis indicates otherwise. In a relatively limited number of cases, helmets will prevent such an injury (incidents that are generally high speed crashes that don't involve other vehicles, i.e. a road racer who becomes unseated when descending a mountain at speed, for example). In a higher number of cases in other situations - falling down at home; driving a car; walking to the shops - a helmet would prevent similar injury types. I presume, for the sake of consistency, you advocate the wearing of helmets in all such situations?

Furthermore, your statement ignores the fact that, in some situations, helmets can actually reduce a cyclist's safety. Admittedly, these incidents are not all that common (rotational force applied to the neck being the most usual), but they do exist.

However, notwithstanding all of the above, there is another, more important dimension at work here that must be acknowledged. The collective or cumulative aspect of this debate is the critical one and, in essence, it is a textbook illustration of the fact that the common good is not just the sum of all individual goods. Even allowing for the fact that helmets can occasionally protect the individual in limited cases, it has been conclusively proven that the promotion of helmet wearing - the introduction of mandatory helmet laws, for example - results in a reduction in cyclist numbers (the reasons are numerous, but perceptions of the safety of the mode is the most significant one). When you consider that the accident rate for cycling actually rises as cycling numbers fall, this leads to the conclusion that promotion of helmets is a counter-productive measure which ultimately reduces the overall safety of cycling.

In addition, there is evidence to show that a car overtaking a cyclist will leave more room if the cyclist is not wearing a helmet, demonstrating again - though for different reasons - that helmet wearing actually increases risk for cyclists.

Finally, it has been calculated that, for every life year saved by the wearing of a helmet (someone who hits their head in an accident that would probably have killed them without the helmet [can never be conclusively proven, obviously]), 20 life years are lost through a variety of other means directly linked to the reduction in the number of cyclists- obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, etc.

What this all points to is the conclusion that the promotion of helmet wearing is a well-meaning exercise (probably- we can't ignore the fact that many promoters happen to be manufacturers of the products, so the purity of their motive is, at best, questionable) that has the opposite effect from that which is intended.

Given the fact, mentioned above, that risk goes up as numbers go down, the opposite is obviously also true- as numbers increase, the accident rate falls. (This is different from, say, the accident rate for cars, where there is a relatively proportional relationship between the number of cars on the road and the number of people killed or seriously injured.) Therefore, I would argue that the best way of increasing the safety of cyclists is to get more people cycling, an objective which is not achievable by the promotion of helmets and which is, in fact, undermined by that very act. Otherwise, you are not just treating the symptoms rather than the disease, you are actually preparing petri dishes for the spores.

The Copenhagenize website has been following the debate in detail for some time. I would suggest having a look at the posts on helmets for a balanced perspective.

(Lastly - honest, I'm nearly finished! - this is an interesting article on mandatory motorcycle helmets that gave me pause for thought: http://www.forbes.com/fyi/1999/0503/041.html)
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:23 am

More of the same ill-informed tosh from the Irish Daily Mail, 25.ix.08:

Image

1) Cycling one-handed is not dangerous- it's one of the first skills a rider should learn. How otherwise can hand signals be made?

2) Cycling in an overcoat is about as dangerous as cycling in a skirt. Skirt guards are available for back wheels, but serve to protect the skirt/coat from dirt more than to keep it from catching in the 'wheels, cogs and gears' (cogs and gears?:confused:)- unless Mr Cuffe is actually wearing one of those floor-length Matrix type coats, but it doesn't look like it from here.

3) See my last post for the helmet stuff. This point by the IDM is blatant scare-mongering, borne from a total ignorance of anything other than a desire to sensationalise.

4a) Does the absence of lights during daylight hours even need to be addressed?
4b) Who says he doesn't have lights in his bag?
4c) But what's that you say? Ther are lights on his bike? Where? Oh, right- attached to the front axle. And guess what- they look like the fancy Danish ones that require no batteries. What's next? "Cuffe undermines national economy by refusing to buy batteries"?

The palpable concern for Mr Cuffe's welfare is so touching. If only there was as much concern for the trees that died in order to produce the paper on which this crap was printed. Such a waste of life...
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby gunter » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:06 am

ctesiphon wrote:More of the same ill-informed tosh from the Irish Daily Mail, 25.ix.08:

If only there was as much concern for the trees that died in order to produce the paper on which this crap was printed. Such a waste of life...


Don't make them go out of business, they're the cheepest place to re-run planning ads when you've missed the deadline the first time round.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby weehamster » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:43 am

You can waffle whatever spiel you want, I'm going by personal experiences. Drivers in Dublin are dangerous and reckless and don't pay attention of their surroundings. They serve intro bus/cycle lanes at free will. Because of this I was knocked down 4 times. Twice I hit my head off the ground after flying through the air thanks to the vehicle hitting me. Lets say I was very happy that I wore a helmet. The last time I also shattered my wrist which took forever to heal. Now my dear brother-in-law wasn't so lucky. He also hit his head off the pavement but he didn't ware helmets (which is what you are promoting). He died from head trauma.

Now you can continue on showing pictures of people with no helmets all you like, Just remember you are promoting cycling without helmets . My brother-in-law death could have been prevented by one, the driver of the car paying attention and two by him wearing a helmet.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:54 pm

weehamster- with the greatest of respect and sympathy, I will take hard evidence ('wafffle' and 'spiel'? No.) over personal experience any day. It is precisely the prizing of personal experience over facts that causes so many problems when it comes to policy making and legislation. Personal experience simply has no place in that arena. The death of anyone in the circumstances you mention is certainly a tragedy, but to use that as the basis for legislation or policy is plain wrong.

And Yes- I certainly am promoting cycling without a helmet. I promote it every day by my actions, every time I mount my bike. I am proud to do so, and I will not change.

Sorry if this seems harsh, or disrespectful to your own circumstances, but it is a matter of great importance to me.

As I said upthread, this debate has been had, repeatedly. I didn't want to go into it, but you called those of us who choose to go without helmets 'irresponsible' and I couldn't let your subjective post go unchallenged.

Feel free to wear a helmet, by all means, but please do not try to dictate to me how I should dress as I go about my life.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby SunnyDub » Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:19 pm

Weehamster: ".... I'm going by personal experiences. Drivers in Dublin are dangerous and reckless....Because of this I was knocked down 4 times. Twice I hit my head off the ground after flying through the air thanks to the vehicle hitting me.... Now my dear brother-in-law wasn't so lucky. He also hit his head off the pavement but he didn't ware helmets (which is what you are promoting). He died from head trauma.

Now you can continue on showing pictures of people with no helmets all you like, Just remember you are promoting cycling without helmets...
"

Well, Weehamster, I'd say some drivers in Dublin are dangerous and I'd prefer separate cycle lanes on the road (using a concrete barrier) to help with this...if you want to wear a helmet fine...and given you're personal experience who would blame you...but the logic of your argument is poor. It's also the classic you can't criticise the war cos I lost a son in Iraq type of argument, baloney! So if someone gets killed by a bus walking across the street and a helmet would have saved their life, should helmets be mandatory for crossing bus lanes? If someone is shot in the chest and wasnt' wearing a bullet proof vest should they be mandatory?

I think a more mature approach is to let people assess risk themselves and choose whether to wear a helmet or not, notwithstanding that a mandatory helmet law would be dictatorial in the extreme.

There's also a little thing called evidence and it suggests cycling is not a dangerous activity and that wearing helmets are more widely worn there are less cyclists, more cars, etc.

Are all the people who don't wear helmets in Dublin,, Paris, Copenhagen irresponsible? Are they irrational in that they can't look after themselves?!
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby missarchi » Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:21 am

rack up dublin...
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:26 am

Hot on the heels of the DoT's Smarter Travel initiative came the National Cycle Policy Framework, which now appears to have resulted in the development of Ireland's first (annual?) National Bike Week!

It's great to see the DoT putting proper energy into cycling- for evidence, check out the opening (two word) sentence of the Minister's Foreword in the Policy document. Hopefully the local authorities will now get their acts together and start taking cycling seriously.

In the meantime, get out the oilcan! Bike Week is only 6 weeks away.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby PTB » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:43 am

Anyone spotted what I think are the JC Decaux bike racks going in around the city?

I passed the one outside the Bull and Castle and saw not one, not two, not three, not four etc, etc, not eleven but twelve luminous jacketed men working on a patch of ground not much bigger that my living room. Industrious.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby missarchi » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:06 pm

PTB wrote:Anyone spotted what I think are the JC Decaux bike racks going in around the city?

I passed the one outside the Bull and Castle and saw not one, not two, not three, not four etc, etc, not eleven but twelve luminous jacketed men working on a patch of ground not much bigger that my living room. Industrious.


not sierra communications?
Anyway we can't even put a bike on the metro that is progress for you...
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:00 pm

PTB wrote:Anyone spotted what I think are the JC Decaux bike racks going in around the city?


You're right- they're being installed as we speak.

All stations bar one are east of an axis running through the Four Courts.

PTB wrote:Industrious.


That's Mick Wallace for you!
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ac1976 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:21 pm

how come there are no stations west of the City, at Phoenix Park or IMMA/Kilmainham Jail/Heuston?
That is kinda crazy, they are perfect locations for the bikes.
Is there even one near the Guiness Storehouse?
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:32 pm

The answer to that, as given by JCDecaux itself, is There aren't enough bikes to cover the whole city.

I'll let you work out the 'logic' :rolleyes: behind that for yourself.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby djasmith » Fri May 01, 2009 7:51 pm

It's not the moving cars on our roads that are the problem but rather the ones which are parked. I cycle all over this city day in and day out from templeogue right over to santry quite often. I have built up a bank of pictures of cars and vans clearly showing the company name which are blocking cycle lanes. The trouble is when you are trying to navigate your way down camden street and then you come across some irresponsible 'parker' who has left their vehicle in a bus or cycle lane. the danger is then trying to get past them.

on the point of helmets - Ive always worn one. I've had 2 major enough accidents in my cycling career, and both of them left me in hospital. On both occassions I was told in hospital that without the helmet (which was smashed both times) I wouldn't be where I am today. I'm not one of these people who would like to enforce helmets, I feel we could enforce sensible parking or something like that, but if people could see the 2 helmets that I have they would think twice about not wearing one.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby DaveG » Fri May 08, 2009 3:46 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L89h0XYD-gg

ok ok so I broke some lights... but I've cycled this route for over four and a half years and I know the light sequence very well and what is coming. I wouldn't go through a major junction if it had a red light...

Has anyone used the cycled lane on the N11 outside the Stillorgan Park Hotel (may have a different name now)... pot hole city and don't get me started on Dublin cycle lanes....
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