Life Health & Wellbeing

Sunday 21 September 2014

'I'm not quite full mammal - I don't do lycra'


Edel Coffey

Published 31/07/2014 | 02:30

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Eamon Ryan

"I've been cycling since I was five or six years old. In Dublin, it just makes such sense. We've a flat city, and it's drier than you think. It's drier than Copenhagan or Amsterdam.

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We did research on cycling to work and found that if you cycled to work every day for a year, you would arrive at work wet on just eight days.

"There's also economic reasons. Driving is bloody expensive: I'm watching the needle all the time, and it doesn't cost a penny to cycle.

"I love the endorphins, the adrenalin. It's good for your body, and your head. I just really notice if I cycle to a meeting, I arrive in good form.

"There's a social aspect to it too because people see you and you see people when you're cycling, so when you're going down a street in Dublin, it's funny the amount of time you're nodding and saying hello to people. If you see someone, you can pull in straight away and chat to them. And with a bike it's door to door. I leave my front door at home and I will park outside my office because there are sufficient lampposts.

"I think the city authorities are a disgrace. They have failed to provide a safe and attractive environment for pedestrians and cyclists and that's just a lack of political and administrative will. Dublin could be like Copenhagen, but in some areas it is like cycling in Calcutta or Bangkok. I become increasingly angry at what I see as a deep-seated conservatism and indifference in the way our streets are designed.

"The canal cycle is beautiful in the morning, and the Dodder is stunning too. I think the cycle out to Howth is one of the most beautiful in the whole world. I like to cycle in Wicklow too. I'm not quite full mammal territory - don't do lycra - but I do get on my ordinary bike and go cycling in Wicklow.

"I'm in Inishbofin at the moment and everyone here cycles without any fear. All the kids are pelting down the road on a bike and they can because people are driving around at less than 15 miles an hour. I think it's a great model."

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