| 9.1°C Dublin

But cycling is easier . . .

FORMER Green Party TD Ciaran Cuffe is cycling to school with his kids these mornings, rather than pedalling into Leinster House.

Mr Cuffe braved the elements yesterday to take part in a lunchtime spin around Dublin as part of National Bike Week.

"I just signed up as Joe Public to take part. I think it's a great event," he said.

"The beauty of bike week is that it gets non-cyclists to use their bikes to commute to work and that can only be a good thing."

The former Minister of State was joined by more than 1,200 cyclists on the short lunchtime trip around the capital.

Spirits were high on the start line at Grand Canal Dock but a torrential downpour just as the cycle was starting caused many to run for cover, including Labour councillor Andrew Montague.

"The rain came down just before we set off so I dived for shelter. But I came back again and really enjoyed the event," he said.

Mr Montague is chair of the cycling committee of Dublin City Council.

The committee is organising a host of biking events throughout the city this week.

Mr Cuffe said he was now back in his old day job, lecturing in Dublin Institute of Technology and admitted he didn't cycle from his home in Dun Laoghaire to work every day.

"On a day like this when the heavens open, you might be in two minds about cycling, but most of the time it doesn't rain.

"There has been a decent rise in the numbers cycling over the last few years.

"It's a great step in the right direction and with obesity on the increase in Ireland, cycling gives you health benefits as well as a more reliable commute. Simple as that."

Irish Independent