Tuesday 24 April 2018

A day in the life of a Dublin bike

Eoghan McNeill

Five years ago, if you commuted to work and wanted to go from Dublin's IFSC to Grafton Street's Brown Thomas during your lunchbreak, you would have had very little browsing time, even if you had travelled by taxi.

Today, the city is a much smaller (and cheaper) place for the members of the Dublin Bikes scheme, which has just celebrated its fifth birthday. Dublin City Council is responsible for the 1,500-strong fleet of blue bikes, which are docked at 100 stations throughout the capital and can be rented by the half hour. To date, the bikes have facilitated almost eight million journeys across Dublin.

But who uses a city bike and why? Eoghan McNeill followed the journeys of one bike around Dublin for a day.

Leo Fitzgerald from Athy using a Dublin Bike at Talbot Street
 

7am

Who: Leo Fitzgerald

Journey: Talbot Street to Heuston station

Leo has finished a night shift working in Connolly station, and is cycling to Heuston station to catch a train to Athy, Co Kildare.

"I hope to be in bed for half-nine. I still have to make the kids' breakfasts and get them to school," he explains.

"I use the bikes at least four times a week," he says.

Aiden Heffernan from Kildare using the Dublin Bike at Heuston Station
 

8am

Who: Aidan Heffernan

Journey: Heuston station to DIT Kevin Street

An engineering student, who travels on the train each day from Kildare town, Aidan uses the service for the two and half km journey to college.

"People are telling me I should be wearing a helmet, but the effort of bringing one up is killing me," he says.

2014-09-19_lif_3452826_I3.JPG
Sarah Burke from Galway using a Dublin Bike at Merrion Square
 

9.20am

Who: Sarah Burke

Journey: Mount Street to Harcourt Street

Living and working in the city centre, Sarah has made use of the Dublin bike scheme for the past year, and has her journey to work in a bank down to just seven minutes

"I'm an active person, I like the fresh air before I go in and out to work. I'd be walking if I wasn't cycling," says the Galway girl who has been in Dublin for five years.

"I don't know why I didn't sign up for the bikes sooner," she adds.

2014-09-19_lif_3452971_I4.JPG
Lisa Dolan from Mountjoy Square ,Dublin taking a Dublin Bike .

10.30am

Who: Lisa Dolan

Journey: Molesworth Street to Mountjoy Square

Today is Lisa's first day to try the Dublin Bike Scheme and she decided to use the bikes to get her to her job as a waitress on Molesworth Street, from her home in Mountjoy Square earlier that morning. She's now using the bikes again for the return leg.

"I'm very shaky, very nervous, but alright," says Lisa.

Once home, she is going to clean the house for her three children: "They're 19, 13 and 12. I'll have their dinner ready for them when they come home from school," she says. She plans to use the bikes again the following day.

Robert Maguire

12.35pm

Who: Robert Maguire

Journey: Ormond Quay to St Stephen's Green

A Clontarf-based barrister, Robert is between hearings in the Appeals court. He has an hour for lunch and is using the bikes to get to for a lunch appointment with a colleague. "It's not the worst," he says of cycling around town in his suit and shoes. "You see a lot more people doing it nowadays."

Michele Pereira

1.55pm

Who: Michele Pereira

Journey: St Stephen's Green to the Docklands

Michele is a Brazilian au-pair, and she is on her way to the Docklands, where she works for a family with two children. Her one gripe with bike scheme is its midnight closing-time, because she's often found herself stranded in the city centre after dark.

"I wish it went much later," she says.

Stuart MacLennan

2.55pm

Who: Stuart MacLennan

Journey: The Docklands to Trinity College

A teacher of EU and Contract Law at Trinity College, Stuart has one complaint about the scheme. "Unfortunately, they're not the best at restocking the stands when they're empty. It does become quite a frustrating service at times."

Stuart is on his way to the post office, "and then a pint, probably in PantiBar on Capel Street".

4.25pm

Who: Salina Smellers and Sara Smits

Journey: Trinity College to Jervis Shopping Centre

The two Belgian women moved to Dublin six months ago when Salina got a job in Google.

The pair have plans to attend a work party in the evening on the bikes, but before that they use the vehicles to go to Tesco in the Jervis Shopping Centre.

"We use the bikes all the time and just spent a week biking around to different sights around the city," said Sara.

2014-09-19_lif_3452978_I1.JPG
David Burke
 

5.20pm

Who: David Burke

Journey: Jervis Shopping Centre to Capel Street

Orignally from Coolock and now living in Ballsbridge, David is using the bike today to help a friend in need. "My friend owns an adult boutique there so I'm giving him a hand with that - all the digital marketing part of it."

Marketing an adult boutique is no different to marketing any other business, he explains: "It doesn't matter what the product is. It's all the same."

6.30pm

Who: Philip Noonan

Journey: Bolton Street to Heuston Station

Philip has just finished his first day back at college and is using his bike to get him to Heuston train station for the journey back to Kildare

"I don't live the normal student life. I'm heading for 40 years of age," he says.

When work in the construction industry slowed, father-of-three Philip jokes he had a choice: "Mind the babies or go to college."

"I'm looking forward to getting home to do my daddy things," the fourth year student in Quantity Surveying says.

And with that he pedals off, one of the more than 45,000 subscribers of the bike scheme, who will do it all again tomorrow.

Irish Independent

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Editors Choice

Also in Life