Monday 22 January 2018

Cycling to work still means taking your life in your hands

'Dublin’s cycle lanes are a frightening prospect, especially for fair-weather two-wheelers.' File photo: Depositphotos
'Dublin’s cycle lanes are a frightening prospect, especially for fair-weather two-wheelers.' File photo: Depositphotos

Rachel Dugan

I generally like to stay on the right side of the law. I am one of those fastidiously rule-obeying types who breaks out in a cold sweat at the thought of even the most minor transgression. More than once, I have been left standing on the platform as the last Luas trundles into the distance because of my toddler-like refusal to be a ticketless commuter. Basically, I like rules and don't derive any joy from breaking them.

And yet last week I found myself disregarding the rules of the road with the carefree abandon of a doughnut-loving boy racer - and all because I was on two wheels, instead of four. As the outraged pedestrian who rightly unleashed an impressive tirade of abuse in my direction pointed out, cycling down a one-way street and then mounting the footpath was clearly "irresponsible and selfish".

The reason for this out-of-character disregard for the rules is simple: Dublin's cycle lanes are a frightening prospect, especially for fair-weather two-wheelers like myself, and I would rather face the wrath of Mr Angry Pedestrian than play chicken on the quays with a 37A, rely on a taxi driver to keep his distance or try a death-defying three-lane cross to turn right.

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