Ireland is as green and beautiful a country as one could ask for. A recent trip to the Emerald Isle showed one of our BFKH friends just how bike-friendly Ireland was.
In Dublin, bike rental stations are located all around the city – 40 in all. Below is a picture of one bike rental (called bike “hire” in Ireland) outside Dublin’s City Hall. This rack was emptied during weekdays, and it looked like the riders weren’t tourists, but locals running errands. We spotted them all over town.
Bicycle traffic tools help the flow of bikes around a city’s streets, and Dublin made liberal use of one of our favorite mechanisms. This bike box gives cyclists space to congregate in front of traffic at a signaled intersection. The bike box allows drivers to clearly see the cyclists and minimizes the chance of cyclists getting caught in a dangerous situation when the light turns green.
In Dublin, everyone rides. Casual folks with hybrids, fixie riders on stripped-down speed machines, and the odd sport rider out for a training ride. Though vehicular traffic was tight in the city, cyclists seemed to have no fear, and the cars just waited for space to pass. On the country roads, the lanes felt like they were five feet wide – they were twisty, somewhat bumpy, there was no shoulder, and there was no room outside of the yellow line. Nonetheless, cyclists made their way on these roads too. Some were doing fully-loaded touring and some were training riders out for a morning spin. Again, drivers waited for an opportunity to pass. It was no different than following a tractor hauling a bunch of hay, something that happens regularly out in the country.