Cork Bike Week 'rolls out' new cyclists
Cork Bike Week organised 'Operation Transportation' on Facebook to mark a week of changing habits among Cork people. They got a group of people together who do not usually cycle to do 10 minutes minimum of cycling every day for a week and write daily about how it improved their lives. Here's how some of them got on.
I signed up as I know this will give me the motivation to get back on my bike. I would love to commit to cycling for at least 10 minutes each day during Bike Week. If I report back on my progress, I know this will help me stick with it.
I did a cycling training course about a year ago in Highfield. I found it very good. I was very motivated at that time. I used to cycle everywhere. I even had the children cycling with me. The children used to travel to school by bike. Some parents said I was mad and that it was not safe. This did deter me a little. It would be nice if we had more cycle paths on Donnybrook Hill and on South Douglas Road. Cycling is such a lovely way to travel.
I never really cycled a lot I just used it as a means of commuting to get from A to B. I found it a fabulous way to get to town without the hassle of looking for parking in the car. I was always much more relaxed when I got to town instead of spending long periods of time in a hot car while stuck in traffic.
I would love to cycle more. I would love to eventually cycle to work. If I got to this stage I would be very pleased with myself. There are a few hills on the way though. I would need to get a bit fitter first."
"Day 1. I forgot how difficult it was going to be bring my bike down the stairs in the apartment block. I have a vintage style bike and it weights a ton! I was exhausted before I even got on it but never the less, off I went for a 10 minute cycle. I didn't realise how short 10 minutes is. I went down the quays and it was gorgeous. A really nice evening and I felt like I was experiencing it more on the bike. I could stop along the way and look at things, instead of being in the car and you have to follow the pace of traffic. When I got back to the apartment I had to drag the bike upstairs again. It nearly put me off cycling!
Day 2. I don't want to cycle the same way every day so today I went away from town, in towards Blackpool and just cycled around locally down streets I don't know. I passed a lot of cyclists and I had a mad notion in my head that cyclists must all be friendly towards each other and I was nodding at everyone like an old man in the countryside but they must have all thought I was mad because no one gave me the nod back. I have been driving seven years and all this time I assumed cyclists kinda gave each other the nod, like a secret club! (This notion is based on the fact I have flower stickers on my car and all other cars with flowers stickers wave at me!)
Day 3. I have decided to leave my bike in a friend's place where I can walk to collect it so that I don't have to be dragging it places everyday. Today I cycled down my Fitzgerald park, in and around. What a great place, I totally forget how amazing that park is. I cycled around for much longer than 10 minutes and was having a great time. It was the first time I felt like my thighs really got a work out. I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure I could cycle on a boring road everyday but I could definitely get into country cycling.
Day 4. I've been looking at flights to Amsterdam. They all seem to be obsessed with cycling over there. I think it's more likely to be hit by a bicycle over there than anything else. I cycled back in and around town today. I wanted to check how safe my bike would be if I parked it somewhere for a while. I chose the corner the Roundy pub so I could still see it. Some people went over to look at it (but it is yellow with flowers all over it- so that wasn't surprising!) I have been nervous about taking the bike out for too long and it being damaged by drunks or getting robbed. I realised a bike is probably more difficult to rob than I realise and I cycled home happy. Every day I am starting to look forward to my cycling, even if it only a short one.
Day 5. Today I officially registered for the Naked Bike Ride in Cork. I participate every year. It is the only time I cycle. They organise it to raise awareness of the amount of cyclist deaths. It is a always a fun day but this year I really understand the issue of safety on the road. Some cars think they own the road and they put pressure on you to move to the side of cycle faster. It can be very difficult not to panic when there is a car revving their engine behind you. I found that difficult. Standing my ground while cycling. I have the same right to be here as any car/lorry or truck.
Day 6. After cycling for a few days I realised my bike doesn't have a basket. It definitely needs one. One of the reasons I drive to work is because I need to bring a bag and all my other junk with me, If I had a basket I wouldn't be lopsided while carrying my bag everywhere. I think I will invest in one. While I was on my cycle today I got more excited about it, knowing I could nearly make this into my official mode of transport with a few changes!
I went down the Marina and watched some of the lads rowing and I cycled down by the Marquee. The last week it has hit me how much I am missing when in the car. The smells, the sound check at the Marquee, the rowing lads shouting at each other. passing conversations in the city. It really was a whole new environment.
I'm not sure that I have been converted to an everyday cyclist because i was wary of getting caught in rain and getting soaked but I will certainly use it more during the summer when the evenings are bring and the parks are open and there are so many things to see and enjoy.