Cycling in Dublin – The best way to move

If you are new to Dublin, depending on your country of origin,the traffic here may be on the other side than you are used to. Accordingly, it is understandable that you do not dare to participate in traffic at first. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a bike or in a car. You probably take the bus first. And then you’ll realise that a 4-kilometre ride feels like you’re travelling halfway around the world. Especially at rush hour when there is a lot of traffic and the bus stops at almost every stop, you are on the road for a really long time.

So it’s worth asking how you can get from A to B in Dublin in the quickest, most efficient and environmentally friendly way. And let me reveal this much: The winner has only two wheels. Know what I mean? Well, even if you didn’t think so, because Dublin is a big city where traffic can be hectic. But: The city is very bicycle-friendly compared to other cities in other countries. This article is about the benefits of cycling in Dublin, where to find the right bike for you and everything else you need to know about cycling in Ireland.

Overview of the development of cycling in Dublin

The fact that cycling must be given a higher priority has not only been the wish of many residents for years, but Dublin City Council also takes the issue seriously. In October 2016 “The Dublin City Development Plan” was adopted and aimed to improve the infrastructure in Dublin for public transport, cars, bikes and pedestrians by 2022. For cycling the focus of new infrastructure projects was on improving cycle safety, access, parking, and expanding and improving the Dublin Cycle Network.

They published a progress report in 2018 with the goals achieved so far and which points are still open. It remains exciting whether all goals will be achieved by the end of 2022. 

Active organisations campaign for improvements in cycling

Cycling organisations

It is not only Dublin City Council that wants changes for cyclists. There is also great interest from the citizens themselves. Dublin Cycling Campaign has been an independent, voluntary group since 1993 aiming to benefit cycling as well. They were essential in establishing Dublin’s 30km/h speed limit for example and have been strong supporters of the introduction of the Dublin Bikes. They regularly organise events like bike tours through the city to draw attention to themselves. 

They have clear aims and visions: 

Dublin Cycling Campaign
Aims of “Dublin Cycling Campaign”

Other volunteer groups such as S2S are also campaigning for cycling in Dublin. This group promotes the construction of a continuous seafront promenade and cycleway from Sutton to Sandycove.

Where to rent and buy bikes

“Dublin Bikes” to rent

But before you can enjoy cycling, you need a bike. And there are several ways to get one. If you don’t cycle regularly and don’t care about if the bike fits your size, you can rent a “Dublin Bike“. There are several subscription options like a “1 Day Ticket” for €3.50, a “3 Day Ticket” for €5 or an “Annual Card” which is €35. The first 30 minutes of every journey is free and after that you pay a fee. For example for 2 hours you pay 1.50€ which is in the end of a day still cheaper than taking the bus.

Another provider is “Bleeper” where you have to pay a €1 unlock fee and from then on €0.02 per minute.

If you don’t want to depend on Dublin Bikes availability and prefer to have your own bike but don’t want to spend too much money, you can look for used bikes on donedeal.ie and adverts.ie. There you can filter for different bikes and spend a lot or a little money depending on it.

You can also rent bikes in bike shops. This offers the advantage that you can choose different types of bikes there. River Cycles in Dublin 8 has a wide range of good bikes and for a whole day of renting you only pay €10. For €20 a day you can rent a bike at Phoenix Park Bikes. The price includes a helmet, a map and also a high visibility vest so everyone can see you. When you book a Touring Bike you will get panniers for the back of your bike and a puncture repair kit and spare tube, so there’s nothing stopping you.

If you would rather buy a new bike, you can go to one of the many bike shops in Dublin: Life in Motion, BikesOrBicycles, Belfield Bike Shop, CycleBike or Shaka Bike.  

As you see, there are several options to get a bike in Dublin and now I’ll tell you about some beautiful cycle routes where you can use your bike.

Exploring Dublin’s beauty by bike

Whether you use your bike to get to work or for a bike ride for fun – there are cycle paths almost everywhere in Dublin. In the city centre, you mainly share the paths with the buses on the wide bus lanes, but when you leave the city centre, you’ll mainly find paths that are exclusively for cycling.

A very beautiful route is along the sea from Blackrock to Dalkey. The cycle paths there are very well constructed and the constant view of the sea frees your mind. You get further inspiration for bike tours on komoot. But no matter how good the cycle paths are, it is always advisable to wear a helmet. 

Don’t be afraid to cycle in Dublin

Even if you’re not so sure about cycling through Dublin’s streets, trust me, it’s really not as stressful as you might think. And the time saved compared to public transport is also an important reason. In addition, you don’t emit CO2 when cycling. 

So what are you waiting for? Feel free to share your experiences of cycling in Dublin. What is your favourite bike ride? Let me know in the comments. 

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Julia Hansjurgen

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