Tag Archives: GeneralNews

General news about cycling

Cycling Without Age – update

  1. Humans of Dublin, interviewed us and here is the cheery feature they did
  2. We now have a CWA Facebook Group, which is open to all, so if you have not already joined, please feel free, as this is where we will add regular updates and happy news!
  3. Bikes: In addition to the six trishaws already up and running (three in Co. Cork and three in Dublin), there are at least five more on order. These are going to Waterford, Sligo, Leitrim and two for Co. Dublin. If anyone else has ordered their bike, do let me know, as we are now linking up with organisations such as Age & Opportunity, ChangeX, and others who will assist in promoting and working alongside new affiliates. Also, if you are ordering a bike, do sign up as an Affiliate to us. There is no charge and you will receive additional support and information from Copenhagen.
  4. Tips for Pilots and short videos on how to operate your bike: We have put together some short videos to demonstrate how to operate your trishaw, and some helpful Piloting Tips. Feel free to ask me to send you these. They work well in conjunction with actual pilot training.
  5. Pilot Training:   If people want pilot training and can come to Blackrock in Dublin, I am happy to offer pilot-training in our local park. I will not be able to travel all over Ireland, but if you can come to me, that offer is there!
  6. Volunteer pilots: As bikes arrive, I can start to match up the offers I have from volunteer pilots to their nearest bike and care home.
  7. Corporate Sponsors: Nursing and care homes and their supporters are fund-raising to get bikes. But, we would welcome offers from companies/organisations willing to come on board as sponsors or part-sponsors of bikes. Most of the bikes already operating here have been sponsored or co-sponsored by corporates. It offers great profile to the corporates, and some of their staff are acting as pilots. We are happy to talk to sponsors if you need us to.

Freedom Machine

“Freedom Machine” launch by the Dublin Cycling Campaign
Press Release 7/03/2018

On the 8th of March on International Women‟s Day we celebrate #Votail100 and the historical link between the bicycles and the emancipation of women. Launch of „Freedom Machine‟ the theme for the Dublin Cycling Campaign’s participation in this year‟s St. Patrick‟s Day Parade.

Venue: Bewley’s Cafe, Grafton Street, join us for tea, coffee and a chat about Freedom Machine.

When: 8th March 11am Starting at Bewley’s Café where Hanna and Frank Sheehy Skeffington used to meet regularly to discuss feminism and politics, Bewley’s Café and the Quakers have a historical link with the Irish Suffragette movement.

Photo opportunity Outside Leinster House 11.30pm Donna Cooney will be joined by Joanna Donnelly (MetEireann #andacyclist)) and Artist Laragh Pittman. After the launch and refreshments we will cycle in suffragette costume with replica handcrafted banners to Leinster house Kildare Street, where at 11.30 Senator Ivana Bacik (convenor of Oireachtas Cycling Group) will join us to say a few words of support. In celebration of one hundred years since women “got the vote”. #Votail100 #VotesforWomen FreedomMachineWebsite “I’m really looking forward to participating in the Parade. Combining my passion for cycling with the celebration of the victory of the vote is something I had never considered. I’ve been cycling around Dublin since school, I’ve never been a fan of public transport, there’s nothing like the freedom cycling can give you. Up on the bike and away you go. And letting my daughter see me out there, celebrating in this way makes me delighted.” Joanna Donnelly Meteorologist and she say’s “all we need is fine weather and that’s not a problem…” ‘I am delighted to support the idea of the ‘Freedom Machine’, or ‘Suffragette Cyclists’, who will be taking part in the St Patrick’s Day Parade dressed in suffragette costumes. I think it’s very timely to do this in 2018, as this year marks the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland – it is 100 years since the passage of the Representation of the People Act which first gave women the right to vote, and December will mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 General Election in which Constance Markievicz was elected as the first woman TD or MP. The suffragette cyclists will not only mark this important centenary, but will also play a vital role in encouraging more women to take to the bicycle and to promote cycling generally – as a committed cyclist, I am really delighted to support them.’ Senator Ivana Bacik
Freedom Machine from the Dublin Cycling Campaign.
In St. Patrick‟s Day Parade 2018 we will have one hundred women of all ages cycling in our Freedom Machine pageant in suffragette costume.

We celebrate the important historical role of bicycles for suffragettes and the emancipation of Women.
The theme for the Dublin Cycling Campaign is titled #FreedomMachine.

Donna Cooney, an Artist, Activist, Campaigner and Cyclist developed the Freedom Machine concept and also co-ordinated the team of Artists, makers and participants in the Dublin Cycling Campaign for the St. Patrick‟s Day Parade 2018. “Freedom Machine has one hundred women of all ages in suffragette costume with their bicycles in the parade, hand crafted replica period banners, sashes and placards, followed by a smaller group of their family, supporters and members of the Dublin Cycling Campaign on bicycles and cargo bikes”. “Many women cyclists would still claim those feelings of self-reliance and independence, but sadly in 2018 the number of female cyclists is dwindling, with three times more men than women choosing to cycle” “As we parade on our freedom machines we hope to encourage more women to enjoy leaving their homes and return freely and safely on their bicycles”. Donna Cooney Artist and Coordinator The American civil rights leader, Susan B Anthony, wrote in 1896:”I think the bicycle has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes the picture of untrammelled womanhood.” We are joined in the parade by Senator Ivana Bacik Chair of Votail100, Joanna Donnelly Meteorologist who are daily cyclists and by ninety eight other women who enjoy their freedom on their bicycles. We also have the support and endorsement of Micheline Sheehy Skeffington granddaughter of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Senators Alice Mary Higgins and Catherine Martin TD of the Votail 100 Dail committee. We are generously supported by Dublin City Council in funding this event. We are grateful to Jim Wolfe of Wolfe cycles for the loan of High Nellies.

Contact Donna Cooney: M: 083 3317190 E: [email protected] Freedom Machine Project Website and please use #FreedomMachine

Waterford Greenway wins tourism prize at council awards

Cyclist.ie congratulate Waterford Council on this well deserved award and for their prescience in working to get this great stretch of Greenway, along Ireland’s EuroVelo1 cycle route, up and running. Cyclist.ie are working with Waterford Council in encouraging the growth of cycling throughout the county. A number of other initiatives in Waterford City and elsewhere are being explored, and Waterford is most definitely setting itself on the cycling map of Ireland’

‘The Waterford Greenway has transformed this county. There is no doubt about that’

The Waterford Greenway has taken first prize in a national competition aimed at encouraging community initiatives.

The Waterford Greenway scooped gold for the Best Tourism Initiative in the All Ireland Community and Council Awards organised by Local Authorities Members Association and iPB Insurance while it also took a Grand Prix Award for 2018.

Read article

Cycling funds fall by half despite growing popularity

The government halved its spending on cycling infrastructure for Dublin last year despite a rise in the number of cyclists.

There was just over €9 million allocated for cycling projects in the Greater Dublin area last year, which includes parts of Co Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. This compares with €17.5 million in 2016, €17.7 million in 2015 and €15.69 million in 2015.

Read article

New Trishaws, Awards, New Brochure – We’re Cycling!

Latest update newsletter from Cycling without Age (CWA – group member of Cyclist.ie)

Trishaws:   In addition to a trishaw now in St Luke’s, in Mahon in Cork, and one in Clonakilty, we now have three in Dublin: one in Sybil Hill Nursing Home in Raheny, sponsored by Canada Life Re-Insurance, one in TLC Care Centre in Santry (who have three care homes), sponsored by Hidden Hearing, one in Mount Carmel HSE Community Hospital, sponsored by Zendesk.com, and at least two more on order.

Awards: Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Academy 2017 awarded us €1500 which we have put towards promotional expenses, and KBC Bank Bright Ideas awarded Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership CWA) €1750. This confirms that CWA is being recognised as a valuable social enterprise.

New Brochure: With the award from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland we got a brochure designed and printed. If you would like to get copies printed, go ahead. Or you can make colour photocopies. I can also provide a .pdf version of the brochure marked up for printing.

Having the brochure was essential when we attended as guests of the Nursing Homes Ireland annual conference in Citywest on 16th November, with 300 delegates and many trade exhibitors. We greatly appreciate their invitation to showcase our demo trishaw ‘Daisy’, and talk with nursing home owners from all over Ireland. On his arrival, Health Minister Simon Harris sat into our ‘Daisy’ and the photo appeared in the next day’s Irish Independent, with a broadly smiling Minister! He has asked us to go in and talk to Healthy Ireland in his Department.  Our thanks also to Ashbury Nursing Home in Deansgrange for providing their jeep, trailer and driver to get us to Citywest and back on the day.

Public Liability Insurance:  We are delighted to announce that Insurance Brokers O’Driscoll O’Neil have located an insurance company willing to offer all Irish CWA trishaw owners Public Liability cover. For more details, please contact Declan Troy, Tel: 01- 639 5860.

Hi-Vis Vests:  Given that we need to educate other road users on the appearance of CWA trishaws on our roads, I recommend that owners ask all pilots to wear identifiable RED hi-vis vests with the words VOLUNTEER PILOT on the lower back panel. I can give you a link to a print company who has already supplied some. Identifying the pilots as volunteers has already had benefits in the form of free coffee to passengers and pilots in some coffee shops!

Networking countrywide:  Our database for communicating with you is sortable by location. In this way, when I get enquiries from one region, I can link you up with others in that region. This is important, as we are volunteers and CWA is very time-consuming! We have been invited to give talks in places as far apart as Waterford and Donegal. While this shows the super level of interest, we cannot easily get to all these places, though we do try to cover local (to Dublin area) requests. Going forward, I would like other CWA affiliates to get out there spreading the word! We can help with details and information if requested. I can also supply you with graphics for a pull-up banner for using at events, talks and launches.

New Affiliates:  If you have signed up – or want to – as a CWA affiliate, do let me know.  I can then put you in touch with others including volunteer pilots in your area. Likewise, if you have recently received your CWA trishaw, do let me know, so we can promote you. We have held photo-calls for each of the Dublin launches, which generate good media and other responses, always building on the branding and profile of CWA.

Ordering your trishaw: All the specifications and details of the Trio Taxi Bike and the Christiania are on CWA; click on Order Bikes. Copenhagen Cycles can quote you up-to-date prices and delivery dates directly.

Pilot Training: I am currently offering pilot-training to those who have got trishaws in the greater Dublin area. An initial option is for me to train new pilots using our demo bike ‘Daisy’ in Blackrock, and then those pilots can train others when they get their own trishaws. We will need to train other pilot-trainers to cover the rest of Ireland. If you can help with this, please let me know.


Tralee to Fenit Cycleway/ Walkway

This event will take place exactly a year after the last public event, a year which has seen little progress on the project yet again !

It is also 6 years since the first public support walk in 2011, this time we are calling on people to get on their bikes to demand the development of important facility.

Meet at Saint Brendan’s church Rock Street for a 2.30 departure for cycling leisurely cycle to Mounthawlk and back.

This is a family friendly event for young and old and all abilities but if you don’t fancy cycling please come along and walk.

Spread the word and lets make the greenway happen, hopefully next year we can cycle to the beach.

More information

Great Southern Trail Christmas Walk & Railway Book

The  annual Christmas Walk along the Great Southern Trail Greenway will take place on Wednesday 27th December at 12.30p.m.. Assembly is at the newly opened Longcourt House Hotel (formerly the Courtenay Lodge), St. Mary’s Road, Newcastle West. The hotel is on the N21 and the public bus services stop alongside it. Walkers will be transferred by courtesy coach to Barnagh from where they will walk the 6 miles[10km], all downhill and mostly along the old railway, back to the Longcourt House where they can enjoy seasonal mince pies, whipped cream and tea/coffee at their leisure. All walkers must wear visibility vests as the final section is through the streets of Newcastle West and involves crossing the busy N21 which must be crossed at the zebra crossing close to the hotel. Cyclists, with visibility gear, helmets and lights, are also welcome and we suggest that they also meet at the hotel at 12.30p.m. and cycle outwards along the Greenway for approximately one hour to Barnagh or beyond and then return in time to enjoy the refreshments. Beidh fáilte roimh gach éinne ar an lá.

As Christmas is coming a nice gift to oneself or to family/friends would be the  Great Southern Trail Limited’s newly published “Limerick & Kerry Railway: Twilight Years” by Liam O’Mahony which is laden with information about the Greenway’s railway history. It is not alone a personal memoir by Liam of the 1950’s to 1980’s railway finale but also reproduces several historic documents. These include a list of the 300 or so shareholders (many of which names are still to be found locally) in the Rathkeale & Newcastle Junction Railway Company which built the line to those towns 150 years ago. Another historic gem which is included is a chapter from “Through the Green Isle”; a Victorian era travel guide which extolled  the historic attractions of Adare, Askeaton, Foynes, Ballybunion and Ardfert along with the then newly operational Lartigue railway in Listowel. Liam’s book is  very well illustrated with thirty of the photographs being in colour. Twenty full colour railway posters advertising  excursion trains to Dublin, Thurles, Cork, Killarney, Knock Shrine and Listowel Races during the 1950’s to the 1970’s will bring back memories to many.

Copies of the book will be delivered throughout all of Ireland for €15 (inc.postage). Orders from all of Britain will be £17stg  and  from all other countries €20 due to overseas postal rates. The book has 187 pages including a 32 page colour section. It is 170mm x 240mm format, soft cover. Enquiries to Liam O’Mahony, 9, Bishop St., Newcastle West, Co.Limerick V42HT66, Ireland to whom cheques should be made payable[or phone/text 00353876471956]. If payment by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is preferred please email your name and address to [email protected] and you will be provided with the bank BIC and IBAN. Please remind the bank to include your name on the EFT.

NTA Makes Dog’s Dinner of Cycle Quality

The NTA have made a dog’s dinner of cycle facility quality. Yes they are concerned about quality and yes they refer to it in the National Cycle Manual but does anyone outside the NTA really understand it?

When people are booking a hotel or apartment, they have an understanding of the ‘Star’ system of ranking. They may not understand the difference between a 2 star and 3 star hotel but they understand that a 3 star hotel is more luxurious or offers better facilities than a 2 star one and they would expect to pay more for it (all other things being equal).

So what is the story with the quality of cycle facilities? There are five levels of service – A+, A, B, C and D. Any cycle facility which does not fall into the first four is category D. Width is one of five determinants of quality the other being number of conflicts, percentage of HGVs on the route, pavement condition and journey time delay. (There has been some modification to pavement condition as a result of the development of the Greater Dublin Cycle Network but the amendments have not been incorporated into the written or digital version of the Manual.) Width is by far the most important determinant so what does the Manual say about width and level of service? The Manual assesses width in terms of the number of adjacent cyclists as shown below.


Quality of Service

No of Adjacent Cyclists












So is the width of Level C the same as Level D? And is the width of Level A the same as Level B? What width is necessary to achieve category A? In Section 1.5.2 of the Manual, there are references to widths of five cycling regimes but the Manual does not state if the cycling regimes corresponds to the Level of Service, and furthermore the exact meaning of different regimes is unclear and open to interpretation. For example what does basic two way mean? It can mean whatever you want.

Section 1.5.1 of the Manual Determining Width includes the following The designed width of a cycle facility is comprised of the effective width, i.e. the space that is “usable” by cyclists, as well as the clearances that will be required in different circumstances.

Effective width as opposed to designed or constructed width is a very important concept as it takes edge conditions into account. This is important as local authorities often provide a 2m wide cycle track which with a kerb adjacent to the footpath on one side and another kerb adjacent to a traffic lane on the other, only has an effective width of 1m.

To make matters worse, the minimum standard is defined as 3m, but whether this is effective width or designed/constructed width is not clarified and it does not define whether this is one way cycling shared with two way pedestrians or two way cycling shared with two way pedestrians. As 3m is the minimum standard in accordance with the National Cycling Manual, it is assumed that the level of service for cycling is the fifth and lowest category ie D. Then, just when you think that the NTA couldn’t complicate things further, they succeed.

In 2015, they published a Permeability Best Practice Guide which also has five levels of service but in this case they are A,B,C, D and E.

Section 3 of the Guide defines widths for the different Quality of Service (see below) but doesn’t define whether these are effective or constructed widths.


Quality of service

Minimum Width (m)












The Best Practice Guide states that local authorities in urban areas should aim to provide a Level A quality of service for any pedestrian or cycle links between residential areas and destinations such as schools and shops. Not unreasonably, the document goes on to point out that Level A will often be unachievable due to constraints but at least sets out a high target.

So where does that leave the common situation that arises where one section of a route has segregated cycle facilities and the next section has a 3m wide shared footway? Using the permeability criteria, the shared section is ranked category B and C (second and third) but using the National Cycle Manual criteria, it is D (fifth). What would you think of an organisation which ranks a hotel as one star, three star and four star at the same time? The idea of a star ranking is good. It gives politicians and the general public a crude but widely understood assessment of quality. However, the time to properly define its use is long overdue.

This article originally appeared on the website of Maynooth Cycling Campaign.

Ironic that the NTA HQ features a vehicle parked outside on the pavement