It’s hard to describe the exact feeling, but once you’ve experienced it a few times you learn to recognise it. The handling of the bike starts to feel a bit weird – a bit unstable – as if the wheels are sliding a bit to each side.
It’s the feeling of a flat tyre – and of the consequential loss of grip on the road.
The Irish law is very clear when it comes to Pavements – it is illegal to cycle or drive along the pavement, with the only exception being to cross the pavement to access a driveway.
However, the issues surrounding cycling on the pavement stretch beyond the letter of the law, and often evoke very strong emotions on both sides.
The saddle-mount for the Moon Comet was a bit awkward to use, and the strap for the seat-post mount felt a bit flimsy. It never gripped very tightly, and as such the light kept moving around in transit, and I always got the impression that the rubber might snap if pulled too tightly.
What I really wanted was to mount the light on the back of my pannier rack, where it would be out of the way, and look a little bit more aesthetically pleasing.
First thing on a morning, when you’re in a rush to get to work, is not the ideal time to discover you’ve got a flat tyre! I’m not sure how my back tyre got a puncture, but it was flat as a pancake this morning. I must have got a slow puncture on my way home last night, which seems like a feasible guess as the Dublin roads were wet and covered in debris from the recent high winds we’ve had.
The roads on my commute to work this morning were really quiet. I guess a lot of people have already finished work for the Christmas break. However, an unfortunate consequence of the empty roads was that most of the motorists were speeding, which didn’t seem very sensible given amount of standing water on the roads.
The National Transport Authority has today released a Dublin Cycle Planner App for Android. The app does route planning between two addresses, and can tailor the route to suit different levels of cycling. You can select Easier Routes that avoid heavy traffic, Direct Routes that may use busy roads, or something in between – and can even help you avoid hills.
When thinking about the Health and Safety of cyclists on our roads, it’s often in reference to wearing helmets and high visibility clothing. However, safety on our roads should not be only about what you wear, but about how you act. Personal protective equipment such as helmets and high-vis clothes should be your last line of defence, not your only one!