How to beat the bus strike with your bike

On Friday and Saturday this week, the Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann drivers are due to be on strike, affecting up to 850,000 journeys over the 48 hour period.

Your plan may be to switch to your car for tomorrow’s commute, but you just know the roads are going to be gridlocked. So why not dust off that old bike in the shed, and cycle to work?

Obviously, you’ll need to check that the bike is roadworthy – it has working brakes, lights on the front and back (if you’re riding in the dark), and the tyres are pumped up. And if you haven’t ridden for a long time, it might be worth having a quick test ride on some quiet streets tonight, to reacquaint yourself with the handling of the bike.

You don’t need to stock up on special clothing (lycra is entirely optional), and if you’re worried about getting sweaty then just take it a bit easy. It’s not a race – you’re just trying to get to work.

Before you set out:

  • Plan your route – have a think about whether there’s some nice quiet short-cuts you can take, and if there’s any busy narrow roads you want to avoid.
  • Allow some extra time – the journey by bike will probably be quicker than the bus, but you’ll need a bit of extra time to lock up your bike at the other end.

Above all, be prepared to experience a new sensation on your commute – one of pure unadulterated joy!  Joy, as you whiz pass those long queues of traffic. Joy, as you feel your heart pumping and getting to work alert and awake. Joy, as you don’t breath in the germs and smells of other people.

The weather forecast for tomorrow in Dublin is set to be overcast but dry, with temperatures between 6 and 9 degrees, and a fresh northerly wind – so you might want a pair of gloves and a hat – but other than that, you’re good to go.

Have a great ride!

Richard Bloomfield

Richard is the founder of Dublin Bike Blog. He commutes to work every day by bike, come rain or shine, on his Dutch city bike. You can read more from Richard on his blog richardbloomfield.ie.

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