5 TO 9: DUBLIN ON TWO WHEELS
The well-documented, unstoppable rise of cycling is obviously a good thing. Free, healthy and avoiding public transport are three clear-cut advantages for inner-city commuters, but what about if you fancy escaping for a weekend? For those crucial 5-9 hours outside work? We asked our friend Jeff to tell us where he gets out to in Dublin, away from the confines of his office – and he got much more philosophical than he realised…
As I sit here and type, it’s been raining all day. Not an unusual thing when living in Ireland. I’d been hoping to go for a cycle but will have to see what the weather holds for tomorrow. Ireland, like many countries in Europe, introduced a bike to work scheme that has resulted in more and more people taking up cycling. Since its introduction we’ve also seen the economy turn from boom to bust. People seem to have taken a step back from their working lives and realised that there is more to life than just work. It seems like there are more people taking part in sports now than ever.
So why cycle in Dublin? Well Dublin isn’t that big a city with only a million people, so if you cycle for an hour from the city centre in nearly any direction you find yourself on winding country roads. From being in the city you can go to taking in the peace and quiet of the hills in nearby County Wicklow that’s just a few miles further south than Stilllorgan. It’s a fantastic amenity to have at your doorstep; the famous Sally Gap feels like the West of Ireland. Rugged windswept landscapes, sheep wandering across roads making them like ever-changing obstacle courses, but above all, a real sense of peace: the complete opposite to that working office environment I find myself in during the day.
You don’t have to escape to the hills though. Instead of going South past Stilllorgan you can head out along the flat coast from the city centre to Howth which has a cycle lane nearly all the way. The Howth Head peninsula is the only hill and offers breathtaking views across Dublin Bay. Or you can head to the Phoenix Park. The entrance to the Park is located just North of the Liffey flowing into Dublin with the Guinness brewery on the South bank. The Park itself is one of the largest urban parks in Europe at 1,752 acres, and its long roads under mature chestnut, oak and other grand trees make it an amazing place to visit. There are also deer that wander free adding a sense of tranquillity to it.
I find that whatever problems I have are always fixed by the time I get back home. If I have an idea that I want to think through it takes care of itself. Or if I just want to stay healthy.
Dublin is the place I call home; writing about it reminds me why.