It appears that Cork is catching up with her European neighbours. Cyclists, once a rare species in the city centre, are now a common sight. With the advent of the Coke Zero bike scheme, Cork city centre has seen a massive increase in cyclists. As a result of this increased bike traffic, new cycle lanes have been built all across the city with €650,000 spent on Washington St alone.
It makes sense that we (both cyclists and other road users) might have some teething problems while we get used to this mode of transport. But look, the novelty is wearing off now. I know that Cork has a lot of one way streets that are awkward for cyclists. Luckily for us, they have these great things called contra-flow cycle lanes. Stick with me here, I promise that it’s even easier than it appears:
Follow the arrows.
The lanes are painted red and have lovely pictures of a bicycle on them, but the most important feature is definitely the arrows. If you don’t follow them, you will end up cycling at another cyclist. The solution? Cycle with the traffic. Contra-flow cycle lanes are just that, contra-flow. If you are going with the flow of traffic, then do so. The hotspots for this activity appear to be Washington St, Lancaster Quay and Popes Quay.
What should you do when you are faced with an oncoming cyclist as you pedal along merrily, following the rules of the road? Personally, I fume silently and curse my fellow cyclist. More practical suggestions are welcome.
Please, just follow the arrows and make everyone’s life easier.
Don’t forget, all bicycles have to be fitted with a rear reflector by law. During lighting up time, which begins half an hour before sunset and ends half an hour after sunrise, all bicycles must also have a front and rear lamp. The law does not require you to wear a helmet. You should still wear one though! I know they can make you feel a bit silly, but if you’re in an accident it’s worth it.
You look silly if you’re cycling your bike on the wrong side of the road anyway.