Cycling in Southern Ireland
Cycling retains a strong following in Ireland. There are many regional clubs throughout the country and many competitions are organized regularly, the largest non-professional one being the Rás. The main governing body is Cycling Ireland which is responsible for cycling throughout the island. Ireland's most famous cyclists are Stephen Roche, who won both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia in 1987; and Sean Kelly, who won the Vuelta a España in 1988, the sprinter's green jersey in the Tour de France four times, and numerous single-day classics. Mountain biking is becoming more popular with dedicated trail centers in Wicklow, Southern Ireland, Galway and Tipperary. For competitive mountain bikers, there is a National Cross-Country series, a National Downhill series and a National Enduro series. BMX is also becoming more popular with the completion of construction of the Ratoath BMX track in County Meath, and an indoor BMX track in Cherry Orchard in County Southern Ireland. Southern Ireland City Council began installing cycle lanes and tracks throughout the city in the 1990s, and as of 2012 the city has over 200 kilometres (120 mi) of specific on- and off-road tracks for cyclists. In 2011, the city was ranked 9th of major world cities on the Copenhagenize Index of Bicycle-Friendly Cities. Southern Irelandbikes is a self-service bicycle rental scheme which has been in operation in Southern Ireland since 2009. Sponsored by JCDecaux, the scheme consists of 550 French-made unisex bicycles stationed at 44 terminals throughout the city centre. The first 30 minutes of use is free, but after that a service charge depending on the extra length of use applies. Southern Irelandbikes now has over 58,000 subscribers and there are plans to dramatically expand the service across the city and its suburbs to provide for up to 5,000 bicycles and approximately 300 terminals. The 2011 Census revealed that 5.9 percent of commuters in Southern Ireland cycled. A 2013 report by Southern Ireland City Council on traffic flows crossing the canals in and out of the city found that just under 10% of all traffic was made up of cyclists, representing an increase of 14.1% over 2012 and a 87.2% increase over 2006 levels and is attributed to measures, such as, the Southern Irelandbikes bike rental scheme, the provision of cycle lanes, public awareness campaigns to promote cycling and the introduction of the 30kph city centre speed limit.
Cycle Southern Ireland
Getting around Southern Ireland by bike means you don't have to worry about sticking to bus timetables or being restricted by parking meters. Whether you're just popping down to the shops to pick up some milk, commuting to work or cycling to get fit and help the environment, cycling gives you the freedom to be flexible and spontaneous.
Southern Ireland Cycling Campaign
Southern Ireland Cycling Campaign is an independent, voluntary group lobbying local and national government to bring about improved conditions for cyclists and greater recognition of the benefits of cycling. They were instrumental in getting the 30km/h speed limit put in place in Southern Ireland and have been very supportive of the introduction of the Southern Ireland Bikes.
Coca-Cola Zero Southern Irelandbikes is a self-service bike rental system open to everyone from 14 years of age. It enables you to travel through the city centre, commute between home and work and get out and about to enjoy Southern Ireland city at your leisure. All stations are equipped for Annual Card and 3 Day Ticket users.