Scanning the web today, we came across an interesting Press Release from a bicycle shop here in Dublin: GreenAer.
GreenAer, set up by a Belgian / Irish couple, has conducted research on the cycling preferences of Dubliners. As some of our readers may know, this particular topic has had our interest interest for a long time already. We even wrote a guest blog item on Copenhagenize.com, where we argued how cycling gear is overcomplicating the simplicity of cycling.
It turns out that many Dubliners feel the same. GreenAer’s Press Release says it all:
26 September 2011 - GreenAer, Dublin’s expert in ‘clean transport solutions’ (www.greenaer.ie), has recently conducted research on cycling and clothing. GreenAer interviewed 137 Dubliners, asking (amongst others) what their favourite cycling attire would be if there were no practical, logistical or social barriers.
GreenAer’s research showed 7 out of 10 respondents prefer to cycle with ‘as little clothes as possible’. Research also showed 8 out of 10 Dublin cyclists ‘gear up’ (e.g. sweater, jacket, high visibility vest) for their cycle trips, but would rather not do so due to ‘sweatiness’, ‘bulkiness’ or ‘clothing style’. A minority of respondents (3 out of 10) indicated they would be interested in cycling (partly) naked.
To meet demand from these Dubliners, GreenAer has founded an independent association that encourages cyclists to dress down: ‘The Bare Cycling Club’ (www.bare-cycling-club.com). The association is currently in the process of being formally incorporated, but 15 members have already joined in the ‘pre-signup’. The draft articles of association set out members ‘strive to wear as little as possible, without interfering with public safety or morality’. The association also caters for the needs of the minority preferring to cycle (almost) naked.
The Bare Cycling Club stresses it is not a nudist association and that its activities are within the legal framework. However, the Bare Cycling Club does believe its (minority of) almost naked cycling members can play a strong role in advocating a more pleasant way of cycling (i.e. without the confinements too much cycling gear) for all cyclists. The Bare Cycling Club understands naked cycling may seem radical, so to avoid confrontations it advises its partly naked members to cycle only between 10 pm and 6 am.
Ciaran Fallon, Cycling Officer for Dublin City Council, says: “Cycling is really taking off in Dublin – ever since the Dublin Bike scheme we have seen a huge uptake on various new forms of cycling and bicycles; consider, for example, the fixies and BMXs. We encourage all forms of cycling, as long as it does not breach any regulations and remains within the spirit of good use of roads”.