Tag Archives: bicycles

Bicycles, Fashion, Rain.

15 Dec
Christmas Party at the Pod

Christmas Party at the Pod

Tomorrow, the Dublin Cycling Campaign hosts its annual Christmas Party (8:30 pm, The Pod, Harcourt Street). Like previous year, bicycle lovers will have plenty to look at: bicycle Christmas trees, bicycles films, and bicycle battles (next week, this blog will bring you a report of the party itself). This year, however, the Dublin Cycling Campaign also introduces a new element: fashion. In a Bicycle Fashion Show, Dublin designers will be sending out models to show their costumes and bicycles.

bicycle and fashion

Sleek, meaningful - bikes on billboards

Fashion and cycling go hand in hand these days. Bicycles are found in shop windows and glossy magazines. Models with tilted heads and meaningful stares, leaning against sleek bike frames, decorate the city’s billboards. So a fashion show dedicated solely to cycling is the natural next step to educate people cycling should be done in style.

We’re glad it has come this far. However – coming from the Netherlands – we are also surprised it has. To us, cycling is as much a fashion statement as taking out your garbage. We had not expected bicycles could be a centerpiece on the catwalk. To clarify that, have a look at these lovely ladies in Amsterdam:

Dutch bicycle with lady

Lady walking with Dutch Bicycle, Amsterdam

 

Dutch bicycle lady

Lady on Dutch Bicycle, Amsterdam

This is the Netherlands: where cycling is purely functional and style isn’t on a cyclist’s mind.

At least, until now.

Because more and more, the non-Dutch focus on cycling in style is also surfacing in the Netherlands. For example: three Amsterdam ladies recently set out on a mission to bring style to Dutch cycling. Inspired by 18th century Victorian couture, their company Madame De Pé produces stylish raincoats that make flapping poncho’s belong to the past. And there’s more: fancy fixies and bmx bikes are other examples of foreign influences on Dutch cycling.

So tomorrow, at the Dublin Cycling Campaign’s Fashion Show, we’ll be extra alert. Maybe we’ll find some Dublin fashion that suits the Dutch.

Madame de Pé Victorian Coat

Madame de Pé Victorian Poncho

Hats of Snow

28 Nov
Dutch bike and girl

Dutch bike and girl

 

A muffled sound of wings,
As from its branch a crow
Shakes down on me
A cloudy spray of snow.

The spider’s web a fishing line;
Floaters of white hang, stable
Waiting for sun to set them free,
Like birds perched on a cable.

Streets with icing sugar,
Bicycles and railings show,
How a city turns pretty,
When it dons a hat of snow.

– PDR –

 

Snow on spider thread

Snow on spider thread

 

Dutch bicycle with crate, fallen over

Dutch bicycle with crate, fallen over

 

Snow hats on fence, Dublin 8

Snow hats on fence, Dublin 8

 

Bicycle, snow, railing

Bicycle, snow, railing

 

Georgian doors in the snow

Georgian doors in the snow

 

Two bicycles, railings, snow

Two bicycles, railings, snow

 

ding dong bell

ding dong bell with hat of snow

 

Dutch bicycle

Dutch bicycle, railing, snow

 

Dutch bicycle Dublin

Dutch bike and girl, Synge Street

 

Morris in snow

Morris car, snow

 

black cat, snow

black cat in snow

 

Dutch bicycle at dolls boutique

Dolls boutique

 

 

 

A muffled sound of wings,

As from its branch a crow
Shakes down on me
A cloudy spray of snow
.

The spider’s web a fishing line;

Floaters of white hang, stable

Waiting for sun to set them free,

Like birds perched on a cable.

Streets with icing sugar,

Bicycles and railings show,
How a city turns pretty,

When it dons a hat of snow.

A Classy Commute – the Recently Retired Trinity College Biochemist

15 Nov

Mike McKillen’s love for cycling did not start with bicycles; it started with a motorbike.

In his younger years, before he became lecturer in Biochemistry at Trinity, Mike participated in motorbike trial riding. Trials is a sport where riders steer motorbikes through bogs, across streams, over boulders and up rocky hills. It’s not a race, but a game of skill – the goal is to stay on your motorbike and not put your feet down once. It was the thrill of riding his Bultaco 250cc through Wicklow’s countryside, which eventually got Mike cycling.

Mike discovered cycling shows him the world around him. And Mike, who is also a mountaineer and ocean sailor, likes to feel the elements. As a mountaineer, he heads to the Alps every summer, for a 12-day camping trip. Last summer, he camped near Grenoble, at the base of Mont Pelvoux. Each morning, he would get out of his tent to be greeted by a different setting – be it butterflies hovering over rusty-leaved Alpenroses or snow blowing in from the glacier. Mike feels at home in changing weather conditions. And the best place to appreciate the changing Irish weather, he feels, is on his bike. Also, it awakes him almost enough to confront the day ahead.

And so it is with anticipation Mike sets out to Trinity each morning – no matter if his breath clouds accompany him in the crispy cold, or if he can take off his jacket to let his arms be warmed by the sun. Mike starts his journey on Seaview Terrace and then shoots onto Angelsea Road, heading towards the traffic lights at Donnybrook Bridge. If the light is red, Mike watches the river Dodder from that bridge. It’s a spate river; he can tell by the height of the water level whether the Dublin Mountains to the south have been getting rain. Mostly, the grey heron is there as well; standing like a statue, looking for fish, oblivious to traffic above him.

Continuing his journey, Mike passes the American Embassy on Elgin Road. Its modern architecture commands his respect, but also instils a sense of loss for the Georgian house the building replaced. Further on, near the D4 Hotel, Mike waits for another traffic light. On the adjacent triangular traffic island – more a stopover for crossing two streets, really – sits an O’ Brien’s coffee kiosk. The smell of coffee makes Mike eager to press on to his first coffee of the day, awaiting him in Trinity’s canteen.

After crossing the Grand Canal and cycling through Lower Mount Street – a uniform modern streetscape similar to those seen in old socialist cities – Mike arrives at Trinity College. His office is his city centre oasis; where intellectual renewal and challenging students confront him every day.

But first, it’s time for coffee.

<!–[if !mso]> <! st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } –> And so it is with anticipation Mike sets out to Trinity each morning – no matter if his breath clouds accompany him in the crispy cold, or if he can take off his jacket to let his arms be warmed by the sun. Mike starts his journey on Seaview Terrace and then onto Angelsea Road, heading towards the traffic lights at Donnybrook Bridge. If the light is red, Mike watches the river Dodder from that bridge. It’s a spate river; he can tell by the height of the water level whether the Dublin Mountains to the south have been getting rain. Mostly, the grey heron is there as well; standing like a statue while looking for fish, oblivious to the traffic above him.