Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dublin Bikes

We have not yet bought a car, so I have been exploring many other modes of transport. You may have read my post about taking a cab using Hailo. Mostly I have been walking everywhere, because everywhere I need to go is pretty close and I love just looking around me as I saunter along. The architecture, people (people dress up much more here, so people watching is very fun), cars, people on bikes, everything is just a little different (or a lot different) than L.A. So I walk and soak it all up. I have used the bus a couple of times, but I can usually walk to where I am going in the same amount of time that I would spend waiting for the bus. Today I walked to DH's office in Smithfield, which is on the other side of the Liffey and about an hour walk from home.

I got a tour of the office and then we went for a quick lunch, before taking a cab over to the South Circular Road to look at a car. After looking at the car, we were each in a rush to get to our next destination. So, I headed straight for the closest Dublin Bikes station.

Let me tell you a bit about Dublin Bikes because they are just so awesome. They have stations all over the city that look like this:

For 20euros a year, you can join and get a DublinBikes Annual card. There are also 3 day tickets available for 5euros. There is a terminal at every bike station and once you have this card, you can just go to the terminal at the station, put your card up to the sensor and pick a bike. All terminals accept an Annual Card and a 3 Day Ticket. A number of terminals have credit card facilities enabling you to purchase a 3 Day Ticket. The terminal looks like this:

Once you have picked your bike number, you walk over to the bike and unhook it from the stand.

Once you adjust the saddle to your desired height and deposit your stuff in the front basket, away you go!

There are many stations located all over the city, and you can download an app to your phone that tells you where they are. It will also tell you how many bikes are currently available at any particular station. The back of the terminal also has a map if you need to find a station near your destination. 

So wherever you are going to, especially if its centrally located, you can find a convenient station where you can just drop your bike off when you are done. You just clip it back into any available stand and it will light up and beep when the bike is locked in. If your ride is under 30 minutes, your ride is free. If you go over 30 minutes, the credit card that you have on file will be billed. You can see the pricing structure here if interested in more info.

Dublin is such a bike friendly city, with many bike lanes and LOTS of people just getting around by bike. No spandex, or even helmets required. I have seen some fabulously dressed people just riding their bikes for transport. Many parents ride with their kids to school. I see one man every morning while I am walking the dog, riding right down the main road with one hand on his handlebars and the other hand pulling his daughter briskly along beside him on her scooter, while a toddler rides behind him in a seat. Our postman delivers the mail by bike! The other night as I was walking back from the local shop, I saw an elderly woman riding a very large tricyle with her groceries in a big basket behind her. My husband rides a bike to work everyday. Dublin Bikes makes Dublin even more bike friendly. You can head out for the day without a bike and just grab one if you need one. Loving it!

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