Month: November 2006

Ireland dominate Australia in nasty conditions

Ireland ‘s first half performance reaped two superb tries and a half-time standing ovation from a sell-out Lansdowne Road crowd. Dominating all statistics, and forcing Australia onto the back foot, it was a joy to watch (unless you’re Australian) despite the gale force conditions and rain. The 21 – 6 victory unofficially puts Ireland second place in the world, whatever the International Rugby Board world rankings. The Rugby World Cup cannot come too soon – let’s hope we can hold this form!

Update:

  • Ireland – Australia highlights video (8 mins, 28MB) from skelp.ie or YouTube version (3 mins, low bandwidth)
  • IRB has updated it’s rankings and Ireland is in 3rd place, to New Zealand 1st and France 2nd (sure they are!) as of 20/Nov/06
  • Read plenty of match reports via Google News

Latest IRB rankings:

  1. New Zealand 94.59 points
  2. France 85.86
  3. Ireland 84.68
  4. Australia 84.63
  5. South Africa 83.83
  6. Argentina 79.70
  7. England 79.55
  8. Scotland 77.72
  9. Wales 77.02
  10. Samoa 73.86

Ireland – Australia: Teams
Ireland: 15-Geordan Murphy (22-Girvan Dempsey 80), 14-Shane Horgan, 13-Brian O’Driscoll (captain), 12-Gordon D’Arcy, 11-Denis Hickie; 10-Ronan O’Gara, 9-Isaac Boss (20-Peter Stringer 73); 8-Denis Leamy, 7-David Wallace, 6-Neil Best (19-Simon Easterby 63), 5-Paul O’Connell (18-Malcolm O’Kelly 76), 4-Donncha O’Callaghan, 3-John Hayes, 2-Rory Best (16-Frankie Sheahan 76), 1-Bryan Young (17-Marcus Horan 63, Young 76)

Australia: 15-Chris Latham; 14-Clyde Rathbone (22-Scott Staniforth 68), 13-Lote Tuqiri, 12-Stirling Mortlock (captain), 11-Mark Gerrard; 10-Stephen Larkham (21-Mat Rogers 29), 9-Matt Giteau (20-Josh Valentine 80); 8-Wycliff Palu (19-George Smith 51), 7-Phil Waugh, 6-Rocky Elsom, 5-Mark Chisholm (18-Al Campbell 78), 4-Nathan Sharpe, 3-Guy Shepherdson (Baxter 80), 2-Tai McIsaac (16-Stephen Moore 58) 1-Al Baxter (17-Benn Robinson 40)

Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Why cyclists don’t like cycle lanes – part 2 of many

Cycle lanes are not the buggers that cause my left eye to twitch uncontrollably, my real problem is with cycle paths .

What’s the difference? Simple enough: the former are on-road lanes, the latter are off-road, shared with pedestrians and bus stops and such-like. Have a look at cyclopath2001’s definitions – fantastic site and the photos in this post are from his site. Some of Dublins Hundreds of Kilometres of cycle routes - quote from CorporationOk, you’re still with me?

Likes: GSOH, non-smoker, on-road. Dislikes: pedestrians, off-road, bus stops. But let’s be realistic: in Ireland both the on-road and off-road variants suck.

The issue we have with cycle routes in Ireland is summarised thusly:

1. Cyclists are required by law to use the cycle lanes, where provided.

2. The incompetent moronic non-cyclists, may they forever suffer somewhere unpleasant, who “designed” these cycle lanes, well, they’re idiots. Or corrupt.

Actually, as anyone with the slightest knowledge of Irish politics will realise, those last two aren’t mutually exclusive. I have slightly more respect for the guys taking money. May they suffer for infinity-minus-one in the aforementioned unpleasant place.

Ok, so we’ve established, quite vehemently, that I am not a fan of off-road cycle paths. Why?

Because in Dublin they are badly designed, implemented and unmaintained. They are dangerous. They are uncomfortable to cycle on. They lend support to motorists who believe that cyclists should not be on the road.More laughable attempts at Engineering from Dublin Corporation. Leave it to the professionals, guys!

There are several that are seriously dangerous – particularly the one on the North Strand going downhill into the city centre which laughably crosses a bus stop and 3 side roads before dumping the cyclist back into traffic over a kerb and into a junction with traffic lights, and traffic turning left across the arriving cyclist. Wait, wait – I’m not done! This joke of a cycle path is shared with pedestrians and is runs parallel to a busy housing estate. Was I being harsh on the incompetent morons? You decide.

Here’s what I posted on the Fingal Safe Cycling blog comments:

The compulsory use of inappropriate cycle facilities is anathema to anyone who cycles for more than family outtings. Bicycles are vehicles and are the chosen, often sole, mode of transport for many of us. If successful, your campaign may force North Dublin cycle commuters onto completely inappropriate cycle paths designed for a different purpose, and they would have every reason to oppose your campaign as they are likely to be on that route day in, day out.

Are you laughing or crying yet?

I understand and support their campaign to have safer places for kids to cycle, and I hope they’re understanding of the position of daily cycling commuters and why more inappropriate cycle lanes is worse than the status quo of inadequacy.

Read part one of  Why cyclists don’t like cycle lanes.

Dublin Port Tunnel 10k run

Dublin Port Tunnel entrance

Thanks to the guys over at the Geared Up blog who posted about the Dublin Port Tunnel Run . They admit to being late with the news, but hell, I sit 100 metres from the tunnel entrance at work and I didn’t know!

Anyway it’s on Sunday December 10th at 11:00am and you can register here. It’s 25 euros to enter and you need to do so by the November 29th or even before if it fills up too quick.

Oh great, that’s the day after I’ve planned to have a major Christmas party… run off the hangover? Hmmm, I might have to rethink this plan!

Why cyclists don’t like cycle lanes – part 1 of many

Cycle lanes , cycle paths , cycle routes – call them what you like – many cyclists , myself included, hate using them! Surprised? This guy seemed to be. This thread is a perfect example of the gulf dividing the everyday cyclist and the occasional or completely non cyclist.

Why would somebody wearing a high vis vest, high vis bands all over his body and a helmet be cycling in a bus lane which runs parallel to a perfectly good cycle lane? And I don’t mean one of those ‘cycle lanes’ that have parked cars every 2m, I mean a long open stretch of cycle lane…. This cycle lane was in excellent condition: no leaves, no branches, no obstacles, no pot holes.

In reply, he got some great answers. Here is just a couple of quotes:

From Bunnyhopper:

Why? In short, because he decided it was safer… it’s probable that he had made a judgement that he was safer off the cycle lane than on it. Choosing to cycle in a bus lane rather than a cycle lane is surely not something that many safety-conscious cyclists would do if they considered the cycle lane to be “perfectly good”.

From rubadub:

That cycle track is terrible, I am on it every day… Even on a MTB it is very harsh. Littered with glass. In the morning cops pull cars in and have them park on it. Cars pull up onto it to let kids out, or pull into the bus lane and have doors fly open onto the cycletrack. I only tolerate it since the manic bus men have endangered my life one too many times. I know the “route” I must take on it by now, constantly swerving in and out avoiding the potholes and kerbs. It is full of wandering pedestrians… Bus drivers pull in anywhere they want and let people off buses who wander straight onto the lane oblivious. The new bus shelters have these ridges begging for accidents unless you can go perfectly straight through the ridge. Cars are always parked on it, or pull in and have to wait to open the gates to their house.

And finally blorg, well this says it all:

I cycled along that way at lunchtime… in the interests of science…

(1) Bus parked in bus stop makes getting on to lane difficult in the first place (note: he was parked, not stopped, there is no driver in the bus.) (2) the Foxrock church bus stop; not so bad now (although the fallen leaves aren’t great) but awful in the morning with lots of pedestrians. Note roadworks on cycle lane ahead and van blocking. (3) Pine Avenue crossing. Car blocking cyclist path (note stop line behind him.) This is the notorious kerb; in fairness it has just been replaced by the roadworks for one that is NOT so bad. Note roadworks on lane just beyond the car. (4) A van was parked here on the lane and was completely blocking it with an open door. Note car blocking lane in distance much like previous one. (5) General condition coming up to Leopardstown Road. (6) Quick look on the other side, yes, there’s a van parked there. Believe it or not there was a car parked _right beside_ this van half in the lane half in the bus lane but I didn’t get a photo on time. (7) No way for cyclists to continue on N11, you are swept around onto Leopardstown Road. (8) Closer view of surface.

Was also swiped by a car who went past in the bus lane and turned sharply into Kilgobbin Lane (or whatever it’s called) in front of me. The continuation into Leopardstown is worse:

Yes, cycle path goes up an absurd embankment (complete with oncoming cyclist), then there is a car parked right in the middle of it, and then it just twists around and terminates suddenly. Further on it goes into bumpy driveway mode with a vengance.

breadmonkey- why did you post a question here if you are not willing to listen to polite and considered replies from people trying to actually explain why cyclists don’t use certain lanes? The lane may be suitable for _you_ as an occasional cyclist but it is not for people whose bike is their main mode of transport. A very simple rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t expect someone to drive on it, don’t expect someone to cycle on it.

That’s why I don’t like to cycle in cycle lanes, ok?

I’m sure I’m going to rant about this subject again in future, hence the subject line.