Not too hilly, not totally flat, Dublin is one of those cities that is perfect for cycling.
Like most major cities these days, the inner city is becoming increasingly clogged as people still insist on driving their cars around roads originally designed for horses and carts. That’s why cycling can be a perfect solution – why sit on a stationary bus when you can be whizzing past with the wind in your hair?
Particularly handy for visitors, Dublin has a hire and ride bicycle scheme: dublinbikes. There are 44 dublinbike stations across the city where you can pick up a bike, returning it at any of the other stations. There is a 3 Day Ticket option for visitors to the city which costs €2, though an annual subscription is only €10 if you will be in the city a bit longer. 15 of the 44 bike stations have a credit card facility for buying your subscription. The first half hour of use is free, after that there’s a service charge.
If you want to hire a cycle for longer, there are numerous bike shops around the city and in places like Phoenix Park where you can do that.
The most recent addition to the city is the 2.2-mile (3.6-kilometer) Canal Way Cycle Route which opened in March 2012. Nearly all off-road, the route currently begins at Portobello (at Rathmines Road, Dublin 4) and then follows the Grand Canal, crossing the Liffey at Samuel Beckett Bridge and ending north of the river at Sheriff Street Upper (Dublin 7).
If you do like a bit of a challenge in your cycling, head for Phoenix Park and the Kyber Circuit. It’s 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long and has hill climbs of 110 feet (33 meters) with a maximum elevation of 160 feet (49 meters). Not exactly a mountain but it’ll get the blood flowing.
Helmets are not compulsory in Dublin but it is advisable as the traffic can be heavy. Also brightly colored clothing and all the usual safety maxims are important to remember. There are bike lanes marked on many roads but beware they sometimes end abruptly, have give-way signs and at times become shared.
Weekends are a great time to explore the city by bicycle when there are fewer cars competing for the road space.