Perils of cycling in Dublin

I cycled to the post office collection point over lunch today, using Dublin Bikes, to fetch a birthday gift. My rear tire hit a wet manhole cover and slid out from under me. My body hit the ground, belly first, flying toward an oncoming car. I stopped 18” short of its tires. The driver didn’t stop or apparently even consider it.

I am a bit bruised and had quite a scare but I’m okay and I’m home now. I might stay in my home office for the rest of the week as this experience was terrifying! I’m kidding of course, but I will stay put until my afternoon research appointment.

At least I discovered I can ask the Post to convey my packages to their local office, across the street from where I work. (The intercom in my flat doesn’t work and won’t be fixed. C’est la vie.)

So it appears I’ve used up another one of my nine lives, and just one day short of my 50th birthday, I’m down to fewer than six lives now. The precise count is unclear, but I definitely squandered one in 1979 when my crazy acrobatic attempt landed me in the hospital. Hopefully the remaining number, whatever it is, will see me safely through the coming 50 years.

Cheers—here’s to a happy but purple-kneed birthday!

It’s Just Like Riding a Bike… You Never Forget

Getting ready to put the dublinbikes membership card to use.

Mom needed me to run an errand, and I took it as an opportunity to learn something new. I grabbed my new dublinbikes membership card, donned my helmet and reflective vest, and headed to the bike rack.

I took a detour through King’s Law building and its park… all because I couldn’t cross the busy intersection by bike.

It all looked harmless enough, but was it?  NOOOOOOO!

Riding on the opposite side of the street — over cobblestones — and zigzagging through the maze of one-way streets that do not flow together with any logic that I can ascertain….

Well, it was very, very difficult getting just six blocks.

And, believe it or not, Dubliners in cars do not yield to pedestrians.  They do so a little — just a little — for bicyclists.  Pretty hard to believe, I know, but that’s my experience.  Pedestrians waiting at crosswalks, don’t elicit empathy, slowing, or stopping.

Today, I took a number of detours in places I couldn’t cross due to heavy flow of traffic. Fortunately, I made it the six blocks alive.  I returned my bike to the dublinbikes stand.

Bike safely returned and locked in place.

In the end, my right hand was dirty from clutching the handle and switching gears.  I made Mom’s purchase, picked up some dairy at the grocery and veggies at the produce stands, and walked the six block back home… nice and safe, on foot!

Must have gripped the handle too hard going over those cobblestones on Henrietta Lane!