We always keen to talk to cyclists, and find out what concerns and issues are important to them. Towards this end, we took part in the annual Green Fair at NUI Galway on the 25th of January 2011. The fair aimed to help create awareness of how students and staff can all reduce their impact on the environment.
Here, we had the opportunity to speak to a wide range of people who use bikes for transport, recreation or for sport, from occasional cyclists, leisure cyclists, commuters, competitive road bikers, mountain bikers and bike hobbyists alike. All day long, we repeatedly heard people call for increased consideration for cyclists by other road users; safer infrastructure – better surfaced and improved design of roads; slower traveling speeds by other road users within urban areas; and more secure and available bike parking. Many thanks for those who engaged in discussions and took the time to express and share their great ideas on making Galway more cycling-friendly.
A focus on cycling issues was a strong theme at the event, with Critical Mass encouraging folk to come along to their monthly Saturday cycles, and the student’s Eco Soc lobbying with a petition for a bike workshop on campus. Cycling is an extremely efficient and enjoyable way of negotiating the city, and the representation of so many groups and attendees with an interest in getting around Galway city and county by bike was impressive. It points to Galway’s regrowing and thriving bike scene.
The Green Fair also gave us a great opportunity to further promote a positive image of cycling, by handing out free high visibility vests, clever spoke reflectors, t-shirts, and the hugely popular waterproof seat covers (which help to keep your saddle dry when parked – ingenious!).
Special thanks to Dr. Aoife Collins, NUI Galway’s Environmental Manager for her invitation and organisation of the event.
Hi I recently started cycling and I don’t feel safe with just helmet and lights on my bike. I am looking for a visibility vest and only could get arm bands. Could you help me finding a vest? Thanking you very much
Good to see you’ve taken up cycling. I can understand you feeling vulnerable at times but it’s good that you sorted out lights first as they will go a long way to making you visible. If you definitely want to go with a hi-visibility vest, there are a couple of ways to go:
– I think we have some of the RSA hi-vis/reflective vests, so we could get one to you. (I’m not a fan as I found the velcro fastening didn’t hold but I see lots of them on my cycle so it might just be me). Drop me a mail ([email protected]) I’ll either post one to you or drop one off if you’re on my commute route 🙂 (I think we also have some reflective ‘snap straps’ which you could also put around your ankles – these are quite effective as the motion as you pedal draws attention making you more visible).
– Hardware stores (like Woodies) have some pretty good ones in their safety sections (you can get some zipped ones with little pockets which are really handy – I think they’re made by Portwest)
Neither are terribly breathable or well fitting.
– Some of the sports shops (like Elverys) do an orange mesh vest, with reflective strips which is smaller and seems to work well if you already have a rain proof jacket or similar.
– Sports shops and Portwest on Shop Street often do hi-vis and reflective running jackets at reasonable prices. They can be water and wind resistant as well as maybe having external pockets. They also work well with a base layer underneath.
Hope that helps.