Capital shows it’s got the ride stuff12/09/2011 20:29
By Ken Sweeney
THE streets of the capital fell strangely silent yesterday as cars and trucks were banned in favour of a bicycle-only zone in the city centre.
Up to 10,000 cyclists, old and young, were granted sole use of 8km of the city for the biggest group cycling event ever held in Ireland.
The organisers of Sky Ride Dublin urged all two-wheelers to enjoy the opportunity to pedal safely and peacefully along roads usually clogged with buses, vans and cars.
Many children and their parents availed of the Dart’s new bike-friendly policy to get their bicycles close to the traffic-free zone before exploring the unusually quiet city.
Daring riders performing stunts on BMX bikes were among the many free attractions included in the event hosted by Sky Ireland, in partnership with the city council.
Dublin Lord Mayor Andrew Montague officially opened proceedings in Merrion Square at 10am, where he was joined by Sky Ride Dublin ambassadors Nicky Byrne of Westlife, stylist Lisa Fitzpatrick and pro-cyclist Russell Downing.
Adding his support was Taoiseach Enda Kenny who said he was delighted to see so many people taking part in the event.
“The benefits are obvious for young people in a city. There’s learning how to cycle in a group without traffic, and, for families, it’s an opportunity for good healthy exercise and I’m all for that,” Mr Kenny added.