CycleSound is an attempt by cyclists to simply promote the act of being a sound cyclist. Cycling in Dublin can be pretty dangerous; sharing lanes with buses whose blind spot you’re constantly in as they pull into stops, cycle lanes filled with potholes, and street cleaners that seem to push half the debris from the night before into the cycle lanes. Not to mention the complex one-way system with no contra flow lanes, yet plenty of rental bikes for tourists who don’t realise that they’re headed against traffic. It is often, however, the actions of other cyclists that seem to cause the most danger.
The ultimate goal of CycleSound is to make cycling safer and more enjoyable for everyone. The first step in that process is addressing how we as cyclists behave as a group. I constantly see cyclists moving out in front of traffic without indication, or even looking. It's rare that I stop at a set of traffic lights and don't see someone breaking that same set of lights. What is most annoying is when cyclists are ignorant of their presence around one another; constantly cutting each other off, or even just skipping ahead of the queue at traffic lights.
If we manage to get a common etiquette in place, we can show to the public that we deserve the infrastructure we call for. Anytime any cycling related topic springs up on social media, the comments section which follows is infuriating. A constant back and forth between motorists and cyclists where any half-intelligent arguments get drowned out by the attitude that once you sit on a saddle, you deserve any injuries that come. Brainless debates in which cyclists get sucked in, achieving nothing other than fuelling the anger between the two parties. Respect is a cyclical process (surely a concept we can get our heads around, as cyclists). Unfortunately due to the actions of a few, the perspective of some drivers is that cyclists as a group don't deserve any respect on the road. This leads to accidents.
To achieve our goal we’ve set out a simple set of guidelines to keep in mind on your next commute. It’s simple: Just be sound.
If you struggle with that concept we’ve broken it down a little further. Be Aware, be obvious, and be patient.
Look where you’re going, and take off your headphones. Whether you’re merging onto another road, changing lanes, or about to overtake someone. Know what’s around you, and what’s coming ahead.
Listening to music while cycling is great, but when you’re commuting in a dense urban area it’s just dangerous. You need to be able to hear what’s coming from behind, whether it’s a car, a moped, or a bicycle.
Let others know what you’re doing, and wear lights. Don’t assume people behind you can see the obstruction in your path. Tell them you’re about to move, before you move.
Stop at lights, and don’t skip the queue. There’s no harm in cycling fast, but there’s also no harm in cycling slowly. Take it easy when you’re passing others, and pull back into the left when it’s safe to let others pass you.
Treat lights as a queue. I don’t care if you’re Lance Armstrong, you wouldn’t skip the line for communion if you were with your mammy. Skipping is just rude.
If you disagree with anything we’ve said, get in contact and let us know why! If you agree with us, spread the word! Don’t go shouting at others because of their ignorance, explain to them why their cycling habits aren’t sound. Be sound, cycle sound.