Darren McAdam-O'Connell

From Cork Ireland

Commutes 9 Kilometers RoundTrip for 10 years and months
Seven days a week, my bike is my primary transportation Year Round

In the morning I start by heading in the South Douglas Rd one of two main roads in to the city from the large inner suburb of Douglas. This was originally a country lane which had individual hoses built along it then was in filled with housing estates over a hundred years and was widened piece meal over a similar time frame. This means it varies from 5 to 20 meters in with and it varies in steps e.g. 20m is suddenly 8, 8 is suddenly 5 ect. the surface it also very variable. I deal with this by moving slowly out well before I reach a pinch point or an area where the road surface require me to take the lane. After two miles or so the South Douglas Rd. becomes Evergreen road which in turn becomes Evergreen St.. Evergreen St./Rd. runs from the Viking main street out to the south east and was one of the routes radiating out of the medieval city. It was urbanised along most of it's length over the course of the 19th century. This means as I head in to the city the road gradually narrows from a grand turn of the century boulevard type situation to a very narrow medieval street where two cars can't pass each other. About half way along the heavy traffic from Douglas turns off to follow wide modern roads in to the city. I follow it all the way in. It is a classic example of a medieval design suitable for cycling but not cars. The other thing about this stretch is it is solidly up hill for 1.5 miles/2KM and in to the prevailing wind. It great when I get a green at the bottom of the hill at the end of the South Douglas Rd and can keep speed up. At the top of the hill the road is now very narrow less than 3m/12' of usable road for both direction with parking allowed on one side. The road now plunges down hill very steeply with roads joining from all sides, while remaining in most places two narrow for two cars to pass each other. Again if you remain well out car will not be able to pass dangerously, if you hug the curb they will try and pass dangerously when there is not enough room. Here there is not enough room even when nothing is coming. A problem I have here is that cars coming ageist me are in the middle of the road and some expect me to get out of their way even though half of their vehicle is on the wrong side of the road and I am entirely on my own side. Look them in the eye and they will stop to let you pass. The road leads to south gate bridge, from which roads radiate in all directions. From there I take the one way system around Mary's Isle past the cathedral to work. In the evening I do the same in reverse.

I am a research scientist working in Bioinfomatics with University College Cork. My family and I cycle everywhere. I am involved with the Cork Cycle Campaign.

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