Butcher Bikes, Cargo Bikes and keeping it Green, for National Bike Week 2013

This Saturday sees the return of National Bike Week which runs from 15th - 23rd June throughout the country. It got us thinking about our relationship with bikes here in Ireland. Although bikes were introduced in the 19th century, our relationship has been a turbulent one. Initially bikes were used before cars became an option for the every day man. We relied on bicycles to not only get us around our cities but also as a means of transporting goods from one part of the city to the other. In fact even with the influx of automobiles, bikes still remained the main port of transport for many small businesses around the city right up until the 1960's and early 70's. We all remember the infamous Francie Brady from the Irish cult film "The Butcher Boy" who delivered meat around the city on his butcher bike, equipped with it's large wicker basket. Albeit the design and structure of the bicycle has changed and advanced over the years, particularly since the first chain-driven bike appeared in 1885. 



As years went by, bicycles and cycling became more of a hobby or a way to keep fit for most people, or a back up means of transport to a car for some others. Learning how to ride a bike as a child was a memorable experience. I'm sure you all have a story to share that includes "remember that time I fell off my bike"! Cycling became fun, often including adventures as a child, family outings, races and sporting days out. Cycling is now recognized as an international sport with hundreds of million of euro spent each year in the industry. Indeed with over billion bikes worldwide there are actually more bikes in the world than cars. 

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