Dublin cycle chic

Want to promote cycling in Ireland? Marketing it, and stop the scaremongering

Dublin cycle chic

Mikael Colville-Andersen, who runs Copenhagenize.com and Copenhagen Cycle Chic. In his own words: “The main point with my blogs is that if cycling is to be an everyday activity then it can easily be done in everyday clothes, like millions of Europeans do every day”.

In a post about the Velo-City conference, he points to a post by Guillaume Van der Stighelen, co-founder of marketing company Duval Guillaume, where Van der Stighelen talks about marketing cycling as a ‘hero brand’

“Most arguments are rational. Less CO2, more mobility, healthier. Well, those drivers know that. But that doesn’t convince them apparently. Let me tell you what the argument is: status it is”.

I suppose Colville-Andersen himself has gone some way in helping branding cycling — on his blogs, talking to the press from a few countries, and in video form:

Copenhagen – City of Cyclists from Colville Andersen on Vimeo.

More here, here, and here. And they even cycle in the snow in Denmark.

So, in Ireland, if government at local and national levels are serious about increasing cycling they need to stop the scaremongering nonsense and the misuse of taxpayers’ money on promotion of yellow vests and helmets. If you want to make sure cyclists are visible enforce the law of bicycle lights use. If you’re going to push cycle helmets which have flawed research backing their use, then promote motoring helmets too.

If you’re, say, the Labour Party and you talk about “Dublin Must Become A Copenhagen Or Amsterdam For Cyclists” then you don’t wear pointless helmets at your photo-shoot. If you’re the Green Party you should need to be told this in the first place. Err… but at least they are being green by reusing the one helmet at their photo-shoot?

Oh, and that’s not Copenhagen in the photograph above, it’s Dublin. And just to prove it’s possible to cycle like a normal person and it’s not a once off, here’s six more people cycling in Dublin, just one is wearing strange gear:

There's always one...

(the 6th person is behind the camera)

ADDED: Pushing ahead with the measures outlined in the recently published National Cycle Policy is needed too, but the importance of marketing is still a missing part of government plans. And not only is government at different levels not marketing cycling, their cheap but false safety promotion makes cycling appear more dangerous than it is — they enforce the myth that cycling is dangerous.


  • Have you noticed that helmet-wearing in Dublin city centre is approaching 50%? I say this based on a very rough count carried out by myself over the course of a few mornings, but I think I’m right. Hi-viz wearing is even higher. I feel rather despondent when I see this, for the reasons you make clear in your post.

    To be fair, I can see the point of making yourself more visible. But surely a light-coloured top or a Sam Browne would be perfectly adequate during the day, rather than fluorescing your whole upper body.

  • I’d say hi-viz wearing may be 50% or maybe a bit higher at different times, but helmet wearing would be under that. It’s very hard to know, usage of both widely varies.

    One factor seems to depend on the area, a smaller percentage of people in the city centre uses them. But then when I’m cycling in different areas or on different roads, it can massivly varies each time. And usage of high-vis goes up on dark days / at night. although it’s crazy how may people wear them on bright and sunny days.

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