"On a very sunny afternoon during Bike Week June 2014 I returned to the office from a school visit. Some staff were busily preparing for the Bike Week Lunchtime Cycle event, blowing up balloons to decorate their bikes and donning Green-Schools Hi-Vis vests. Getting caught up in the excitement I decided to go too! I used to commute by bike about 10 years ago, more out of necessity than anything else, and I haven’t really cycled since, until that day....

I borrowed a bike from a colleague who wasn’t attending the event and off we set. I was a little nervous I have to say; I have never cycled in Dublin City Centre before and presumed it would be a terrifying experience. However to my surprise the journey down to the starting point of the 5km cycle was very enjoyable. I was glad to have my experienced co-workers with me too! The lunchtime cycle was brilliant fun and the crowds of cyclists taking over the streets were fantastic. It really got me to love cycling all over again. After that day I decided to try commuting to the office by bike for the rest of the summer.

I got my old mountain bike fixed up by a local bike shop and set off one morning for my 19km round trip. I live in Stillorgan and it was a really enjoyable cycle in to the office...sure it’s practically all downhill! No bother at all! Coming home of course was very tough, I had to stop a few times to catch my breath and have some water. I did think: "is this worth it?" but I had made a commitment to myself. Plus my husband had started to cycle to work since April this year and I could see how much he loved it. So I carried on with the commute, and it did get easier and now I absolutely love it. I hate when I can’t take the bike for some reason! It is the best feeling in the world flying past the rows of traffic in the morning and getting in to work in just 30 minutes, half my usual travel time from when I took the bus and walked.

We have since gotten bike seats for our two children and regularly go on family cycles at the weekend. The kids love going out on the bikes. The biggest change has been the decision to move from a two car family to a one car family and really it hasn’t had much of an impact on our lives, we just have to be a little bit more organised and the financial savings and health benefits we are making far outweigh that extra effort!"

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