Irish Cycling Stories
We recently asked the public to share their stories of cycling in Ireland. We’re sharing a few of those stories below.
We start in Dublin in the 30’s with competitive cyclists Tommy and Lily Hughes. Here, Colm Byrne recalls his mother Lily (third from left) racing in Northern Ireland. Note that all the women are wearing trousers as this was a time where females couldn’t wear shorts, their legs had to be covered.
Another shot taken in 1938 outside Fagan’s pub in Fore, Co. Westmeath, shows one of The National Cycling Club’s social excursions. Fagan’s was a popular pit stop, with ladies sleeping over in the pub and men sleeping in the barn.
Now we reach 1963 and Brian Moore tells the story of his wife Nora’s cycle home from work at Smithfield Motors. It’s her birthday and she’s eager to get home but quickly finds herself prevented from crossing the Liffey. She has to make way for someone important - an American. As her impatience grows, the ‘someone important’ cruises past in an open-topped limo and, with his beaming smile, JFK sent a birthday wink her way.
Finally, we’ve reached the 1980s – a time when Evil Knieval was the main man, and owning a Raleigh Chopper would make you the envy of the neighbourhood. Leaving modern health and safety officers quivering in their seats, kids across the country would assemble their makeshift ramps and assume their position in the road. Being chosen to lie down to be jumped over was an honour that Abby fondly remembers her brother being all too happy to bestow on her and her friends.
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