How to design a Bike Week to reinforce car dependency

I must admit that these ideas are not mine! They are what I learned from the implementation of Bike Week by Limerick Smarter Travel.

Strategy: Create fear of cycling

  • Tactic: Find the largest vehicle allowed on Irish roads. Drive it on the city’s main street. Get Gardaí in high-visibility jackets to stand at the lorry. Deliver messaging indicating that it is dangerous to cycle as it is dangerous to be on the same road as this vehicle.
  • Tactic: Refer to cycling as the need to “share the road”, rather than counter messages such as “cycle to get to places”.
  • Tactic: Promote fear of loss of property, through large-screen ads referring to Theft Awareness

Strategy: Promote cycling as a sport

  • Tactic: Avoid the concept of “travel” by bike. Instead, manipulate cycling into being an Activity. Get kids to cycle under a pole, so that they can learn to avoid on-coming obstacles (editor’s note: what obstacles?)
  • Tactic: The key attraction should be demonstrating daring skills that scare people. A Velodrome would be ideal.


To counter this agenda, we must name the problem, have open welcoming conversations, and ultimately run our own initiatives in favour of active travel. Let’s talk:

(Pic: Liam Burke, Press 22)