The chairman of Navan Road Club John Nolan says that he often says to club colleagues he “would prefer to be laughed at than cried for” when he goes out for a cycle. “I would prefer to be lit up like a Christmas tree with lights all over me than to be in the dark and get hit by a car driven by somebody who just doesn’t see you,” he says.
A member of a distinguished cycling family that includes his brother PJ, a former president of Cycling Ireland, John Nolan says that it’s so cheap to buy a hi-viz jacket now that he simply can’t understand why cyclists don’t get the gear necessary to ensure that they are seen once they hit the public roads.
“There are these jackets that are now available, I bought one for my son, Sean that is totally luminous, and they just look like a grey jacket during the day but at night if a light shines on it you would think it was the space shuttle coming towards you.
“With the technology that there’s out there, there is no excuse for anyone not to be lit up along the road. There almost seems to be a battle going on between cyclists and other road users but everybody has a responsibility to act in a safe manner. There’s no excuse for a cyclists to be going along with dark clothes hogging the road.
“Cyclists are entitled to be two abreast on roads but you need to have common sense too, if cars are building up on a narrow road behind you, you need to pull in and allow them go past.
“I would always say to cyclists to keep off the main roads. When I was cycling competitively it didn’t matter where you cycled. Now we would try and go north of Navan, along the quieter roads, around where we race,
Drumconrath, Nobber or around Kilmessan. The quietier roads, not the likes of the Navan, Trim road or the old Dublin road, or the Kells road many use to avoid the toll. It’s about using common sense. “With the young cyclists in the club we are constantly repeating the mantra that it’s all about safety.”