Every month on our Newsletter Paul, Karl & the crew answer the most popular questions & advise on common problems we get into our workshop.. in this post we’ve decided to be less selective and chat about not just servicing but all things cycling - first up - the most common dangers cycling in Dublin?
Where do you start on this one without your blood pressure rising… Paul has been cycling in Dublin for over 25 years and always says it used to be a case of having a close call maybe every few months - now you’ll have a few close calls every time you cycle - it’s certainly worrying but we needn’t lose heart.
While it may seem, and actually be, a jungle out there, there are certain flashpoints that seem to turn up time & time again so we can all try to identify them and avoid them - a huge one is undertaking vehicles in slow moving traffic - we’ve heard of so many sad stories arising from these scenarios - the general rule of thumb is not to undertake any vehicle, be it a truck, bus or a car, unless you are certain you can clear it before it moves again.
We also hear of problems at junctions with cars pulling out in front of cyclists - Paul reckons you need to assume they don’t see you, even if they seem to be looking straight at you they could well be checking out a car behind you, unaware of the speed you are doing - be cynical, assume you are not being seen and “own your space”.
What we mean by this is not to hog the road, but to make clear & assertive decisions and movements to make your presence felt. One danger of this is going a little overboard, for example moving across busy 60kmph car lanes to take a right turn at a junction 300m ahead is not the best plan of attack - it may be controversial but in our humble opinion we’d advise you to stick left and out of harms way as long as possible until it is safe to cross, even if it means dismounting and crossing with another flow of traffic.
We reckon we’ll make a feature out of this each month as there’s a lot to go through and a lot of questions sent into us on this topic - keep them coming and hopefully if nothing else we might help avoid one or two instances.
How does the Cycle to Work Scheme operate?
In a nutshell the scheme works by allowing Employers to buy a bike and related accessories from an approved supplier up to a value of €1,000 on behalf of an Employee which is then repaid through salary sacrifice over a period of up to 12 months.
Expenditure up to this amount will be exempt from PAYE, PRSI, or income levy charges, a potential saving of up to 52% depending on the applicable personal tax bands, so you could potentially pay just €480 for €1,000 worth of cycling gear!
The exemption is limited to the first €1,000 – with the employee paying the balance personally – and can be applied to the full range of bikes, from Hybrid city bikes & Dutch Cruisers to Electric bikes & Fixies - you can also use Finance to cover the remaining balance.
Employees can only avail of this scheme once in every 5 years i.e. even if you purchase a bicycle or bicycle safety equipment for less than €1,000 in year one, you cannot claim an exemption in respect of the balance.
As for your Employer, you can tell your boss they will benefit in a number of ways, namely through savings of 10.75% in Employer PRSI, but also from a greener corporate image & a healthier, happier workforce!
Are helmets a legal requirement? What about lights?
This a bit of a hot topic at the moment and while we’ve seen some countries bring it in there is no current legal requirement to wear a helmet in the ROI, however lights, very much are! We think there is a happy medium to be struck between the two, perhaps with kids or under-18’s being required to wear them.
Having had a few bad crashes, & owing them more than just some saved blushes, our Paulie certainly recommends wearing one as much as possible!
How do I book my service in / how long will it take?
Thanks to an awesome new system in our workshop we are now turning bikes around after just a few hours. We just need a few days warning but generally can do same day servicing on most bikes with the only delay generally down to having to order parts - on that front we’ll be expanding our parts inventory massively over the next few months so that should be minimized too!
We are also finalizing details on a home pick-up/return service as well as a loan bike facility - we should have all the bases covered!
To book, simply email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01 278 4555 or pop by the shop!
Email your questions to email@example.com & check out our workshop prices, packages & charges here.