Cycling the Country
This new exhibition explores the history and developments in design of the bicycle.
To celebrate the recent opening of the ‘Great Western Greenway’ from Castlebar to Turlough Park, this new exhibition features bicycles and cycling accessories from the collections of the National Museum of Ireland. It explores the history of the bicycle, and developments in design which led to the introduction of the safety bicycle - similar to the modern machine we know today.
Advertisement Poster (NMI Collection - F:1989.274.5) and Cycling Map (Private Collection)
By the 1930’s bicycles became the key mode of transport in every parish in Ireland, dramatically changing the social life of ordinary people. Memories and stories associated with cycling are recounted throughout the exhibition. Images and recollections focus on buying a bicycle, learning to ride and travelling for work and leisure. Humorous accounts include avoiding prosecution for cycling at night without lights!
The exhibition poster about Cycling can be downloaded as a PDF
In the late nineteenth century the cost of bicycles in Ireland meant that cycling was an activity mainly for the wealthy classes.
The introduction of cycling to Ireland led to the foundation of cycle clubs, touring and organised races.
Those who were unable to afford a new bicycle could purchase a cheaper second-hand model or buy it ‘on tick’
Bicycles dramatically changed the social life of ordinary people in rural Ireland. It was the primary means of transport for many people.
For the safety of road users, laws were introduced that prosecuted those cycling on footpaths or travelling in the dark without a light.
The exhibition Panel about Cycling and An Post can be downloaded as a PDF