Never before have the roads of Ireland been so full of cyclists (including Ivana Bacik above). Spot them along any city street during rush hour, zooming into the office in a swarm of suits, heels and spandex, or crawl behind an army of them on the weekend, long-distance networking on country tracks. The increasing popularity of cycling among corporate types has even spawned a new term, “mamil”, meaning middle-aged men in Lycra. In this weekend’s Sunday Business Post Magazine, Catherine Healy speaks to business people, politicians and personalities about their experience of the humble two-wheeler, from the daily commute to weekend networking opportunities. “You would not have been caught dead in Lycra when I first started,” as Minister Ciaran Cannon puts it. “Now, you go to a café in Wicklow on a Saturday and find it full of men and women in their bike gear.”
FASHION FOR REAL WOMEN
“I don’t think fashion should be exclusive,” says celebrated Irish designer Helen Cody, "and being stylish needn’t stop at 40 years old, or 50, or beyond.” In an exclusive shoot and interview in this week’s Sunday Business Post Magazine, Cody shares why she asked her friends, and not models, to be photographed in designs from her latest collection. Entitled The Shirt Project, this new offering from Helen Cody will land Brown Thomas Dublin next Monday morning, and came about as a reaction to what the designer believes “real women want”. "My clients come to me for the really special pieces, for the wedding or the red carpet,” she explains. "And that’s wonderful, but she also wants something she can wear every day, that makes her feel great.” For the first look at the collection, and to understand what makes Cody tick, see The Magazine on Sunday.
OFF MESSAGE: NADINE O’REGAN
There's a silent war going on - and it's a war on empathy. That's the only logical conclusion one can draw after the events of last week, argues Nadine O'Regan, in which we saw the elderly Irish couple Michael and Kathleen reveal to RTE their plight. The couple - who have been married for 63 years - applied as a couple for the Fair Deal Scheme, but only Michael was accepted. So Michael was put into a home but Kathleen was left behind, leaving both desolate. Handled with great skill by Joe Duffy, the interview, with a weeping Michael, laid bare what columnists, reporters and economists keep saying across the media: we are not treating people on the fringes of Irish society well enough. Read Nadine O'Regan's column on the subject in full this weekend.
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them,” Ernest Hemingway once said. The maxim holds true with or without kids: when it comes to summer family fun, two wheels are undoubtedly better than four. In this Sunday’s Magazine, Chrissie Russell selects the top 20 family-friendly routes in Ireland, from traffic-free treks on forest trails to brand new coastal routes or free-wheeling along flat city cycle paths. Russell’s picks take in some of the country’s best scenery, with gradient, amenities and food stop-offs also considered. No matter the level of your pedal power, we’ve got a cycle path to suit you in our comprehensive guide.