My name is Aoife Kelly. I’m from Marino in Dublin and I’m 10 years old. I’ve been cycling for as long as I can remember. My first bicycle was a wooden balance bike from Germany and I’m told that I just hopped on and took off at about age 2!
How would you describe your mission?
My love of writing and cycling came together earlier this year when I won 2nd prize in a Poetry Ireland competition. I wrote a poem called My Yellow Fellow (about my yellow bike) and to my delight, I was invited to cycle in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin as part of the Dublin Cycling Campaign. That’s when I really realized that cycling is about so much more than getting places! It’s about health, fun and freedom. Cycling is about saving the planet too – by making greener transport choices. It’s about encouraging others to love their bikes!! Being Junior Bicycle Mayor of Dublin makes me want to ensure everyone is safe when they cycle our city, and that everyone has fun too!
What are the obstacles and challenges you’re facing in your city?
Dublin has lots of work to do to make the city a safer place to cycle in. I worry about what to do when the cycle lane suddenly disappears and I’m right next to a huge bus. I worry about when my mam goes to work in the evenings because most of our city centre cycle lanes stop operating at 7pm. I wish it was safer to cycle in my neighbourhood too – I’d love to see cycle tracks or bike-only streets in the suburbs so kids could cycle freely around their locality without worrying about cars and buses.
Where is your favourite spot to cycle in Dublin?
I love going to Fairview Park to cycle with my sisters and my best friend Eva. The park has a cool cycle track going right through it and there are lots of other smaller pathways to explore. It’s the best fun. I also love cycling along the coast to Clontarf with my dad. We do this most weekends – the cycle track goes all the way out to the coast and there are some wonderful views along the way. Adults often forget that you don’t need to be going anywhere in particular…. you can hop on your bike just for fun and have a great day!