We began in Dublin, where nearly everybody bikes. No wonder, they really make it painless (at least in comparison to DC). Every road, everything from one-way lanes to the highway into town, has a bike lane. And nice ones, too. Every road in Ireland is paved with this terribly coarse chip-seal asphalt, it's basically just stones mixing in with some tar. It percussed my lumbars in the car, and I'm guessing it would turn any bicycle into a circa 1987 Cannondale crit racer. However, they've put a nice colored surface seal on the road that not only provides a smooth (but not rainslick) ride, but provides a nice visual distinction.
The gent to the right is fairly representative of the commuters I saw. No fancy gear, riding an older MTB or hybrid, wearing his work clothes. Atypically, he's wearing a helmet, one of the few I saw in Ireland.
When he got to work, he likely locked his beater to one of the many bike parking islands throughout the city. The first pic is the quite barren racks outside of (you guessed it) the department of motor vehicles. The next one was far more typical, filled nearly to capacity during the workday.
Miscellany -- The Guv'ment is trying to keep Gaelic alive, no doubt having observed the Babelicious harmony that prevails in such other such polylingual nations as Belgium, Spain, and my home and native land. So they have entire towns whose citizens are subsidized to be all-or-nothing Gaelic, Gaelic state radio and TV stations ("South Park" and "Pimp my Ride" dubbed into Gaelic), and of course, bilingual street signs that taught me that the Gaelic word for bike is either "Raon" or "Rothar".
More later, perhaps.