Louth County Council staff members are taking to two wheels in a new health and sustainable energy initiative – with a little help from an unexpected source.
For one of a new fleet of bikes being made available to staff is battery powered, opening up a new world to those who may have thought their cycling days were over.
Louth County Council took charge of the battery-assisted bicycle in support of both National Bike Week and Sustainable Energy Week.
The bike, supplied by Seamus Connolly of The Cycle Centre will be used to help promote sustainable travel in the county and assist in re-introducing cycling to those who may be constricted by distance or ability. 16 staff per day have been encouraged to book one of eight bikes – including the battery-powered model – for an hour at a time and cycle for their lunch as part of National Bike Week which ran from June 13-17. During these times staff had the choice of a number of different 30 minute cycle routes around Dundalk and on completion, their lunch was provided in a designated area within the canteen, compliments of Louth Local Sports Partnership.
The inter-departmental project was supported by Sustainable Energy Office, Louth Sports Partnership and Age Friendly Louth.
The bikes will now go to the new Dundalk Sports Centre where people will be able to check them out and explore the area.
“I’ve tried the bike already and it’s amazing how it takes the edge off cycling uphill,” said Peter McVeigh, Senior Executive Engineer.
“I’m looking forward to trying it over a distance, maybe out to Knockbridge.”
Mary Deery of Louth Age Friendly County believes that this initiative will really help older people to reconsider the bicycle as a valid mode of transport around the county.
“This technology could really help grandparent’s confidence to go cycling with the children and grandchildren,” said Ms Deery.
“It addresses the issue of carrying loads by bike, and also allows cycling uphill with no great effort or exertion.”
Louth Sports Partnership’s Graham Russell emphasised that not only does cycling bring massive health benefits, but the “bike to work” tax incentive scheme makes it really affordable.