Pedal power to the fore at eBike open day

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Sub-heading: Launch gets off to a flying start

Environmental charity Eco Savvy welcomed more than 100 people to the Ormidale Pavilion for the launch of their eBike scheme at their open day which introduced visitors to the latest electric bike technology.

The open day celebrated the purchase of a fleet of six eBikes which will be used to demonstrate alternative, less polluting travel options for Arran residents as part of an eBike scheme funded by Transport Scotland’s Energy Saving Trust eBike Fund.

The eBike scheme will see the loan of the eBikes to local businesses whose staff will be able to trial them to experience their benefits while also reducing the use of their usual vehicles.

In a huge show of support and interest in the scheme, a number of local organisations joined Eco Savvy volunteers at the launch event. Gerard Tattersfield of the Arran Bike Club provided visitors with knowledgeable information and a quick introduction on how to use the eBikes before allowing them to test their capabilities.

Teacher Robert McNiece and pupils from Arran High School mountain bike club set up a marquee to offer a free bicycle repair service and repaired 14 bicycles on the day. The club will have the use of one of the new Eco Savvy eBikes bicycles.

The afternoon also provided an ideal opportunity for collaborating with Emma Tracey of Arran Bike Hire who assisted with the initial plans for establishing a bike tool library. The, as yet to be finalised plan, aims to establish a repository of tools for bike owners to borrow to allow them to fix their own bicycles to help lower the cost of ownership.

The response to the eBike scheme has been so successful that Eco Savvy already have plans to extend the fleet, and the initiative, by seeking funding support from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund.

Eco Savvy project manager, Jude King said: ‘Our eBike open day launch was a great success and we are delighted with the enthusiasm from Arran residents for this technology, before, but especially after the eBike trials.

‘Thanks to all who came along and engaged, to all involved, especially the volunteers, in the lead up to our eBike launch and on the day. We are looking forward to much more of this all so stay tuned for future developments in our project.’

Further information about the eBike scheme, and any of their other projects, can be found on their web page at www.arranecosavvy.org.uk

Ruby MacArthur shows her appreciation to the members of the Arran High School Mountain Bike Club who serviced her bicycle. 01_B22Eco01

Mountain bike training equipment provided visitors with laughs and a few scares. 01_B22Eco02

Scoping for plans for a bike tool library were: Emma Tracey – Arran Bike Hire, Helen Ross – Eco Savvy trustee, Jude King – Eco Savvy project manager and Hilary Maguire – Eco Savvy trustee.  01_B22Eco03

Arran High School Mountain Bike Club members undertake free bicycle MOTs. 01_B22Eco04

It’s so easy! An eBike gets the thumbs up from a young tester. 01_B22Eco05

Two eBikes get put through their paces by experienced riders. 01_B22Eco06

Testers share their thoughts with Jude King and Gerard Tattersfield. 01_B22Eco07

Apprehension turned into confidence after a test drive by Sheila Gilmore. 01_B22Eco08

The Banner’s Colin Smeeton also had a go on the day. 01_B22Eco09