DURROW is cycling back in time and into the future with the launch of a fantastic community initiative called pedal vintage.
The imaginative scheme will see vintage bicycles available for hire, with a fleet of ten colourful old-style bikes for rent, complete with vintage helmets from France. People can also take part in themed cycling tours, with funds raised going back into community ventures.
Pedal vintage was officially launched at the Square, Durrow on Friday 28 June by newly-elected independent councillor Ollie Clooney, who wished everyone involved in the venture many miles of success. He was joined by vintage bike enthusiasts including members of Durrow High Nelly Club, who have been involved in many local and national cycle tours.
Organised and promoted by local cycling group Irish Country Roads & Culture Trails, the community bike and helmet rental project combines past and future as it uses vintage vehicles to take advantage of the present day push towards green living.
The beautifully designed pedal vintage brochure outlines a list of guided bike tours, cycling routes, local places of interest, heritage sites and lots more. One sample route is the ‘curiosity leisure trail,’ which includes visits to Castlewood organic farm and countryside tea rooms, Abbeyleix Heritage House and Aylward’s Rural Heritage Museum in Durrow. There is also a ‘routes and shoots cycle trail’, which takes in the superb gardens at Castle Durrow, the working garden at Dunmore Country School, Dunne’s garden centre and the magnificent Heywood Gardens in Ballinakill.
Other tours include a ‘museum triangle’, a two-day ‘bike and hike trail,’ a ‘cycle sisters trail’ and a ‘pedal for health’ initiative.
The project is funded by Laois Partnership and supported by Laois Co Council and Ireland’s Ancient East, with sponsors including Castle Durrow, AES and EcoHorizon. The team of organisers includes Hugh Sheppard, Matt Doyle, John Maguire, Margaret Aylward, Seán Conroy, Ray O’Sullivan and Noel Mooney.
Guided bike tours are individually priced, while a ‘self-discovery’ bike and helmet hire experience costs €20 a day. Vintage bikes can also be hired for €5 for the first hour and €4 an hour thereafter. More information is available by emailing [email protected] or see the irishcountryroads.com website