Electric Bike Trails

Eileen and Seamus Gibbons set up Electric Bike Trails in 2012, thinking that the battery-operated bikes would be an ideal way to tempt those who struggle to stay fit off the couch and out into the countryside. It was a winning formula but the couple were somewhat surprised at the number of people who preferred to test their stamina and take to the to the country lanes on regular bikes. As a result all fitness levels are now catered for with some clients delighted to hop onto electric bikes which offer three different levels of assistances, while the majority enjoy the challenge of not relying on a battery.

 Electric Bike Trails 2

The establishment of the Shannon Blueway has meant that customers have the opportunity to do the 10 kilometre route from the company base in Leitrim village to the floating boardwalk at Acres Lake in Dumshanbo. The return journey usually takes a half day for the cyclists who relish the peace and quiet of a no-traffic route along the canal, with the added attraction of a choice of popular restaurants in Drumshanbo.

  “We now have 100 regular bikes, 50 for adults and 50 for teenagers or children, as well as 14 electric bikes,” explained Eileen, while also providing tandems for people who have impaired vision or mobility problems while parents can ferry small children in buggies attached to the bikes.  

Given the level of risk involved in setting up a business, Eileen says they were very glad to avail of help offered by Leitrim Local Enterprise Office (LEO). “I did a ‘Start Your Own Business’ course as well as “Taxation for small businesses”, both organized by the LEO”, she explained. She also received a Trading Online Voucher (TOV) to develop an e-commerce website.

Despite her passion for the job which entails showing off scenic gems to appreciative visitors, this proud Leitrim woman says she would have been lost when she started off without the supports provided by the Local Enterprise Office.  “I learned a lot for example, about marketing on social media and how to use Facebook, Twitter and other platforms,” she said. One to one mentoring also gave her very specific advice on the challenges and pitfalls she might face.

Her advice to anyone thinking of setting up a business is to do their research and find out if anyone is competing in the same niche market. “And having a business plan is very important,” she added. “Our experience is that whenever we needed advice or help, the LEO was always there"