Between the winding boreens and the coastal highways of Cork, UCC’s Electric Bikes have travelled them all over the past 10 months and not without the help of our friends at the Cork Bike Store who serviced and maintained our E-Bike fleet of three Raleigh Motus Tour E-Bikes throughout. Following on from a successful pilot in 2019, our UCC Green Campus “Building Back Better” E-bike trial, started on Monday 29th June 2020.  The objective of this initiative was and is to provide UCC staff with E-bikes for a trial period, allowing the individual staff member to determine if an E-bike is a suitable method for commuting to/from work.

With the onset of COVID many of us began cycling more having experienced the cleaner air and freedom that a reduction in traffic levels brought. We saw this as an opportunity to get people back biking through our E-bike trial and in turn this has helped UCC’s bid to support active commuting and sustainable transportation both, of which we’re passionate about. Cork City Council’s installation of extended, new and segregated bike lanes as part of its Covid-19 recovery and overall plan to improve mobility in and around the city provides safer travel options to and from our campuses.

Our E-bike trial has continued to be a resounding success, both in and out of the varying levels of Covid-19 Lockdown which we’ve travelled through the past 10 months. Well at least that’s what our 75 e-bike trialists keep telling us. They have enjoyed taking in coastal routes, riverside trails and abundant wildlife like never before and on an E-bike…how green is that!! It has to be noted that this is while restricting their excursions in line with the travel limits. Many cycle loops have been discovered and travelled, both locally and further afield. Staff happily recount details of their wanderlust cycles through Fitzgerald’s Park, the Cork City Mural Tour, Carrigrohane-Coachford loop and Cork City to Crosshaven to mention but a few. Then when restrictions allowed for it cycles on the Wild Atlantic Way, Kinsale to Cork and even as far as the Waterford Greenway were enjoyed.

We’ve always known that cycling is a great sustainable way to travel as it promotes improved cardio-vascular health but the E-bike trial has given staff who might normally have driven the chance to either cycle at a slower pace and engage more deeply with their surroundings or to switch on the e-bike power assist when required and reach their destination in good time with the added benefit of that sense of well-being that cycling brings! Questions such as battery life were answered, concerns regarding e-bike performance on hills allayed and analysis of cost v’s benefit considered so much so that many staff invested in their own E-bike through the Government “Bike to Work Scheme” administered through UCC.

So with E-Bikes helping us do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint in line with reductions in emissions goals…what’s not to love about this eco-friendly, sustainable travel solution?

If trialing an E-Bike is something you’re interested in please email greencampus@ucc.ie . Some T&C’s will apply.

Green Campus Team