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The dark silhouette of an otter slipped across the road as the Ardrishaig Bothy volunteers arrived in sunshine to the village of Tayvallich on the banks of Loch Sween, sure signs of a good day ahead.
The Ardrishaig Bothy team brought their collection of e-bikes so that residents of the village could try out the future of sustainable travel.
Arriving like a travelling circus on December 19 were five volunteers; one Cycling UK Scotland employee, Alec Ohnstad; and ACT Now (Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust) project officer Jamie Joyce; along with nine e-bikes and a new e-cargo bike.
The Bothy volunteers took individuals and family bubbles on socially distanced e-bike try-outs while Jamie and Alec chatted to people about features and costs of the e-bikes.
Right next to the loch, under the eaves of the Tayvallich shop, two volunteers, Duncan and Sean ran a Dr Bike session, offering maintenance advice while making minor adjustments to residents’ bikes.
Rain and wind followed the sparkling sunshine of the morning, but no one seemed much bothered.
Half time was punctuated by a fine curry created by Nicholas Mes, new owner of the Tayvallich shop, who had promoted and hosted the event.
The Ardrishaig Bothy is a collaborative project with Scottish Canals and Cycling UK aimed at working with organisations to develop opportunities for walking and cycling in Mid Argyll. The project is funded by Smarter Choices, Smarter Places.
‘The day was a big hit despite the weather,’ said Alec Ohnstad of the Bothy. ‘It was encouraging to see so many people experiencing the new technology and thinking about how they might travel in the future. If any other communities are interested in a similar day please contact the Bothy.’
By the end of a highly successful day, 23 people had ridden e-bikes and nine cycles had visited the Dr Bike session.
All these services were provided free of charge by the Ardrishaig Bothy, Cycling UK Scotland and the amazing volunteers, Nicholas Mes of the Tayvallich shop and Jamie Joyce.
For further information regarding free e-bike loans contact Alec Ohnstad by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07887 567578.
Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind they do or would like to do.
Cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.