Belfast local sets up e-bike rental scheme to help with lockdown

  • Local business owner Andrea Morrow has launched an e-bike rental scheme to help people get out and about during lockdown

    The coronavirus pandemic has caused a great deal of disruption for many local businesses in the hospitality and travel industries, but it's also brought some new opportunities. Some businesses have adapted by offering delivery for the first timesales of bikes and home entertainment have shot up.

    North Belfast based businesswoman Andrea Morrow has now launched a new e-bike rental scheme to help get people out of the house during lockdown. Andrea previously made money as an Airbnb landlord, but the short term vacation rental market ground to a halt in March when the lockdown came into effect. She had been looking for a new investment opportunity ever since.

    E-bikes are modified bicycles that can add assist power to the pedals, helping cyclists reach speeds of 25kph and reducing the effort required to cycle uphill or over long distances. They were previously illegal to use without a license and insurance, but a change to the law in May removed this restriction and opened the door for rental schemes.

    Andrea had always wanted to make e-bikes available to tourists staying in her Airbnbs, but wasn't able to since they weren't legal. While she's investing in them now, the lack of tourism has caused her to pivot onto a new business model: Providing e-bike tours in conjunction with Ride Electric NI. She now provides guided tours around Belfast city centre, up to Belfast Castle, and along the Falls Road murals.

    Source: Belfast Live

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