Meet Teresa Watkins from Youghal, County Cork. Teresa uses her electric bicycle for her every business, shopping and meeting friends. But she really loves touring the surrounding area, cycling the same routes her great-grandparents did.
“I can just take off and know I’m not going to be exhausted. It’s transformed my life.”Teresa Watkins, Youghal
In the three and a half years I’ve had my electric bicycle, I’ve travelled 3,500 miles in and around Youghal. I don’t feel the hills. The inclines and the valleys are no trouble. I can cycle for over six hours continuously on my electric bicycle. It’s just the best.
In recent years, my concern for the environment lead me to look into alternative modes of transport. I didn’t want to buy a car. I wanted to be able to get some fresh air and exercise – but transport my shopping to the hilltop in Youghal, where I live.
I haven’t missed owning a car. I can cover distances that I could never cycle on a push bike. I can meander and enjoy life at my leisure without the worry that it’s going to be a tough cycle home. I can just take off and know I’m not going to be exhausted. It’s transformed my life.
My electric bicycle compliments my ethics and my lifestyle perfectly. Travelling by electric bicycle helps me to orientate myself on the landscape and really connect with it. I’m not damaging the environment. I’m not making noise and disturbing nature.
There is also the sheer joy of being able to cycle pretty much anywhere. I’m able to take any little side-road or boreen and find it no trouble climbing hills.
My favourite place to cycle is the Blackwater river valley. It’s a beautiful historic landscape that hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. I’m especially drawn here because my great grandparents cycled here often, even on their honeymoon! I’m cycling where they did, looking at the same views they looked at. I love that connection to them.
My ancestors, the Horgan Brothers, were known to cycle from town to town showing magic lantern shows, evolving as pioneers in photography and film, often featuring the beautiful locations where they cycled.
Today, I cycle these same roads under the same trees and take photographs and film just as they did. My electric bicycle enables me to do this with ease. Loaded with a flask of tea and sandwiches, my little stool, camera and tripod, I’m gone for the day … bliss!