Category Bike, Places

In this blog I would like to tell you a bit about the origins of Lough Derg eBike Tours.

I grew up in north west England. I studied Operational Research at Lancaster University, and began a career working in IT as a programmer for British Rail. After a few years, I emigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to work as an IT consultant, then moved across to Seattle, WA, on the west coast a few years later. Next up was a stint across the border in Vancouver, before moving back to the UK in 2000. After a few years, I was on the move again, moving to Ireland, where I have been ever since, meeting my wife Morag a few years later. Initially I was in beautiful County Donegal, until I moved in with Morag in Galway. We later moved to Donegal again.

During my time in IT, I worked as a systems analyst and QA tester for 30 years. My career covered the insurance, transport, banking and retail and took me to North America, Asia, Ireland and the UK. Throughout all of this, I always had a love for travel, and loved to discover the ‘lesser-known’ places, off the beaten path, and would often think how nice it would be to somehow make a living out of travel and tourism. In recent years, I had bought an eBike, and fell in love with the idea of being able to continue my quest for the lesser known places. And that pedal assistance from the eBike meant no hill was too intimidating, which was very important while cycling the hills of County Donegal!

The Glenveigh National Park in County Donegal

During the Covid pandemic, in common with a lot of people I came to feel that there was more to life than the corporate world. It had provided me with a steady income and a good lifestyle, but what did I REALLY want to do with my life? In my time in Donegal, I had done a couple of ‘Grand Tours’, where I would cycle 50-60km per day, stop overnight, then continue the journey next day. This was greatly enjoyable, and once more I started thinking how great it would be to do something like that for a living.

In summer of 2022, Morag and I moved from County Donegal to County Tipperary (where we have family connections), and work began on developing Lough Derg eBike Tours. The business idea went through a number of iterations before landing on eBike rental. Several ideas came and went along the way, and who knows, we may go back to some of them eventually. But finally we settled on eBike rental as the main focus of the business.

Cycling near to Ballycommon village

Much of 2022 was spent on planning out routes for the business along with various other aspects of planning. By far the biggest difficulty was finding insurance, which is a sticking point for a lot of businesses in Ireland. But finally, with a lot of help from Morag, we reached the point where we were ready to launch, May 26th was set as the start date and we’re all ready to go. We are looking forward to seeing how it goes!