New era of popularity for bicycles

June 14th, 2020 11:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

Pictured at his bike shop in Bandon is Joe O’Brien, who at 89 years of age is one of Ireland’s oldest bike dealers and who, as an essential business, has remained open throughout the pandemic. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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EIGHTY-NINE year-old Joe O’Brien from Bandon has been stunned by the dramatic rise in people purchasing new bikes or having their old ‘Penny Farthing’ serviced for the nation’s roads and byways.

Joe has spent almost seven decades in the bicycle business and the current demand for a two-wheeler is record-breaking. Joe O’Brien operates from his premises on the New Road, near to the entrance to St Patrick’s Church. Demand is outstripping supply as the coronavirus has hit production and delivery.

Dermot O’Donovan also operated a bicycle store in Bandon several years ago, but when cars became more affordable for the young generation especially, sales began to dip; the older teens followed their macho instincts and bought a car.

The bike is on the way back. And, the Greens in government, if they get their way, may herald a new era for the bicycle.

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