Get on yer bike as 'High Nelly' makes electric comeback
THE 'High Nelly' bike is back -- and this time no pedal power is required.
A family-owned company is attempting to beat the recession and add a 21st-century touch to the world-famous bike by powering it with a battery.
The bike, manufactured by GoEco in Cappamore, Co Limerick, is the first electric bike manufactured in the country and already orders have been placed for the new product from the UK and continental Europe.
Company chief executive Marty Mannering said they finished designing the electric 'High Nelly' five months ago.
"We developed it throughout last year. We are delighted to say that here in a small workshop in Cappamore, east Limerick, it was completed.
"It is the first bicycle of any kind manufactured in the country in 47 years," Mr Mannering said.
"One of our customers is the electric transport company in London and one of the electric High Nellys is currently on display in the front window at King's Cross Station," he added.
A 36-volt battery on the back rack of the High Nelly powers the bike, giving it a top speed of 40kmh. The battery life should ensure that the cyclist travels an estimated 64km, depending on their weight.
Manufactured from scratch in east Limerick, the bike -- which is equipped with a traditional strap and buckle to keep the battery in place -- costs €999.
"Everyone across the country remembers the High Nelly bike. You would have seen them leaning gracefully against the wall of the church or against the country pub at night. It is a traditional aspect of life here and hopefully our design will give it a new impetus," Mr Mannering said.
"We are a rural company, so in times like this you try to be as innovative as possible to stay in business.
"We are always looking at new ideas. Products like this will hopefully keep Ireland up to speed with the rest of Europe," Mr Mannering added.