PICTURES: Laois bikers lend a helping hand to Midleton Bike Project

PICTURES: Laois bikers lend a helping hand to Midleton Bike Project
Midleton Bike project volunteers and members from the Bikers Shed in Laois in Midleton Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CROSS community support was evident in Midleton at the weekend, as bikers from Laois travelled down to help a Cork project with their new premises.

Now the Cork group hope locals will be equally supportive when they hold a fundraiser next month.

The Midleton Bike Project was set up by bike enthusiast Bunny O’Riordan three years ago, as a place for people to come together through the love of motorbikes and bike restoration.

Bunny O'Riordan, chairman Midleton Bike project, with Bella Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Bunny O'Riordan, chairman Midleton Bike project, with Bella Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Originally situated on Shandon St, the project recently moved to the new location in Midleton on Bailick Rd.

Speaking to The Echo, Bunny said the organisation came together after he decided to restore a Yamaha RD 250 LC he had been saving to give to his son on his 18th birthday.

Sadly, his son died by suicide in 2009 and the bike enthusiast was unable to bring himself to do anything with the bike for a number of years. Slowly he got a group together to work on the bike and over the course of a year they restored it to its former glory.

Ken Downey, Ken O'Mahony, Brian Shanahan and Siobhan Fogarty volunteers at Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare
Ken Downey, Ken O'Mahony, Brian Shanahan and Siobhan Fogarty volunteers at Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare

With momentum gathered, the group began fixing up another bike at a premises on Shandon Street and soon they began to look for their own premises to work on bikes in a more focused capacity.

While there are similarities between the Midleton Bike Project and the Men’s Shed initiative, Bunny there were also differences.

“Men and women are allowed to join in our projects and we deal with things in depth,” he said. “We offer a safe place with no expectations for people to come along and chat or work on a bike. There is no pressure.”

Bunny O'Riordan, chairman Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare
Bunny O'Riordan, chairman Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare

Another project in Leinster, the Bike Shed Project in Montraith, Laois, is supporting the work of Bunny and his crew.

Bunny said they created ties with the Laois Bike Shed and have strengthened the relationship over the past few months.

“Our ethos is similar. We differ in a number of ways, but we are also very alike,” said Bunny.

John Travers, Dave Nolan, Gintautas Cepaitis and Tom Lowe from The Bikers Shed based in Mountrath Co. Laois who visited Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare
John Travers, Dave Nolan, Gintautas Cepaitis and Tom Lowe from The Bikers Shed based in Mountrath Co. Laois who visited Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare

Bikers from the Bike Shed Project in Laois travelled down to Cork on Sunday to help the Midleton Bike Project set up in their new premises.

At the moment, the Midleton Bike Project are undertaking major renovations at their new location and are organising a bike run next month to raise funds for the much-needed work.

“The Motorcycle Run will leave, Top Oil Spar, at Junction three, Cobh Cross, at noon, on Sunday, August 9,” Bunny explained.

“The route follows the N25 and then through Youghal town, Tallow, Dungourney and back to Headquarters on Balick Road Midleton.”

Mark Millea volunteer at Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare
Mark Millea volunteer at Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare

The group hope funds raised in the approximately 80km bike run will pay for insurance, fire certification and other essentials for their headquarters.

People can support by seeing off the bike run on August 9 at 12pm and donating or by contacting the Midleton Bike Project on Facebook and getting a sponsorship card to collect funds for the organisation.

Grainne McGuinness Floss Gibson, volunteer and Michelle Duffy, community development officer Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare
Grainne McGuinness Floss Gibson, volunteer and Michelle Duffy, community development officer Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare

Mr O’Riordan said they expected the bike community to come out in strong support of their cause and was confident of a good turnout on August 9.

“The bike community is very good to look out for our own,” he said.

Bunny O'Riordan, chairman and Faye Baldwin,s ecretary Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare
Bunny O'Riordan, chairman and Faye Baldwin,s ecretary Midleton Bike projectPicture: Eddie O'Hare

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