Monday 8 July 2013
The opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Chilterns countryside by bicycle is getting a boost, an electrically powered boost! An Electric Bicycle Network, offering battery-powered bikes for hire, is being set up in the Henley-on-Thames area by the Cycle Chilterns project.
The Cycle Chilterns project has funding from the Department for Transport and is developing lots of plans to make cycling easier and more accessible across the Chiltern Hills. It is being run by CTC, the national cyclists' organisation in partnership with the Chilterns Conservation Board, Wokingham Borough Council and others.
Anna Cipullo, CTC Electric Bicycle Network Co-ordinator, said:
"Electric bikes provide up to 70% battery assistance making light work of hills. They are ideal for those who don’t feel fit or confident enough to tackle a hilly route through leg-power alone, and it opens up cycling to a much wider audience. The Chilterns has so much to offer and we want to promote it as a place that's easy to get to and to enjoy without a car."
Henley and the surrounding countryside is already a popular tourist destination and there is a strong network of businesses there to support this new initiative. Three businesses have already signed up as hire points, two in Henley-on-Thames (Henley Cycles and Swiss Farm Camping) and one in the nearby Hambleden Valley (the Chiltern Valley Winery). Swiss Farm Camping will also have some kids’ trailers and tag-a-long bicycles available for families. There will be charge points in cafes and pubs in the area and a free emergency pick-up service if needed.
David Ealand proprietor of Chiltern Valley Winery & Brewery, who are hosting the launch on 8th July as one of the first hire centres, explained why he is keen to take part:
"The bikes should offer an interesting addition to the Tour and Tasting experience at the winery and brewery, already offering farmhouse B&B on site and now the chance to explore the locality on these brilliant bikes."
For more information on the bikes or if you are a business that would like to take advantage of hiring e-bikes on your premises, please contact Anna Cipullo on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07717 696672.