Thursday, 14 December 2017

Explore Henley on an electric bicycle

CYCLISTS can hire an electric bicycle from three places in the Henley area this summer.

CYCLISTS can hire an electric bicycle from three places in the Henley area this summer.

The move is part of a drive by cycling charity CTC to encourage people to explore the countryside.

The machines are available at Henley Cycles in Reading Road, Swiss Farm, off Marlow Road, and the Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery in Hambleden.

The vehicles, which cost £25 a day, are powered by a rechargeable battery and can travel up to 40 miles on a single charge.

An electric motor on the front wheel provides 70 per cent of the driving force when the pedals are pushed. For safety reasons, it cuts out when the bike reaches 15 miles per hour.

The bicycles are on loan from CTC, which is working with a company called the Electric Bicycle Network, which has launched similar schemes in other parts of the country.

Each of the three venues has hired two bikes and will keep a share of the profits. They will also operate a free emergency pick-up service.

Henley Cycles will be the main hub and will be responsible for maintaining all six machines. Children?s trailers and tag-alongs will also be available for hire at Swiss Farm.

The Stag and Huntsman pub in Hambleden has agreed to host a charging point for the bikes and it is hoped that other venues will follow.

James Miller, who owns Henley Cycles, said: ?We had a couple of people hire them on the Saturday of the regatta when we?d run out of regular bikes. They thought they were great.

?The bikes are particularly good for older people who might not be as fit because they can go up hills much more easily.

?Having a range of 40 miles also means some people can explore a greater distance than they would on an ordinary bike. The bikes will go back to CTC when the season ends in October but I understand it will be an ongoing thing.

?I think they will be a big success. They are a little bit dearer to hire than our pedal bikes but there?s a lot more technology involved so I think the price is fair.?

Anna Cipullo, of CTC, said: ?The bikes are ideal for those who don?t feel fit or confident enough to tackle a hilly route through leg power alone.

?The Chilterns has so much to offer and we want to promote it as a place that?s easy to get to and enjoy without a car.?

For more information, visit www.chilternsaonb.org/explore-enjoy/interactive-map.html#1598

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