The Henley Electric Bicycle Network is a new project set up to get more people, both residents and visitors, cycling in the Chilterns.
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.
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 enjoy without a car."
CTC Electric Bicycle Network Co-ordinator
Henley and the surrounding countryside is already a popular tourist destination and there is a strong network of businesses 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 hosted the launch 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.”