A SCHEME that allows people to try out an electric bike for free has been rolled out in town by the Ledbury Area Cycle Forum.

This is an extension of a scheme that has already been running successfully in Malvern and Colwall, with the intention of presenting the benefits of electric bikes to people who want to cycle but might feel daunted at the prospect of using a traditional self-powered bike in a hilly county.

A spokesman for the Cycle Forum said: “Would you love to cycle more but find local hills and windy days too much like hard work? Now’s a good time to try out an electric bike and see how well it can work for you.

“Thanks to funding from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, topped up by the Colwall Car Club, the Ledbury Area Cycle Forum now hosts its very own community e-bike, which people can borrow for a fortnight to ‘test-ride’ free of charge.”

E-bikes come with a hearty local endorsement, from Coddington cyclist Colin Palmer, who regularly cycles long distances in Britain and Europe in the company of friends whose disabilities mean they couldn’t manage a self-powered bike.

He recommends that anyone who feels that cycling is just too energetic for shopping, getting to work, or enjoying our Herefordshire’s country lanes should give electric bikes a try.

Mr Palmer said: “They’re great fun to ride, feel just like an ordinary bike with a bit of a boost when you want it, and at any time you can choose just how much help you want from the motor.

“Many converts reckon it actually improves their fitness as they get out on the bike more regularly, and commuting to work by e-bike proves a big money-saver, without needing a shower at the end of the ride.”

On average an e-bike will cost about 2p to recharge which is the equivalent of 1000 mpg. Unlike electric cars, the battery can be removed from the bike and charges off a normal home plug socket.

The Cycle Forum spokesman said: “Investing in an e-bike might seem daunting, at £1,500 to £2,500 for a decent model, but this is where the new scheme can help, by giving you the chance to test ride an e-bike.

“You can book your test fortnight well in advance, pick up the bike in Ledbury town, experience the joys of an e-bike, and then get help to choose one that is right for you.”

Further details are available from a webpage, at https://transitionmalvernhills.org.uk/wp/electric-bike-loan-scheme-2/

Information is also available by phoning: 07973 721809.