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Dartmoor launches electric bike tours

A new business hopes electric bikes will make the exhilaration of cycling in Dartmoor National Park more accessible to a wider range of people.

Dartmoor is the latest of the UK’s national parks to promote eco-friendly electric bikes as an enjoyable way to experience the natural beauty of its hilly landscape.

New for 2013, Dartmoor Electric Bicycles are offering guided tours by electric bike which will enable visitors to take in all corners of the moors and Dartmoor’s spectacular scenery. The aim of introducing tours within the National Park is to open up the experience to everyone, with visitors enjoying Dartmoor far beyond the confines of a car and aided by knowledgeable guides.

Richard Drysdale, of the Dartmoor National Park Authority, explains “Dartmoor contains the largest and wildest area of open country in the south of England and its spectacular landscape lends itself to a variety of recreational activities. Cycling is increasingly popular both on-road and off-road however, the topography of Dartmoor means that for many it can be a real challenge to get on to the High Moor and enjoy the magnificent vistas.”

Inga Page, a co-founder of the tour company at Dartmoor Electric Bicycles, already runs a guided walks business on Dartmoor and has owned an electric bike for many years, which gave birth to the idea of being able to explore the countryside by electric bike as well as on foot. Ms Page explains that the service offers “guided tours designed to introduce people to the varied landscapes, history and quiet corners of the moor.” The tour business has chosen Swiss Flyers for comfort and range, saying “Everyone who’s ridden them so far really loves them.”

Unfortunately, Dartmoor and Exmoor were not successful with their recent Local Sustainable Travel Fund bid, which would have supported a full electric bike scheme on Dartmoor similar to that offered by other UK National Parks, however Dartmoor Electric Bicycles has taken up the gauntlet to push electric bike use forward in Dartmoor National Park.

More information on the tours available can be found by visiting the tour information page here. There’s a choice of half or full-day tours, and visitors can opt to cycle most of the time and just stop briefly to admire the views, or take a more leisurely pace and stop regularly to do short walks, visit historic sites or just have a picnic.