An electric bike firm is charging on to success in its first year, thanks to support from the Development Bank of Wales.
Gower Electric Bikes launched earlier this year, supported with a £17,000 loan from the Wales Micro Loan Fund.
Gower became the UK’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956, and still regularly wins awards as one of the best places to visit in the country.
Founders Tom Clulee and Joe Mathews launched the business to help visitors and locals explore more of its stunning scenery and hidden beauty spots, with their rental service covering the whole of the Gower peninsula, along with Swansea, Mumbles and Clyne Woods.
Their fleet of Trek Powerfly battery-powered bikes allow less experienced cyclists to tackle the area’s stunning terrain without the need for athletic levels of physical fitness.
Users can reserve bikes in advance via the Gower Electric Bikes site, and can pick up their bike or have it delivered to them during their trip.
Each bike is also supplied with a pre-charged Bosch compact charger, and safety equipment including helmets, hi-vis accessories and lights.
As well as providing bikes and equipment, Tom and Joe are well acquainted with trails, routes and circuits throughout Gower and can help advise customers on the spots worth visiting.
Gower Electric Bikes also aim to use 100% renewable energy to charge their bikes, using local solar panels and green energy suppliers.
Tom said: “Both Joe and I are really experienced cyclists, but we know a place like Gower demands a level of fitness and experience that a lot of casual cyclists may not have, and they may be more interested in taking a leisurely tour of the area.
“We wanted to give them the opportunity to see Gower’s fantastic scenery, and to widen the range of people who would feel comfortable tackling the area by bike.”
He added: “As well as looking to provide access to Gower by bike, we also know that readily available e-rental options can have a huge impact in urban areas – as seen by the popularity of e-scooters in Bristol – and we also deliver our bikes to Swansea, which can be really useful for those looking to explore the city or cycle along the shore.”
Fellow owner Joe said: “Given its natural beauty, going around the area by car can almost seem like sacrilege to some visitors, as they want to take the time to see the area and enjoy it. Electric bikes really match that need for a pleasant form of transit, while giving visitors the chance to ‘be there’ during their time here.”
Emily Wood, Investment Executive with the Development Bank of Wales, said: “We were really pleased to be able to support Gower Electric Bikes so early in their life as a business.
“They clearly recognise the high value of their local area, and their commitment to widening access to the beautiful scenery of the Gower peninsula in a sustainable way, using renewable energy, should be applauded.”
The Wales Micro Loan Fund provides loans between £1,000 and £50,000, aimed at supporting businesses with start-up capital, equipment, premises, recruitment and other costs.