Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton has trialled the Sustainable Selkirk e-bike scheme, which is supported by Cycling UK and the Energy Saving Trust.
This scheme, which allows people in the Borders to loan e-bikes for free, aims to encourage exercise and sustainable development, while educating people about the causes and consequences of climate change.
Sustainable Selkirk arranges sessions with Cycling UK to build confidence around the growing range of e-bikes that are available, with the sessions specifically designed to allow people an opportunity to ride an e-bike for the first time.
They also support people who wish to take part in the scheme by organising Beginner Led Rides, Basic Maintenance Sessions, and 1-to-1 sessions through-out the local area.
Ms Hamilton said that encouraging people to cycle using e-bikes is a “vital” first step to building confidence on the roads and is key to supporting a healthy lifestyle.
Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton, said: “It was fantastic to visit Selkirk and cycle on an electric bike with Cycling UK and Sustainable Selkirk as part of their Rural Connections project in the Scottish Borders.
“Getting and staying active in rural areas is vital to being healthy and this Borders specific approach which has been tailored by Sustainable Selkirk and Cycling UK is exactly what we need to encourage more people to get fit and active.
“Cycling in the Borders is taking off, with the highly successful 2023 UCI Championships in Glentress paving the way for future events and the continued uptake of this sport.
“Additionally, the opening of the new Kirkpatrick Coast to Coast route which travels from Berwickshire through Hawick, Selkirk, and Coldstream is another fantastic example how cycling is fast up and coming in the Borders.
“Thank you to Scott Runciman and Angela MacKellar for allowing me to try out an electric bicycle in Selkirk and learn how they’re keeping the Borders active.”
Jim Densham, Campaigns, and policy manager for Cycling UK in Scotland said: “It was a pleasure to give Rachael Hamilton MSP her first experience of riding an e-bike at our Rural Connections e-bike try out event in Selkirk.
“Enabling people to experience an e-bike opens their eyes to new ways to get about and the freedom and life-changing benefits that cycling can bring in rural areas like the Borders.
“I encourage anyone to come along and see for themselves at one of our upcoming free Rural Connections events or get in touch with us at Cycling UK or with Sustainable Selkirk.”
Angela MacKellar from Sustainable Selkirk said: "It has been great to work with Cycling UK to develop their Rural Connections project here in Selkirk where we’re encouraging people to take up cycling as a way of staying healthy and active, as Rachael today saw.
“The E-bikes are available to loan for between 1-4 weeks for free thanks to support from Cycling UK and The National Lottery Community Fund for those in the Selkirk area.
“If you are interested in trialling an e-bike to discover the benefits of shifting to more active and sustainable mode of travel, please pop into our Community Energy Advice Centre, 5 Tower Street to find out more about how you can hire these.”