by Helen Tait (E-Bike tour leader)
In looking forward to Tours Direct’s first all E-bike tour, I realise that, while I am now a total convert to E-biking, this will be the first time I have cycled with an all E-bike group – or even on an E-bike myself while overseas. What luxury!
There are many times when I would have appreciated an E-bike. For example the climb up above Ohau on New Zealand’s Alps to Ocean trail.
Biking in a ski area in the summertime in Bariloche in Patagonia was no problem – chairlift up, then all downhill!
I did a wonderful trip a couple of years ago through the Southern Croatian islands. The only problem was that, with a wide range of abilities in the group – from fit young things on racing bikes to those struggling up some quite steep hills, there was a lot of waiting about for people to catch up. Yes, it was often me, about the slowest of the non E-bikers, until the day when one of the E-bikers was having a day off and lent me her bicycle. What a thrill! What power! as I swept uphill past those fit young things who had been waiting for me on other hilly days.
My biggest biking challenge was 940 kms from Lhasa to Kathmandu – most of the route over 4000m with several mountain passes over 5000m. It was a wonderful experience, with a great group of travellers, and an excellent support team setting up camp and cooking our meals for us, but there were times when I reflected, as I pushed into the wind on some high Tibetan plateau, or sighed with relief when the prayer flags at the top of a mountain pass came into view, that my ideal trip includes some cultural experience, some physical activity and some relaxation – and perhaps on this occasion I didn’t have the balance quite right. Too many fit young things ahead of me again. But I did make it back to Kathmandu on my $120 Warehouse bike.
So Southern France with its picturesque landscapes and historic towns, enjoyed from the ease and comfort of an E-bike will be perfect – particularly with all the group on E-bikes and being able to enjoy the countryside together.