Tour leader Helen Tait shares the joys of E-Biking
I know that many people think that E-biking is just something for oldies – just before the walking frame or the mobility scooter. Well, yes I know that because I was one of those people. The whole idea of electrical assistance seemed like cheating, but I finally faced up to the fact that the reason that I didn’t visit the library, or town or the local shops on my (non E) bike were not the ones I said to myself. “Might rain,” “too much to carry,” “have to arrive looking neat and tidy at the other end,” etc., but really it was to avoid riding back home up the steep hill.
So, off I went about 18 months ago to a bike show – just looking. What surprised me was that the majority trying out the E-bikes at the show were not the pre walking frame/mobility scooter crowd, but young fit looking mountain-bikers, who want an easier way to get to the top of the hills that they want to hurtle down.
The ‘just looking’ turned into buying and since then to using regularly and enjoying.
Some observations after 18 months of use and enjoyment:
· It’s not cheating. It’s still good exercise. You still have to do the pedalling, and, if that is too easy – with a tail wind or a downward slope, you can always turn the power assist off for more exercise.
· The bike is not too much heavier than a standard bike, and can be ridden like one when the power assist is off. It can be lifted easily on to a standard car bike carrier, with the battery removed if necessary, to make it even easier.
· The bike still has gears operated with the right hand, and the 3 levels of power assistance are operated with the left hand like the ratios on a standard bike, so handling feels familiar.
· It’s amazing how those other reasons for not biking don’t seem to matter any more.
· It’s a great feeling riding uphill past the lycra clad “real” cyclists who used to wave when they passed me.
· There seems to be more time and leisure for looking around at the scenery.
· Daisy the dog loves the cycle outings (but shuts her eyes when we get over 40kmph downhill).
· I’m making a good saving on fuel and parking costs – lovely to ride right to the door of wherever I am going – so much less stressful than circling the blocks searching for carparking.
Over many years I have enjoyed including bike tours in my overseas travel – until now always on a standard bike. I am really excited about the idea of enjoying the relaxation and pleasure of surveying the scenery and sharing the trip with other relaxed “born again” E-bikers. Trust me, everyone who tries it is hooked!