IT’S been three weeks since I brought home my first electric bike, courtesy of the new Electric Bike Shop at Hatton Adventure World.
The bad news is, I’ve struggled to find the time to get out on it as often as I’d hoped.
The good news is, my relationship with e-bikes is such already that I know the situation will improve – I’m eager for it to do so.
You see, this has been somewhat of a mini revelation for me, to the extent where I’m afraid to say three’s now a crowd. And I think it’s time for my traditional road bike and I to part ways.
Purchased as a birthday gift around 10 years ago, the intention was genuine – to hit the road every weekend and transform my deteriorating fitness levels back to something approaching at least average for my age. Genuine or not, I don’t think it left the garage more than a couple of times, but putting the brakes on my cycling days was like admitting defeat to the ageing process.
I now realise, as an e-biker (probably haven’t quite earned the right to call myself that yet, but let’s go with it. . .) that the journey back to increased fitness doesn’t have to be an arduous and painful one.
The logic is simple – if you’re using your e-bike to do something that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do, it carries great long term mental and physical health benefits. E-bikes can get older or less fit folk cycling again – and that’s what I feel it is doing for me. Without it I can either keep living the lie that my road bike will ever see any traction again in the coming years – or throw my (not insubstantial) weight behind a new biking chapter. . . a chapter that makes cycling enjoyable again, while gradually and gently rebuilding my fitness levels.
The sunny Easter holidays enticed me out and, in a short time, my confidence in handling the bike and ability to get the best out of it, is improving. I’m keeping distances short at the moment but plan to build on that, especially as the summer months break through.
And thanks to advances in technology e-bikes now last longer between charges (some modern models can last for up to 110 miles on a single charge) so there is nothing to be nervous about when I do decide to tackle the further flung destinations.
And when you do need to charge your bike – what better excuse for a well-earned refreshment stop while the friendly pub’s plug socket does its thing.
The popularity of e-bikes is massively on the rise and it’s widely predicted they will outsell road bikes within five years. – They already do in The Netherlands!
If you’re older, unfit, recovering from an injury or illness or simply lacking in cycling confidence, the arguments for investing in an e-bike are cumulative.
That’s all very well, you say. “Sounds perfect. But they don’t come cheap!”
E-bike prices tend to start at around £1,000 (and up to several thousands) which is undoubtedly heavier on the pocket than a traditional bike. But in the long run they can actually be the most cost-effective option. That’s because an e-bike is more convenient so you’re likely to use it more often.
Cycling instead of driving – even for short commutes – brings big savings on the costs of running a car, including fuel, parking and depreciation caused by wear and tear.
It’s also worth noting that the Government’s Cycle to Work Scheme allows you to save up to 42% off your e-bike. Click here for more information.
Included in part 3 of my blog COMING SOON are the subjects of security and maintenance.
Read Part 1 of my blog here
Read about the new Electric Bike Shop in Hatton plus an interview with Karl Haden here