We would like to present some cycling stories from some of our customers, whose experience highlights some of our favorite things about e-bikes.
Do you think e-bikes are cheating or that they’re a waste of time, stopping people exercising with their full effort? Well perhaps I can change your mind…
After living in Queenstown NZ when e-bikes first hit the shops, that was the way any trail loving mountain biker thought. Within two years, things began to change rapidly. Today, even the die-hard downhillers and moto-riders are buying e-bikes all over the world and this is why:
E-bikes fit anyone’s lifestyle. E-bikes have come a long way in design and durability, opening up the world of outdoor exercise to a huge variety of people. People with busy lives or health issues may find it harder to get out and excercise, and many even experience loneliness. E-bikes allow them to get out and feel the wind in their hair with friends and family like they never thought they could again.
E-bikes have revolutionised our ability to improve our mental and physical wellbeing, and I wouldn’t be without mine now!
Let me tell you a little about my story which may resonate with some of you…
In my mid 30s, I worked in the mountain bike industry, which took me to the self proclaimed adventure capital of the world – Queenstown, New Zealand. It’s like a twin of Llanberis, here in North Wales, but on serious rocket fuel – especially for bikes! I arrived to pedal the trails and work a season as the first female bike mechanic in town. It was an amazing time riding miles of sweeping downhill tracks on high mountains learning to get two wheels off the ground. The gondola up the hill didn’t take bikes then, so it was only riders who would pedal/ push uphill who’d get to use the amazing down hills. I was the fittest I’d ever been.
After a few years, a knee injury which just wouldn’t give up made me transition to office work. Life began to take its toll and I was exercising less and less. Long working days and back to back medical issues alongside a tough relationship led to me being stuck in adrenal fatigue. Always in the back of my mind was the longing to get back out on the trails, whatever the weather. Full suspension e-bikes are expensive, so it seemed an impossible task to feel the wind in my hair out in the mountains again – but I finally got one!
After that, it was all uphill but in a very good way! I was getting that downhill feeling on the uphills!
I was using it to commute the 5 miles to work that first summer, which helped make me ready for a day at the computer. Getting home, I’d already done my exercise for the day but still had more energy than I would if I’d used the car to commute. I noticed the natural world again and was surrounded by green leaves more often in my every day, which helped clear out emotional and physical cobwebs consistently.
At the start I’d use all the power assistance available. Then, over time, I challenged myself to use less and less. Just spinning my legs with lots of assistance and little physical effort was definitely good for my body on the tired days. Gaining strength and confidence slowly but surely, I began to ride some of the easier, shorter off-road trails and eventually progressed to long days out with some exceptional riders I’m lucky enough to call friends. Even though my fitness level was way below theirs, I could keep up with them on e-bikes too or simply pedalling off their own steam all riding together.
Having the e-bike was a major stepping stone in getting control of my health and life again after years of feeling I had none. It helped me feel strong enough to make the huge move away from a toxic relationship in another hemisphere back to Llanberis to family and friends in a place that embraces me. It has been such a relief but, with my whole life being transported over slowly in the corner of a shipping container, I found myself without a bike!
Knowing this, my friend and old colleague Gareth was incredibly generous and lent me an e-bike! It’s allowed me to go alone to the high up places which clear my head and to reconnect with friends on their bikes too. The fact the bike came with great disc brakes and suspension forks as well as carrier racks for panniers has made it an incredibly versatile and useful tool. I’m feeling forever lucky and grateful.
One friend had just bought an e-bike from Evolution Bikes after I returned here, so the whole family and I went to Newborough together. One particular comment stays in my mind from her; “I hadn’t realised how much having this e-bike has opened the door to fun family time in a way we haven’t in years. It’s going to be great for us all”. For everyone to be able to ride together at the same pace having fun and without it completely sucking every last bit of energy out of her is just fantastic. I know that revolutionary feeling well. The freedom and liberation you get with e-bikes is completely worth the investment. Get buying / get saving – either way, see you on the trails.
Viv got her first e-bike about 5 years ago, and has done over 8000 miles on her bike. Since then she has part exchanged her bike and upgraded to the Specialized Tero X 6, with the larger battery and more powerful motor providing great benefit.
“E-bikes are just such fun and coming from a generation where everyone learnt to cycle as kids, if you didn’t you couldn’t get around as nobody was going to drive you. Cycling has always played a big part in our lives over the years, not only for pleasure but also for transport and e-bikes really are a leisure cyclists dream come true.”
“It is interesting the number of older people who stop us and ask about the bikes who say they would cycle if they felt safer. Well, in my view an e-bike makes you much safer in traffic as you can move much faster and you become traffic instead of an irritation slogging very slowly up a hill – hit the higher power mode and away you go.”
Through e-bikes, it is possible to explore parts of the UK that she wouldn’t have been able to see without cycling, from “beautiful villages, to moorland and their views beautiful villages (and their teashops), moorland with fabulous views, coastal bridle paths and lovely railway paths as well as the great network of country lanes the UK has to offer.” Some of her favorite places to ride are around the Wirral, Derbyshire Peak District, Devon and of course, Wales.
With “Active Travel” moving up the political agenda, and environmentally friendly transport options becoming more and more important, the use of e-bikes or bikes in general to replace shorter journeys, can have a significant impact on the environment as well as personal health and fitness. “If you can cycle but have never tried an e-bike do please give it a go, you will be amazed at how much fun they are and you can always tell an e-bike rider coming towards you – they are the ones wearing that lovely “e-bike grin”!” ~ Viv
Another customer of ours, Will, has just cycled from Newport to Machynlleth, taking in Gospel Pass, which is the highest in Wales, along the way.