Have you tried an electric bike yet? E-bikes are fast becoming a more common sight on our streets, opening up cycling to a whole new group of people.
In the UK we’re only just catching onto the e-bike revolution, whereas approximately a third of bike sales in countries such as Germany and Holland are now of the electric variety. But what’s all the hype about? And isn’t it cheating?
Well, it depends on your view of cycling. And I suppose if your main goal of cycling is to be the best and the fittest then using an e-bike would be cheating. But this sense of ‘cheating’ is all based around the idea that cycling is only for the strongest and fittest in our society. Whereas cycling is something that everyone should feel able to do, without feeling that they need to meet a certain standard.
In this sense, e-bikes need to be viewed as a transport revelation rather than a piece of sports equipment. An e-bike then becomes a way to help make our commutes greener, make cycling more accessible for people with mobility or health issues, and make climbing hills a bit more fun!
I’ve been borrowing an e-bike recently to help me continue my commute to work through the last few months of pregnancy, and it’s certainly making the inclines and headwinds that bit less tiring.
Whilst I’m lucky to be able to borrow an e-bike, the relatively high purchase price does tend to make them less accessible to those of us with tighter budgets (you’re looking at around £1,000 for a good entry-level e-bike).
However, e-bikes are perfect for journeys around town and the commute, whether it’s enabling you to cycle to work without getting sweaty or carry a bit more shopping home up the hill. They’re a great alternative to a second car, and you can now get them on the Government’s ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme since the £1,000 limit has now been lifted. Ask your employer to find out more.
Fancy giving an e-bike a go? While most local bike shops are just latching on to the popularity of e-bikes, we’re lucky to have a e-bike specialist shop in Swindon, E-Motion on Cricklade Road. You can download a leaflet about electric bikes from Swindon Travel Choices, and ask the experts at the shop.
So why not give one a try? You never know where it could take you!