E-bikes aren’t easy bikes

Our fleet of 8 E-Bikes have been so popular since we got them from Mikes Bikes that we have barely seen them! 

So today, when I had one of our hybrid bikes back for a quick service before it goes out again, I thought I would give it a shot.

I charged the battery, got up early to beat the heat and headed up our local Corbett Carn An Fhreiceadain. At 878m it is a bit of a climb but with an estate track all the way to the top surely the e-bike would breeze up, wouldn’t it?

Set to turbo mode (which gives maximum assistance) I headed up the hill and it was tough, my heart rate was well over 150bpm all the way up and it was definitely a workout. Of course, it was faster and easier on the e-bike, I was at the top in just 40 minutes but it was definitely exercising.

The views from the top to the Monadhliath, Gynack, Kingussie and the Strath were, as usual, amazing as the morning haze began to clear.

I have heard it said that e-bikes are an easy option, they are not. What they do is enable more people to have more exercise and do more in the amazing place we are lucky to call home. They also save time, I definitely would not have had the time to do that ride today on my “normal” bike and in this hot weather I am not sure I would have made it.

I did 23km in 1 hour and 20 minutes with 906m of height gain, while it was definitely a work out I must remember to take it down from my Strava as at the moment I am “king of the mountains” form golf course to summit and I think that might be cheating!

Suddenly a whole world of cycling opportunities is available to folk who otherwise may not have those opportunities. That might be a casual Tuesday night ride with Cycle Friendly Kingussie, a trip to the shops, a journey to work or a trip up a Corbett.

Of course, e-bikes have their drawbacks, they are heavier than a normal bike, so if you have a mechanical and have to walk that can be tough. There is also the ‘range anxiety’ these bikes will do more than 60 miles on average use, but if you do run out of power they are quite a heavy pedal up those hills! My battery was half depleted when I got to the top, it had worked hard though. So all the usual words of caution about heading out into the hills apply to e-bikes.

The ride down was fun, being a heavy bike it rolls faster and brakes slower than I was used to, it was quite a bumpy ride too. I got the feeling that this sort of riding was at the limit of this bike (or maybe the limit of the rider!). 

After a fast and hairy descent, I took a leisurely ride around Loch Gynack, a perfect track for this bike.

I for one am sold on e-bikes. Everybody we have lent one to, so far, has been impressed. It can be hard work for our volunteers, maintaining bikes, sorting out loans and the paperwork! Feedback like this makes it all worthwhile:

“I can’t even begin to tell you how spectacularly successful my 6 weeks’ loan has been, allowing me to get out and about with friends and family – which would otherwise have been completely beyond me. The icing on the cake was my family day out on Sunday at the Bikeathon – I am still on a high from my inclusive experience with the family that day”

So give one a try, we do have a waitlist as they have been so popular. If you would like to try one check out the details on our website HERE and complete the inquiry form to add yourself to the list.

Happy cycling.

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