Well, what a huge week of e-biking it has been for the e-Bike Cycle Tourists.
Not only did we pass the 8023.5 kilometre mark – the half-way point in our attempt to set a new world e-bike long distance record – but we finally made it to Scotland after two weeks of cycling up England’s east coast.
Along the way we have experienced the best and worst of the UK’s weather, have marvelled at the beauty of the English countryside and coast line and after a number of months of cycling on flat terrain in Europe have had to readjust to hill climbing through Yorkshire and Northumberland.
The result of the above events was a wet and miserable night at Stockton On Tees when our tent sprung a major leak and a tent pole broke during a massive thunderstorm, an album full of amazing photos of the scenery along our route and sore and aching muscles.
The thunderstorm, by far the worst we have ever experienced while camping over the years, was definitely the real deal.
The rain was so heavy – think of water being poured out of a bucket – that our Vango Omega 350 tent didn’t know what struck it, with the result that water poured in faster than we could mop it up.
Finally when the rain let up for a short while I went outside to tighten the guy ropes to try to stem the flow of water and in my enthusiasm to achieve a quick fix over tightened the rope and broke one of the tent’s three poles, with the result a tent unfit for sleeping in.
If nothing else I pride myself on being resourceful – not that the prospect of spending a wet and sleepless night wasn’t enough incentive to come up with a solution to our predicament – so I grabbed four tent pegs that were not being used and lashed them to the broken pole to act as a temporary splint.
The fix worked brilliantly and with the rain, thunder and lightning finally easing, we were at last able to get some much needed sleep after a big day of e-biking.
Fortunately that has been the only real mishap along the way – if you don’t count six flat tyres – and with a new tent pole purchased the following day, everything is now as good as new.
A major highlight over the past week was seeing for ourselves where the English TV series Heartbeat was filmed in Yorkshire around the coastal town of Whitby and further inland.
We are pleased to report that the Yorkshire Wolds district is just as picturesque in real life as it was on the TV screen, although unfortunately Whitby was overrun by tourists, so we had to satisfy ourselves with a visit to ruins of the historical Whitby Abbey and a couple of quick photographs before we resumed cycling.
Now to those sore and aching muscles after days of cycling up inclines of anything up to 30 degrees. Despite what appears to be the popular opinion of most of the people we talk to along the way, cycling an e-bike on hills, as is the case on a normal bicycle, is hard work.
While, yes, we do get a certain amount of electrical assist, we still have to work hard to conquer every metre climbed and at the end of the day, after anything up to eight hours cycling, we are well and truly exhausted.
Sure, if we put the electrical boost on ‘turbo’ we could fly up the steepest of the hills, but this would seriously reduce the range of our two batteries to no more than 50kms or less for the day. At that rate it would take years to set a new world e-bike record!
So given we need to maximise the range of our batteries at every opportunity, where possible the steepest of hills are tackled in ‘eco’ and ‘tour’ modes with only an occasional stint in ‘sport’ if the incline is too steep or the wind too strong.
With the hills of Scotland and Ireland still to come the suspicion is that we will be working harder than ever for every kilometre as we continue to aim for that magical figure of 16,047-plus kilometres required to set a new world e-bike long distance record.