What a year it has been for the e-Bike Cycle Tourists!
Sitting here reflecting on what has truly been an amazing 12 months and 20,000 kilometres of e-bike cycle touring through Europe and the UK, it is hard to find the right words to describe the experience.
Why? Because there are just so many words that can be used to describe what has truly been a life-changing year.
Amazing, that almost goes without saying. Challenging, at times, definitely. Incredible, it’s a word we have used many, many times to describe the amazing – see there is that word again – things that have happened and the sights we have seen. Inspirational, how can you not be inspired when you are doing something so special? Frustrating, when you are lost as often as we have been, how can you not get frustrated? Motivational, how can you not be motivated when there is so much to see and do and so many amazing people to meet?
Anyhow, you get the idea.
When we set out from London in mid-April 2015 to set a new world e-bike long distance record, it was basically on a whim and a prayer.
Given that neither of us has ever ridden an electrical bicycle before, that Rachel had never attempted self-supported long distance cycle touring before, that Rachel was still recovering from a severe case of acute reactive arthritis, that we were in our late 50s and early 60s and that no one we could find had ever used an e-bike as their only form of transport for a trip of 20,000-plus kilometres, the chances were high that we would be back home sooner rather than later with our collective tails between our legs.
The Plan to Set a New E-Bike Record was a Long Shot
Essentially, if we were being really, really honest, our plan to set a new world e-bike record of more than 16,047kms was a long shot that had more chance of failure than success.
But something really strange happened along the way.
Not only did we take to e-bike riding on our Haibike xDuro RX Trekking e-bikes like ducks to water, but Rachel soon discovered that she loved the freedom that cycle touring provided and that cycling was the best therapy to ensure a complete recovery from her acute reactive arthritis woes, that our age was no barrier at all and, importantly, it didn’t matter that we had no one to mentor us on the do’s and don’ts of e-bike cycle touring.
So essentially we made up the rules as we went along and now after 12 months on the road and after claiming the world e-bike long distance record as our own, something we never envisaged has happened – we have become the mentors.
On a regular basis we are now contacted by people from throughout the world seeking advice prior to setting out on their own e-bike cycle touring adventure.
Some are planning short two or three night journeys, others adventures stretching over months.
But the length of the tour isn’t what is important, it’s the fact that people of all ages are now seeing that it IS possible to go cycle touring on an e-bike and that it IS possible to have an amazing time.
What has happened, and it has taken us by complete surprise, is the fact that our amazing, challenging, incredible, inspirational, frustrating and motivational journey has by default inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of people from around the world to consider the merits of cycle touring on an e-bike.
E-Bike Cycle Touring Questions Come in Daily
The result? Almost on a daily basis we are answering questions as best we can that range from the type of e-bikes and equipment to use to how and where to charge e-bike batteries while on the road as people prepare for their own e-bike adventure.
How good is that!
With e-bike battery technology in conjunction with solar technology going ahead in leaps and bounds, it is not hard to see the day in the not-too-distant future when it will be common place to see and hear about people planning and completing e-bike touring adventures.
After all, as we have discovered only too well, it is an amazing way to see the world, to meet and interact with inspirational people and, importantly, to get really, really fit while doing something that is truly amazing.
The importance of the fact that an e-bike allows ordinary people of any age and fitness level to get out and discover the world – not just people in the 20 and 30 age groups as is the case with the majority of long distance cycle tourists riding conventional touring bikes – cannot be underestimated.
And best of all from what we have seen from the correspondence we receive, many, many people in their 40s, 50s, 60s and even 70s are now seeing e-bikes as a viable form of transport for a cycling holiday with a difference – both on organised cycle touring holidays and on self-supported long distance journeys such as ours.
What a fabulous development.
And why not. After all an e-bike is a fabulous form of transport for many, many reasons!