The Peak District offers some of the best places to enjoy an outdoor adventure on two wheels. The terrain in the peaks is varied with steep roads cutting through dramatic rocky cliff sides, flatter trails along disused railway lines and rolling hills, all taking in pretty towns and villages along the way.
Of course, electric bicycles offer many of the same benefits that regular cycling does but because you’ve got an added bit of oomph on board, you’ll be able to travel greater distances and ride for longer. And an e-bike could make things a tad easier if you want to get out and explore the Peak District, but do you fear you may not be fit enough or are you wondering exactly what makes e-bikes different?
Patrick Healy, owner of Peak Ascent Cycles in Buxton, gave us the low down on going electric and why they’re different to regular cycles:
1. Build confidence and ability
If you have ever felt like you’d like to cycle more but don’t feel fit enough, or, you just haven’t taken the plunge yet to life on two wheels and don’t feel confident enough in terms of your fitness, having a bit of battery assistance could really help get you started.
2. Hills and wind (eg. Peak District!) need not be a problem
The thought of cycling uphill against the wind is probably one of the most off-putting reasons for not cycling. With an electric bike neither need to be a problem when you can tap into your electric motor as and when you need it.
3. Go further, faster, longer…
Of course, electric bicycles offer many of the same benefits that regular cycling does but because you’ve got an added bit of oomph on board, you’ll be able to travel greater distances and ride for longer. They’ll also allow you to go faster than most cyclists and in some cases cars.
4. They get you riding more
According to a recent report by the Transport Research Laboratory, regular bikes make it out of the shed fewer than 25 times a year, with 46% being used just once or twice a week.
In comparison, 30% of people with electric bikes use them once a day, while a whopping 81% ride them at least once a week. Which means that e-bike users are twice as likely as regular riders to get out there and ride.
5. They’re great for crosswinds and headwinds
Having a motor to back you up also means that e-bikes are great for tackling that other great adversary nature throws up for cyclists – the wind.
Gusts are all well and good when they’re behind you but when they’re buffeting you from the side or pushing against you from the front, they can ruin your fun and can even be potentially dangerous.
By increasing the amount of power your motor kicks out, though, you can do a fair bit to stifle both crosswinds and headwinds.
6. Get fit – at your own pace
With the electric motor helping you out, you’ll be pedalling more and riding more but at your own pace. Particularly great for anyone who feels like their fitness isn’t what it used to be or what it should be, or, if you’re recovering from an illness or injury.
7. They’re great for commuting
Not only will they save you cash, they can also free you from the misery of either stalemated traffic or overcrowded trains and buses.
Even though you’re effectively a motorised vehicle, you don’t need a licence yet you’re still allowed to use the cycling lanes.
And because you can lean on that motor a little, you won’t work up too much of a sweat and end up arriving at work ponging like a sports sock. A long haul home after a hard day’s slog won’t look quite so daunting either!
8. They go pretty fast, to a point
The harder you pedal, the bigger the boost, the faster you’ll ride—to a point. E-bikes let you hum along at a brisk clip, but they aren’t motorcycles. You’ll never jackhammer down the road at 45 mph. The motor is governed to stop propelling you further when you hit 15 miles per hour, depending on the bike.
You can also control how big of an assist you get. Most e-bikes come with a power switch that lets you adjust the boost setting from “eco” (low) to “turbo” (high), for when you want a little more oomph to help you, say, up a steep hill.
9. They can help save you money
Up keep costs for an electric bike are roughly the same as running a regular bike (for consumable parts like tyres, chains and brake pads). Far cheaper than buying, insuring and maintaining a petrol or diesel car, and a lot less than forking out for regular trips on public transport or a season ticket.
It only costs a few pence to fully charge the battery on an electric bike and depending on your bike and battery it could take you as far a 30-90 miles.
10. Good for shopping
Cycling with a heavy load of groceries can be exhausting. With your tins of beans and a 2 pinter of milk, full you could be carrying quite a few extra kilograms of weight.
If you plan your weekly shop with an electric bike in mind you can cycle to the shops and use your battery power on the way back – it’s more exercise than driving, so you can still earn yourself a few extra special shop-bought treats for the week.
The Peak District is packed full of spectacular scenery with some superb roads and trails to enjoy your e-bike adventure. If you’re thinking of going electric on two wheels – Peak Ascent Cycles have a wide range of e-bikes and Patrick and his team can give you any expert advice, tips and general guidance, what ever your experience level…
Peak Ascent Cycles, 6 High Street, Buxton, SK17 6EU
T: 01298. 299011 / 07434 937 728