Getting to grips with e-bikes
10 local Breeze Champions broadened their knowledge around the growing prevalence of electric bicycles this month with a visit to specialist store ESpokes in Basingstoke.
“Increasingly, I was getting questions about electric bikes, and Champions being not sure what to expect or look out for if women came along to join Breeze led cycle rides on electric bicycles. Indeed, some Champions had already experienced it and wanted to be more confident in having electric bikes as part of their group rides” said Ruth Miller, Women’s Cycling Coordinator at Energise Me.
“The Champions are always wanting their rides to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, and with e-bikes becoming more available and accessible many people are exploring their use for mobility, health, enjoyment, and transport reasons. The Breeze Champions wanted to be comfortable they could still lead safe, flowing group rides with e-bikes as part of it”
In partnership with ESpokes, we offered a women’s evening as an initial introduction to ‘pedal assist’ bikes and to start considering any additional considerations with these bikes in a group ride. Pedal assist bikes require you to pedal at all times, with the option to choose the amount of ‘boost’ you need at any given moment.
The Breeze Champions had the opportunity to really learn by trying a range of bikes on a 4-mile route on different local roads – they were encouraged to ask lots of questions of the expert staff and share ideas, as well as to just have lot of fun.
By the end of the evening, the women attending were much more confident in having electric bikes along to their rides – understanding more about how they operate and are maintained, battery lift, quick accelerations, and just how much more quickly you can ride up hills.
There was also, a definite attitude shift from some, having come to the session seeing the use of electric bicycles as ‘cheating’! They left realising that e-bikes can really allow women (or men) who otherwise may not get on a bike at all an opportunity to do so, or provide lapsed riders a way back in to an activity they once loved – it can be a great leveller and open otherwise closed doors.