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June 30, 2020

A confession.......

My very first blog post is a confession. I really didn’t get e-bikes. I’m a qualified mountain bike guide and I believed that e-bikes were for lazy, good-for-nothing so-in-so’s that didn’t deserve to perch their derriere on a saddle.

But 2 years ago, that changed. I had been looking to purchase a commuting bike and my local bike shop, Cyclehighlands, suggested an e-bike. I demo’ed one and straight away realised that my preconceived ideas had been wrong. Firstly, e-bikes are considerably heavier than I was used to. The extra strength needed to support the motor and the battery adding weight across every component of the bike. Secondly e-bikes are no scooter or moped. They don’t move under their own steam. A more accurate description would be to call them “pedal-assisted” bikes. The rider has to pedal to make the motor engage. Pedaling without the motor is a real effort but with it engaged I was soon whizzing along. An e-bike might be the perfect commuting tool for me after all. A 36-mile round trip with not so much as a bead of sweat. The means of arriving at work and still having the energy left to do a full day’s work before riding home. I was hooked!

6 months later, in rare moment of domestic goddess duties - I put my back out whilst hoovering. A bulging disc was diagnosed, and I was off of exercise for a considerable amount of time. My lack of exercise coupled with some medication I was on at the time led me to gain a considerable amount of weight…. And this all contributed to a perfect storm of finding myself in a place where my well-being took an inevitable dip. I was unable to run or jog and I found being out on my mountain bike (or road bike) far too painful. But then I thought about the e-bike, and after consultation with the GP I decided to start e-biking for leisure with the power assist turned right up.

I have slowly regained my fitness and am back out in the countryside I love so much. I now use my e-bike daily; any excuse to get out on it actually. It’s almost perfect in every way. It’s a 1st generation e-bike so the styling is a bit clunky, but as a tool to get me into the mountains to explore it is unbeatable. My friends are still riding traditional MTB’s and so I don’t take my e-bike to ride with them but when I am out for long days in the saddle that involve big climbs or long distances then I never have to think twice about what I would rather be on.

My guiding has also taken an unexpected turn. I now concentrate exclusively on e-bike guided tours from my home in Aboyne. From tourists (and biking novices) visiting the area looking for a different experience (and to explore Royal Deeside), through to seasoned mountain-bikers who want to challenge themselves with much longer rides and bigger climbs than they normally have the time or energy for…. I cater for the full gamut of cyclists. E-biking is a true “enabler” and is open to all abilities. E-biking is now the fastest growing sector of cycling and for good reason. There has never been a better time to experience e-biking – drop me a message and find out for yourself what all the fuss is about.

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