E Bike Adventure in Italy!
On a recent road trip to Italy, we visited a well know cycling area on the beautiful Adriatic coastline called Riccione. We booked The Hotel Dory, which turned out to be a cycling hotel with a fully stocked Scott bike hire facility. We couldn’t miss this great opportunity to hire bikes for a couple of days and as a proud owner of a Scott road bike and a Scott mountain Bike the stars were aligned. I emailed the hotel ahead detailing the road bike I required i.e. the same as my current rig, but somehow my request got lost in translation so I decided to sort it out when I got there. Before heading off I discussed the holiday with Shaun, upon which he asked me if we were hiring E-Bikes? Nooooo I said, of course not – we’re getting road bikes!!!
However, during the flight I relayed this conversation to my wife (who is road bike obsessed) and asked her if she fancied giving an E-Bike a go if they had any? Fast forward to check in, we are invited to go and select our bikes, so we head off to the bike shop in the basement and there in front of us are 2 Scott E-Bikes, specifically E-Sub Tour Bike. Needless to say we decided to give it a go for a laugh.
We went prepared and had already downloaded our routes on the Garmin 1000, our first route being the panoramic coastal route heading south to Pescara, so with fully charged batteries off we set. The Bike was extremely comfortable and the deployment of the pedal assist power was totally intuitive with 4 power options; Eco – Tour – Sport – Turbo. Being unsure as to how long the battery would last and how far we would travel, I mainly kept the setting on Eco and moved up to the Tour setting for the more difficult climbs. There was however one occasion on a 25% gradient that I put the bike into the Turbo setting to see what it could do! I have to say it was amazing. Using the power settings to take the edge off the steeper climbs makes a huge difference and throughout the day I was grinning from ear to ear as the ride was just superb. I had the pre conceived notion that Ebiking is cheating a little but I have to tell you that you still have to work hard and you are still burning lots of calories on an eBike, you just go faster with the power assist and therefore further. In 5 hours, with a long lazy lunch, we completed 50miles, and every mile was brilliant. We were actually unsure how long the battery would last for and therefore conservatively kept the power on Eco mode for the majority of the ride and this used 2 bars out of 5 on the battery gauge, so we could have stayed out even longer.
The second day we rode out towards the beautiful Sangiovese area following another pre planned 50 mile loop. I could feel the previous days ride in my legs but never the less off we set. This ride was a little tougher but again the bikes were great and we felt confident that the batteries would see us through so when needed to, we nudged the power up to Tour on the long steep climbs.
So who should consider buying an eBike? Everyone in my opinion. If you want to cycle faster and further, if you want to inject more enjoyment into your cycling, if you don’t want to feel like your going to vomit at the top of a hideous climb, if you just want to get fitter, then an eBike is definitely for you!
The E-Bike phenomenon was a complete revelation to me and I am so glad I tried it, and let’s face it as a bike shop owner I should have tried it sooner. It was that good I am a complete convert and have just taken delivery of my new E-Bike , a Trek Powerfly 7 WSD 2020!!!