13/03/2014

The Electronic Age - Guest blog with Cycling Made Easy.

If you have been following my blogs, you'll know I have had a mobility issue for some decades. This has meant I've had to give up cycling during that time & greatly missed it. But good fortune was on my side & after an operation I managed to improve my health with the help of cycling after a 20yr break. It was hard going & took a long time but after a few yrs I am getting there.
So where am I going with this you may well be asking, well over the years I have thought about the use of electric bikes during the 20yrs break & even when returning to cycling but was put off by the expensive costs, low performances & general lack of knowledge & availability of them. But you cant miss the trend has greatly changed recently with better tech, lower prices, etc. I know my 20yr gap may have been filled with cycling if I had an electric bike that are around nowadays. So when I was asked if I could guest blog a piece on electric bike, I thought yeah that be great as I know lil about them personally, except what I have read in the media.

So I will now leave you to read a piece from Neil at Cycling Made Easy & hope it will help those who were like me in the past, as I feel with better tech & prices the electric bike could help those who aren't fully fit to keep cycling. 



While electric cars hog the headlines with their celebrity owners and government subsidies, electric bikes were already outselling their four-wheeled counterparts by a factor of 62 to1 in Europe back in 2011. 


While the rest of the world has enjoyed electric bikes for decades, the market in the UK has remained small in comparison. 


Ray Wookey, who has been selling electric bikes in Surrey for the last three years, says, “This is a shame because e-bikes have the potential to open up cycling to large numbers of people like older people, people with fitness worries and people with lower limb injuries.”


He explains, “I'm in my sixties. Last year, I completed a 300 mile off-road cycle from London to Paris for the British Heart Foundation. It was tough and if I didn't have an electric bike helping me on my way, I wouldn't have completed it. I want to take part in cycling events for as long as I can. My e-bike can let me do that.”


Customers at Ray's e-bike showroom, Cycling Made Easy, agree. When Nicky Blumfield was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder that affected her heart, she didn't think she could ever cycle. However, After 10 minutes’ riding uphill, I was barely out of breath. I could chat with another rider and the dreaded pulse rate was OK! I had a bit of a ‘moment’ as the implications began to sink in: no more feeling left out and miserable.”


So what is an electric bike?
An electric bike is a pedal bike with an added electrical motor to boost the power of your pedalling. This means when cycling, the motor acts like an 'extra pair of legs' providing added power to get you to the top of the hill without you having to dismount and walk.

Can an e-bike help me get fit?
People assume that because an e-bike helps out the rider, you don't get any health benefits. This is not the case! The genius of using an e-bike for exercise is that the assistance stops you from over-exerting yourself. This has two benefits. Firstly, there are fewer chances of strains and sprains.

Secondly, and probably more important, the help from an e-bike means you don't tire yourself out, giving you the energy to go cycling again. In fact, e-cyclists have been recorded cycling five times as frequently as conventional cyclists! Fitness is a habit. Having the energy to go out again and again on a bike is crucial to forming that habit.

What if I don't want the electrical assistance?
Most e-bikes allow you to control how much assistance you get from it. They are fitted with a small control panel on the handlebars. If you are coming back from injury and slowly rebuilding your fitness, you can start with a lot of assistance and gradually use less and less as the muscles and joints strengthen. There may even come a point when you can turn the engine off completely.

What if I can't pedal at all?
Some e-bikes come with a throttle. These are helpful for accelerating away from traffic lights but they are also good for days when pedalling is too difficult or painful, or you need a break from pedalling during a ride.

Can I find out more?
There is more information about electric bikes on the Cycling Made Easy website http://www.cyclingmadeeasy.co.uk/ 

 

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