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Could e-bikes be the future

Views: 276     Author: Tom Edwards     Publish Time: 2015-12-03      Origin: Site Inquire

I was panting my way up quite a steep climb on my bicycle, when suddenly a rider shot past me on what looked like a shopping bike.

Not only did this feel like a huge insult to my climbing prowess, what made it worse was the guy must have been over 65.

Catching him up took a lot of effort and as I sat on his back wheel I realised he was not actually a retired Tour de France rider but he was on an electric bike (e-Bike).

He told me that he absolutely loved it.

My brother-in-law has since bought one and absolutely destroyed me on some horrendously steep hills in Devon.

Now most cyclists you speak to dismiss e-bikes as "cheating" (I admit I have done it myself) but actually what city planners hope the bikes will do is enable and encourage a new type of cyclist.

Image captionAnd there are those that think e-bikes, e-scooters and e-mopeds could be the future of urban mobility.

For those who haven't tried it, what e-bikes do is give you a little bit of assistance on the flat, maxing out at 15mph.

And they absolutely sail up any kind of incline. It also means the range you can commute without exerting yourself too much lengthens considerably.

They could also be used by those with mobility issues.

And depending on which power setting you chose, you wouldn't have to arrive at the office a bit sweaty.

Blue cycle Superhighways in LondonImage captionThe UK has lagged a little behind Europe with e-bikes, where they are a common sight.

According to the manufacturers I spoke to, half of all bikes sold in Germany are now electric.

But we are catching up and the number of bikes being sold has risen to about 50,000 a year and that's expected to increase even further.

Image captionThe Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is now trying to encourage Londoners to get on e-bikes and thinks they could encourage those who never thought they would cycle get onto two wheels.

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