Just before lockdown I bought an eMTB. My husband had bought one a month earlier, and was raving about how great it is, and I knew that there's no way I could keep up with him on my trusty old Orbea, so I arranged for some test rides and was hooked immediately. The poor Orbea is hanging up in the garage gathering dust!
E-biking is SO MUCH FUN!
I live in the Sid Valley in East Devon. All roads lead steeply up, and it's a good day when you have the energy to do more than two climbs. This all changes with an e-bike. I've always liked climbing (I know, weird!), but that doesn't mean that it wasn't a bit of a slog sometimes. Now it's a really enjoyable part of the ride.
I generally used to avoid our nearest route onto the hill, as it was a killer. Steep all the way, with lots of loose stones to negotiate. It was always touch and go if I could make it all the way up (mainly not!). Now, with a bit of pedal assist, I can breeze up choosing the best line, and not feeling drained by the time I get to the top.
Don't get me wrong, eMTB still involves effort. My breathing rate will increase, I'm still doing aerobic exercise. But I won't be shifting into the anaerobic zone - that short, intense activity that has you working to the max, and which can't be sustained for long. The beauty of it is that I can ride for longer, go further, do more descents and more climbs - and not feel totally exhausted at the end of it.
In fact research shows that you get a similar level of workout on an e-Bike as on a regular mountain bike, BUT it doesn't feel like it! In short, the study suggests that eMTBs offer a good form of workout without the rider feeling like they are exercising as much. It goes on to suggest they may be a benefit for "more sedentary individuals" to use eMTBs "to engage in regular physical activity and meet physical activity guidelines".
And there are more benefits. My old Orbea was light as a feather. This was great for climbing, but less good for rocky descents, where I'd get bounced around. Descending on my e-bike feels much more stable and planted. It feels safer. And I go faster.
Also, for those of us who've managed to accumulate injuries over the years, eMTB is a gift. I ruptured my cruciate ligament in my knee back in the early 90s, and recently I'd noticed that I don't have the same power in my left leg, that I used to, and wasn't able to clear short, really sharp climbs that I used to be able to get up. Now I can again!
As well as those who are injured, an ebike is also great for people who aren't as fit as they'd like to be. It means they are more likely to go out, will ride more frequently and tend to take on tougher terrain and hills that they might not have done without the pedal assist.
There are now eMTBs available for hire in Sidmouth, so if you'd like to give one a go, I'd be happy to show you the best places to ride locally. Email me or ring 07786 440129 to find out more or arrange a time.