Cycling holidays go electric

Cycling holidays with HeadwaterNothing beats the simple pleasure of cycling along a country lane in the Mediterranean. The balmy heat of the late afternoon sun, the smell of lavender and wildflowers, and expansive views over olive groves and vineyards and the dazzling turquoise sea, as you glide along without a care in the world, are the stuff holiday memories are made of.

That is, of course, until you encounter the sudden appearance of a steep incline, rising up into the hillside into a series of exhaustive climbs. The views at the top may be spectacular, but the thought of the journey – huffing and puffing to the top – is enough to make your legs hurt.

No wonder then, that the electric bike is becoming increasingly popular. In China, e-bike sales have already topped 120 million, whilst in Germany, sales have increased threefold in the past couple of years, with leading German car manufacturer, BMW, launching its very own e-bike earlier this year. Even in the European cycling capital, the Netherlands, one in every eight bikes sold is now electric, despite being three times more expensive than a regular model.

Hilltop villlages of ProvenceElectric bikes work by using a battery, which produces energy that transfers into kinetic energy in the tyres and moves them forwards. Electric bikes look very similar to regular bikes and are beneficial in that riders still need to pedal them to go forwards, and will therefore enjoy all the usual benefits of riding a bike: being out in the fresh air and doing a gentle work out.

The great advantage is when it comes to longer rides and tackling hills. The additional power means bikes can pedal at speeds of up to 25km per hour and sharp climbs suddenly become easily manageable. Having power assistance means travellers will be able to comfortably cycle further too meaning more places are within visiting distance.

The only issue people have had with electric bikes has been an image-based one. In amongst the trendy fixed gear bikes, racers, and BMXs, the e-bike simply hasn’t been seen as ‘cool’. But with sales rising rapidly, attitudes are changing. And with views from the mountain top suddenly reachable, an e-bike cycling holiday has never looked so good.

Walking and cycling specialist, Headwater, is offering electric bikes to customers on eight selected cycling holidays in Italy, Portugal, Austria and Switzerland, with an e-bike supplement from just £50 per person for those wanting to upgrade to an electric bike on their trip.

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