My 70 year old road cycling friend bought an eBike. Why?
If you’ve read my site a little you’ll know it’s about road cycling for older people, like me. It’s a great way to exercise and get some social connections going as you go into your older years.
So why would I publish an article about eBikes? An eBike isn’t a road bike.
A cycling friend of mine, who I ride with a lot, is over 70. He’s a good road rider. He’s only been cycling for a year and a half, but already he loves it has gained a lot of fitness and muscle and he rides very well. (He always beats me up a hill, but then he’s lighter than me!)
And he has COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). His lungs are a little compromised. And he tells me that the cycling has improved his lung function.
But what does this have to do with eBikes?
Well since he started riding his wife has become interested in cycling too. But she is a similar age and can’t quite manage road cycling at the moment, both from a fitness as well as a confidence point of view. So he purchased an eBike for her.
It’s the perfect arrangement. They now get to go road cycling together. He rides his road bike and she rides the eBike. They both love it, and perhaps over time she will develop the fitness and the interest in moving from the eBike onto a road bike. But even if she doesn’t it’s been fantastic for both of them.
An eBike is a good way to ease an older person into cycling, either to develope the fitness and confidence to move to a road bike over time, or if not then just as a good way to get out on the road and enjoy the benefits of cycling.
So I’m publishing an article about eBikes. It’s by Simon Barker from Panda eBikes in the UK. You can find out more about them at the bottom of the article.
Ease Your Way Into Cycling With An eBike
The thought of a fitness regime can be enough to put you off getting yourself fit. If you’ve not exercised for a while, and you’re not as young as you once were, you know you’re going to suffer so you need something gentle on your muscles. Cycling is excellent exercise, and an environmentally friendly way to travel, but even pedalling can cause muscle aches and pains which you’d rather not have.
There is a solution: an eBike.
Some will know all about these, while others have never heard of them. EBikes are becoming increasingly popular as they are easy to ride, economical to run and provide help to pedal when you need it.
An eBike is a bicycle with an electric motor and a battery attached. These provide power which makes it easier to pedal, easier to go up hill and easier to get yourself fit while cycling. The wonderful thing about en eBike is that you can combine using the motor and pedalling to create a cycling fitness regime to suit anyone.
Ebikes are available as ready to ride bikes or you can purchase an eBike conversion kit to adapt your existing bicycle. You will need a light frame to get started, and all parts are lightweight too. You need a motor and battery as well as the right kit for your needs.
Get fit on an eBike
When you use an eBike you can choose to use the motor only, pedals only or combine the motor with pedal power which makes it easier to power the bike. When choosing this as a means of getting fitter, it is easy to create a staged exercise plan which anyone can follow. The big advantage of an eBike is that pedalling requires less effort so they put less pressure on the muscles than a normal bike would. At the same time, if you choose you can use the same muscle power to give yourself a longer ride and a good work out.
So just how can you use an eBike to help you get fitter easier?
Step 1. Any exercise regime should start slowly and gradually build up. Getting on a bike and immediately riding 5 miles will have the effect of stopping you in your tracks. You need to start slow. When choosing to use an eBike, the first thing you need to do is get your confidence back if you’ve not been on a bike for a while. An eBike will let you ride purely on its motor, meaning you don’t have to pedal at all at first. The distance you can travel using this method is limited to the size of the battery, but this is a good way to ride around close to home until you are confident about being back out on a bike.
You will need to familiarise yourself with steering while on two wheels and braking in traffic, so having something else power the bike gives you less to think about.
Step 2. Once you feel confident with handling the eBike, start going out on short journeys, but now you can start pedalling as well. With the help of the motor, pedalling will be a lot easier on the muscles and will require a lot less effort. When you start to feel your muscles tense up you can just rely on the motor. You can gradually increase how much you pedal over time and this will increase the distance you can travel. The more you pedal, the more you recharge the battery and the further you can go.
Step 3. As you start to build up your muscles, start turning the motor off more as you ride. This will give your legs more of a workout as turning the motor off means you pedal in the same way as a normal bicycle and you have to apply more pressure. If you feel tired or overstretched, turn the motor back on to take some of the strain.
Step 4. As you get fitter and build up your muscles you can start going on longer journeys with and without the motor. You can use the motor to help you get up hills and turn it off when you’re on the flat. Even pedalling with the motor on will give you a good workout and help develop your muscles.
Step 5. See how far you can go without using the motor. This gives the same effect as riding a normal bike but you still have the motor to fall back on if you get tired or you need a boost along the way.
Step 6. Keep on cycling! Once you’re fit again you won’t want to stop using your eBike and you may even decide to start cycling to work instead of driving. An eBike is easier park and cheaper to run than a car so you’ll not only be fit but you can save money too. You may even want to upgrade your eBike to try off-roading or hill riding.
Getting fit using an eBike is easy, cheap and great fun. You can use the bike to cycle anywhere you want and may even find it’s easier for a large number of activities. With the right combination of pedal power and motor you can even enjoy a day out with your bike.
Running an eBike is easy too. Pedalling helps to keep it charged, but they also come with a charger which plugs in to the mains. They take between 4-6 hours to charge and if you get an eBike with a removable battery you can even charge it inside the house where it is safer.
There are many advantages to using an eBike and Total Womens Cycling lists just some of them.
About Simon Barker and Panda eBikes
Simon works for Panda eBikes who have a wealth of information about eBikes. They can advise you on the best eBike for you, whether you’re looking for a pre-built eBike or looking to convert your existing bicycle. eBikes have different specifications based on your level of fitness and how you intend to use the eBike, which is why Panda eBikes will provide you with the best help so you get the eBike you need. They have many years of experience and they have received many excellent reviews for their customer service.
They can provide help online or you can visit one of their dealers, who are situated all over the UK.