CONTACT: Jim Johnson
The growing availability of electrically assisted bicycles, or e-bikes, is making bike tour vacations accessible to growing numbers of travelers. E-bikes’ small, battery-powered motors provide enough boost that travelers can explore new places without concern for riding speed, daily distances, or the next incline. Riders can instead focus their energy on enjoying scenery, sights, and camaraderie.
“It’s like having a permanent tailwind,” says BikeToursDirect founder and president Jim Johnson. “Many travelers whose health or lack of cycling experience stood in the way of an active vacation now have a feasible option. And fitter travelers benefit, too. For example, couples or families with varying ability levels can ride together: the stronger ones on regular bikes, the others on e-bikes.”
BikeToursDirect, which represents local bike tour operators around the world, has seen an increase in the availability and use of e-bikes in many popular cycling destinations, including Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, and Nepal.
Saulius Ruzinskas of Baltic Bike Travel, a BikeToursDirect operator partner, says he’s seeing many first-time cycling tourists: “E-bikes provide the reassurance that many travelers need to step out of their comfort zone and book their first bike tour.”
BikeToursDirect client Sara Simmons confirms: "Our Portugal trip was our first bike tour, and my knee needs to be replaced soon, so we decided to rent e-bikes. The other eight people in our group had regular bikes, and we didn't hold anyone back! We are using them again on a Tuscany tour this summer, and we are confident that we'll have another enjoyable and relaxed trip."
Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are bicycles with small electric motors powered by rechargeable batteries. They look and function much like traditional bikes, however the onboard electric motor provides an extra boost of power that responds to and complements the cyclist’s pedaling power and speed. Most e-bikes can provide up to 150% of the rider’s own power with each pedal stroke.
Cyclists of varying skill and fitness levels can choose how much assistance they receive, whether they choose to use the electric assistance only on inclines, or throughout their ride to make it more relaxed and leisurely. “It doesn’t relieve the need to ride, be fit, and ready to spend time in the saddle. However, it will give a boost for those who can use it every now and then,” notes Loren Siekman, president of BikeToursDirect partner Discover France.
BikeToursDirect serves as a central resource for bicycle tours around the world, representing 75 tour companies that offer more than 300 tours in 60 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers search for and choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process.
Learn more at www.biketoursdirect.com.