Published by Lyn on 23 April 2015
Gary and Rachel Corbett left today to attempt to set a world e-bike record. Gary sent me this blog after they picked up their bikes.
There are stages in life when we instinctively know that the time is right to set the record straight.
Call it a confessional, call it getting something off your chest, call it what you will, but the fact of the matter is that it does the soul good to clear the air and to get everything out in the open.
Such is the case with the e-Bike Cycle Tourists as we count down the days before we head off from Surrey in the UK in an attempt to set a new world e-bike long distance record.
So here it is … up until three days ago, we had never ridden an e-bike.
Despite writing and talking about e-bikes for months on end as we planned our 16,000-plus kilometre assault on the world e-bike long distance record, due to the fact that we were living in Bangkok at the time, we'd never had the opportunity to actually climb onboard an e-bike.
So there you have it, we are e-bike newbies, much like the millions of people around the world who have discovered the joys of e-biking in recent years.
But, thankfully, our e-bike virginity finally came to an end at the weekend when we received our two brand new Haibike xDuro Trekking RX e-bikes from Martin Brown at e-bikeshop.co.uk.
I must admit it was with a fair degree of trepidation that we climbed aboard our new Haibikes for our first ever ride, but it only took two or three laps of the car park to be blown away by the performance of our new machines.
After initially getting to know our new bikes on a short ride around the Aldershot area in Surrey, Monday and Tuesday were allocated to clocking up the kilometres in the wider Surrey region.
With perfect spring weather the order of the day, we headed out to give our bikes a real workout.
On our first 50 kilometre-plus ride on Monday. I pushed my bike hard in Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo modes and it never missed a beat. Rachel, well, she was happy to stay in Eco mode.
With a full range of 27 gears to choose from in conjunction with assistance from the various modes, there wasn’t a hill that posed even the slightest of problems.
The next day we hooked up our Tout Terrain trailers for their first fully loaded outing.
With all of the gear we will be taking on our ride onboard - 30-plus kilograms on Gary’s bike and about 25 kilograms on Rachel’s – the e-bikes and trailers handled perfectly.
Sure, we were working the gears fairly hard, but the power from the electrical system with so much weight onboard meant the bikes had absolutely no trouble handling the workload.
For someone who worried that the bikes were going to be too “high tech” to ride when she first saw them, Rachel was delighted with how easy they were to use.
Gear changes posed no problems, the upright riding position proved extremely comfortable and the kilometres flew past.
We'll be following Gary and Rachel as they make their way across Europe – including France – on their e-bikes. You can see their website here.