Tips for an E-Bike Touring Cyclist
Considering Group Size
Alan, a retired manager in the electricity industry, shares his insights on e-bike touring after years of experience. He suggests that smaller groups are more manageable and enjoyable. In his opinion, two individuals can easily discuss issues, whereas larger groups tend to lead to arguments. Therefore, he recommends embarking on these rides as a pair. Alan and his friend have a long-standing friendship and seamless compatibility, which ensures that discussions rarely escalate.
Planning Your Route Thoroughly
One of the most crucial aspects of e-bike touring is meticulously planning your route in advance. According to Alan, it is essential to book all the hotels along the entire route beforehand. After a long day of cycling, fatigue sets in, and locating another available hotel requires unnecessary energy expenditure. Additionally, it is advisable to be aware of the supermarket locations along your route, allowing you to conveniently stop for lunch and refreshments.
Navigating Cities Effectively
While a countryside map assists in navigating between towns and cities, Alan discovered that consulting city councils was invaluable for safely traversing urban areas. He realized that one-way systems and traffic management measures in cities often led to confusion and detours. Therefore, contacting the local council for advice on transitioning through the city is highly recommended. Without such guidance, getting lost or ending up on the wrong roads can rapidly deplete your energy levels.
Using Electronic Navigation Aids
Alan utilizes electronic navigation aids to plan his bike ride. He carefully examines detailed maps on his computer beforehand to determine the precise route. Afterwards, he downloads the route onto a GPS system fitted on his bike. This way, he is equipped with a mapped-out guide for every turn during his entire journey.
Conserving Energy: For Both Rider and Bike
Alan prioritizes energy conservation during his rides. He opts to ride his bike on the Eco setting and never perceives his journey as a race. He understands that simply relying on the bike to handle any inclines is wishful thinking. In fact, he once encountered an exceptionally steep hill where he struggled to maintain speed, despite using the High setting. Eventually, his pace slowed to a point where he toppled over. His advice in such situations is to dismount and walk up the hill. Furthermore, he found that using the High setting excessively drained the battery, even to the extent where it jeopardized the remaining duration of his ride.
Alan recognizes the importance of traveling light on his bike. Without any additional gear, his bike already weighs around 45 lbs. However, for a typical week-long ride, he carries an extra 30 lbs of gear. Consequently, the total weight of his bike, excluding his own weight, amounts to approximately 75 lbs. This additional weight encompasses various essentials, such as changes of clothes, spare inner tubes, and a comprehensive bicycle toolkit capable of addressing most mechanical issues commonly encountered on his route.
Knowing the Location of Bike Repair Shops
Being aware of the locations of bike repair shops along the route proves to be immensely helpful for Alan. While traversing the Bristol to York leg of his journey, he encountered two punctures. Eventually, he discovered that his outer tire had been penetrated by broken glass. Thankfully, Alan managed to find a cycle store in Coventry where he replaced the damaged tire. Afterward, he encountered no further issues for the remainder of his ride.
- Alan aims to complete his ride across the diagonal expanse of the UK mainland before reaching the age of 72.
In 2018, Alan embarked on a journey from Edinburgh to Inverness. He plans to conclude the route in 2019.
Although serious riders typically complete the journey in 10 consecutive days, not everyone participates with the intention of breaking records.
Contemplating whether the destination or the journey itself holds greater significance is a pertinent question.
– By Richard Shrubb