A former triathlete/race junkie, now post-surgery, putting E-bikes to the test on a E-bike day tour. Putting the Silverback E-bike through its paces, I reach a surprising conclusion that challenges my previous ideas about E-bikes.
Two trips in one day? I remember my brother used to be able to surf for hours at a time twice a day and still feel fresh enough to do it again the next day
When I came out of surgery on my foot four and a half months ago, I could only dream of the day that I would be able to venture out for a long ride in the mountains again. Well today I did. Twice. Thanks to a nifty little bit of bicycle technology; the not so humble E-bike. What a revolution.
I’ve gone from achieving podium places in races to huffing and puffing my way up the inclines, feeling very wary of any uneven surfaces that could result in a fall that might injure my slowly recovering foot. At Vivid we have been deliberating over the pros and cons of adopting a full E-bike fleet for touring purposes. Knowing E-bike tours are already growing in popularity. As part of our decision-making process I decided to put the Silverback S-Electro 29 Sport E-bike through its paces on a demo trip. All I can say is… Yassis, it was fokken fun!
I had long held the opinion that E-bikes were mostly for unfit or lazy people who irritated me in races when I was putting in the maximum effort required to conquer the uphills and they would be chatting away on an E-Bike as they pass with ease! Oh, the disdain and utter bitterness we had towards them. But I stand corrected. I didn’t get it then and now I do.
E-Bikes: Reinventing the wheel
People live busy lives and if you can explore more single track or terrain and have a bit of fun with the uphills, then why not? Rushing before and after work just for a suffer-fest isn’t many people’s version of fun anymore.
Not everyone is confident (i.e. me after Injury) to go on singletrack, over rocky terrain or to tackle a fair amount of elevation without feeling broken or filled with dread. At the very least a couple of reintroduction rides on an E-bike is sure to help boost your confidence. In fact, why not make an E-bike tour out of it? They say speed is your friend on downhill or technical sections and an E-Bike allows everyone to achieve just that, to see and feel for themselves the flow that speed provides. It gave me the motivation to get stronger; so that when I do tackle those sections on my mountain bike, I understand that the faster I go over those sections, the easier it is.
Then there is distance. I always felt like I never saw enough on my average ride, unless I was doing a really long training ride for a race. There were always more parts of the trail I wanted to explore but would often be too afraid to in case I got lost, went too far or took too long to get back. Again, not just because I couldn’t ride the distance but there is always some family or social event that I have to rush back for. Getting lost or wanting to explore more trail because I felt adventurous has never been popular on the list of excuses for being late.
E-bike tour of Cape Town trails
I started my morning on the E-bike in the rain, on wet and windy table mountain, hoping the help up the hills would reward me with her almighty views of the city. Unfortunately, the views were lost due to inclement weather and we had to cut the experience short after an hour. BUT I was hooked. After riding the Silverback, which I can honestly say was smooth and almost soundless unlike some of their rival brands. Being in Cape Town it is often possible to experience more than one season in a day so I set out to ride the sunnier single track in and around Contermanskloof. And oh yes baby, I found my view! That’s not all I found…
Maybe it’s a note to self; don’t judge what you don’t know or have yet to try. Like me, you may look down on the E-Bike culture. But, before you judge too quickly or harshly, think twice. This rapidly growing trend isn’t going anywhere soon. In fact, Gravel E-Bikes, E-bikes for kids and who knows what could come next. Maybe E-transport for our furry friends? It wouldn’t surprise me.
So, the Vivid Team has been wooed and won over. If you’re keen to take up the challenge and experience the thrill of skill and speed you may not yet have, book an E-Bike Tour with Vivid Bike Tours to experience gravel greatness.