Are e-bikes the answer for a relaxing cycling holiday?

I remember the first time I went cycling with Headwater Holidays on my honeymoon. Basking in the September sunshine, we cycled through unspoiled rural France, meandering through gently rolling countryside, past farmyards and quiet villages.

We enjoyed it so much that the following year we booked again with Headwater Holidays, but this time chose the Jura, a rather more mountainous part of France. My memories of that holiday are of me at the bottom of the hill and Guy disappearing over the crest with barely a care for me, puffing and panting behind him. If only I’d known about e-bikes then, things might have been so different!


Fast forward 20 years to my trip to the South Tyrol in Italy and I found myself cycling through the vineyards that surround Lake Kaltern. This time I was offered a choice between a normal bike and an e-bike and although I’m pretty fit, I decided to try the e-bike. Perhaps it was the sight of my super-fit, lycra-clad guide, that made me think that perhaps I’d need a little extra pedal power to keep up.

Cycling and wine tasting around Lake Caldaro / Kaltern Heatheronhertravels.com

Cycling and wine tasting around Lake Kaltern in South Tyrol

To the untrained eye there was really little difference between the e-bike and any other. Only the small electric motor attached to the frame was the giveaway. However, I soon realised is that using an e-bike is not the same as a motor bike – the bike does not move on it’s own and you still have to pedal. The controls are like an additional gear lever on the handle bars and when you’re feeling the strain, you just click it on to give you some extra oomph on the hilly bits. Read about Cycling with wine and apples in South Tyrol

Cycling and wine tasting around Lake Caldaro / Kaltern

Cycling with apples around Lake Kaltern in South Tyrol

If you are reasonably fit like me, perhaps you think it would be cheating to hire an e-bike rather than sweat away up those hills? The leading walking and cycling company, Headwater Holidays recently surveyed its customers and found that 67% of those who responded had a positive experience with e-bikes. Among the reasons given were that they allowed different experience levels of cyclists to stay together, you could travel further and they were great for tackling steep hills.

Mountain Biking in Wilder Kaiser as part of Alpine Sports Week Heatheronhertravels.com

Mountain Biking in Wilder Kaiser, Austria

That last issue of the steep hills was certainly a factor when I tried out e-bikes last year on a trip to Austria where I got the chance to do some mountain-biking in the Tyrol. Normally I wouldn’t be first in the queue for mountain-biking, associating it with fit young men being splattered with mud and every chance of flying off over the handle bars.

On this occasion, however it was a much more pleasant experience, since I was able to put my e-bike on the side of the lift to the top of the mountain and then we gradually cycled down, stopping half way for a lunch with glorious mountain views.

Mountain Biking in Wilder Kaiser as part of Alpine Sports Week Heatheronhertravels.com

Mountain Biking in Wilder Kaiser as part of Alpine Sports Week

You might think that being downhill all the way, I wouldn’t have needed to use the electric motor at all, but in fact there were several places where we were going uphill and it was a relief to be able to click the lever and suddenly find that everything got a lot easier. As one enthusiastic Headwater Holidays customers said  “The way the e-bike sailed up the inclines was really quite amazing”. Read about Heather goes e-mountain biking in Austria

Mountain Biking in Wilder Kaiser as part of Alpine Sports Week Heatheronhertravels.com

Mountain Biking in Wilder Kaiser, Austria

If you’d like to try out an e-bike on your next cycling trip, check out the cycling holidays that Headwater Holidays offer with e-bikes. They are a great option if you;

  • Are less fit than you’d like but still enjoy cycling
  • Want to keep up with your partner who’s fitter than you
  • Are cycling in a group of mixed abilities
  • Are debating whether you’ll cope with steep hills and mountainous regions
  • Are more interested in enjoying the view than getting sweaty
  • Want to get some exercise but also have the option of taking it a bit easier if you need to

On most of Headwater’s cycling holidays you can book an e-bike as an option – take a look at;

Hilltop Villages of Provence – the e-bike will make light work of cycling up to those medieval hilltop villages and you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views across the Luberon.

Hilltop Villages of Provence

Classic Burgundy Cycling – You’ll be pleased you chose an e-bike if you stop at any vineyards to taste the famous Burgundy wines and feel less inclined to pedal hard afterwards.

Coves and Harbours of Northern Spain – There are traditional fishing ports, farming hamlets but also the rugged Picos de Europa to explore.

Dorset and the Jurassic Coast – Lazy days visiting sheltered bays, with an e-bike to help you on those rolling hills.

CC BY Paul Tomlin / flickr

So when you’re planning your next cycling holiday, do check out the options for cycling with e-bikes that Headwater Holidays can offer.

Check out my recent article for Headwater Holidays about 10 things to pack on your walking holiday

More articles from walking with Headwater Holidays in Austria

Hiking in Austria – the wild Leutasch Gorge and picturesque Mittenwald
Hiking in Austria – a Rifleman’s Parade and Mental Power Walk at Seefeld
A high mountain walk (and a tumble) in the Gaistal Valley, Austria
Hiking in Austria – the views from the cross at Seefelder Spitze

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Read about ebikes for a relaxing cycling holiday

This article was brought to you in partnership with Headwater Holidays.

Dorset and the Jurassic coast photo credit: CC BY Paul Tomlin / flickr

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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  • Reply
    Barbara Weibel
    June 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Always wondered about ebikes, so really appreciated this article. Think I may have to try one out.
    Barbara Weibel´s last blog post ..PHOTO: Typical Street Scene in the Town of Dingle, Ireland

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      June 20, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      @Barbara They definitely take the sweat out of a cycling holiday

  • Reply
    July 15, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    I’ve never ridden an ebike because to be honest, I used to think they were for the faint hearted and that’s just not me LOL But that’s because I had no idea how they worked — I didn’t know you still had to pedal to make it work! I will try renting one soon just to prove myself wrong with my theory that ebikes are for wimps LOL

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      July 18, 2016 at 2:30 am

      @Curtis I’d definitely give them a try on your next cycling trip

  • Reply
    August 6, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    That picture of provence is stunning. Makes me wanna go!

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      August 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      @John Thanks, love cycling through the landscape too

  • Reply
    November 5, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Hey Heather, I love these photos! Absolutely stunning scenery!

  • Reply
    November 27, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    My daughter just changed my mind about e-bikes. I have to say they are so such fun to ride now that I purchased one a few months ago.

  • Reply
    February 22, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Looks like you really enjoy cycling there, I like the pictures you take…

  • Reply
    April 14, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    E-bikes are a great way to get around. I had one as a teenager and missed the feeling of the wind in your face so I am thinking about buying one now but I am 36 so I am nervous lol.

  • Reply
    Naveen Kulkarni
    June 25, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Heather, thanks for this article. I think it was well summarised. E-bikes are a surely amazing way to move around (again, mind the battery charging limitation). They might not give you the power to skim through all kind of roads, but if the purpose of the travel is a relaxed one, then e-bikes are great choice indeed!
    Naveen Kulkarni´s last blog post ..Hover X Phantom Hoverboard Review

  • Reply
    Richard Foster
    July 21, 2017 at 3:57 am

    Hi Heather, it’s good to ride an ebike for a cycling trip and BTW, the photos you took are beautiful!

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      July 21, 2017 at 11:32 am

      @Richard Thanks I think bikes are definitely the answer for effortless cycling

  • Reply
    Simon Kemp
    October 10, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    My son recently got his first mountain bike and loves it but prior to that we were big fans of electric scooters. I used to use one to keep up with him while he was on his regular scooter. It’s a nice high-tech touch to have the hub motor on a bike and I can tell from the electric scooters these motors are powerful and small. 500 Watts in some cases. I think I’ll be giving an e-bike a try soon to keep up with my son on his new bike!

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