Tag Archives: beginner

E-bikes for E-asier Bike Tours

Electric vehicles are hot these days and e-bikes may be the hottest.

By FaceMePLS from The Hague, The Netherlands (Sondors eBike) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: FaceMePLS from The Hague, The Netherlands
At last week’s huge Interbike convention in Las Vegas, there was an entire section devoted to e-bikes along with a test track.  Improvements in battery technology and aging demographics are leading the increased popularity of these bikes which easily reach 20 MPH with little effort.

They certainly make sense for bike tours.  Our directory of bike tours currently lists over 400 tours, with about 5% using e-bikes.  There are quite a few advantages:

  • Less pedaling and effort for those who may not feel comfortable riding for two or three hours (although, most bike tours ride at modest paces)
  • Faster bikes means covering more ground
  • Some of our cities are pretty hilly, an e-bike flattens those hills (think Athens which has three different e-bike companies)
  • More accessible for those who might never even consider riding a regular bike
  • Riding an e-bike is FUN

One downside, an e-bike is generally more expensive for tour operators to buy and maintain.  You might notice that e-bike tours cost a bit more.

Feeling lazy?  Wanna go uphill fast?  Give an e-bike tour a try!

**UPDATE** Check out this article from an e-bike tourer defeating hills, heat, and hours in Rome.

Bike Tours are Boring! (Not)

A recent Tripadvisor review for Co Van Kessel bike tours in Bangkok is titled:

“I know a bike tour sounds pretty boring, but….!!!”

What!?  Fortunately the first sentence redeems the reviewer quickly, here’s the entire review:

When somebody tells me; ‘If you go there you should do a bike tour!’ Then I would think that person is crazy, like there is nothing better to do..?The answer is simple: there is nothing better to do!!!! Did the 3 hour trip, and my butt found that enough time on a saddle. But it is really a must see!!!

Whew…another convert to city bike tours!

Are You a Cyclist?

You certainly don’t need to be a “cyclist” to take city bike tours or rent a bike.  In fact, people who don’t routinely ride a bike might even enjoy the city cycling time MORE…since it may have been a while since they’ve ridden.  Robin Williams was an avid cyclist and known for saying that “cycling is the closest you can get to flying“. If you haven’t ridden recently, you might have forgotten how much fun just riding a bike can be.

Some cyclists are very much into the stuff, the gear, the “kit”. Don’t be intimated about taking a bike tour and not looking the part or not being a “cyclist”.  Planet Bike said it perfectly:

If we want more people in the US to ride bicycles, we need to change the image that bicycles are just sporting goods and the perception that people who ride bikes are “cyclists” and can be identified by their tight, brightly-colored Lycra outfits. Meanwhile in the rest of the world, most people ride a bike multiple times a day, but if asked, they would not say they are cyclists. For them, the bicycle is simply a means of transportation, not an identity.
We all brush our teeth each day, but we don’t call ourselves dentists. We vacuum our homes, but don’t wear special outfits to do it, and we don’t read “Vacuuming Magazine.” Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with bicycle jerseys, racing, training, club rides, etc. Bicycles are great tools for recreation and exercise. But they are also the most efficient, sustainable, fun, safe and healthy means of transportation out there.

We’ve always thought “biker” would be a better term for many of us, but that’s kind of taken. Anyway, all you need for your bike tour are comfy clothes and shoes, a helmet (if you so choose, nearly always provided by the tour operator), and a spirit ready for fun.