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Electric bikes are quietly taking the world by storm. Nearly one-third of bike sales in cycling-mad Holland are now electric, and even world champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy is a convert, saying: "Once you’ve ridden an e-bike, you completely get it."
Despite their popularity, it's understandable if you're slightly reticent about renting an e-bike for a cycling holiday—after all, the whole point of the holiday is to cycle—but riding an e-bike has a range of perks that you might not have considered.
They're fun to ride
If you've always wondered what it feels like to be an Olympic athlete, this is your chance to find out. With the help of a motor you can whiz along at speeds of up to 30km/hour on the flat, which would be impressive, but not particularly sustainable, under your own steam. Feeling the wind in your hair as the countryside swishes by is always exhilarating, and there's the added bonus of your legs staying completely cramp-free.
It's exercise without exhaustion
Riding an e-bike isn't all about kicking back and letting the motor do all the work; it's still a surprisingly good form of exercise. In a 2016 study, unfit people who rode e-bikes for one month ended the experiment with better aerobic fitness as well as less body fat. You're still getting your cardio, but you don't need to put in as much effort. If you do fancy a bit of a challenge, you can always turn the motor off. And, thanks to advances in technology, e-bikes are smaller and lighter than ever, so you won't be adding too much to your workload.
You cover more ground
You're travelling faster and losing energy slower, so you can get so much more out of your cycling holiday if you hire an e-bike. Ride further distances every day and discover exciting places that are off standard routes, such as castles, towns and lakes that might previously have been out of reach. Even if you don't fancy going too far, zipping around on an e-bike allows you to trundle up and down the pastoral hills of Tuscany and be back with time for an espresso and stroll around the piazza at the end of the day.
You can enjoy the scenery
You are on holiday, after all. Despite the exhilarating speed, e-bikes are safer than traditional bicycles as they help you to concentrate. The fact that you're not focusing on working the pedals gives you a change to sit up and take in what's going on around you. This means you can appreciate the scenery and spot hidden gems you might have otherwise missed, such as family-run tavernas and picturesque vineyards with cellar door sales.
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