Electrically assisted bikes (E-bikes) are sweeping across Europe and are finally starting to gain a hold in the UK. Just like ordinary bikes you have to pedal to make them go but they also have an electric motor to make pedalling easier. This means they can bring huge benefits for people with mobility issues or whose health condition limits their physical activities, particularly if they live in a hilly place like Wales.
Ogmore Assembly Member Huw Irranca-Davies who is Chair of the National Assembly Group on the Active Travel Act hosted an event at the Senedd which saw cycling experts from across Wales demonstrating E-bikes as an important alternative to the motor car.
National Assembly Members (including the First Minister) were able to inspect and try out a selection of the e-bikes, including Cardiff’s hugely popular Nextbike bike hire system, an adaptive e-bike from Pedal Power-the accessible cycling charity along with examples of Raleigh’s best-selling e-bikes.
Speaking after the event Mr Irranca-Davies said: “Lots of people say that the problem with cycling in Wales is that there are too many hills and being a fairly rural nation, journeys are too long. Finally there is a solution to both these problems with E-Bikes as the future of cycling.
The bikes share lots of the advantages of conventional bikes such as cutting emissions, reducing congestion, less space required for parking but still offer health benefits due to them still requiring some physical activity.
My colleagues and I had a great time trying out the bikes and it would be great to see Ogmore become part of the e-bike revolution.”