Long before the words Covid, lockdown and e-bikes became part of everyday vocabulary, my wife and I invested in a couple of electric mountain bikes or e-MTBs as they are known.
Our particular bikes are produced by a German company called Cube and are ideal for the road, along forest tracks or disused railway lines or even on some of the less challenging downhill tracks you will ﬁnd at Glentress or wolftrax mountain bike centres, both of which we have ridden despite our advancing years!
Good quality e-bikes with a good motor and battery typically start around £2,000. We recently replaced our original bikes with the new 2021 models which have a more powerful, easier to pedal Bosch motor and a larger capacity lithium battery enabling us to plan longer routes – up to 100 miles – without the worry of running out of juice before we return to base.
By design e-bikes are ‘pedal assist’ and not purely driven by the motor which means everyone still gets a good cycling workout, albeit with plenty of help and even the steepest of hills can be tackled without rising from the saddle.
Our real love however is packing the car, loading the bikes – and sometimes dogs – and heading oﬀ to parts of Scotland we’ve either not been to before or not fully explored. Our preference is to stay oﬀ road and go in search of those slightly out-of-the-way or longer routes we might only contemplate while watching Landward or one of the other countryside programmes.
We live just South of Perth, so we are ideally placed to strike a route across Scotland in almost any direction, and it has become a mid-week ritual to check the weather forecast for the coming weekend and plan a route for the dry bits of this bonnie land. However a good set of waterproofs is always close at hand.
We have made good inroads at completing sections of both the Speyside way and the Great Glen way and around the forests of Rothiemurchus and Inshriach near Aviemore.
More recently we ventured across to Fort william and the Ardgour/Arisaig regions. A cycle from Loch Sheil up the famous Glen Finnan was particularly enjoyable, though we did appear to be closely chaperoned by the local gamekeeper who I have no doubt was making sure we didn’t unnecessarily stray oﬀ the access road.
This summer Rannoch Station to Fort william is deﬁnitely on the agenda.
Traversing the various tracks and back roads of this beautiful country it is always interesting to stumble across the various sporting estates that Galbraith manages, and it is extremely reassuring to see so many Galbraith signs at farms sold or private properties for rent.
Exploring the countryside can be so much fun and made all the easier with help from a little electric motor. Our bikes have been a great investment for us on a personal level. If you are interested, the Energy Savings Trust can oﬀer support in purchasing an e-bike, making it a much more attractive proposition and one we would wholeheartedly recommend. So what are you waiting for? There’s an adventure waiting out there for all of us, and who knows – maybe we’ll bump into you along the way.
*Please note at the time this was written all of the above information was from a personal account and interest in E-Bikes. We understand that there may have been changes in the law since this article was written*