E-bikes make Trentino accessible to everyone
More than just a bicycle: a real game changer on the mobility front
E-bikes have revolutionized attitudes towards cycling, for two key reasons. Firstly, their electric motors provide assistance when you pedal, so even people who are not in outstanding shape can enjoy stunning sites and scenery. This is because they enable them to take on long, challenging climbs that would normally only be accessible to well-trained cyclists, such as our local passes in the Dolomites. Secondly, electric bicycles have made a ground-breaking impact in a very interesting way, by helping to even out power and performance levels in groups of cyclists.
Evening out power levels in a group might seem like a complicated concept, but it is really quite simple. The extra energy supplied by the motors on pedal-assist bikes can compensate for the lack of power generated by some cyclists compared to their fitter companions. Consequently, people of various fitness levels can all ride together at the same pace.
Bicycles are the epitome of freedom. The most fun part about cycling is being able to explore while putting your fitness to the test. Getting up a hill can really take it out of you and that is enough to put many people off the idea of heading out for an adventure on a bike. It can be hard to have an enjoyable time cycling if you do not have enough training behind you. Electric motors can lend you a helping hand by turning a climb that would normally be too long or too steep into an irresistible sporting challenge. What’s more, you can do it all with a bunch of friends.
Men and women, grandparents and grandchildren, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters can all keep up with each other on e-bike rides, because the motors bridge the gaps between different fitness levels. Nonetheless, it is advisable to ease yourself into e-bike riding gradually, just as you would with any other sporting activity. Do not push yourself too hard. Use your first few rides to get used to the bikes and learn about their capabilities and limitations. If you give electric bikes a try, you will not regret it because they have something to offer for everyone. If you are an experienced cyclist, they present an unprecedented opportunity to get your friends and family out pedalling and gently usher them into the world of cycling, perhaps during your next holiday in Trentino.
You can choose between an electric road bike with a racing frame or an electric enduro MTB, which can be taken down dirt roads. The latter will be easier to ride because it will have wider tyres and a more upright riding position. The former is a good choice if you are not in particularly good shape at the moment but you are an accomplished cyclist and you would like to make your way up some of the big climbs in Trentino, on the same roads where legendary names have gone down in Giro d’Italia history. As well as being steeped in simple but sophisticated style, electric road bikes are smooth and easy to handle.
Even if you only ride e-bikes occasionally, make sure you are able to count on the safety provided by a helmet and the comfort offered by specialist apparel. Wearing proper cycling shorts with appropriate padding makes the whole experience more pleasant. Always remember to take a windproof jacket for descents and a bottle to keep you hydrated. You will find lots of water fountains on the way where you can fill it up. In addition, make sure you always have a repair kit complete with all of the essentials. An energy bar can prove invaluable if you are starting to flag. Alternatively, look for a place along your route where you can stop for a break and enjoy some local products!
If you opt for a road bike, leave your rucksack at home and cram everything you need into the pockets of your cycling jersey. It will make it easier to breathe and keep you cooler. Meanwhile, the more upright riding position on an electric enduro bike means that it is a good idea to bring a backpack along.
Use energy sparingly and do not race
All cyclists need to manage their energy use carefully and e-bike riders are no exception. When you are riding a traditional bicycle, you need to make sure you are eating and drinking properly. On an e-bike, you need to keep a close eye on your battery life. Use your watts prudently and always save a little battery power for emergencies. Charging stations are widespread in Trentino and you can even find some on mountain trails, but if you let your legs do some of the hard work then you can increase your battery life by up to 60%.
Finally, remember that e-bikes are for recreational purposes. Do not race each other on them, especially when you are on roads that are open to traffic. Always watch your speed and be careful around other people on roads and cycle paths, who may be using other types of transport. If you overtake another cyclist, remember that sporting etiquette suggests you should say hello. If you are riding on narrow cycle paths or trails, always be careful because you might come across hikers or some of your fellow cyclists.