Can the UK become an Ebike touring destination
August 26, 2022Tech
This is an article that is part of a series of articles discussing the potential for ebikes and micromobility in and around the UK's coastal holiday regions.
Ebike Tourism, renting ebikes for a week in a similar fashion to boating is something the UK has yet to take off in a serious manner. How can ebiking holidays in the UK can be a viable choice with the right infrastructure.
So much of the UK's popular coastal tourism regions are hilly and are ill suited for normal bike use. With a low population during the off season there is poor public transport compared to the number of people in the summer. Along with they have small roads that struggle with the inlux of traffic for short periods of the year.
Could the medium term Ebike rental in tourist areas provide a new form of low impact tourism and bring biking to areas that previously didnt have it. While giving the choice of ubitious travel that ebikes give while reducing local traffic.
To test this theory we took two ebikes to one of the hilliest parts of England. South Devon along the river dart is famous for hills, wide coastal views and excellent swimming and camping spots.
Zoomo, the UK's enterprise Ebike rental firm that provides much of the urban delivery companies Ebikes generously provided us with two ebikes to test on the Devon hills. This was following the Zoomo podcast.- Here is the link for the Podcast. The Podcast:
What we found can help encourage ebike touring as a holidaying option here in the UK. With it's low impact, low cost and easy riding making it accessible for all the family. We have previously written around this here.
Using these light weight vehicles as a form of low distance touring holiday brought new challenges that, if solved would make ebiking a viable choice in areas that traditionally didnt have biking While often had high car usage.
Ebike Charging provision.
Charging opportunities at hotels, hostels and pubs. - Varying degrees of access made it unpredictable with charging. Get this right and promote this chance means more people will feel comfortable to take ebikes to their hospitality.
-- Without reasonably easy charging acccess the ebike experience rapidly becomes a hinderous. As a day eveolved around a full charge in the morning and perhaps a charge, depending on the hills at lunch.
Pehaps a Micromobility charging marquee to show they expect or have facilities ebikes and other light weight vehicles to be charged using their mains points. Taking batteries off Ebikes can be difficult and outdoor charging opportunties were hugely appreciated on the Devon trip.
Zoomo's ebikes, designed for urban hills and short delivery journeys performed well under the pressure of South Devon.
With not one puncture over 4 days on a wide range of rough ground. Along with excellent gears for steep hills. The typre and ebike performance was noticable. The batteries ease of charging without taking them off the bikes made it easy to plug in where there was a plug.
The Battery on the Ebikes:
The removal battery option on the Zoomo sport will get around 50 miles on the flat.
at a speed of around 15 miles per hour on a single charge. However, the Devon hills and camping kit made it closer to 25 miles before we recharged. Ample for the distance we were travelling.
Lights are built-in on the front and back, along with theft prevention through GPS tracking and an electronic locking system through a fop system.
The tyres are from Kendra Kwick Drumlin (K1216). The wheels provided noticably good traction and while riding and cornering at speed especailly coming down the Devon hill.
The Zoomo Sport in all weather conditions, thes wheel arches extending further down than normal to really avoid any splashback when riding in the wet.
The releasable front tires made travelling by train acccessible.
Here is us charging over lunch one of the Ebikes in a pub. The pub was thrilled to offer the service and this spot was the most suitable. If we could find a standard solution more people i feel would consider ebiking.