Purists may argue it’s not “real” cycling, but the electric-bike industry is accelerating globally regardless – from China, the biggest market with 15m e-bikes on the road, to the Netherlands, where sales grew 40 per cent in 2018, outselling regular cycles. And where better to saddle up than the sublime Swiss Alps? Verbier E-Bike Festival (15–18 August) launches this month, coordinating guided bike tours, 30 e-bike brands supplying sleek cycles and races for all ability levels (even kids).
So what’s behind the new e-bike boom? Managing director Julien Hess rates its inclusivity above all: “E-bikes give you more puff to savour the spectacular surroundings and take on harder routes. It lets people with limited fitness or disabilities enjoy cycling.” As for the naysaying, Lycra-clad traditionalists, research by Norway’s Institute of Transport Economics found e-bike users get on average seven times more use out of their bikes. See you at the top.