The power of electric bikes

More than 1.6 million electric bikes were sold in the EU in 2016, according to the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry.

Cycling UK Chief Executive Paul Tuohy introduced friends to the joys of electric biking on a recent holiday to France.

He describes how amazed he was by their reaction to using them for the first time.

I was on holiday in France with my friends Debbie, Anne and their partners. They were intrigued by the two electric bikes in the garage that I’d bought last summer.

I’d become used to the huge amount of fun they were for going to the shops or to my local for a pint.

But in France, Anne asked if she could try one to pop down to the supermarket a mile away.

Paul Tuohy and friend, Anne try out the ebike

It was 5C and wet, but Anne seemed keen, so off we went. The impact was immediate and profound.

The climb up to the local church back from the supermarket is steep. With baguettes, two litres of milk, and other groceries she pedalled up that hill with the smile of a young girl on Christmas Day.

“I love it, I love it, I want one!” she cried.