Several years ago my husband and I decided to take a trip to Scotland. Being nature nerds, our goal was to focus on the more rural areas of the country and renting an RV seemed the best way to get around. Not having to worry about getting back to a set location each night meant we could see more and having to take some health issues into consideration, it also meant we could stop and rest comfortably when needed. This trip was the adventure of a lifetime in more ways than one. If we had only known about e-bikes, it could have been even better.
E-bikes (electric bikes) are becoming increasingly popular among RVers and for good reason. They are less hassle than towing a car. They don’t require gas to run like a car, moped or ATV. There are less long-term maintenance issues than any gas-powered vehicle. You can go farther, faster than a regular bicycle and you can take them places gas-powered vehicles are not allowed.
If you’ve traveled enough in RVs, I’m sure at least some of the following has happened to you. Our first RV challenge came early on when trying to load up on supplies. We stopped at a grocery store and though we managed to pull in and park with only a little effort, exiting turned out to be a bit higher on the difficulty scale. Future grocery store runs involved parking some distance away and walking. If you’re already settled at a campsite, a grocery store run can also be a major hassle if you have no means of travel other than the RV. Unhooking and rehooking everything repeatedly is not anyone’s idea of fun. An e-bike is perfect for running into town for supplies or running around a large campsite to do your laundry or take advantage of showers and other amenities. If you’ve found yourself in a mosquito-prone area, a walking pace is not going to cut it. Faster is better.
Visiting ancient towns with narrow streets often lined with rock walls directly abutting the road was picturesque, but still haunts my nightmares. There was no room for error when driving. Let alone any room for parking along the street. We were also led astray by the GPS more than once and I don’t think her accent was the reason. We became trapped in streets that a vehicle as big as an RV was never meant to travel. This resulted in a lot of unproductive, yet cathartic, yelling as I stood on the street trying to direct my husband in backing up the RV without damaging it or anything else. If we were on e-bikes, we would have been able to park the RV outside of town and move around the buildings, shops and people easily and getting off course would not have been near as stress inducing. Though we were seldom in any traffic, the advantage of zipping right past the cars on an e-bike over sitting in frustration is obvious.
A few places we visited were more touristy and that meant driving around in circles until a spot large enough for us to fit became available. We nearly missed seeing wild dolphins herding salmon into the shallows to feed at Chanonry Point because we couldn’t find a place to park. That would have been a major disappointment to us both. That incident also involved yelling, but this time it was a tour bus driver and at us for apparently driving too slowly and carefully as we threaded through parked cars. Some of which were not in marked spaces and blocking parts of the road. We found the opposite scenario to be as much of an issue. Some of the remote locations where wildlife refuges were located involved driving on local roads, often harrowing one-way roads, not meant for RVs, but would have been manageable on an e-bike. There’s something to be said for traveling without a sheet of glass between you and the world. You get the benefit of a wonderful, direct connection with nature.
E-bikes are great for any age, but if you are older, in less-than-ideal physical shape or have health challenges, it can offer you more freedom. My husband and I walked a lot over the course of our 2-week trip and many times I was left in pain or having to rest for a considerable time before being able to make it back to the RV. I arrived home with larger calf muscles, but would have preferred to have done so in a less excruciating manner. Though he never complained, it had to be a little frustrating for my husband. It was for me. I was even reluctant to do a few activities because I was afraid of running out of energy halfway through.
The Raleigh brand e-bikes that Morphine Cycles offers are power-assist. You still pedal and get exercise, but the bike gives you a bit of a push to make traveling distances and inclines easier. You become a human-electric hybrid. Some people might view this as ‘cheating’, but it is actually empowering. Much of the fear of what could happen if you run out of steam is removed and you’ll find you are not only doing more, but getting in better shape at the same time. The e-bikes offer another unexpected benefit. People with different levels of physical ability can ride together at the same speed comfortably.
I seem to have left out one of the best perks of owning an e-bike. It’s just plain fun! Come try one out. If you live in Granbury and rent an e-bike for a full day, Morphine Cycles will deliver it right to your door. Ride around your own neighborhood and get a feel for it. If you live outside of Granbury, come explore our quaint historic town while you test ride one. You can fill out the rental agreement online as well as book your date and time. You must be over 18-years old to rent.