As many lifestyles in the developed world continue to become more sedentary – largely down to technology anchoring many people in front of computers and TVs – awareness of the health risks is growing. Ironically, while technology is seen by many as the culprit for the health implications of poor diets and lack of exercise, it is also potentially the solution – the surge in popularity of ebikes (short for electric bikes) has led many ebike stores to capitalize on the trend by looking out for exciting new innovations.
What is so Good about Ebikes?
Any ebike store will promote the benefits of ebikes. And if the huge global take-up is anything to go by, these benefits are being realized by the general public. Pedaling an ebike is greatly assisted by an electric motor that kicks in and handles much of the strain. Due to this, even those unaccustomed to regular cycling – or those who have restrictive health conditions – can enjoy healthy cycling.
Ebikes and the Environment
Ebikes also help massively with the global crisis of pollution and congestion on the roads. This helps with the problem of polluted air, which adds to the climate change problem and negatively impacts people’s intake of clean air. It also helps with the problem of long, frustrating road journeys for work and pleasure.
Their very nature means ebikes are clean and green, and equipped to cut through gridlocked traffic to get people to their destinations quickly.
It is also exciting that ebikes are the subject of sustained innovation. For example, bad weather can no longer be used as an excuse for skipping a cycling trip: simply get one of the powerful all-weather ebikes that feature galvanized motors to drive through conditions such as heavy snow.
And why stick to land? The latest ebike developments could see riders literally cycling on water, on a hydrofoil ebike that combines cycling with watersports.
The Growing Popularity of Ebikes
While market experts NPD felt Deloitte overstated their ebike forecasts, they still agree that the biggest growth in the overall bike market will be ebikes. In Australia, ebike stores are reporting huge growth as travellers look to skip the depressing crush of traffic congestion. Also, increasing fears over the state of the environment are inspiring others to cut down on emissions. This is especially pertinent in Australia at the moment, with soaring heatwaves and deadly bushfires plaguing the country.
The small carbon footprint of ebikes has also caused the Scottish government to take direct action to encourage ebike ownership. Transport ministers have pointed to the benefits for the environment, as well as for health and wellbeing, as justifications for giving interest-free loans so that more people can buy ebikes.
How Ebikes are Improving Physical and Mental Health
For many people affected by either serious physical health conditions or debilitating mental illness, the advent of the ebike has been a lifesaver. Conditions such as cystic fibrosis have historically ruled out activities like cycling, due to riders being unable to breathe sufficiently. But the extra push provided by the ebike’s electric motor changes all that. And because pedalling is still required by the cyclist, riding an ebike is not “cheating.” There is still plenty of physical exertion, so the cyclist reaps the benefits of quality exercise.
Ebikes and Mental Health
The same is true for mental health. Depression and low confidence keep many potential cyclists at home, with many daunted by the prospect of taking up and mastering a new physical activity. But the sheer thrill and enjoyment of riding an ebike, especially on tough terrain, has enabled many people to boost their self-esteem and overcome challenging mental health situations.
A survey by cycling insurance experts Cycleplan found that a third of respondents reported major improvements in their mental health after taking up cycling. The mental health charity Mind has pointed to the social aspects of exercises such as cycling playing a key role in improving mental health, with many cycling clubs pulling together large groups of people with similar interests.
Other studies highlight the increased blood flow to the brain that results from cycling, which is fundamental in reducing the chances of conditions such as dementia in later life.
The Laws on Riding Ebikes
Anyone planning to visit their local ebike store soon would do well to understand relevant legislation concerning ebikes. As with all electric vehicles, ebikes are usually subject to safety-related laws that govern their use on roads and other public areas.
Canada has a mix of federal and provincial laws that are mostly related to the speed and output of ebikes. In the United Kingdom, laws and definitions are largely aligned with EU legislation, meaning that riders must be at least 14 years of age. In the United States, there are also differences in federal and state legislation, with many states setting different minimum ages and setting alternative safety requirements from each other.
Ebikes Improve Personal Health and the Environment
It’s clear that ebikes offer many advantages to individual health and the environment. It is notable that the public is turning its attention to greener energy solutions as concerns over the global environment continue to grow. The fact that ebike users report the activity as being great fun is another sign that the popularity of ebikes will continue to soar.