We get a lot of people asking us if they will be fit enough to join an e-bike tour, and whether or not they should they do any training? It’s a genuine concern for some people that they may not be able to keep up with the group, or that they will be letting the group down if they are not as skilled or fast on the bike as the others.
We completely understand this concern, and we’re here to put your mind at ease.
First of all – there is no fitness test or ability test or any other test required to join one of our e-bike tours. We have purposely designed our e-bike Trail Tour of the South Island so that it is an enjoyable and relaxed tour, with the best and most accessible parts of the trails included. If you were to ride each of the trails in their entirety (for example the whole of the Alps2Ocean from end to end) you would encounter some trickier, more technical sections – and these are the sections we have left out. We want our tours to be manageable and fun – we don’t want our guests to be stressed out about whether or not the trails will be too advanced. This is why we have hand-picked each section, as the ultimate ‘taster’ of the 6 different bike trails. The majority of the sections we have included are grades 1 and 2, which are classed as ‘easy’ with the occasional grade 3 section which is ‘intermediate’. For more info on our grading, please check out this link on our website: https://www.bike-nz.com/page/services/
The question of whether or not you are fit enough, is a question that doesn’t have a definitive answer. Fit enough for keeping up? Fit enough for managing each daily ride? Fit enough for smashing your personal best? (Just kidding, we’re not aiming for personal bests here…) I think the only answer we can give is that if you are reasonably active and enjoy the outdoors, then it’s likely that you will have no problems from a fitness point of view. Remember that we’re riding e-bikes that have pedal assist so you can make short work of those hills and maintain easy speeds on the flats (or when there is a pesky head wind.). It’s probably important for us to point out at this stage that our e-bikes are not motorbikes – you still have to pedal – but it makes it much easier and 10000000 times more fun than a regular bike. (Don’t tell the bike purists we said that.)
I think one of the most important things to consider before a bike tour, is that any and all time spent on a bike beforehand is the best kind of training you can do. If you’re not used to spending any decent amount of time in the saddle, or haven’t ridden much lately, it really would be beneficial for you to do so, to get your butt used to it again. We do provide gel seat covers for the bikes to help with saddle soreness, or you are always welcome to bring your own wide seat that we can try to fit to the bike, but always remember the best defence is a good offence (my husband is an American Football fan and I’ve heard him say this countless times, but it makes sense here too. Also, you should read that in an American accent so it sounds heaps cooler.) So basically, if you spend some time riding before the tour, your body – and specifically your butt – will thank you for it.
Another great preparation point, would be to do some riding on gravel if you can, as most of the trails in New Zealand are gravel packed. Our e-bikes are all fitted with trail appropriate tyres so the bikes are ready for it, but if possible, it’s a good idea to see how gravel riding differs from road riding if you get the chance. No problem at all if you can’t get to a trail to practice on – you will pick it up in no time once you’re on the tour.
Please don’t worry if you’re not as fast as someone else on the tour – who cares? What matters is that you enjoy yourself, you ride within your abilities and you are safe and happy. We fully encourage everyone to stop as often as they want, take as many photo’s as they can, enjoy the incredible landscapes and scenery as much as possible and linger over long and satisfying lunches. On our tours, the experience is most definitely in the journey, not the destination.
There are plenty more questions and answers similar to this (not as long winded, I promise) over on our FAQ page, so please do jump over there and have a read. https://www.bike-nz.com/page/faq/ For anything else – we are always here for a chat and would love to hear from you soon. Drop us a line and learn how our e-bike tours are right for you.