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21 April 2021

Passing the baton

As we get older, we will one day face the realization we do not have the strength and stamina we once had. This is what happened to Hervé, until he discovered something to transform his riding and keep up with his son.

What do you do when your offspring starts to not only keep up with you on rides, but begins to leave you in their dust as you pedal frantically in vain to keep up, heart rate at its max?

If you are Hervé, you get an e-MTB equipped with SHIMANO EP8.

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Bikes have been a part of Hervé’s life ever since he could walk. In the 1980s, he tore up the trails as a pioneer of BMXing, then moved on to the mountains, progressing in skills and breaking new ground alongside the bikes and technology, from the first rigid MTBs, on to hardtails then full-suspension, racing both downhill and XC.

Riding flows through his blood, it is part of his DNA. So it was inevitable that his son, Gael, would follow in his father’s tire tracks. Especially as both of them live in the Alps.

Hervé taught Gael everything, passed on all of his biking knowledge and expertise almost through osmosis as his young son grew. He patiently helped Gael learn to balance, nervously removed the stabilizers and whooped as his son wobbled away on two wheels for the first time

Gael learnt quickly, and it wasn’t long before the fateful day arrived when he overtook his dad. First on the downhills, then on the long, grinding ascents. And as Hervé pushed himself harder to keep ahead, his son went all-out to beat his father, becoming a faster and more skilful rider in the process. “The succession was complete,” laughs Hervé. “But I am very happy that he likes this sport and practices it assiduously.”

It’s a familiar tale, and not just for those who have children. It could be that you love nothing more than riding with your friends, yet you don’t like the feeling that you might be slowing your fellow riders down. Or you are returning to the saddle after an absence due to injury, work or simply a new exercise regime and your fitness levels aren’t what they once were.

That’s where the SHIMANO EP8 e-MTB system comes in. For less-confident riders, or those who sometimes lack strength in comparison to their peers, EP8 can help boost your power on climbs thanks to 85Nm increased maximum torque, assisting you to the summit and leaving you with energy to do it all over again.

“EP8 allows me to always be at my son's level and to make outings pleasant and long,” says Hervé. “It would be difficult for me to do that with a normal mountain bike. The EP8 system gives me great pleasure as it’s easy to use and has great performance.”

As a result, Hervé can spend all day in the saddle with Gael, tackling new routes and old classics as a pair, continuing to grow their father-son relationship while building new memories together. Their favorite place to ride is Semnoz, above Annecy. “It brings much pleasure to both of us due to its wide range of paths and terrain that challenge us both in different ways," says Hervé. “We regularly ride together. It's always nice to share moments with your son.”