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Escaping the city – with the help of an e-bike

Cities are fun, exciting and vibrant places to live but our minds and our bodies need time in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, to be healthy. With your e-bike you are never far away from rejuvenating open spaces.

Spending time in a natural environment is good for our health and well-being. Research shows that living in a green area with lots of parks and open spaces can improve mental health and lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but city-dwellers don’t always have those things right on their doorstep. However, you can jump on your e-bike and escape to the countryside and get the health benefits of being in nature.

How an e-bike can help you get into nature

Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing, even if you live in a very urban area. An e-bike makes escaping the city fast and easy. You can get further on an e-bike than you would under your own leg power alone, going deeper into the countryside and leaving the city far behind.  When you arrive at your destination you will have more energy left to enjoy the out-of-doors and you won’t need to worry about feeling tired on the journey home. 

    

5 Tips for escaping the city by e-bike

Follow in the wheel tracks of other riders

If you are looking for the most peaceful and enjoyable route through the city turn to apps such as Strava and Komoot as both use information generated by their community of users to show you where other cyclists are choosing to ride.

If you take a look at Strava’s heat map you will clearly see the dominant route that cyclists are using to escape the city. As it is the preferred route of frequent cyclists it is likely to be the one that feels safest.

Komoot also shares the wisdom of its community of bike riders with user generated routes, sites of interest or even cafes to include in your own route planning. Both Strava and Komoot allow you to plan routes that include cycle paths, shared use paths and national cycle networks so you can pick the most cycling friendly route to your green destination.

Canals and rivers

When you look at a map of your city you might notice that as well as arterial roads leading out of the centre there are rivers or canals bisecting the cityscape. Historically waterways were fast efficient trade and transport routes, before motorised transport took over. Now in many cities they provide green corridors for nature and leisure routes for people, keeping them away from busy roads. If you are lucky enough to live in a city that has curated its cycle infrastructure to take in riverside cycle-paths these are one of the most peaceful and direct routes to leave the city by bike. 

Take the slower lane

Riding out from the city to the countryside is a pleasurable experience. As you pick your way through the suburbs you’ll notice the changes; roads become less congested, the buildings more spaced out. Instead of captive pockets of trees in parks and tiny front gardens you will start to see fields and forest, nature unlimited and unconstrained. As you get further from your familiar city streets the ride starts to feel more like an adventure.

Leaving the city by train the division between town and country is over in a flash. In a car you are trapped within your bubble, unable to notice when the city smells of traffic fumes and take-aways are replaced by fresh air and farmyards. One of the joys of travelling by bike is that you are moving at the right speed to observe these changes and notice what is happening around you.

    

Seek the best scenery

What do you know about the landscapes that surround your city? Are there hills, forests, open fields, or is the sea shore within reach? Different types of scenery can stimulate different feelings in people. Japanese people follow a practice of Shinrin-yoku, forest bathing, where they head to the woods to relax or walk peacefully among the trees, breathing in the calm, fresh air of the woodlands.

In the UK a study of one million responses from 20,000 smartphone users showed that they were significantly and substantially happier outdoors in green or natural habitat types than when in urban environments, and that marine and coastal environments were the ‘happiest’ of all. Cycling to the sea offers the unique satisfaction of reaching the end of land and viewing the distant horizon beyond.

Feeling adventurous?

How about planning several routes that take you north, south, east and west of the city to explore the differences in the countryside that surrounds you. With an e-bike you can travel further and push the boundaries of your exploration without feeling the strain. Your e-bike is your faithful travel companion, ready to give you a boost when you need it, helping you to see more and do more.

    

Get more from your ride

When planning a longer ride make sure that you and your e-bike are topped up with fuel before you set out,  a full battery for your bike and ample food and water for yourself. Even though an e-bike makes cycling easier you will still be expending energy so you need to eat regular snacks and ensure you stay hydrated throughout your ride.

Most e-bike batteries have a range of 120-170km – more than enough to escape the city and get you home too! To help extend your battery’s range use Eco-Mode when cycling on flat terrain and use Boost for extra assistance when you need it uphill or into a headwind.

Escape the city for the day with your e-bike and return refreshed and inspired by the green spaces you have visited.