Can an e-bike revolutionize your relationship with your cottage?

an e-bike Photo by moreimages/Shutterstock

If you’re like a lot of cottage owners, chances are your little piece of heaven is in an area that’s….well, rustic. Rugged. Potentially not over-blessed with paved roads. And if you’re like a lot of cottage owners, you may prefer not to jump in your car all the time, especially if you deal with long commutes or terrible traffic back in the city. So what’s an adventurous cottage dweller to do when faced with a desire to get out and around, but the terrain just doesn’t agree?

Simple: get an e-bike.

An e-bike looks a lot like a regular bike—it has pedals, it has a bike frame, it has handlebars. But there’s one important difference: an e-bike gets a little help from an electric motor. It doesn’t have to be used at all times, but it’s there if a rider needs it.

Here are a few reasons why an e-bike could be a great addition to your cottage.

It can save your knees

Let’s face it—pedaling can be hard work and tends to make even the happiest knees a little grumpy. If you’ve got wonky knees at the best of times, or simply if your knees are complaining during a ride, a pedal-assist bike (where the motor works, but you keep pedaling) can help ease the effort of constantly pushing down on the pedals.

It can flatten the hills, but still give you a workout

With an e-bike, hills are a lot (a LOT) easier. You can pedal, but you’ve got a lot of help—so getting up those hills is enjoyable, not torturous. Of course, if you have an e-bike with a throttle, you could just sit back and let the bike do the work, but then you’re missing out on some of the fun. Keep pedaling and you’ll still get a workout, you just won’t arrive at the top of the hill feeling like you’re going to keel over.

It’s quiet

There’s nothing worse than the peace and quiet of the cottage being regularly interrupted by loud, obnoxious motors. Because an e-bike is electric, it doesn’t make nearly as much noise as a gas-powered motor does. In fact, you should definitely invest in a horn or bell because people won’t be able to hear you coming until you’re almost on top of them.

You can carry cargo

A good e-bike will maintain a consistent speed of about 24 kilometres per hour even loaded down with 400 pounds of rider and gear. That’s more than enough to use one to carry groceries or supplies from the hardware store.

It’s easy to charge

The distance an e-bike will go on a single charge varies by model, but one quality they all share: they’re super easy to plug in. Unlike electric cars, which require a dedicated charging station, e-bikes can plug into a regular outlet. For extra convenience, some even have removable batteries. Just allow about four hours to go from empty to fully-charged.

You can turn a regular bike into an e-bike

If you’re a DIYer, grab a kit and turn your regular bike into an e-bike. (Do you have an old bike sitting around the cottage shed? We bet you do.) Kits are cheaper than a new e-bike, so they can give you a relatively inexpensive way to test out whether an e-bike really is for you.

It’s a whole lot cheaper—and greener—than a car

You can get an e-bike for under $1,000 and you don’t have to fill it up with gas. Yes, you only travel 24 kilometres an hour, but you’re not paying for a tank of gas every few days either. Plus, you’re at the cottage to enjoy the wonders of nature. Isn’t it nice to know you’re not dumping loads of greenhouse gases into the environment?

It can take you exploring

You see things on a bike you’d never see in a car, so if you keep zipping through that little town on your way to the cottage, think about hopping on your e-bike and checking it out from a cyclist’s perspective. Find an unexpected treasure at that great little antique store, or stop at the roadside stand and discover it sells the best butter tarts in the county. If you’re in an area where there are car-free islands or regions, an e-bike can take you where your car can’t. (Just be sure that wherever you are, your e-bike is considered a bike, not a motorized vehicle.)

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