Sunday, December 16, 2018

Mountain biking is a sport known for its thrills and spills, but it can also be a more relaxed way to explore the great outdoors. There is one aspect that makes the sport less accessible, though – you do have to go up in order to come down. That’s where an e-bike can save the day for beginners. Strap a motor to your MTB and you can enjoy some electrical assistance on the uphills, saving your energy for negotiating the twists, turns and jumps of the downhills.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of riding trails with a helping hand from an e-bike, then let us tell you about the Bosch eMTB Challenge – coming to five bike festivals around Europe this summer.

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The challenges are designed to be enjoyable for all levels of riders: you don’t need to have tried an e-bike before (or even own one, because there will be e-bikes available to rent) but there are events that do cater to more experienced, competitive riders. Advanced or Amateur races are against the clock, but if you just want to experience the joys of eMTB or ride with your family then opt for the Explorer category, where you’re not timed but instead have to navigate to several orientation points to complete the stage.

The stages are 30-35km long and involve changing altitude by 1,000m, with a mix of uphill and downhill sections to tackle. As well as the technical challenge of riding the trails, you’ll also need to manage the battery wisely, because ratcheting up the level of assist to the max on every uphill could see you run out of juice before the end.

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One of the best parts about the Bosch eMTB Challenge is that it takes place in five excellent locations that make for great holiday destinations anyway, so you can slip in a day on the trails as part of your trip.

The first event takes place on 28th April at the BIKE Festival in Riva del Garda on the north shore of Lake Garda in Italy. The second eMTB event is at Bike Days in Solothurn, Switzerland, with the festival running from 4th-6th May. Then it’s on to the BIKE Festival in Willingen in Germany (19th-21st May), followed by the Salzkammergut Trophy in Bad Goisern, Austria (13th-15th July), and the 5 Châteaux Bike challenge in Hohlandsbourg, France (22nd-23rd September). All are great areas for hiking and cycling and unless you’re already mad keen on MTB festivals, the chances are they’ll be new areas for you to enjoy exploring.

For more info on the Bosch eMTB Challenge and to find out how to enter the different events, head to bosch-ebike.com.

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