I felt guilty using an electric bike, but soon learned how vital they are for many cyclists entertainment news gas in oil briggs and stratton engine

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I’m sat on my bike at the top of a steep hill near where I live. I’ve ridden up here countless times but, for the first time ever, I haven’t even broken a sweat. It’s a hill that I usually dread; one that I often stop half-way up to catch my breath. But not today. I’m on an electric bike but, as cyclists behind me are still slowly struggling to get up, I can’t help but feel my accomplishment is much less rewarding when I haven’t worked my arse off to get to the top.

I enjoy the mental benefits cycling gives me, but I also love that my hobby is a physical exercise. On the top this hill, I feel guilty and as if I haven’t done exercise at all. But I didn’t completely hate it – in fact, gliding easily uphill is both wonderful and calming at the same time.

When I tell friends that I’m about to trialling an e-bike, I get the same reply from pretty much everyone: “Isn’t that just cheating?” For someone who is able-bodied and cycles for fitness purposes, I’m also struggling to see the point of using them.

To try to gauge opinions on it, I talk to the cycling community on Twitter and realised quickly that e-bikes are vital for so many cyclists. “I do over 35 miles for work and couldn’t do it without my e-bike,” one person tells me. Another says she has many health issues and couldn’t cycle without one. “I have no guilt at all, they changed my life,” she reveals. Another woman, who has arthritis in both knees, tells me without an e-bike, she would’ve given up cycling years ago – “My only regret is not buying one sooner,” she says.

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