14 June 2023
When the start of the Covid-19 pandemic struck and everyone ventured indoors, a group of adventurous Longford Park residents saw an opportunity to try their hands, and legs at something new.
“I’ve never really been into cycling, but when I spotted e-bikes displayed at a motorhome show I attended, I thought ‘I could give that a go,” says resident Bruce Bougen.
It wasn’t long before word got around the village of Bruce’s shiny new wheels.
“Dave Sims wanted to go for a ride, and then next thing he’s bought one. Not long after that Dave Rowe had purchased one too, and Judy and Cliff Reynolds brought the e-bike crew to five.”
The self-proclaimed group of amateur cyclists say it was the ideal hobby to take up while lockdowns were in place.
“Riding gave us the opportunity to get out of the house, stretch our legs and keep fit.
“E-bikes also make cycling possible for people our age. You wouldn’t catch me on a push bike now,” says Bruce.
And although electric bikes may make it easier to get around, there is still plenty of room for mishaps.
“We’ve had everything from grazed knees, to broken bones and batteries running out mid-trip,” says Dave Sims.
“But these things are bound to happen and we always get back up again.”
From exploring local hotspots such as Kauri Point, Bottle Top Bay, and Karaka, to Mission Bay, Waiheke Island, Waihi and Paeroa, the group can do anything from a few km’s to 50km’s per trip.
And with an appetite for longer missions, the group are thrilled to have use of the village van to get around.
“It also means the women’s walking group can tag along too,” says founder Leonie Waters.
“We hit the pavement every morning at 9am regardless. But going out with the e-bike group means we get the opportunity to take in new scenery and make a day out of it.”
“The only requirement when planning the next trip, is a good coffee shop at the end!” adds Val Bougen.