Words by Eddie Masters / Photos by Sven Martin
Like most things these days this story starts with a phone call. Cue Toby Shingleton; the man with the plan. Three mates, battery-powered bicycles, and one hell of a riding destination, I was in from the get-go.
There’s nothing like getting the band back together, so fast forward a few months, and Brook MacDonald, Matt Walker and I found ourselves in Nelson, NZ tasked with putting the new Shimano EP8 motor through its paces. I hadn’t really spent a significant amount of time on an e-bike prior to this trip and neither had the others so we were blank canvases with full batteries.
Nelson as a riding destination has it all. Big hills, big climbs, and equally as large descents; a mountain biker's dream. I’ll forever hold Nelson close to my heart as the location where I lost my e-bike virginity and fell in love with this new style of self-assisted shuttling. Yes, that’s right shuttling. In our 3 days, we explored every nook and cranny of this 2 wheeled paradise enjoying the ups almost as much as the downs. Conversation flowed on the climbs and the banter in the peloton reached a new level. 3 days in nelson normally would barely scratch the surface, but in our 3 days, we hit all the hotspots and even entered some unchartered territory.
Our collective conclusion after 3 epic days in the saddle; don’t believe anyone who tells you they don’t like e-bikes. E-bikes unlock rides that were previously only earmarked for aerobic fitness freaks of nature. They open up a world of opportunities for everyone from pro’s to first-timers. Mountain biking is about having fun and sharing the stoke and that’s what I found these bikes did best. Try and wipe the smile off your face, I dare ya!