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Australian couple target e-bike distance world record in Europe

Alia Parker's picture
Potential e-bike route on the Eurovelo network. Cycle Traveller

An Australian husband and wife team are preparing to smash the world record for the longest electric bike journey when they take to Europe's bike lanes this year. Rachel and Gary Corbett, who have taken on the moniker the E-bike Cycle Tourists, will roll out of London in late April and criss-cross their way across Europe for up to 12 months using e-bikes.

While they don't have a finite target, Rachel and Gary expect to ride significantly further than the current world record of 16,047 kilometres (9971 miles) set by German Maximilian Semsch who rode around Australia in 2012.

Why e-bikes?

“Given our age on the wrong side of our mid-50s, we hope the record attempt will clearly demonstrate that riding an electric bicycle – even on a long distance world record ride – is not only feasible for two ageing Baby Boomers, but for anyone of any age and fitness level,” said Gary, author of The Cycle Tourist guide for beginners.

E-bikes – which assist riders with a small motor that kicks into action when a cyclist starts pedalling – have surged in popularity in recent years as people increasingly look for affordable, environmentally friendly and active modes of transport.

Gary and Rachel Corbett are preparing to set a new long-sistance e-bike world record. Cycle Traveller

“People of all ages – even those who currently think that riding a bicycle is impractical or impossible because of hills, distance, fitness levels, health reasons, knee problems, ageing or even because of the inconvenience of having to shower and change clothes at work following the morning commute – will be able to see that riding an electric bicycle is not only a lot of fun, but the best thing they can do for their health and lifestyle,” he said.

The couple aim to largely follow a route based on the EuroVelo bicycle route network, which passes through 43 countries in the United Kingdom, Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and beyond.

About Rachel and Gary

A former newspaper journalist, Gary, 60, has cycled more than 30,000 kilometres over the past 10 years completing guided, self-guided, bike and barge, and solo cycle tours in Europe, Australia, Asia and South America.

Rachel, 56, has recently recovered from a severe bout of acute reactive arthritis and aims to demonstrate why e-bikes are an important form of transportation – particularly for those with fitness, weight or minor health ailments.

Support needed

The E-Bike Cycle Tourists have launched a crowd funding campaign to help support their record breaking attempt. You can find the details of the campaign on their Indigogo page Two Baby Boomers E-Biking Into The Record Books.

You can also follow their progress on their website www.ebikecycletourists.com

Images from top: 1. The EuroVelo bicycle touring network. 2. Gary and Rachel Corbett.

Comments

Wishing you both sunny skies and clear bikeways to prove that age is no barrier to cycle touring. I have just had my 62nd birthday and intend to ride the length of the River Murray (only 1800kms) in October this year.

Follow along on http://blokeonbike.com/bloke1/ or donate to our goal to raise $10,000 for the Animal Welfare League by donating at https://animalwelfare.com.au/supporter-event/events/11041/snowfields-sandhills.

Thx also to CycleTraveller for sharing this great story.

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