At our visit to the KTM factory in Austria we were given a taste of the future of bike travel.
Above is a video of KTM´s revolutionary E bike. Its revolutionary for two reasons. First, unlike most electric bikes I´ve come across, the E Bike is a decent bike in its own right- you can unclip the battery and it will function like a normal bike. Second, its cool- its not a step through with mudguards, pannier racks and a granny basket. Its possibly the most fun you can have with a battery operated gizmo with your clothes on/or off.
I`ll admit that until I tried the E bike I thought electric bikes were naff, and I still think most are. Yes, I´d prefer to think of a future with people propeling themselves from A to B using those little carbohydrate powered engines that god (evolution) gave us. But people are lazy. With electric assistance, it take less effort to go faster. You still have to pedal, you just get more for each stroke. So if you live somewhere hilly, like Ireland, you can pootle about at 20kmph without breaking a sweat even if you`re not the fittest of fiddles.
As I hit 25kmph after three pedal strokes, I could see cities of the future. No cars just happy people zooming about on bikes, electric assisted for the old and unfit, with the wind on their cheeks and smiles on their faces.