In 2017 Roger Westgate bought an e-bike from us.
This year he decided to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats. This has been done by many cyclists. The difference is that Roger has Parkinson’s disease. Read his inspiring story here:
Power and balance – e-biking with Parkinson’s
I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease eleven years ago, aged forty-six. By 2012 my right-hand side had become unresponsive and my walking had deteriorated to an ungainly shuffle. However, when I rode my bike I felt quite different; I felt balanced, I felt ‘normal’ again. I suppose that the left and right sides were linked through the pedals and the handlebars; for me, the left side instructed and the right side followed. This was great for a few years but, by 2016, I didn’t seem to have the same energy and was starting to find it difficult to keep up. By the end of 2016 I’d pretty much stopped cycling completely. Ten miles felt a long way and the hills had become a miserable slog.
That all changed in the spring of 2017, when a friend told me about an electric bike he’d seen. The following day I visited the local bike shop to check out an ‘e-bike’. I took up the offer of a ride on the demonstrator, a KTM Macina Force. I hopped on and put my weight on the pedals. I felt twenty years younger; I was laughing as I rode along, still smiling as I returned to the shop.
Two weeks later I was the proud owner of my very own KTM Macina Force, supplied by Chris at Electric Bikes Guildford. E-bikes have an integrated re-chargeable battery and an electric motor that, together, provide assistance when you pedal. Depending on which setting you choose, it is possible to achieve a three hundred per cent increase in power, easily enough to turn a wheezing, snorting ride up a steep hill into a comfortable pedal. I still feel balanced but I now have the power. Before long I joined my friends on a great day’s ride along the South Downs Way, completing the thirty-five miles between Winchester and Petersfield over beautiful terrain. Tiring but now achievable.
My e-bike has been a revelation. It’s given me my independence back and has given me the opportunity to take part again, to be involved. I celebrated this recently by taking myself off to Land’s End to cycle the 250 odd miles to Bristol, covering about 35 to 45 miles a day. I’m hoping to continue my ride to Lancaster later in the year, with two further trips to complete the journey to John O’Groats next year. I could never have imagined this two years ago.
Roger has now completed the second stage of his venture from Bristol to Lancaster.