Janet Benefield, 68, who, despite not having ridden a bike since she was a child, has decided to embark on a 185 mile long adventure. She plans to ride the in Hebridean Way through the Outer Hebrides in May 2017, however she has had to overcome a fairly major obstacle in order to continue with the journey.
In order to prepare for the challenge, she began improving her fitness and increasing her time riding a bike. She borrowed a 1990's Cannondale M400 from a friend and started increasing the length of her rides up to 15 miles. However, the training gave her a terribly painful left knee. An old back injury caused by lifting her husband Chris, resulted in an ongoing problem down her left side. The ever increasing bike rides only exacerbated this. The riding had to stop and it seemed like her adventure might have come to an untimely end.
Acupuncture and physio helped a little and Janet is on the way to recovery, but her knee is still too sore to put pressure through the peddles. Looking at the different options we discussed the possibility of a Trek Neko+ Bike with Janet.
She had reservations about an e-bike but decided to have a quick test ride around the car park outside the shop. We were slightly concerned as 10 minutes later she still hadn’t reappeared.
Finally she did with a huge smile and her eyes shining with excitement. She had ridden from the shop on Brewery Street car park, up Soutergate and towards Broughton Beck! Flying back through the town, past the market cross and round the one way system, she knew this would be her ticket to completing the challenge.
The Trek Neko+ is a versatile electric assist bike with front suspension. This means that you must peddle the bike, but it has a battery to assist you should you wish. For more details see here.
Janet has resumed training and getting out for rides as often as she can, building up the length of the rides and her experience on the bike. Short rides from the house have quickly built up to regular 15 / 20 mile loops. Janet can now ride up the hills that she had to walk up previously, it has allowed her to travel to visit friends and build up her confidence on both the bike and the roads. “This bike has revolutionised my life!” she told me, and pretty much anyone else she talks to!