Bristol's Big Green Week in June will be the setting for the 'world's first' electric bike championships. UPDATE: The 'world first' title is contentious - see the comments below.
More than ten e-bike manufacturers are entering machines for the series of races up Park Street ('Britain’s steepest shopping street'), which climbs from the city centre to Bristol University.
Robert Llewellyn, star of TV space comedy Red Dwarf and presenter of Scrapheap Challenge, will compere the championships, which take place on Sunday June 10th.
E-bike riders will race up Park Street for a trophy donated by Good Energy, touted as the UK's only 100 per cent renewable electricity supplier. The event will also include static displays of e-bikes, a have-a-go area for people to try out a machine and an e-bike parade.
The Atmosphere Electric Bikes World Championships are being organised by Alistair McHardy who runs Atmosphere Electric Bikes, with shops in Bristol and Coventry. He said that many of his customers are car drivers who spot his shop while stuck in traffic jams. They try one of the bikes, which start at £450, and are soon converted.
McHardy added: “Electric bikes used to be seen as only suited to those unable to ride a conventional bike, but more and more people are seeing the benefits of using them to get about, especially in a city like Bristol with lots of hills to climb.
“By staging the first world championships we hope to show that e-bikes are not only great for getting up hills but also a lot of fun to ride. They are simply the best way to get around.”