“If I couldn’t cycle anymore I might as well lie down and die. It’s hugely important to me, it’s freedom.”
Frank Browne said riding the Ribble Endurance SLe has enabled him to continue riding with his club which has meant the world to him.
“This bike means I still get to ride with my friends”says 69-year-old who rode a staggering 10,000km last year.
Frank Browne, of Dungarvan, Ireland, took up cycling in his fifties and says it’s ‘never too late’ to get back into the sport he loved as a child.
He said: “I cycled as a kid as most people do but as I got older, life happens and I stopped. But when I was around 54 I decided I needed to change my life for health reasons.”
“I stopped smoking and wanted to get fitter. So I got back on the bike. I remember vividly the first ride I ever did – it was literally for 20 minutes around my town. When I got off the bike my legs felt like they were going to give way under me. I was so unfit I don’t think my body knew what was going on. It makes me smile thinking back at that now. But I stuck at it. I started just riding on my own, and then eventually joined a club. We have been riding together for around ten or fifteen years and get on so well, and we know each other inside and out. We understand each other. They are the people I see most, other than my family.”
But as Frank got older he struggled to keep up on the group rides.
The grandfather-of-three said: “As I’ve got older I found it harder to keep up on some of the club rides on the hills. The group are great and they always waited for me but I just didn’t want to have to hold everyone up.
“Last year one of the group, Emma, told me about e-bikes. But I thought they wouldn’t be for me as they are just so heavy and wouldn’t want to have to push them along if the battery runs out. But Emma found Ribble e-bikes and was excited to give this one a try as it was so light in comparison.”
The Ribble Endurance SLe with Shimano 105 weighs 13kg – and is part of the lightest range of electric pedal-assisted bikes in the world.
Frank added: “I am delighted with the bike. It has allowed me to stay riding with the people I have ridden with for years so nothing can ever really explain what that means to me. It has allowed me to keep my social life.
“Since getting the e-bike I now look forward to the hills for a breather.”
Frank is also able to lead rides on his new bike.
He added: “It’s great that at this stage in my life I can lead rides and ride with the younger and fitter riders.”
The battery life of the Ribble Endurance SLe can depend on a number of factors including the weight of the rider, route profile and also temperature.
But Frank has ridden more than 200km and still had power to spare.
He said: “One of my initial concerns of electric bikes is the battery life. But I did 207km and there was still battery life at the end of the ride which I was really impressed with.”
“Don’t get me wrong, I still have to put the effort into riding the bike and there are times where I think ‘why don’t I just play golf instead?’. But cycling is my life and I would be lost without it.”
“Cycling for me is something to live for, it’s what I look forward to.”
“If I couldn’t cycle anymore I might as well lay down and die. It’s hugely important to me. It’s freedom. Being able to get out and see the landscape and appreciate out countryside. There are beautiful roads to cycle on in Ireland. I will be aiming to ride just as much if not more kilometres this year so excited to get out on the road.”
We headed out for a ride and catch up with Frank – watch the full video here
Want to know more about our electric bikes? We look into whether they could be right for you – view blog
Ever wanted to pack your bike up and head off for an adventure? Ryan and Ben did exactly that as they headed from Nepal to India for an adventure of a lifetime – view blog