Sarah Colledge explains the difference using an e-bike has made to her.
Sarah, who was diagnosed with PH on her 25th birthday, bought an electric bike. Her husband, Grahaeme, is a keen cyclist and they used to ride a lot together before Sarah developed PH.
Grahaeme suggested buying an electric bike after he’d researched them online.
But one of the issues with PH is the tendency to lose confidence in your own abilities and Sarah took a lot of persuading to have go.
“I was really unsure at first as I had not ridden a bike in years, but the test run was a huge success. It was exhilarating and I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time.”
Sarah eventually purchased a Wisper 705 se, Battery 14ah 36v bicycle in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since.
“Getting the bike was a life changing moment for me,” said Sarah. “I can’t walk too far and the slightest incline feels like I’m climbing Everest. I now do all my short journeys to town and doctor’s appointments by bike, weather permitting. Having PH restricts what you can do so my bike symbolises ‘freedom’ and ‘normality’ for me.”
Sarah’s bike has a maximum speed of 15 mph and a range of up to 50 miles depending on level of battery use. She and Grahaeme use their bikes to cycle to local village pubs and out to Burghley House, Stamford, where they live, for picnics. They also cycle around Rutland Water and into town for coffee.
And the bike has done some travelling of its own, going with them down to Cornwall, The New Forest and further afield to Brittany in France. “It’s taken me up hills I could never dream of walking up, and without it I would have missed seeing the most amazing countryside, lakes and rivers,” said Sarah. “It’s truly magical and a lifeline to a world I wouldn’t otherwise see. I’m eternally grateful to Grahaeme for pushing me to give it a try.”