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British Heart Foundation pulls plug on electric bikes

Electric bike retailer, Cycling Made Easy, have started a petition with the aim of convincing the BHF to have a change of heart about its policy of not allowing electric bikes to take part in fund-raising cycle rides.

The BHF London To Brighton bike ride will take place on 19th June, is non-competitive and, ironically, invites riders to ‘enjoy the electric atmosphere.. as you help us ride all over heart disease’.

A customer of Cycling Made Easy was turned away by the event’s organizers because of their ‘non-powered cycles only’ participation terms.

The retailer said their previous conversations with the charity led them to believe electric bikes would be allowed to take part however.

Despite this website emailing the BHF details of how the majority of pedelecs sold in the UK work, by assisting the rider’s own pedaling efforts and going on to explain that the key benefit of e-bikes are inclusivity at speeds designed to match that of a rider of average fitness, the BHF gave Pedelecs the following comment:

Nancy Smyth, Head of Events at the British Heart Foundation, said: “The British Heart Foundation’s terms and conditions for all cycling events currently limits those who participate to non-powered bicycles, therefore excluding electric bicycles, to ensure rider safety on all our cycling events. This has always been a pedal-powered event and any change to this would considerably alter the nature of this event.

As the London to Brighton bike ride attracts around 20,000 participants every year, it is important to consider the health and safety risks and to put in place all necessary measures to ensure that the event is safe. These considerations are made at the planning stage of each event which occurs at least 10 months prior.

Our cycling events are fantastic fundraising events which help the British Heart Foundation continue its life saving work. Over the last 40 years alone the London to Brighton Bike Ride has attracted over 800,000 cyclists, raising over £65 million to fund BHF research into coronary heart disease, the UK’s single biggest killer. We are truly grateful to all our participants for their fantastic fundraising efforts.”

Pedelecs aired the story of cycling enthusiast, Nick Culshaw, who although diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy, was able to get back out on the trails with confidence on his new electric bike following an operation.


You can sign Cycling Made Easy’s petition here.