When you’re in an RV, having a bike means more freedom – as long as you’ve got the right bike rack. Alexia Santamaria talks to Apollo Entertainment to find out more.
A report released earlier in the year by the Minister of Tourism officially confirmed what is already pretty obvious if you’ve been on holiday in New Zealand over the last few years: cycling is having a moment. Stuart Nash said, of the report comparing data from June 2020 to June 2021, “The 22 Great Rides of the Ngā Haerenga cycle trails network have enjoyed a surge in use from people on bikes and on foot, with almost 2.19 million trips in the year to 30 June 2021. It is an increase of more than 204,000 trips annually, or 10.3 per cent growth in trail usage.”
If you have been out and about lately, you’ll see it’s not just push bikes. E-bikes have become an incredibly popular way to get around when you’re visiting other parts of the country and it’s opened up the market to people who would never have contemplated cycling before.
It’s an area Duncan and Helen MacMillan from Apollo Entertainment know well. Aside from selling their popular technology products for RVs (TVs, inverters, antenna, sound systems and other accessories that make life on the road so much more convenient), they are also selling a lot of bike racks these days. “We’ve definitely noticed the huge resurgence in cycling and the increased popularity of e-bikes is definitely a big part of that,” says Duncan. “People are getting into cycling in a big way and e-bikes make it much easier for people who have stopped riding push bikes because of age or injury.”
Keeping it simple
Duncan says a lot of people also love the convenience of having an e-bike when they’re away in a motorhome. “It just makes everything simpler. Rather than drive a huge vehicle everywhere and try and find a parking spot big enough, people love the freedom of just being able to jump on their e-bike and pop to the shops or the supermarket. In Auckland, people can park a campervan at Westhaven and bike to Mission Bay; in New Plymouth they can park somewhere along the Coastal Walkway and bike into town via the boardwalk. It’s a great way to see the local sights or pick up supplies without packing everything down and driving out each time.”
But embracing the e-bike life isn’t totally without hassle. If you’re carrying these clever means of transport on the back of a vehicle, you do need the right gear to do it. “E-bikes are much heavier than a regular bike – usually around 20 to 25kgs each,” says Duncan. “Regular bike racks will often have a weight limit of 30kgs.”
“After seeing so many people with this issue we sourced racks from a company in Germany called Eurocarry – they carry up to 60kgs and people are loving them,” Duncan says. “We also heard people saying they struggle a bit to lift them on, as they are a bit heavier than hoisting up a mountain or road bike. So we found a Belgian brand of electric-powered lifting racks – you just wheel it on to the rack, press a button and it lifts it into the travelling position. It It makes the user experience so much easier and takes the hard work out of transporting e-bikes around the country.”
The team at Apollo Entertainment love hearing all the great feedback on how easy the racks make it for people to travel with their bikes, many saying that the convenience makes the overall holiday more enjoyable. “We’re now installing them on third and fourth vehicles for people as it’s a must-have for every camper they buy and part of their whole ethos around going away.”