Who Are We ?
In 1984 a small walking holiday company was created, based in the beautiful Val d’Azun in the heart of the French Pyrenees. This company, named « La Balaguère » after the warm breeze that blows upwards from the Sahara to the Pyrenees, offered guided walking trips led by a small group of friends with a huge passion for the mountains.
Little by little La Balaguère expanded and more than 35 years later we help over 13,000 people every year enjoy walking and cycling holidays in the Pyrenees and further afield, to the most unspoilt areas of the world.
In 2018 we launched a new and exciting project. Purely Pyrenees is the English language branch of our business, offering self-guided and guided trips, walking and cycling from Spring to Autumn and snowshoeing in the Winter. Using our decades of experience we created a new range of holidays designed for English speakers who come, maybe for the first time, to experience the best the Pyrenees has to offer. Our focus is always to provide highlights, iconic places to visit, wonderful itineraries, authentic hotels and, of course, tremendous cuisine.
Purely Pyrenees and La Balaguère are now owned by the UCPA (Union des Centres Sportifs de Plein Air) which is a non-profit organisation in France that specialises in making outdoor sports holidays available for all. We are still based where we have always been, in the Pyrenean village of Arrens-Marsous.
We are very proud of our Pyrenean chain and of the knowledge that we have of it, amassed over years of providing guided and self-guided holidays. You can be sure that if you travel with us we will do everything we can to make sure you have a wonderful trip.
The electric bike or E bike is a very versatile machine that allows many occasional athletes to embark on enjoyable long, hilly outings without fear of over fatigue. It can be used as a means of transport to get to your workplace without arriving in a pool of sweat, or can be used to accompany someone more athletic or experienced on a cycle tour. An electric bike will get you up hill and over dale, on road or off road, near or far, but you must not forget to pedal!
For those who still want to exercise, the different levels of assistance, selectable by a lever on the handlebars, will help you find the right balance between muscular effort and the power of the electrical assistance.
The electrically assisted bicycle commonly referred to as an E-bike, made a short-lived first appearance in the 1930s, before being relaunched in the 1970s. Originally limited by range, volume, power and the weight of the battery, it has experienced real growth since 2000/2005, in particular thanks to major technological developments in battery efficiency and weight.
All electric bikes offer a function where the motor can be deactivated, especially on the flat or on descents in order to save your battery power. Regardless of the level of assistance selected, assistance will cut out if you reach a speed of 25 km / h, or if you stop pedalling.
Regarding the distance you can travel on one battery most manufacturers give wide ranges, between « 50 to 95 km ».
your weight, your pedalling force, the wind, how inflated your tyres are, the terrain, and especially the way you use the electric assistance. If you use it sparingly, you will get much further, if you use it all the time, and on the highest assistance mode, you could end up on a heavy bike with no charge left! Experience will lead you to understand how to get the best out of your electric bike and how to conserve the charge for longer outings. A gauge on the handlebars shows you how much charge you have left while you are riding.
To give you more of an idea let's say that a new 36 V-10 Ah battery can cover several dozen kilometres at a speed of between 15 and 25 km / h. Over time, performance will deteriorate, but you can count on being able to charge and discharge several hundred times if you have a reputable brand battery: Bosch, Yamaha, Panasonic, Sram, Shimano, Giant ... The cost of recharging a battery is negligible, in the order of a few pence for 50 km.
An electric bike is a great way of mitigating a sedentary lifestyle, it will get you where you need to go fast or let you go on longer or more challenging outings, good for leg strength and endurance, cheap to run and easy on the enviroment - what is there not to like ?!
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An article written by Denis Menjoulou
Adapted and translated by Sally Simmonds