Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
E-bikes, aka electric bikes, are changing the way we travel sustainably. Unlike your typical city bike, e-bikes are powered by a battery and an electric motor that helps you ride faster and farther with less effort—even from country to country! (And no, we’re not exaggerating.)
We stumbled upon David Garcia, the Founder of ebike Nomads, who generously gifted our founder, Nivi, an e-bike tour after she shared her engagement bike story with the Washington Post.
David never really thought of his bike as a vehicle for adventure. He grew to believe that cycling in amazing places is something more than just cycling or just exploring. Soon, every place he looked at became just another place he wanted to explore by bike. Ever since his first bike tour vacation, he longed to find a way to make bike exploration a bigger part of his life, which inspired him to share that experience with those around the world.
eBike Nomads lets you explore amazing places at the pace of a bike. With a small-sized Nomad clan and fleet of e-bikes available, eBike Nomads lets you to experience new cultures like never before.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Hop on this adventure with us and learn how David is changing the e-bike game. 🚲 ⛰️
What made you want to start ebike Nomads? Share your story with us, including any key moments.
About 15 years ago, I took my first bike tour vacation and it completely changed the way I ever wanted to travel or explore again. It was the perfect marriage of my love of cycling and passion to explore new places. But, more than that, it was the experience of exploring at the SPEED of a bike that was most amazing. I’ve hiked, and driven, and taken trains through fabulous places, but never had I absorbed a place as I did when I moved from town to countryside to city a the speed of a bike. It was as if I was really seeing and feeling for the first time. Of course, it didn’t hurt that that first trip was through Tuscany, but I’ve learned that the experience is the same every time I find a place on a bike. Ever since that trip, I’ve longed to find a way to make bike exploration a bigger part of my life. With eBike Nomads, I’ve finally figured out how to do that.
What makes ebike Nomads special? It looks like you offer small-group ebike tours—what's special about adventuring in a small group?
I built eBike Nomads to be different on purpose. I didn’t want to create another bike tour company; there are already doing that very well. What I wanted to create was a simple adventure that I could lead and share with a few others. This year, I wanted to make a loop from Italy, across the Alps, to Prague and Vienna, then back via Slovenia and the Dolomites. It’s the trip I longed to do, so I set it up—for myself and a few friends. That’s all eBike Nomads really is: an adventure with friends.
We can’t achieve that sense of intimacy if we don’t keep it small. We can’t bond and share the richness of wonder if we’re lost in a large group. My goal was to create what I love to do most: explore by bike with a few friends. Yes, we’re structurally similar to other tour companies: we take care of all the logistics, supply great bikes, plan great routes and experiences, but we’re also completely different. Anyone who joins us is not signing onto a trip, they’re becoming part of a small family unit, with the nimbleness to make our week whatever we want it to be. If we were bigger, we’d have to be more structured and rigid. Some structure is critical, but there’s a fine line between creating an environment that makes sure everything is well planned and an environment where that support turns into a straightjacket. Maybe the simplest way to describe the difference is that, with us, you’ll be a part of a close-knit family—with my staff and me as the hosts who are so happy to have you visit.
I learned to love e-bikes a few years ago when I bought one “just to ride around town” when I want to have fun. I didn’t think of an e-bike then as a substitute for my “regular” bikes; it was something different. It was the bike to take when I wanted all the fun of cycling without having to work hard. For a long time, it stayed that way: when I wanted to cycle or work out, I took one of my regular bikes. When I wanted to just have fun, I took my e-bike. But it didn’t take long before I found myself loving the fun so much that the e-bike became a bike I reached for more often.
The bottom line is that e-biking is just plain joyous. So, when I started creating what became eBike Nomads, I didn’t think twice about building our adventures around e-bikes. Our main focus is on the ooohs and aaahs of wonder and adventure. What’s a better way to enhance that than by finding those places on an e-bike?
Who is e-biking a fit for? Whom is it not a fit for?
OK, I’m going to share a little secret… e-biking is perfect for anyone. A good e-bike is infinitely customizable, allowing the rider to work as hard as they want or get as much motorized assistance as they want—and go back and forth between the two at the touch of a finger. One of the most common questions I get when people are considering an eBike Nomads trip is, “How fit do I need to be?” To which I answer, “Exactly as fit as you are.” Being fitter is always a good thing, but the gift of an e-bike is that anyone can enjoy cycling on one.
I wanted couples or friends of differing cycling abilities to be able to experience exploration by bike. I knew that the best way to make the places we visit accessible by bike to everyone was to do it on e-bikes. I didn’t want “can I do this” to ever be a limiting factor or point of concern. I wanted the focus to be on the adventure, not the bike.
Gifting a random stranger on the internet an e-bike tour is SUCH a kind thing to do! What inspired you to make such a generous gesture?
I read about Nivi choosing an engagement bike instead of an engagement ring and can’t tell you how much joy the story brought. I’ve always sought meaningful experiences over material things, so I felt a kinship. And, of course, the fact that she wanted a bike made it all the better, considering how much joy and benefit cycling has given me over the years. So, I guess you could say that her action brought me joy, and I wanted to thank her.
First, I planned to just write her a note of congratulations and tell her that her small action can share happiness well beyond what she might have considered. But, as I was writing to her, I realized that there was something that I could share in return that, if she accepted, would extend the joy. I had open spots for a June trip that I know I would likely not fill considering the late date, so I offered them to Nivi and her fiancé, in case they could make those dates work. In all honesty, I knew that if they joined, we’d have a week-long celebration, which sounded like exactly what I want an eBike Nomads trip to be. I’m still hoping that a couple of her friends will join to truly make it a week-long "Nivi-and-Ben-got-married" party. I guess the romantic in me just thinks that would make for one hell of a fun week.
What is one thing you wish people knew about biking or ebiking?
I wish I could wave a magic wand and allow everyone to experience a new place by bike. I know it sounds like I’m just a “bike guy,” but it’s not that at all. There’s magic in the speed of the experience, the slow pace that allows us to see things that are completely missed otherwise. I never imagined riding a bike through Tuscany could change me as it has, to put me on a course that has so consumed me. I believe that anyone who rides a bike into a new place soaks in that place, allows themselves to feel that place, and they’ll take it with them forever. I simply want others to experience what I’ve been so fortunate to experience, and I want to share in their joy. If I can take a few people along with me on an eBike Nomads trip and watch their smiles spread, it will all have been worth it. Trust me, I’ll be watching for it.
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