Tour the open road on an e-bike

From an airplane, it’s easy to miss the views, small towns and back roads that fill travel with surprises. Trekking on foot through city streets helps check off must-see sites, yet it can feel touristy. But on a bike tour, you can explore vistas and experiences off the beaten path at your own pace.

Don’t have Tour de France-worthy quads? Even novice riders can keep up with the benefit of an electric bike, or e-bike.

While the idea of an organized tour through the countryside, pedaling from one hotel to the next, has been around for years, only recently have battery-powered e-bikes changed the game. “We’ve had e-bikes as an option on most of our tours for about six years,” says Chris Skilling, vice president of rural biking at VBT Bicycling Vacations, a Vermont-based international excursion provider. “About 25 to 30 percent of our guests opt for them now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that is over 50 percent in the next five years.”