The ‘H’ word used to strike terror in my heart. They were horrific things to be avoided at all costs. Now I find them exhilarating … as long as they are not too narrow, boulder-strewn, or on the edge of a precipice.

Hills are of no consequence to an e-biker, a mere blip on the horizon in the land of the powered pedaller. Click up to power mode two, three, four or five depending on the height and gradient, add a touch of throttle and power up past all those sweaty, puffing purists who are so scornful of any propulsion other than muscle-power.

In the past two weeks of e-biking in the South Island, we’ve faced everything from ridicule to admiration. It’s water off my high-vis back these days. I’m immune to the ‘why-don’t-you-get-a-real-bike-you-wuss’ insults. Unkind jokes about the male anatomy have been slightly more difficult for my super-fit husband to cope with but he’d rather we shared active outdoor pursuits like e-biking on holiday than have to relax on a beach or, worse still, hang out in cities, shops and cafes. He’d endure any amount of ridicule to escape such torture.

Lake Wakatipu is seldom like a mirror but the day we cycled from Kinloch to the Greenstone Valley, the whole lake was glassy calm

On our most recent adventure, we picked up a JUCY Casa motorhome and two Kiwi-designed SmartMotion e-bikes in Christchurch and set off with a couple of e-biking friends who were towing a fancy Australian camper trailer. They were under canvas so were praying for fine, mild weather while we were smug in the knowledge that ‘Lucy’ (so-named for the curvy woman depicted on the motorhome’s exterior) would keep us cosy and dry regardless of what the gods decided to hurl our way … which turned out to be a pair of cyclones!

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