eBike blog – personal experience with sustainable transport for the new millenium

World Record Attempt for “longest eBike ride” a sham?

Hitting international news all over the world is the story of Eddie Sedgemore, a 66 year old Brit, who is claiming to be making a world record attempt for the “longest journey on a motorized bicycle” according to Powabyke.com. Eddie has previously completed several trips the length of Britain on electric cycles, and has raised hundreds of pounds for charity, which is fantastic: and he’s now set his sights significantly greater than his previous rides. However, having researched the story a little more, I’m in two minds about how valid this world record attempt is, given the record it’s claiming to break is not for an electric bicycle – but for a mobility scooter. No matter what the age or physical fitness of the rider, these are NOT the same things, and gives entirely the wrong impression about electric bicycles. Not only that: there’s already been a MUCH longer record breaking attempt, on a mobility scooter, not an eBike!

The current “official” world record for “Longest Journey on an Electric Mobility Vehicle (scooter)” was set by John Duckworth in the UK – he travelled 2,662.8 km (1654.6 miles) around mainland UK on a Horizon Mayan electric mobility scooter between June 20, 2004 and July 27, 2004, finishing in Hincaster, Cumbria. However since this world record ride there had since been another MUCH longer ride made by the same charity organising John Duckworth’s currently listed ride: after 117 days riding, they completed 5,349 miles – completely blowing away the currently underway 1,655 mile “record breaking attempt” planned by Eddie.

Now don’t get me wrong – I believe that supporting charities and rides like this are very worthwhile, and raising awareness is even more important; but I’m simply astonished that the rider and bike company in the first place would mis-categorize a fully functioning eBike as a “mobility scooter” like this – and that major media outlets like the BBC would publish this and have it syndicated worldwide, after have done so little research to confirm the facts being bandied about. I imagine the mobility scooter riders who’ve done the previous world record attempts may be feeling… well, a touch miffed might be putting it mildly!

I’d also like to point out the differences between the two types of vehicles, a motorized scooter clearly seen above, contrasting with the image below of Eddie with the Powabyke X-byke electric bicycle he will be riding for this claimed record breaking attempt:

Not the same kind of vehicle in any way, shape or form, no matter how you try to slice it. What there should be of course, is a new category of vehicle for the world record attempt. However, Eddie might find that Spaniard Guim Valls Teruel who is this month beginning his Electric Bicycle World Tour might be beating him by just a little bit…. try 5 continents compared to just tootling around the UK!

Seriously – I’m impressed at the media coverage, and that’s good for electric bikes which are getting more and more mainstream press now (finally!!!) – but let’s do it under appropriate auspices, please?


4 Comments so far

  1. Craig Richmond May 11th, 2009 12:29 am

    It amused me greatly when I bought a motorbike in the UK and the registration documentation stated it was a “bicycle”. I’m sure this is a defense that will give you a chance of getting off the charges of riding a motorbike on a cycleway. I think I’ve seen mobility scooters with number plates and if they were 3 wheels with 1 front wheel , they probably get classify it as a tricycle which probably gets it the “bicycle” moniker for registration purposes. If you look at really old motorbikes they are clearly bicycles with small motors bolted on.

    I was out for a bike ride last weekend and there was some kind of charity walk on. There were some old people doing it on mobility scooters. Now while I see it as being good that they want to do their bit, it does seem a bit of a cheat that beyond the time commitment they aren’t necessarily putting the same effort in as those who are walking.


  2. Pride maxima scooter September 22nd, 2010 4:17 pm


    A mobility scooter has many advantages, but the scooters of today also have limitations that many people do not realize. However, if a person does their homework before purchasing one of the many power chairs available, then the advantages can far outweigh the disadvantages.



  3. James November 23rd, 2010 2:39 pm

    Powabyke is not a major ebike brand. They are importers of cheap as chips china fodder. They used to (maybe still do) import cheap mini motorbikes to the uk. The guy behind it is a cowboy who will not back up his products. I pulled their accounts not long ago and it didn’t look good.


  4. Mayara January 19th, 2015 6:34 am

    Depends upon where you are going to use it. Most electric bikes have a limetid range before a re-charge is needed (I think up to about 60 miles) and a limetid speed. If you’re going to be on an open fast road then i’d opt for a scooter which will give you enough oomph to get yourself out of trouble. In areas of pedestrians electric scooters can be a nightmare because people can’t hear them coming. Also consider what plug the electric scooters might come with, where can you plug it in. Whilst i’m all for electric as a means of reducing pollution, i’m not sure any city is yet set up for them. In London UK the first electric re-charging points have gone in in Westminster and electric scooters can still park for free (unlike motor scooters).


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