THE END of the sweaty commute is nigh for nine cyclists hitting the road to trial e-bikes in Bendigo.
The RACV hope it will prove the merits of bikes that can be propelled by both electricity or pedal power, in part because they create less stinky body odour than a conventional bike, the group's Peter Katsidimas said.
"You might joke about it but it is one of the real benefits of an e-bike," he said.
The automotive body is in the midst of trials as it works out how to get office workers and students onto e-bikes, especially for short trips that can drive up congestion on Victoria's roads.
It has partnered with nine La Trobe University students and staff members, all of whom regularly travel the four kilometers between the Flora Hill campus town for health placements and specialist classes.
Dentistry student Margaret Tran sometimes rode a bike to get to clinical stories and home, but said Bendigo was a bit too hilly to tackle regularly on two wheels.
"I do car pool a bit," she said.
The problem was not just sweat, Ms Tran said.
Her clinical uniform was not comfortable enough for riding up hills.
The only thing Mr Kartsidimas said stood in the way of e-bikes across much of Victoria was not enough bike paths.
"A lot of people who ride e-bikes, I would suspect, would not feel as comfortable riding on a highway, so having shared paths and facilities separated from traffic makes them more popular," he said.
The comments came as the City of Greater Bendigo consulted on plans to create a city-first bike path on Ellis Street.
The draft plan would be the first where bikes shared the same road but were separated from cars by parking spaces.
The path would link up with paths along the Bendigo and Back creeks and allow students to cycle from Spring Gully to Flora Hill without sharing roads with cars, the council's Nathan Sartori said.
"If the infrastructure is there, e-bikes get more of a run for their money," Mr Kartsidimas said.
"They a lot more fun to ride on them than cars, and you don't need to find a parking spot. It's actually a really efficient mode of transport."
Trial participants would be surveyed every week to show how they are using the ebikes, and to uncover the vehicles' strengths and weaknesses. The information would be combined with results from Geelong and Moreland.
"In a country town without, dare I say it, the traffic of Melbourne, ebikes tick a lot of boxes, so hopefully people will see the benefits of them," Mr Kartsidimas said.
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