Visit Elba on the western coast of Italy recently presented the first prototype of a power-assisted pedal handbike specifically designed for a tourist destination. Paralympic handcycling gold medallist Alex Zanardi has provided his support to the project. The first four handbikes, promoted via the hashtag #Elba4All, will be at the island guests’ disposal, free of charge, from this autumn/fall.
Set a few kilometres off Tuscany’s coast in Italy, Elba Island is establishing itself as the ‘open-air gym of choice for outdoor sports’. Its temperate, dry climate makes the island an ideal destination for those cycling professionals and amateurs who want to get back into shape in spring or continue training in autumn and winter.
Visit Elba notes that it is also a place-to-be for anyone – including bike-tourists, families as well as people with special needs – who like enjoying Elba’s beautiful, natural landscape and views over the sea along the island’s 400km of trails.
“We want all our guests to fully experience Elba Island,” said Claudio Della Lucia, coordinator of local tourism board Visit Elba. “Hence the project #Elba4All for a power-assisted pedal handbike that will allow people with disabilities, or who just want to experience a different point of view from the bicycle, to easily tour our island.
“The design and production of this handbike are 100% Italian, and we are happy that paracycling champion Alex Zanardi has supported us on this project. We expect that the first four bikes will be available from September; they will be free of charge for people with reduced mobility.”
The #Elba4All handbike has been road-tested by Alex Zanardi, who has visited Elba Island to train for the upcoming World Championships and 2020 Olympics. Paracyclists Pierpaolo Addesi, bronze medal in the category MC5 at the 2018 World Championships; Giancarlo Masini, bronze medal in the MC1 category at the Rio 2016 Paralympics; and Fabio Anobile, bronze medal in the MC3 category at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, all joined Zanardi in his training sessions.
Alex Zanardi said “#Elba4All is a common sense initiative in which I eagerly got involved with my friends at Visit Elba. Their goal is to make this wonderful island, which has so many things to discover and experience, accessible to people with disabilities. This bicycle is meant as both a sports and recreational aid.
“It allows cyclists to take on the challenging hills of the island’s routes, with great satisfaction and to the best of their abilities, or to benefit from a higher level of pedal assistance in order to pleasantly stroll without limits thanks to the great autonomy of the batteries.”
Manufactured by the Italian company CGDE, the power-assisted pedal handbike #Elba4All is specifically designed and adapted to fully enjoy Elba Island’s roads and outdoor routes. It is characterized by:
- An engine produced by the Italian company Polini with a power of 250W and equipped with a double 500W battery that gives a range of over 220 km, making it possible to go around the entire island;
- A frame designed and produced entirely in Italy, by Blacklinerr and CGDE, suitable for the large variety of terrains and slopes on Elba, even with slopes of up to 20;
- An inclusive design that makes the handbike accessible to all guests, both disabled and not;
- A lower driving position compared to mountain bikes that guarantees an unusual and original point of view when exploring.
From September four #Elba4all e-handbikes will be available on the island. They will be free of charge for people with disabilities and with a free donation for guests without disabilities. The funds raised through the donations will go to a non-profit organization that will be communicated when the models are presented on the Island of Elba.