Laetitia & the Charger
01.01.2024 | Travel & Adventure
People all around the world are making our bikes an essential part of their life. In this series, we let them tell their story.
I am Laetitia. When I was 27, I left Switzerland on my bike with only one direction in mind: east. This led me to cycle over 40,000 km around the world. Along the way, I became a bike guide in China.
With every passing day, I was becoming stronger and giving me the feeling that no mountain could stop me. It had never occurred to me that my health might change. But it did, as gradually chronic pain became my new normal. Until the day when I couldn't even walk... I had to give up my faithful companion, this bike on which I'd travelled the circumference of the earth.
What was happening to me? My own incomprehension, as much as the doctor's, grew day by day till the diagnosis: spondyloarthritis.
Spondy what? At the age of 34, I discovered that arthritis could affect people of all ages, and that this chronic, degenerative disease is considered to affect 1 in 4 people.
With acute inflammations in the joints of my spine, hips, neck, fingers etc., every passing day my mobility was reduced and my muscles melted away. Stiffness and pain became my daily bread. Time went by and I couldn’t recognize myself anymore. No longer able to pedal neither to enjoy the outdoors, I had to learn to live with this new life companion: the disease.
I explored ways of continuing to do things I love and getting back into motion, especially as movement is essential for treating arthritis. Cycling was definitely part of me and I wanted to get back in the saddle. But after many attempts, I had to admit to myself that it was no longer possible.
The E-Bike is my medicine.
Yet all those years on the road had taught me to adapt. So I decided to try an E-Bike. This was a key moment that gave me new hope.
Thanks to the E-Bike, day after day I was moving again, regaining my strength, rebuilding my confidence and turning the adversity around.
Since then, I've cycled over 24,000km across Europe with my Charger, I've found a job and my independence again. I also created a project to talk about this story and gave talks to raise public awareness. People from across the world affected by arthritis contacted me, and they too started cycling again thanks to the E-Bike.
Regarding my choice, all I knew was that I needed an ebike I could trust, because I was going to put it to the test. The main factors were that it had to be able to cope with long distances and a variety of routes, as well as a need for assistance that would constantly needed to be changed according to my health and weather conditions. And knowing it was going to be loaded like a mule. I finally opted for the Charger, a choice I'm delighted with, as it has never let me down. The reliability and quality of its components as well as the engine have brought me through 10 different countries, and it's still going strong today.
Having an E-Bike changed my life and I'm deeply grateful that such technology exists, because for me, it's a real medicine!