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Patrick & Frances Skemp - Electric Bikes

Blog Posted on 18 Apr 2011

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My cycling after about 40 routine years using touring cycles had in the last year expanded in all directions, now I have another form to add to my bow, electric biking, more correctly battery assisted cycling. Cycling England, in its death throes, just prior to its closure under the Coalition cuts, set up the Electric Bicycle Network a not-for-profit organisation, whose remit is to set up electric cycling networks in various parts of the country, and the Peak District is the first area they have started on. Myself and my wife run holiday cottages, so I took up their offer of leasing for six months a couple of electric bikes, with a view to renting these out on a day basis to our guests, so naturally following their delivery yesterday, me and my wife took the opportunity of testing them out today, with a 30 mile ride. Definitely great fun, you still have to cycle as well, putting in a reasonable amount of effort on the hills, but my wife went up a couple of 15% degree hills (one from the Tissington ford up to Tissington village) which she had never managed before and this was only the second ride she had done in the last 6 months. I too enjoyed it and best of all, I did not have to wait half as long as usual at junctions for my wife to catch up, in fact it was a good job I took an electric bike too otherwise she would have been waiting for me.  It handled the fairly rough parts of the Carsington water circuit relatively well, although on the steep bits with loose grit, the weight of the battery which is over the back wheel, caused the front wheel to scrabble for grip. What was particularly good about this particular model, (made by Giant, a £1700 one), was that when you reach the legal maximum for power assist at 15.5mph, the motor does not suddenly cut out, leaving you with a lurch but it’s a more gradual process. I had to do the last 3 miles without battery assistance proceeding UP the Tissington trail and managed 10mph, only 1 or 2mph slower than on my road bike. In theory the bike should manage 50 miles on the flat (we definitely did loads of hills, hence the range being less than this for us) but the Electric Bike Network in the next couple of weeks, is setting up about 20 different charging points, where users can charge up free of charge their batteries at tea shops, pubs etc

 

This blog was brought to you by Patrick and Frances Skemp

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