On Saturday I succumbed and bought an electric bicycle. It is marked Evo-Race and Easy Motion. I got it from a small store in North Vancouver on Forrester Avenue for about half of what I paid for my five-year old Honda Civic when the lease ran out. A bargain—the Honda, not the bike.
Yesterday I rode the new bike up the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve road. Some fourteen kilometer uphill and the same downhill. Those hitherto steep hills faded to nothing. Put the bike in level five electric assist and up you go at far greater speed than is polite. Then coming back downhill, I put it to level one assist and hit a high of 55 km/hr. This speed, amazing to me, was not the electric assist. For the assist cuts out at 39 km.hr. Rather the speed is the result of long, steep downhill stretches and a bit of pedalling.
Today I rode into and back from town along the usual routes I take with my ordinary bicycles: the Cannondale Quick, the Trek roadbike, or the Trek cross country bike. I prefer the Cannondale as it light and easy to maneuver. You sit more or less upright and can see and weave in and out of traffic in the city streets and bike lanes.
But it is a whole different ride on the Evo. I took me but 45 minutes to get home across the second narrows bridge; it normally take an hour and a quarter—half an hour more to drink! The ride down to the SeaBus was not much different as it is all downhill. But those steep hills, that get steeper each year, melted in the face of level five assist and a bit of pedalling–for you have to pedal otherwise the assist cuts out.
In spite of what I imagined, you still get a good workout on the electric bike. It is heavy and needs human (arm and upper body) power to control. You still have to pedal furiously to keep it moving in the lower gears and lower assist settings. You still need to move those legs and breath fast to keep moving. Faster than a normal bike, perhaps, but an equal physical workout over an hour and a half there and back.
So I am glad I stopped hesitating and at 68 gave into to a modern contraption–an electric bike. If you are hesitating, getting old, and the hills are getting intolerably steep, go get an electric bike. It is great and I will still ride the other bikes to keep in peak fitness. Promise.
And in closing let us stop to sympathize with the Iranian blogger Farshid Fathi and the Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi both of whom are sentenced to and have been flogged and imprisoned for blogging. I have done in a secular sense what they did otherwise. So now I blog poetry and electric bikes. Makes you wonder?post was originally published on this site