We’ll always be together in electric dreams

I’m in love. With a bike. Sadly not the bike I currently have. Let me present to you the object of my affections, an electric bike called A2B.2015-07-17 15.16.04

Many people said to me that I would just get more fit with this tour, and that yeah, I could probably do about 50 miles a day no problem. Well, it has transpired there is a problem, lots of them, they are called hills, and England is littered with them. I’m not unfit, but I’m not one of the steel-calved peddle pushers that keep overtaking me either. I’m an ambler by nature and every hill I have to dismount and push Polly and my luggage up the hill with cars passing stressfully by. I’m sweaty, panting and grimacing – not an advert for cycling. I’m sorry, I tried to like cycling, but I only like the flat or downhill bits. Then I visited eCycle in Stroud who sell electric bicycles, to get myself educated.

Jacob didn’t bother with the hard sell, he just invited me to go for a test ride. “These things sell themselves,” he said smiling. Oh my gosh yes they do, but since you can’t try one right now I’ll try and explain. You still pedal on the bike but the battery assists you, so you fly up the hill, laughing gleefully. They’re not heavy like I expected and it looks like a normal bike. To charge it you just take the battery out and charge it up for a few hours from a normal plug and then it’ll last you about 60 miles. But you don’t have to have it on all the time either. I tried a couple of bikes but the relaxed touring style is definitely the one for me. I remember when the ipod came out and thinking “This is it, this is an invention which will really make my life easier then carrying all those tapes.” Well now I know what will be a viable alternative for me – this bike.

Cycling is not for everyone, but most people can enjoy an electric bike, if you can afford it. And that’s the sticking point. The only reason I didn’t leave with an A2B bike is I can’t afford it. But love knows no bounds and I will have it. Jacob has my details and when an ex-display model becomes available I am first in line. In the meantime I’ll have to get paid work to save up the money…

Now I just have to cycle all around England on a normal bike, knowing full well what an electric bike feels like instead. Joy.

 

 

 

Oxford practice walk

buzz fundraiserLush threw us a fundraiser in Oxford this weekend, raising £57 for us with sales of their Charity Pots.

Then we visited bike co-op Broken Spoke, and set out along the beautiful canal and Port Meadow and passed the ruins of Godstow Nunnery.

Further out we found Fai Farms providing artifical bee homes. You could provide living space for bees in a similar way. IMG_20140405_175550

We passed Wytham Woods a Site of Special Scientific Interest where the habitat is being preserved.

In total the four of us walked about 35km, mostly on the second day which was a good long IMG_20140405_153142practice!

Oxford – city of spokes

On our practice walk this weekend we visited the biking co-operative Broken Spokes in Oxford. Co-founder Elle Smith tells us about forming the group.

One of the striking things about a visit to Oxford is the thousands of bikes, chained to everything. It’s common to see women in skirts and smartly dressed people cycling to work, as well as the thousands of students. Broken Spokes savages bike and helps people repair their own bikes by providing knowledge, space and tools. They also help people to take up  cycling, and provides a great community hub. We meet Owen who is cycling to Austrailia and Dave Thomas, Green Party Candidate for Holywell Ward Oxford.