While Ruth was busy getting on with some long overdue craft-work that she promised herself upon return from Asia, I took my new F19 (folding e-velo – not a fighter plane) for a 49km ride over the hilliest terrain I have ridden. ‘Ridden’ meaning; getting up all of the hills without having to get off and push and averaging 17km per hour. Those 49km clocked up 130km for the first week, significantly more km than I ever managed in a week on the ‘real’ bike – even when it was new.
I would never have contemplated today’s ride on the old bike and now I know what we were missing. That pretty much sums up the difference we are enjoying with our new folding electric bikes. The addition of choice to our possible riding destinations. Previously a ride had to be flat and traffic free but now we have the confidence to ride in both. The F19 is also far easier to handle, especially for Ruth who is a lot smaller than many of us.
I have been working on a range of itineraries for the rest of the year and Ruth is actually pretty enthusiastic – even though some of them involve Provence-like terrain. On Tuesday she blasted past me on a very steep hill – laughing – I nearly fell off with shock.
While we have pedal assist we find that we only tend to use the first level and then only on the hills or into a stiff head wind. As a result, a 49km ride still feels like a pretty decent workout but rather than being exhausted at the end, there was still plenty of ‘gas’ in my personal tank. I have done some tentative calculations and I think the bike battery is probably good for 60km on predominantly hilly terrain and 70-80km on predominantly flat country. New Zealand does not have a lot of the latter and it is fair to say that we have ridden a fair chuck of anything flat, that was interesting.
The next test is to try a similar trip with the additional weight we would need to carry as luggage. I have figured out how we can attach the 40litre North Face duffel bags that we picked up in Siem Reap. However, riding with them may be a little more challenging – guess I will find out soon.