E-bike riding in Melbourne -background from a beginner-rider

This post and the following one are only of interest if you are new to electric bikes. They offer some initial observations about one type of ebike available in Melbourne: the VadoComo made by a company called Specialized. It is designed in California and made in Taiwan. I write about this bike because I liked it the moment I saw it. Here she is… (and yes, we often use “she” in English to talk about something which moves beautifully).

But first, I have to explain that I am not one of the in-crowd of bike riders who cycles 60 km to have breakfast at a trendy cafe. To prove it, here is a helmet of the vintage of my last bout of enthusiasm on a bike.

So this is about someone who was nervous the first time she tried to ride an electric bike. Would the bike take off as soon as I put my feet on the pedal? Would the weight of the battery make me wobble? Why did I think an electric bike was a great idea? And this was before I hit traffic. I gingerly pushed the bike out of the bike shop, leaving my purse so they had something to identify me if I disappeared with the bike.

I pushed the bike until I found a quiet residential street. Then I did a lap without using the battery. It was fine on the flat, but a little hard to pedal on a slight hill. As expected. The next lap I put the battery on the lowest of three settings (echo, sport and turbo), and as I pedalled it got easier to ride. Then I tried the second level, “sport”, and it felt like I was sailing down a small hill with no effort. I went back and forth along the street, stopping when a rubbish truck (or bin lorry if you are English) came near. I pretended to fiddle with my helmet til it passed until I got more confidence. I rode the bike up and down the street and felt the beauty of being helped along. It was great. I did enough to know that it would be fun to go on bike trails around the city, and around the suburbs on the roads.

Next week- First time on turbo level.

Isn’t she lovely!

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