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.