I wanted to cycle to work every day and it is a 20 mile return journey. I found I could only manage 2 or 3 days on an unassisted bike - it was too tiring. I bought a bike back in 2002 but found it unreliable and difficult to ride but was persuaded back to electric bikes by a review of the annual Tour de Presteigne event - electric bikes looked a lot better than they did - more mainstream. I now cycle every working day - this is my third electric bike.
I wanted to get fit by combining seeing the mountains and having a reasonable level of activity in the summer. But without over-doing it (climbing very steep slopes at 1500m and above). I saw some electric bikes for hire in a local ski shop a few months back and it seemed like the perfect solution. Further research on this and other internet sites, plus hiring a couple of different models narrowed the choice down to crank-assisted electric bikes and I now have a locally-made Flyer on order, for delivery next month.
Being different. Supporting 'green' modes of transport. Ideal for my circumstances (needing to get from A to B quickly and in places where a car is difficult or impossible). Finding a quality product. Knowing that a normal bike would not encourage me out of the car or off the motorcycle.
A couple of years ago, I became increasingly aware of the gradual stiffening of my ankle, knee and hip joints. Not wanting to return to the circuit training I did when younger, I had to find a way of reversing this loss of mobility in my joints.
A physio I have known for many years suggested regular swimming would do the trick, which was instantly rejected by me as too boring. She then suggested cycling. Apparently, the cyclic (no pun) action of pedalling a bike gave the fullest possible flexation of the leg joints, together with beneficial cardio vascular conditioning. And so, after 45 years I am back in the saddle.
Being a lifetime 40 a day man I quickly ran into trouble with my breathing when faced with any real effort, hence the electric bike. I try to squeeze in at least three 20 mile rides each week, more when possible. My legs are now as good as they were 40 years ago, and I really enjoy exploring all those secret green tracks that I never new existed before. I'm out of my car and lovin it!.
Four years ago I had a heart attack and needed medical intervention (an arterial balloon) to save my life. My condition is genetic and I am now diagnosed as being in heart failure. Unfortunately, because of my medical condition and the drugs I'm on my body does not respond well to exercise - I'm unable to achieve a high heart rate, the drugs stop my heart from racing. My work as a Caretaker means I walk miles (seven a day) but my Doctor told me I needed more stimulating exercise. However, it should not be over strenuous and must not involve heavy lifting
I tried cycling with an ordinary bicycle but the hills brought me to a stand still. 13 months ago I bought my first electric bike. At first I could just about cycle five miles over the local hilly terrain. Steadily my fitness has improved and with a change of battery (SLA to LiFePO4) I now cycle 20 to 40 miles every weekend (weather permitting) - I only cycle for leisure / pleasure. The ebike means I can choose how much effort I put in and if I feel I've over done it I can sit back and let the battery do the work while I recover
Moved to a job within 8 miles of home, occasionally cycled on a MTB however the effort up the hill involved put me off from doing it everyday or when it was raining (boil in the bag impression likely) or the wind was blowing. If I wanted to go to a shop/post office at lunch time I also drove that day.
Due to rush hour traffic levels it takes a similar amount of time to cycle as drive.
Wanted to achieve regular exercise.
Eventually save some money with the price of fuel going up (not able to use Cycle To work so will need to pay for the bike before I see the savings)
Cycled to work every day for the past 2 months (including recent downpours) and even get the chance to go out at lunchtime.
Working in Hackney, six miles from the end of the M11, I found it was taking me as much time to complete the last six miles as the first 24. Also I was using the same amount of diesel on the shorter part of the journey as on the longer. I also wanted to be more active after, like many on this forum, experiencing back problems and sciatica with two collapsed discs in my lower back. So, frustated with queues, and hoping to save money and get more exercise I purchased an electric bike. It was a disaster called Aprilia Enjoy. However the principle was right and now, with my Ezee Forza I don't look back, well I do actually but only for safety reasons!
Having a Volvo V70 (estate) gives me the option of parking either 20 miles away or six miles away depending on pressures at work and how much travelling time I have got. I much prefer the longer ride but rarely have the time.
I don't think I have saved much money but the higher the price of fuel, the more I save! That is really a minor factor. Being able to travel through North East London faster than I could in a car and not worrying about roadworks or other causes of traffic jams, and the pleasure I get out of the ride, are my motivating factors. I am lucky in that I chose an electric bike to help me travel to and from work so it has a changed my lifestyle for the better.
The final triggers having recognised the potential solution of how to get to work in a presentable condition was the fact that the Wisper is a good looking bike, compared to the bulky monsters before it came along.... and you can run off road (50% of my commute ) without speed restriction
Summary so far the major reasons for getting an e-bike seem to be:
-The distance I need to travel would be too far on a conventional bike
-Carrying extra loads and using a trailer
-Health reasons to improve fitness
-Not wanting to use a car
-Travel time saving
-Exploring and seeing more than would be seen from other modes of transport
-Health reasons mean that an e-bike is the only type of bike I can ride
-Replacing a car
Many thanks for all your comment and I look forward to hearing more.
All of the above, plus I have a young child and work so don't have a lot of time to exercise, so using an electric bike to get in and out of work seemed like a good solution.
Trouble is, it is so effective I don't think I have improved my fitness all that much, but I find it more relaxing and enjoyable than driving in to work , plus not paying £5.20 for parking is a major bonus. Oh and the bike rack is much closer to the office than the nearest car park.
I spend all day sat in a room, eat lunch (rapidly) and then continue in then same bl***y room for the rest of the day. When I get home home all the kids need their usual attentions etc. so I can rarely arrange any form of regular exercise. Hence - get it on the way to work. An ordinary bike takes me 55mins., and boy is it hard work. No shower facilities @ work, so everyone keeps well away.....and I am too cream crackered to even get on my chair for the next 45mins....Enter the electric bike. It took me 33 mins on an old Powabyke commuter 24spd. Still some sweat (they are VICIOUS hills), but now approachable @ work, and the inoexorable weight increases, have started to change into a very gentle decline.
All ended badly with a nasty crash on the Powabyke (a write off), which I replaced with a Wisper 905se. Now I get to work in 27 mins. one way (30 the other), so faster, BUT noticeably harder work on the sharpest hill sections.
Saves money (I keep the charger @ work most days and do my charging there ).
I love the country lanes I cycle down and I find the ride to and from work very therapeutic - a great stress reliever.
Anyhow, starting to meander, so in summary:
Therapy (ask anyone who knew me before I started)
I have an 1970 LPG camper Van, I drive to work every day on a 20 mile round trip and cross the Humber Bridge (£2.70 each way) I do lift share across the Humber Bridge but it still costs me £50 a month on average, add that to the LPG costs and were talking about £150 per month not including maintenance on the camper (which is extensive!)
I'm a greeny and used to be quite fit, I liked the idea of biking to work, but not the slogg up two hills, oftern thought about getting a leccy bike but was put off by the price, until the cycle to work scheme came out.
In the next few days I'll be placing an order for a Whisper 905SE Sport, I;m going to start by cycling from the Bridge for a few weeks, but then intend to cycle the full 20 miles each day. saving me on average £100 per month and the CO2 that I would have use in the VAN.
I wanted a way to get to work fairly quickly and easily.
I used to ride scooters for years and bought a PowaByke over 3 years ago following redundancy after 19 years which opened up a window of opportunity for further afield jobs as I stopped riding a scooter due to health problems plus the expense of running one.
I now enjoy my Wisper on the cycle paths to work and off the main drag most of the time and for leasure/pleasure.
I also keep fit
Save on fuel
Save a lot of money following the initial purchase
No license or tax
Find short cuts not available to motor scooters
Find attractive places you wouldn't normally come across with cars/scooters
Godsend really and have to say one of my best buy's!!!
The company I work for relocated into the city centre of Birmingham. At the previous site we had a staff car park, at the new site there is a public car park charging £10 per day. I do not want to pay that amount for car parking.
I then tried public transport. Train = unreliable, unpleasant overcrowding, expensive. Bus = unreliable, dirty, unpleasant, not exactly cheap either.
Cycling was then tried next, I liked the 'freedom' from laughable timetables, from spending my hard-earned on commuting and from uncouth fellow passengers, but the hills defeated me (or rather my knees). I thus considered an electric bike on condition that it could only cost about the same as my yearly commute on public transport, as the ebike mode was an unknown quantity and that figure was all I was willing to risk.
For me the major reason were the 'Green' issues. I realised that one of the cars I owned was purely owned for the purposes of transporting me to and from my place of employment 11 miles away, and nothing more. It seemed strange when driving to work the next morning, that so many of us 'commuters' are sat there in our 10' x 5' tin boxes, crawling along, using an irreplacable resource to power an engine to move the ton or so of metal all for the purpose of transporting 1 person from from A to B and back again 5 days a week, and all the while we are all filling our environment with noxious fumes while we do it. It made me feel guilty.
At first I looked at bio-fuels, but quickly realised that they were not a solution, and they would not stop the waste of resources that is the car in the first place.
Next it also hit me that I wasnt living a healthy lifestyle either, sitting in a car for 1.5 to 2 hours a day, sitting at a desk in between for 10 or more hours, getting home late and eating fast food as too tired to cook, what impression does that make on your kids on how they should live their lives?
I also realised that running that car cost me around £2,500+ per year without including depreciation, and that oddly made me feel very angry at the whole situation I was in.
So I summarised that :-
I needed to reduce my polution and waste.
I needed to do something to improve my lifestyle, and health.
I needed to get to and from work economically.
I didnt know how to do this, but quickly realised that if I could cycle to work, I would improve my general health, improve my lifesytle, and vastly reduce my polution and waste (and expense).
The problem was that after cycling 11 miles to work I wouldnt be fit for anything except a nap. So I did a lot of googling over a number of weeks whilst comtemplating my dilema and discovered electric bicycles, and the fact that they tick all of the boxes.