Electric bikes are brilliant, I have owned two of them in recent years and the feeling of gliding along the road silently with little, or no effort at 15mph is magical. Even better though, most of the time I can commute faster on my bike than I can in my car or on the Metro.
Problem is, I just can’t justify keeping one. You see, it’s not the bikes themselves that are the problem, both the electric bikes that I have owned have been great (Gocycle G2 & Cube Epo) but when I wake up in the morning and I have a choice of 3 transport options to get to work (Car, Metro, Electric bike) I only choose the bike 1 time out of 7.
The problem I have isn’t with the bikes themselves, it’s everything else that goes with cycle commuting in the UK.
The weather is obviously the biggest factor, hacking in to work by bike when it’s lashing with rain is only for the hardiest of cyclists. When there is the option to drive in comfort or take the Metro, it’s a real struggle to jump on the bike. On the plus side, one of the benefits of the power assistance of an ebike is that wind is a much reduced issue.
The road infrastructure is down right scary on a bike. We all know that the roads are full of potholes, in a car they are an inconvenience but on a bike they can be fatal should you get thrown off your bike and into the road. Not only pot holes, but the lack of cycle paths forcing cyclist to share the road with cars is disgraceful when compared to Europe.
The lack of respect from drivers is well documented, there is so much aggression on the roads it is far from a relaxing form of commuting and can often lead to arriving at work in a rage or as a gibbering wreck.
I haven’t quite worked out how to do the whole clothing thing yet. Do I cycle in every day with a change of clothes, shoes etc in my rucksack or do I leave a few days worth of clothing in the office to change into on arrival? Minor I know, but I have forgotten my work shoes on various occasions and had to clomp into meetings in my trainers. Not a good look!
So, in conclusion, I am probably too lazy to cycle commute even with the exercise part taken out of the equation with electric power assist. Perhaps if we ever get something approaching Dutch style cycle paths and the weather improves dramatically (not that I’m wishing climate change on us) then I might be tempted out of the comfort of my car.