Why Electric Bikes Are The Answer


The way we move around in a Covid-19 world is going to change. For a time, public transport may not be as viable for large numbers of people. If this results in extra car usage we will get a lot more congestion on the roads (and pollution in the air).

I would guess that most of you reading this already know that the answer for you is cycling. Alongside all the benefits for yourself and the environment you’re also doing a public service by freeing up road and bus space for others. Thank you.

I would also guess that you have family or friends who don’t think cycling is for them. Reasons may vary – hills, distance, fitness, not wanting to arrive at work sweaty could all come into it. I’m here to try to help you persuade them that an electric bike could be the answer for them. I got mine last year and it’s been life changing.

I am not at all a fit person. For context, I can get out of breath running along- side my toddler for more than about a minute. However, the (adjustable with four levels) assist on my bike means that even with a child or two on the back I can get up the steepest hill in Caversham with ease. When my husband borrows my (cargo) bike to do the weekly shop he just turns the assist off.

There is a myth that putting a battery on a bike is ‘cheating’, but I prefer to think that I’m doing far more exercise than I would be otherwise. I initially set myself a goal of trying to do the nursery pickup (Caversham to Green Park) by bike at least a couple of times a week.

I loved it so much that I didn’t use the bus once from when I got the bike to the point when I couldn’t pedal anymore because my pregnant bump got in the way. It was quicker door to door too!

Electric bikes have a reputation for being very expensive, but that’s not as true as it used to be. I know people who love the bike they have in the £500-£750 range (which is less than an annual bus fare). Electric bikes are included in the cycle to work scheme if this is something you have access to.

More than all the practical stuff, my husband has always gone on (and on, and on) about how much he enjoys being out on his bike – and suddenly I feel it too. We can enjoy rides together as a family – a real blessing during lockdown!

Goodbye waiting for buses and sitting in traffic. My electric bike can get me where I need to go, and it’s fun for me and good for the environment. I truly believe this is the future of transport in cities.

Hilary Smart

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