Cycling in Sydney Australia
Nice little article about someone who found a way to overcome those silly little excuses people use to stay car-bound...
This a good article, well written and describes how newbies who are sometimes unsure and a little bit unfit for hills and distances may take up riding to work or riding for enjoyment on the weekends on our cycleways. This is where the e-bike comes into it's own.
I have been toying with this idea to get my wife back onto a bike now that the kids have grown up.
Yep, a great story and the use of a 'normal-looking' subject (read: hey, a bit unfit, just like me, if she can do it...) was a good touch. (Though if she wanted not to arrive at work a 'red, sweaty mess', I'd say 'don't wear a red top' - something I would not countenance wearing while riding... I'd look like a lobster, too. :-)
I don't know much about e-bikes; the bike itself looked a bit clunky/chunky, but would that make much difference to the weight or handling? The rider seemed impressed, so I'm guessing not.
I'm sure e-bikes help, anyway to avoid being a red sweaty mess whether power assisted or not:
1) Warm up to the extent that your muscles work reasonably efficiently, but not too much,
2) Regulate your exercise so that the rate of sweat production balances the rate of evaporation,
So if you are getting hot back off a bit before you become a puddle. Clearly if you wear clothing that wicks well and ventilate your head you will be able to put in a bit more work and still avoid the big sweat. Take uphills gently, and exploit downhills for cooling rather than for going as fast as you can.
Improved aerobic fitness means improved efficiency, so you can train to ride cooler. Reducing rolling resistance and using cleats will help too.
Oh and an afterthought...
Thermoregulation by sweating works best before the point of being sopping wet. A layer of wet on the skin insulates it and actually reduces cooling.
If sweating is cooling effectively then skin might be nearly dry.
So good training is often not so much to work up a sweat, as to travel smoothly without actually getting wet.
Why is there shame in walking up a hill? I've read here many time a quote from someone that went something like "I've never ridden to a hill I couldn't walk up". I like that saying, to me is says I can ride anywhere.
I know most here like to pedal unassisted and since I've been commuting on an ebike I've even expanded my horizons to include flogging myself to death on an unpowered mountain bike, but when it come to commuting it will be an ebike everytime.
If you have not tried one, you really should. I often hear comments from riders who seem to never have ridden one and say, "not for me" or "it's cheating" but I have never heard "I tried one and it was terrible". There is a famous ebike company in Canada called Grin Cyclery because everyone who tries an ebike ends up with a grin on their face.
I'm certain this could be a game changer in a hilly city like Sydney. It might just get the kind of people who drive 500mtrs to the shops to choose something else.
The main problem thus far has been the unrelaibility of most of the available systems. The first ebay ebike I purchased for $1200- had every major component changed in the first 12 months. It still worked out much better value than a second car but the convenience wasn't good. Bikes of this quality are common in China with the major difference being that there is an ebike repair facility on every street corner.
3 years ago bike shops in Sydney could not have been more dismissive when I asked for help with my crappy ebike. Now there are several shops that specialise in ebikes. So while a few more upmarket 250watt Euro models might help I think the real change will come as we get a few more upmarket retailers/repairers.
I'm with you on this Mark.
I've been riding an eBike for over 5 years. I'm on my second bike now and each year the eBikes get better in all ways.
It's a different style of cycling, but very suited to hilly areas (I live at the bottom on a hill).
The eBike has been a great enabler for me an I use it as utility transport as well as for recreation. Great for shopping, because it really can move the extra weight of shopping bags that would be a challenge for many riders.
My bike has a conversion kit - so I started with a good city bike to begin with.
Quality components is essential and the new laws will support this.
"I live at the bottom on of a hill"
euphemism for living in a hole?
I a cardboard box as well!
Great story Mark.
I've a non-urgent interest in ebikes but belong to the "I often hear comments from riders who seem to never have ridden one and say, "not for me" or "it's cheating" group.
It's a little confusing as well, with various different methods (ped-assist or throttle) and implementations to consider as well as many other concerns like - What happens when a flat occurs ? , the impending change in ruling(s), the weight of the bike and concerns what happen to my ride if I forget (as it will invariably happen) to charge up the battery for a ride? how to transport a broken down ebike.... maintenance concerns etc etc.
Hopefully the changes will get passed soon so the status of uncertainly will settle and there will be a wider range of ebikes availble and more reviews and possibly even test / hire rides to verify if an ebike will supplement / replace some of my motorised trips.
I'm considering buying an e-bike. Have there been any recent "Choice"-style comparison tests of those on the market in Sydney?
Failing that, can someone "leak" the Post Office's analysis of the brands available? Which one did the Post Office buy, and why?