Yes I know the picture isn’t a bike and I’m nothing but random. However there’s a story here so bear with me. Four years ago Louis and I went on a holiday to Lisbon and fell in love with the place . In fact I owe him another trip for a belated eighteenth birthday present. On our holiday we booked onto an e-bike tour. It was a revelation. We whizzed up and down the seven hills of the city with ease, weaving in and out of the paths of those famous yellow trams. ‘You go Madam!’ called out one passer-by as I zoomed past.
Even since then I’ve hankered after an electric bike. From childhood I’ve had the sit up and beg type but it’s not been the same. Some of Brixham’s hills match those in Lisbon and there are a few where I have no choice but to get off and push. It’s not a pleasure and I haven’t been motivated enough to increase my fitness to a level where an entire pedalled ascent has been possible.
Now I’d have rushed out and bought an e-bike immediately after our trip but two things delayed my purchase. I wondered if waiting would mean that the bike technology would come on a bit. Red Mel bought one early on. The model that she’s got is really heavy and also its battery life wasn’t great. I was worried about getting stuck in the middle of nowhere without power. And also of course these things weren’t cheap. As the single mum of a teenager, I wasn’t exactly flush.
But finally after a lot of research and thanks to the tax efficient ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme I’ve finally got my e-bike. It’s the Furosystems Furo X, a lightweight carbon fibre framed model that can easily fit in the car boot and motorhome as it folds up in seconds. While it has a reasonable battery range but it also operates as a manual bike. On my initial rides I think that I happily spent more than fifty per cent of the time using normal pedal power.
Getting my bike hasn’t been trouble free. I ordered it in June last year and had a hefty wait for it to be exported from Europe due to post Brexit shenanigans. I got all excited about a Christmas Eve delivery date but then the courier lost it for another couple of months. I’ve certainly had a lesson in patience. When it finally arrived a couple of weeks ago its paintwork was damaged. However a nice guy at the company has arranged a hefty refund which more than covers the repair.
But onto the important bit. How’s the ride on that thing with the tiny wheels? I did have slight doubts about those but made the compromise in return for portability. Well I have to say I’m delighted. Straight after the bike’s delivery I tested it on the trickiest incline in the neighbourhood. It wasn’t a complete breeze. A little effort was involved on the trickiest stretch near the brow of the hill but it’s nothing compared to the effort on a manual bike.
Hot Stuff was a keen cyclist and used to pooh-pooh the idea of assisted power. But he’s been poorly it’s an activity that’s went by the wayside. But he’s so impressed with my bike that he’s bought a kit to convert his mountain bike to a powered version. It was about one quarter of the cost of my little beauty and works a treat. We’re hoping that our new toys will re-ignite our love of cycling and help Hot Stuff return to fitness after a long illness.