I rarely go out on my old mountain bike, about once a month. I live at the top of a steep, steep long hill. So the prospect of ending every journey with either a long hard slog and agony, or, as is more often the case, humiliating defeat, is not an exciting prospect. However today I wanted to stretch the Ancheer's legs and see what it could do.
|The Groves River Dee Chester|
Today however, I was on my own, so I parked up, just south of Talacre and set 'record' on the Komoot App (I prefer this to Strava as it allows for route planning too). Range anxiety is a reality, I guess bikes of the future will have estimated range left, but this measurement would need to be dynamic depending on how much power is being used. Nevertheless, I set off on a main road so used full assist (I didn't want to hold up any traffic). Halfway down the first stretch of road is a bridge, and it was only when I was past it, that I realised this would have been a chore on the old bike, or without assist. I switched between med/high assist wanting to enjoy the top speed the machine can help you deliver. 39 minutes after I set off and I'd completed just over 10 miles and was enjoying a bacon sandwich, latte and a much needed glass of lukewarm water. Not the best service as I also asked about ketchup and although I clearly had my hands full, the assistant (whose hands were empty) simply offered the advice...
'it's over there'.
The bacon sandwich was great though, but the latte (in the sun) was getting hotter, so I drank it before it became unbearable.
|Ancheer E-Bike in Talacre|
It really is fun accelerating up to maximum speed in such a short space of time. In reality, that's where you feel the most difference; the kick.
The journey back was a little longer, 47 minutes, although I did stop for a pic (left), and a bit of a breather. Contrary to what people think, or say, these are not machines for lazy people. I really want to get fit and my old bike just doesn't motivate me to get on it. I love cycling, but not as much as I hate pain. In the same way I love fish, but not as much as I hate bones in my food. So I rarely have it, unless it's breadcrumbed and looks like a finger.
All in, I cycled for about an hour and a half with a half hour for lunch. But alas, my day was not over. Earlier this morning, the missus hairdryer exploded. This is as bad as it sounds, her scream woke me up! She therefore needed a new one, and reserved one from an Argos, some (checks google maps) 5.1 miles away.
"I'll go get it" I said.
"Are you sure?" she asked
'I'm not really sure' I thought, but said
So, I got my rucksack on and headed off. Another 10 miles under my belt in around 40 minutes.
"Wow - that was quick" was the satisfying answer I'd been hoping for on my return.
The hill at the end of the journey, is no mean feat. It's a long hard slog which is as hard on the motor as it is on my legs and that dynamic range indicator is a series of 4 leds. From 3; under duress it drops down to 1. It moans, and it grumbles and it helps as much as it can, but if it didn't have 21 gears, I'd be getting off and pushing. We drop down to 4th/5th and when we reach the top, we can crank it up to 6 as it levels off, but we're not flying. Short uphill bursts are swept aside with no real issues. So long as the attack speed is good, 10-15 mph can easily be maintained. But a long continuous uphill slog is exactly that. On my own, I stand no chance. With electric power alone, I doubt it would do it, but partnering up, electric and pedal power and me and my mechanic friend can manage it together.
Maybe a more expensive unit with higher voltage or current would be easier?
For now though, this is just fine and all the motivation I need. Two days working lined up, but local. In two minds about whether to use the car or the bike as it's so hot, and I don't want to arrive sweaty!
Watch this space.