I took delivery of my eBike last week and had a great time this morning. I wrote on my FB page the following:
It has taken me nearly 14 years to get out and about and begin to explore the iconic country lanes of Cornwall. Nobody in their right mind would use their car on these single narrow highways and byways - except for the tourists - you need a bike!
Until recently, I had not ridden a bike in 15 years. Believe it or not the west of England, unlike its eastern counterpart, is very hilly and Cornwall is no exception.
I am no superman, so how do I do it? Easy, I have invested in an eBike. And yes, I have gone for the German build company,Kalkhoff, and the bike really is top of the range. BMWesque. I road tested one through the highly-recommended company 50cycles in Shoreham by the Sea last month, and took delivery last week.
As the sun began to rise this morning I took to the roads and headed off out of Truro in the direction of Kenwyn and into Idless Woods and St. Allen. It was so quiet and peaceful. There was the occasional jogger and dog walker going about their business and a couple of labourers going off to work, but for the most part I had the sounds and visions of nature to myself. A young deer (fawn) crossed my path, as did pheasant and partridge. The bird song was truly magnificent and complemented the rustic, agricultural smells that emanated from the farms en route to Trispen. It wasn't until I approached Tresillian that I had to make the choice between the pavement and the main road before hitting the cycle track and taking a left onto another country lane, which took me back to Truro and home.
I have not quite set up my eBike for optimum comfort and performance. The saddle needs to be raised a tad and the handle bars adjusted so that I can see the gears (x10). The bike has three modes of assistance: eco, sport and power. The latter I found really helpful on the steep rises. I would have had got off and push a conventional bike at my stage of life and level of fitness.
The Kalkfoff Include is not a moped! You do sweat and toil and have to keep pedalling to get the assistance to kick in. And it was a longer (two hours) and far better work-out than had I elected to go to the Sir Ben Ainslie gym instead. It also helped having the right clothing - especially the padded undergarment. No saddle soreness for me!
OK, you've noticed from the images below that it is a step-thru version. There is no bar but it is NOT a woman's bike! Charles Martin, who sold me the eBike, and with a wry smile on his face informed me that men of my age and older, often struggle to get their leg over!
Looking back on this morning's ride, what I should have organised and may do in the future is breakfast en-route. I've got some friends down here and I passed Dave Deacon's house in Trispen and was close to Rod Brown in Zelah.
Also, I think I might look into getting a quality point of view camera, gimbal and handlebar mount so that I can film, edit and post my cycle rides. What do you think? Have you heard of Slow TV? It is big in Scandinavia and has been broadcast on BBC2.
All in all, it was a great start to a day that will end with the me filming the Cornwall U 18s v Cornwall FA Rep. XI fixture at Helston this evening.
Now that I am firmly in the saddle, I am beginning to feel that this post-teaching life is beginning to take off in the right direction.