In a recent test in the county town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, commuters raced an electric bike against a bus, car (in conjunction with park & ride), an ordinary car and a pedal bike over a 2.5 mile course during the morning rush hour. The electric bike won in a time of 11 minutes. It finished a full 12 minutes ahead of the car and averaged 12.5mph.
With such impressive results why might you consider riding an electric bicycle? There are a few very good reasons, like:
effortless pedalling up hills
no-sweat commuting ¨C literally
cheap to run and no emissions
greater acceleration than a push-bike means greater safety
ever-increasing battery range, some models are now achieving 70km plus
According to Carol Farley, whose company, The Farley Booklist is promoting a new book on electric bikes: ¡°the electric bike is no longer the machine for the over 40s with dodgy knees. Over 20 million electric bikes were sold in China in 2009 alone and they now account for one in every ten bikes sold in the western world¡¯s foremost cycling nation, the Netherlands.¡±
¡°A good electric bike allows the averagely fit cyclist to travel at least as fast as ¨C and often faster than ¨C a much fitter cyclist on a conventional bike, and with far less effort. This is of enormous importance, because it means a cycling speed of four or five times walking pace is now attainable. And in stop/start town conditions, up hills and against headwinds the extra power of an electric bike means quicker, easier progress and less sweat.¡±
Now David Henshaw and Richard Peace have produced a fascinating and very comprehensive book that explains all there is know about Electric Bicycles. The book covers all aspects of electric bicycles and offers expert opinion on the different technologies and the latest models, together with helpful advice on using and maintaining electric bikes; it even tells you where you can obtain a conversion kit for your existing bike. As Dick Strawbridge says in the foreword ¡ ¡°I¡¯ve been trying to live a 21st century lifestyle but with a reduced impact on the planet since moving to Cornwall six years ago. This book is a must for anyone who is at all serious about changing their transportation for the future¡±.
Electric Bicycles ¨C The Complete Guide, By David Henshaw & Richard Peace can be pre-ordered from Excellent Books.