In spite of the bitterly cold weather in recent weeks, Plymouth CTC runs have been well supported. The battery and motor kit for my Specialised Roadhopper turned out to be more fiddly to fit than originally anticipated, but I received delivery of the finished article just prior to my ride on 8 March. I expected purists to be shocked by seeing me on an 'electrified' bike but in fact it was received with some amusement and approval. After all, some concessions have to be made to age and – yes - proportion.
I chose just about the hilliest route I could find for my ride. It was gentle to start with along Drake's Trail but then went up from Tavistock to the golf course via oddly named Down Road, which just goes up and up, and on to the notorious “Pork Hill” and long haul out of Merrivale. The bike did well, but all credit to John Durham, who managed it to the top at just about the same time as I did.
An 'electrified' bike is not a motorbike – the motor only springs into action when I'm actually pedalling and on a club run I keep it on its lowest setting most of the time, which gives me a gentle push, a range of about 40 miles in pretty hilly terrain and takes the pressure off my back and knees. Over the last few weeks I have been out on my bike as frequently as time will allow; it's such a pleasure to ride it and explore old haunts again. I suspect that electric bikes may well be the thing of the future and encourage a lot more people out of their cars and on to their bikes. That in itself might accelerate plans to lay more cycle paths for cyclists.