Electric biking around Lyme Regis

electric bikingIT has always been possible, given enough gears and athletic endeavour, to bike around Lyme. But unless cycling is your thing, it’s not an attractive prospect. 

Enter the e-bike – a bike with an electric motor to assist. When you pedal, the motor pushes too. You still have to push the pedals, which means you still get health benefits – but the hills become less daunting.

You can select how much extra push the motor gives you – depending on how athletic you’re feeling, and impacting on the battery will last.

For us, the e-bike opens up the possibility of cycling down and back to the shops, or cycling down to the beach and back, rather than doing these journeys by car.

E-bikes are in demand with prices starting at £1,200 for a new bike. We converted a 23-year-old mountain bike by the addition of a 250W motor, and a 250Wh battery. This is not only about half that price, but is good re-use of an otherwise great bike.

An average adult produces 250kw whist pedalling – so on full power, this is like having a buddy pedalling too.

For general cycling, 250Wh is plenty of battery for a range of 20 miles or more, depending on how hard you’re cycling.

However, climbing Lyme’s hills laden with shopping demands a lot from the battery – so I’m finding that a 250Wh charge is good for two assisted ascents. For a relaxed ascent up Lyme’s hills, consider a slightly more powerful system.

If you are not interested in converting a bike, e-bikes are available from most bike shops, including Soanes Cycles in Colyton, and Axcess Bikes in Axminster, who specialise in e-bikes.

By law, e-bikes don’t give the rider a push above 15mph. Above 15mph, you’re doing all the pedalling yourself. Riders have to be at least 14 years old – so not useful for young families.

An e-bike makes cycling around Lyme fun. It’s a great way to cut CO2, pollution, congestion and to get fit.

Cycling with an electric motor seem like cheating – but e-bikes are better exercise than being daunted by the hills and taking the car instead. And although not cheap less expensive than a small car.

Rob Smith
Turn Lyme Green 

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