Guest blog from cycling friend Tom Jessup - @tjlikebikes
As Sadiq Khan announces plans for car-free zones in London, Tom Jessup makes the case for commuting by e-bike.
Four years ago, after getting stranded on a commuter train for over 30 minutes I vowed to ditch public transport and cycle to work. It’s enabled me to stay fit and I arrive alert and satisfied. It has also enabled me to drink more coffee and eat more cake without gaining weight!
I feel inspired by Sadiq Khan announcing London will have one of the biggest car-free initiatives of any city in the world and I’m looking forward to seeing more people on bikes and our air staying clean.
Jemima Hartshorn, founder of Mums for Lungs, said she was delighted with the new scheme:
“We need pollution levels to stay reduced, because pre-corona levels – caused primarily by traffic – stunt lung growth and are linked to many illnesses, from cancer to diabetes.”
POSITIVES FOR GOING ELECTRIC
I’m a big fan of e-bikes replacing car and public transport journeys. They are a great option for commuting and shopping, especially if that involves getting up hills or tackling a headwind on the way home from work with your bags loaded full of sound equipment.
They can be more secure, enabling the user to carry heavy duty locks – the additional weight isn’t a problem with the motor assistance. Plus some e-bikes have keys to disable them or removable batteries, making them much less easy to steal.
When riding an e-bike I usually set a medium amount of assistance to get just enough exercise before I begin to sweat. This means no special clothing or shoes are required so I get straight to work, saving time and the hassle of having to wear activewear.
Health and wealth
Admittedly e-bikes are more expensive than regular bikes. But if you compare the cost of public transport, or running a car over a period of around 6 months, to the cost of a new e-bike they work out roughly the same. The big difference: the e-bike user will find themselves fitter and probably happier – and of course they get to keep their bike, unlike their travelcard.
Londoners have done a great job at staying home to save lives and protect the NHS. I just hope we continue to leave private cars at home to keep saving lives. And I’m looking forward to living in a city with an attitude to bikes that’s more like Amsterdam or Copenhagen.
We sell the full range of Trek e-bikes here at Richmond Cycles and our workshop team have all the qualifications to service any e-bike too. Email us (while social distancing) if you are interested to discuss further and we can arrange a time to do so.