Why I Went Electric?
I’ve been living in Manchester for the past 4 years. I recently started working about 4 miles from where I live and, being sick of the traffic, I wanted to find a different way to get to and from work. So I thought I’d try out cycling. I’ve been able to ride since I was a child but until recently, I hadn’t ridden regularly, with just a few outings here and there on holiday. I also wanted to have a way to get around the city on the weekends but didn’t want the cost of a car only use it infrequently.
A friend suggested getting a bike as it would also have the added benefit of helping to keep me fit. I tried out a few different bikes, but, if I’m honest there are a couple of hills on the route to work and I felt that, whilst I would start with the best of intentions, on cold windy days, I would end up taking the easy option and get on the bus instead!
I’d read about electric bikes when doing a bit of reading around the options available and thought that this might be a good fit for me both for commuting and at weekends so I could go further afield to explore the city and meet up with friends.
Raleigh Spirit Electric
I tried a couple of different e-bikes out, but in the end opted for a beautiful, bright red Raleigh e-Spirit as this bike looked so fabulous and was the nicest to ride. I love the classic styling of the bike and the details like the matching grips, saddle and pannier straps. It’s also red which is my favourite colour and has the added bonus of being bright enough for motorists to see me.
I’ve had the bike for five months now, and I’ve been blown away by the benefits of the electric motor! I can choose the level of assistance it gives me, so on lazy days I can boost up the power and scoot past other cyclists toiling up the hill without breaking into a sweat – I love the look on their face when I pass them on a ‘sit-up-and-beg’ ladies bike. The top power setting is amazing when I’m running late as it can take loads of time off the commute. The extra help also makes light work of my shopping in the basket and on the rear rack.
It took me a while to get confident on the roads as they can be so busy in rush hour, but now I’ve perfected my route so that I avoid the really busy parts. The bike is smooth and easy to ride, and despite the weight which is more than a normal bike, it’s easy to control. The range of the battery is about 50-75km which is perfect for what I need.
As Manchester seems to be one of the rainiest cities in the world, I’ve had to get some proper waterproof clothing. The bike came with lights too which is great little extra.
My top tip for choosing a bike: I tried out a few different bike types and sizes before choosing the e-Spirit, my local bike shop was a massive help, making sure that I understood all the options available.
I guarantee that once you’ve tried an electric bike, you’ll love it and use it all the time – I know I do!