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28 October 2014
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Features

Chris on electric bike
Chris on the eZee Torq electric bike

Electric bike blog

Our reporter Chris Kelly is going to attempt to ride an electric-powered bike from his home on the northern fringes of Bristol to work in Clifton for a week. How will he cope with the 15 mile daily round-trip?

Blog entry: Friday, 15 September

Emma emailed in overnight to query the time it takes for me to get in via my various modes of transport, so I thought I’d quickly go through the rough timings.

It takes me 30 minutes by car as long as I leave before 7.30am in the morning. If I leave during rush hour it takes about 40 minutes, although on a bad day it can take up to an hour. It really does depend on the traffic.

For example, this morning it took me 40 minutes on the bike but I think, judging by the fact it was quite quiet on the roads today, that it would have taken me about the same by car, maybe a little less.

But, yesterday would have been much worse because it was busier for some reason. Perhaps more people were in the car because it was raining … There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to traffic levels in the city some days.

The fastest I’ve done it on my bike is 35 minutes, but it all depends how much more pedal power you put in to supplement the battery power.

I guess there are upsides to cars and bikes. I miss the radio when I drive in, but I don’t miss cursing when I get caught in traffic. On the bike I enjoy the fact it takes more-or-less the same time to get places whatever time of the day it is, but I doubt I’ll miss getting wet.

I hope during this week I’ve shown it is possible to get into the city centre from the far ends of Bristol.  I know bikes aren’t going to be ideal for everybody and every circumstance and some people will want and need to carry on driving. But, some people might want to consider swapping to the saddle on the basis of my experiences.

Today’s ride in wasn’t too bad at all. I’ve pretty much decided Gloucester Road in its entirety is the easiest way in and out as the hills are more gentle than Henleaze. I managed – not using the throttle – to get a nice 30mph while flying down the slope past the Memorial Stadium.

On the way back last night I had to use the battery quite a bit on the hills, although once you get the other side of the Airbus roundabout it’s a nice downhill journey so you can coast down the road a bit.

I’m probably going to bike in for the last time on Sunday as I’m working on the half-marathon coverage so I’ll jot down a few final thoughts then. Happy biking!

PS If you want to meet the bike I'm riding then you can at the Ecolerne Festival. There will be bikes and EVs there on the day. The event runs from 11am to 4pm at Colerne's village hall, near Bath.

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last updated: 15/09/06
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