If I was offered to check an e-bike, I would not hold back my contempt. "If people want to ride a bike, why not just pedal?" Engines are lazy, "I told the PR. He persuaded me, however, and I remained convinced of my wisdom until I flitted with a Carrera Crossfuse from Halfords.
With the eager conviction of a convert, I now say to anyone who will listen to how my 56-year-old legs seem to have the strength of a 20-year-old, and persuade this die-hard auto journalist to shed the water car to the e-bike everywhere in London, emission-free.
Using the battery, I can go further when hauling heavy purchases that are usually picked up by car. I enjoy steep hills and come to meetings without taking a shower. When I want to exercise, I turn off support.
However, there is a big obstacle. The regulations limit the maximum speed of e-bikes to 25 km / h. It's too slow, discouraging buyers and hindering the e-bike revolution that TfL wants to promote.
E-bikers race away from the stops and then hit the "wall". They are frustrated and at risk as the traffic, including the cyclists, zoom past them. To step over 25 km / h is difficult; E-bikes weigh much more than ordinary ones.
Now you have the opportunity to accelerate e-bike sales and revive the London Bicycle Revolution. Since 2000, the number of London bike tours has risen by 154 percent. But we could do better.
Bicycle models have a high price. Millions feel disenfranchised by what they see as the most young, fit, complacent, centrally located and absurdly dressed cyclists who rush into the traffic quickly and often aggressively.
It is not for everyone. While the average age in London is 36, Age UK claims that there are 2.2 million over 50s and over 980,000 over 65s. It will be 1.2 million by 2024, an increase of 22 percent in 10 years. Many do not ride their bikes to the city center, and people with disabilities or injuries or illness restrictions are not cycling to the city center. At the same time, the expansion of bicycle programs has worsened many travel options.
Now the government is considering transportation alternatives ranging from electric skateboards and unicycles to segways. E-scooters, which recently caused chaos in Lisbon and are rented by the smartphone app, are on the list. Security experts say approving e-scooters for roads will fail. After seeing how one has caused countless near-misses in the Embankment traffic, I agree.
Instead of legalizing e-scooters, the government should solve the brakes of this maximum speed on e-bikes. Forget e-scooters, give your bike a boost in PR, recruit legions of new riders, and increase top speed to 18 or 20 miles per hour.
With thousands forced to drop older cars and look for new solutions when Ulez reaches 28 times its size in 2021, the time has come. These expensive bike paths could be opened for young and old. In Lycra or in jeans and flat beanie.