During the 16 years that we have been motorhome owners, we have noticed a large number of campers out there with some form of bicycle mounted on their camper. And while we have always thought that this was a good idea with the limited amount of time that we were using the old Mitsi, it just did not seem worth it. But with retirement and the arrival of the new Dethleffs, it was time to revisit the idea.
When we were last away at the annual Dethleffs gathering, we spoke with several other campers about their bikes and the benefits of electric v’s standard and the joys of falling off and various other harrowing tales. Overall, however, it appeared that having a bike was a great option, and we decided that we would explore this idea.
If you have been following my previous posts, you will have read about Sarah and the mountain goat (me) and a large amount of walking that we have done. However a couple of weeks ago I started suffering the effects of Bursitis in my left knee (due to more use than it usually had) and the walking has been curtailed, in fact, we have been home for the last two weeks. So the perfect chance to start looking at bikes.
We talked about getting standard bikes as they are obviously significantly cheaper than the electric version. Still, with both of us getting older and with a low fitness level, we did not want to invest in something that we would be reluctant to use if we had to ride uphill and down dale. Anyway, what’s the point of all this modern technology if you don’t get to use it. So we decided to go battery powered.
The internet is such an excellent tool for looking at all sorts of things, and once we had got over the initial price shock of the bikes, it was down to some serious research. There are so many people out there selling all sorts of bikes from around $1500 through to $10000 plus, but it appeared that we could buy something reasonable with a decent warranty for around the $2.5/3000 mark. Onto Google maps to search retailers close to home and the Electric Bike Hub pops up in Eden Terrace.
One of the great things about the Electric Bike Hub is that it’s located right next to the Auckland city cycleway. This runs next to the southern motorway, so after looking at a couple of different models and donning helmets, we climbed aboard for the first serious test ride. It’s been a long time since Sarah has ridden a bike and she was very nervous to start, but since you don’t need to worry about traffic on the cycle lane, she quickly overcame that.
Reluctant to make a buying decision in the first place we had visited, we made a trip to Devonport on Auckland North Shore. Where one of the couples we had met had bought their bikes at Think Electric Bikes in Lake Road and took a couple of models for a decent test ride around Devonport. Here we experienced our first hill and why the electric option is such a great idea, just flick the power button and mountains become molehills wonderful!! After a bite to eat at the Hum Cafe, it was onto the next stop.
There are three types of drive systems for the bikes front-wheel drive like the Sprint shown above rear-wheel drive like the Magnum in the feature photo and through the pedals like the bikes at Avanti Cycles in Takapuna. The problem with the mid-drive system for us is that if you don’t pedal then you don’t get any assistance and they don’t have a throttle function, and for a couple of older unfit riders like us we felt it was essential to have the throttle.
So yesterday we were back at the Electric Bicycle Hub, and we purchased the two bikes you can see above the front-drive Sprint for Sarah and the rear-drive Magnum for myself. I am taking two of my boys away in the camper on Friday with Sarah staying home to look after my son’s dog, and I am sure that we/they will have a great time on these bikes. Keep an eye out for the posts and photos to come.
If you would like to see the ratings of the places we have stayed click here