Try An E-Bike – July 7th

We are inviting you to a Covid-appropriate slightly-apart get-together at the Pavilion on Wednesday 8 July 5.30 – 7.30pm (was previously Tuesday 7th 4-8pm) when a few ebike owners are coming down with their bikes to chat to anyone who is interesting in looking one over or trying one out.  There will be all sorts of bikes and all sorts of owners so we hope someone will be there who can answer you questions and give you a bit of encouragement, advice and maybe even inspiration.   They will be there to  talk to you about why they chose their e-bike, how much it cost, why they like it, hilarious tales about being an ecyclist and why once you have one you would never part with it.

We’ll be there ready to clean each bike between rides and make sure we are up to Covid standards.  It’ll all be outside so there will be plenty of space to keep socially apart.

Please note we will only be lending ebikes out to try to people we know, please don’t be offended!

The event will be entirely outside with no access to the building or toilets, please do note!

To help us manage numbers and to avoid disappointment please register to try one of the bikes here. Over 18s only. The link requires you to sign up, but it takes only 30 seconds or so. We hope that you understand that it is only open to residents of the village.

Insurance will be in place for anybody trying a bike,

Why ebikes? 

The climate crisis is the most pressing environmental challenge of our time. A rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is required, and this provides us with the opportunity to improve different aspects of our lives.

There are just too many cars on the roads in the Hope Valley at present. People need to be able to travel, and visitors are welcome, but not every journey needs to be in a car.  Less car traffic would mean that our villages were quieter, less polluted, safer.  We only have to think back a couple of months to see what that could be like.

E-bikes are one way to address the need to reduce car use, whilst still getting around.  Advances in battery technology and design mean that they are highly practical as an alternative to shorter car journeys. They flatten our many hills, meaning you maintain a better pace, which is safer in traffic.  Sign up to a green electricity tariff and your journeys are producing no CO2.

Commuting by e-bike is a great way to save money on travel and parking.  You can arrive less sweaty than on a conventional bike too.  Once you get used to it, it can help you unwind from the stresses of the day.  Your mental health is helped by the sense of achievement conquering a steep hill or a long ride can bring.

Is riding an e-bike cheating?  Will it stop me getting the fitness benefits of a conventional bike?  Evidence shows that the majority of conventional bikes spend most of their time in a shed or garage, whereas e-bike owners ride their bikes more often and for longer overall.  In addition, e-bike riders are more likely to stay within the aerobic, fat-burning zone and continue riding regularly.

Ebikes are also a great leveller.  Have you been put off joining family and friends on bike rides?  E-bikes allow riders of different speeds and fitness levels to ride together.   They are the ultimate in inclusive!

Whatever your situation, e-bikes might be the answer. We hope this article and the invitation to our event will help you think about it.

Grindleford is working with Hayfield Sustainable Transport to put together a scheme to make buying and insuring an ebike and sharing it with friends a practical possibility.  There is a basic website to support it. If you are interested in hearing more, or if you already have an ebike and would be keen to be able to share it, we’d love to hear from you. Just email us at matt@heason.net

Read on for e-bike stories from local people:

It was an email circulated at work that made me consider an e-bike commute. Cycleboost in Sheffield offer a loan scheme with some accessories plus initial confidence training. If you are an employee or live in Sheffield, you are eligible for the Cycleboost scheme. It was more the embarrassment of being seen by my fellow club cyclists, who I ride with on and off-road, that had probably delayed my foray into electric assist. My cycle commute, since moving from Sheffield 4 years ago, had grown from consistent, whatever the traffic, 9 minutes each way to 40 there and 45 back. What’s more it now involved a full lycra commitment with the change of clothes and hygiene regime that that entails! A school is not a place to arrive late, dripping wet, wearing cycle shorts in a staff briefing. I had vowed to complete one commute a week on moving to the village and found myself putting off the occasional wet winter week, leaving same returning in the dark, in fear for my life as the quarry wagons bore down on me from behind. Purely by accident, the month I chose to test the ebike concept was November. Instantly my commute was transformed, now completed wearing mostly work clothes and carefully selected waterproof outer garments. Small worries were eased such as lighting (no more forgetting to charge the batteries at night), decent panniers with a rack and solid construction of a heavier bike meant for upright and easy ebike position. But more importantly, the climb out of the village to Fox House became a nature watch and after a long day on my feet at work the return leg, as long as I got away before dark, became a delight. After a month I had to give my loan bike back. I wouldn’t buy the same bike; it was ugly, heavy, in short a little lacking in the urbane style to which I aspire. And I haven’t bought a new one since due to the cost. But I absolutely will be converting my existing computer and I am a complete e-bike convert. What’s more I proudly boast the same to my  cycling club mates and it’s surprising how many of them are secret e-bike fanciers.

Dave Kirkup

We got e-bikes on retirement and it’s the absolute joy of painless movement and sense of freedom that we love. Sometimes I feel as if I’m in my twenties again. But alas bikes from previous decades had just gathered rust and dust since moving to Grindleford in 2004. You’ve got to be a hard core athletic cyclist to manage our hills and I never was in that category.

It’s wonderful for short journeys up to Longshaw,  Eyam via New Road, Calver or Stoney. But there’s joy in finding quiet back roads to go a bit further. Bakewell via Hassop, Castleton via Follow and Windmill,  Matlock from Rowsley,  there’s a good track. We even got as far as Derby via the Tissington trail, albeit charging the battery at the cafe in Tissington.

We’ve managed them on the train from Grindleford (don’t get off on a station with a bridge between platforms, e.g.. Chinley or Hope). The northern trains are fine as bike areas are roomy outwith rush hours but express trains have much smaller spaces and the bikes are heavy and cumbersome to stow away.

Their heaviness is a disadvantage should you run out of charge or have another problem en-route or if you unbalance or worst of all fall off. So be careful of your speed on steep hills.

But we love them. I upgraded mine recently  and found James at Bamford Bike Garage most helpful, whilst Pauline had awful service from Evans

Kay and Pauline

Interested, but not sure?

Don’t forget!  Tuesday July 7th between 4pm and 8pm at the Pavilion and the chance to meet some village ebikes.

NB – in the article in the Grindleford News we had advertised that Sunshine Pizza would be there along with a beer wagon, but we’ve had to abandon those plans thanks to some less than clear government guidelines.