The Green Wizard of Tauranga and I were having a cup of coffee when this bright idea came to mind:
“What if I turned my blog into an Enviro Warrior blog of really interesting stories of people, their passion and purpose to help sustain the planet? We could make a joint effort – I write and the Green Wizard advises on enviro subjects, maybe inspire ordinary people like me to create change. You’re a Way-Shower Noel – I could write about your new e-cycle and how it’s affected you.”
Here then is the first Warrior story of the Green Wizard, a not so typical kiwi bloke who thought he ought to be showing others how it can be done.
Q: What is an e-cycle or eBike, Noel?
A: A pedal-assisted bicycle. I prefer the description e-cycle. It has an electric motor to boost pedal power. To charge the battery you simply plug into a household power point and it takes about 4 hours to charge. This costs around 7c NZ per charge, which is a mere $4.90 weekly fuel cost. The power assistance is great for hills and on the flat as well, and learning the skill of combining the power and the pedaling does not take long. Once mastered, e-cycling is as easy as riding a conventional bike, in fact even easier. My current “hawk” a2b-ecycle has 3 power levels, low, medium and high. If I work the power levels and gearing according to the contours of the land I’m traveling on, then I can reach speeds of up to about 20 km per hour.
Q: What prompted you to buy an e-cycle ?
A: I’m always searching for ways to reduce my environmental footprint and I wanted to do something BIG. It’s fine turning out the lights and watching water usage, but if I’m an eco-warrior then I should practice what I preach. The e-cycle is a big step forward, a commitment that’s had an effect on my life already. I did my homework to get value for money and of course it helps with managing my budget by saving about $160 monthly in petrol costs. I still have a car for real wet weather and moving big items about. The car has been used 3 times in the last two months, whereas the e-cycle is used daily.
Q: What’s it like to ride?
A: A guy in the US said it was like ‘riding the wings of an angel’ and I agree with him. There’s nothing quite like it on a hot summer’s day riding into the breeze. I like the quietness as well. There’s not a lot of noise on an e-cycle.
Q: How has the e-cycle changed your life?
A: Life becomes way more simple. I like the slower pace and being more relaxed instead of racing around in a car or trapped in traffic jams. I can travel freely, stop and talk to people and enjoy the scenery. Since riding the e-cycle full time it seems to me that cars are like aliens which have taken over the planet and enslaved us. They’ve completely changed our way of life and alienate us from our environment.
Q: Any other thoughts ?
A: My a2b-ecycle is capable of off-road cycling. You need to look to buying a model that suits your needs. Have a good comfortable helmet. I wear a “Nutcase” helmet and find this a good choice. I wear sturdy shoes and a high visibility reflective vest. The e-cycle has good lights for night riding and a red spotted bell to ring which alerts folk walking who may not hear you. Finally, ride carefully to suit the conditions; life is not a race, life is to be enjoyed.
A few links for e-cycles: