Monday, April 1, 2013

E-biking - Mandurah to Perth

It is great to be re-united with my Prodeco E-bike. It has been put in cold storage since I was away for 3 months in the summer snugly kept in Pete's shed. I've always been curious to know what is the range of this bike, the real range. Factory specs are 35km on full throttle but more if you pedalled. So the ultimate test came recently when I decided to ride it from Mandurah to Perth, a total distance of about 70km on the beautiful bike path.

I took the comfortable train down to Mandurah and speeding at 110km/h, the journey took all of 45 mins. The carriage was empty save for another bike commuter.

Timing was perfect as soon as I got out of the train station, there was my good buddy 71yo Uncle Ken, bright as anything at 740am. Our plan was to ride to Bateman where we will reward ourselves with a nice lunch. The other Ken injured his foot playing soccer, Pete was in Bali and Rod had a wedding to prepare for (his son's). Pat ever the tri-athelete told us that he will be riding down from Hammersley way up north to Mandurah and will meet us along the way.

Ken and I rode out of the busy train station and soon found ourselves on the bike path heading north. It was really great to catch up with him as I have not seen him for awhile. His sense of humour is infectious as always and I hope I will be like him when I get to be 70.

What's great about the e-bike is that all hills are flattened thanks to the 300w motor and I gassed her up, pedalling only on the flats and downhills. It really is dream-riding if this is your sort of thing and so easy. The other advantage I could see was catching up with Uncle Ken whenever I stopped for photos. He was riding his fast full size road bike but a burst of the throttle see me hit 30km/h. No need to huff and puff like before.

For some reason, there were lots of little caterpillars/worms crossing the bike path and it was a challenge not to run over them.

Ken and I seemed to be flying. Cruising at 25-28km/h, we were really eating the miles and its a great feeling to ride with a slight tail wind. About 1.5 hrs into the ride, we saw a familiar figure cutting the horizon on a white Bike Friday Rocket. Pat had by this time finished 70km but looked like he just started. It was fun to rendezvous like this.

With the three of us, our pace was even quicker somehow. It was fun drafting them and I really made it a point to cycle to try to get some workout. There were also several serious roadies that trained along this path and they really flew pass quickly.

Our morning tea was special as Ken's daughter in law made some heavenly choc muslie cookie which was so appreciated. I could only offer him some fruit and Soya Milk but that is the joy of having great friends.

Sharing whatever we have together. The weather was absolutely perfect, cloudy and a cool 23c  and we could ride for hours on end on this glorious day. Throw in our usual conversations, we ended our 70km ride in 3 hours flat.

Thanks to our lightning speed, we were too early to go for lunch and ended up for morning tea at my home before meeting Ken Cheok for lunch at Bateman Chinese Restaurant at 1130am. The speciality here is Deep Fried Fish Wings with Rice Noodle in spicy soup, and we enjoyed it immensely although I found a tinge of guilt as I did not really "exercise"... Nothing like a great meal with great friends after a great ride.

I thought I could really test the range of the Prodeco but surprisingly, it still had plenty of juice with an estimated 30% left. Looks like I have to stretch it for a 100km test ride soon. Mandurah to Northern Beaches perhaps?


Taiwoon said...

Electrifying! I can see E-bikes becoming real big in ur life.... and mine too haha
Do u think for touring purposes E-bike can work?

Oldyonfoldy said...

TW, I believe the future of transportation in a world of depleting natural resources + increasing congestion points to greater use in E-bikes. Im glad you are seeing this too and sounds like you got one too?

For touring, it will be most helpful esp as one ages. Realistically, its tough for U Ken @ 71 yo to climb Wu Lin but with e-assist, he can certainly join us!