Byocycle City Speed Review (update)

It’s been about 9 months since I got the electric bike and I have learned a few things from riding it. The first is not to treat it like a normal bike, it is not. The weight and size of its wheels make it a very poor bike compared to a full size racer or touring bike with 700 wheels. But it is a great bike and if you use it in a certain way it is just as good.

I use the different systems as gears; I use the systems for different tasks:

The gears can be used as normal, but I rarely go onto the 1st or 6th gear. I use gears on the flat, on the top of a hill, on the descent, when I am climbing using the pedal system, but I do not use gears all the time, the bike is too heavy for that.

The pedal system is the most used while riding. It adds to the cycling, the motor and the cycling leave the legs without stress or tiredness. While going uphill I have it on and it is like being pushed, on a long flat piece of road I use it to make the head wind a little easier to cycle against. I rarely have it on ‘medium’ or ‘high’, I use it in ‘low’ mostly. I use the gears 2-4 depending on the hill, if it is a long hill I use a lower gear.

The throttle system, I use sparingly, I get bored sitting there not doing anything. I use it on flats, when my legs are tired, when I am peddling and I want a bit of help. I use it to get over busy roads fast, or to get passed a bit of road which I do not want to be on. I use it to coast along, to move but not to speed.

All these systems are used in a cycle of about 25 miles round trip; sometimes I get off and walk up the bigger hills to use different muscles in my legs. The battery is still on ‘3 lights’ when I am finished.

I can pack it into my boat, and I intend to use it on some camping holidays later this year.

Of course there are disadvantages, one being the size of the wheels makes you pedal faster, but this can be solved by better technique. My tires keep on deflating I am not sure if this is due to the weight or a leaking valve, but I am blowing the tires up every other day. I do not know how to change the back inner tube due to all the electrics or where to oil the motor parts… there were no instructions for this.


Lake District on my 50th Birthday


My 50th birthday was turning out to be a depressing day. I had not found anyone to spend it with and I was seeing that as a reflection of my current position in life. “50, alone, friendless…” not a good beginning. I had decided to go off to the Lake District to walk to Watlendeth and have a coffee at the farm house coffee shop; the walk is always nice if you get off at Rothswaite walk over the tops into the valley of Watlendeth. A bus to Keswick then another to Rothswaite by using the North West Explorer Ticket is still good value.

My walk was still in a negative mood, the weather was not brilliant and the people I met were all coupled. Having my coffee was not much better; everyone seemed to be with someone and all talking about children, relations, and friends. I decided it is better to be alone than to spend it with others as one can feel lonely in a crowd.

I changed my route and retraced my steps not choosing the easier flatter option to Ashness Bridge and Surprise View. When I got to the top of the pass I decided to change my route again and go off the path into the hills. It was a little like a fairy story of going into the “magical forest” my mood began to change, I began to be happier, I began to take pleasure in getting my boots dirty, in noticing the beauty around me, I was alone but not lonely.

I took videos and photos I sank into the bog; I slipped over long grass and scrambled over rocks. The view was different; no longer the same route I often take, my perspective was changing.

Later, I regained the path and descended to Rosthwaite, but then I took another path one I had not been on before. A less used path through trees and high ferns.

I video emptiness, the magical forest was indeed magical a stillness and beauty with the richness of the colour. I was heading back to Keswick but it felt like in a different country.

I got to the road but then I decided to go another route again this time I did not know where I was going. I climbed, and when I fork came, on the disused track, I took the higher path.

It ascended sharply, was it an old shepherds track or a sheep path, it was certainly unused. I walked through high ferns, often the path disappeared underneath the grasses. It went higher, steeper; the flowers became wilder, colorful.

I thought to turn back as I had to get back for the bus, but again I found myself continuing higher, further way from the road. Sweat was pouring down my face, no water and feeling a little tired, the heat was intense. I was enjoying myself immensely.

the path went up the mountain

I got to a stone wall and saw the path going higher but this was my limit, I knew it. So I turned back and descended the same way. It took me a fraction of the time, soon I found myself by the road and then I detoured off the road to the river. Standing in the cold water splashing myself with water I felt very good, not lonely, not depressed, and only content. I did not need people, I needed to find myself and I had found it that day from going to new places, new routes, and new journeys, it had engaged and interested me.