Come and have a free ride on an electric bike at the Eden Project later this month.
We’re giving visitors the opportunity to test-drive one of these new breeds of vehicle around the Eden Project site at our electric bike show, which runs from Saturday 20 April until Wednesday 24 April 2013.
Based in hilly Cornwall, we’re a big fan of electrically assisted bikes, which can give people that extra boost they need to get up a steep incline – as well as the confidence to take the first steps towards getting fit.
We’ve even got several A2B electric bikes here in the office for staff to get around on.
Janine Kelk, our Sustainable Transport Coordinator, said: ‘I meet lots of people who’d like to cycle more, either to cut costs, cut emissions or get more exercise, but aren’t sure where to start.
‘The new breed of bikes on display at the show demonstrates that an extra boost up hills can give everyone the confidence to get cycling, whatever level of ability they have. With no tax or insurance to pay for, electric bikes are efficient and affordable too.’
Entrance to the show is included in the admission price to Eden – and if you turn up on a bike, on foot or using public transport you get reduced entry to the site!
What’s on at the show
- Test-drive an electric bike: take a spin around our outdoor arena or up one of Eden’s paths, from 10am until 4.30pm each day. Visitors must be aged 14 years or over to drive an electric bike. Helmets provided.
- Check out the latest models: the top manufacturers are bringing their electric assisted bike ranges along, including a recumbent bike; those really kooky ones where the rider cycles in a reclined position.
- Talk to the experts: 12 companies will be there to answer all your questions, including Ocean Cycle from Torpoint and Falmouth-based ICE Trikes.
- Guided bike rides around the Clay Trails: Sustrans is leading a 10-mile bike ride - from Eden to Wheal Martyn Museum and back - on Saturday 20 April at 11am and 2.30pm. Electric and conventional bikes welcome! Book your free place by calling Brian on 07538 639901, and meet the group 10 minutes before the departure time at the bike racks in Eden's Banana Coach Park.
The low-down on electric bikes
Definition: Electric bikes are basically conventional bicycles which have been adapted to include an electric motor. Cyclists still pedal on electric bikes, but the motor helps them go further than they would under their own power.
Speed: The motor on an electric bike takes you up to 15.5mph, which is a more than ample speed for a general commute. You can of course pedal faster than that or pick up more speed going downhill.
Range: Most electric bike manufacturers claim an average of 20-30 miles before they need charging. This all depends on the weight of the cyclist, the steepness of hills, the wind, how well the tyres are pumped up, and how much you pedal!
Charging: On average, it takes four to six hours to charge an electric bike battery using a standard 13 amp socket.
The law: Cyclists must be over 14 years of age to ride an electric bike. Electric bikes get the both of best worlds, being allowed to use off-road cycle paths and designated crossings as well as roads (apart from motorways).
Cost: Electric bikes start from around £500, going up to well over £3,000.
Why buy an electric bike?
- Get fit
Electric bikes can help people use alternative transport to cars, getting fresh air and being active. Sometimes having an electrically assisted bike is the first step someone needs to start cycling.
- Save money
While electric bikes do tend to cost more to buy than a conventional bike, running an electric bike is much cheaper than running a car. Electric Bike Magazine reckons it costs between 5 and 8 pence a mile, including fuel (ie plugging it in to the mains), parts, servicing and tolls, compared with anywhere between 26 pence and £ 2.38 a mile for cars. They are exempt from tax and insurance.
- Save time
Electric bikes go faster than conventional bikes. They are also much easier to park in town centres than cars.
- Reduce emissions
Electric bikes can take you up to speeds of 15.5mph using much less fuel than a car.