Jean's Olympic Trip
Posted on By Emu Bikes,
Research consultant, Jean Sutton, was an early adopter of Emu electric bikes and remains very enthusiastic about the brand. Although she is a seasoned cyclist, often riding 20 to 30 miles on her non-electric bike, she and her husband bought an Emu each so they could travel further afield together at weekends. Jean recently shared details of their latest trip with us.
The sun was shining on the Sunday of the first May Bank Holiday weekend so it seemed like a good opportunity to do a trip I’d had in mind for a little while. The Emu electric bike doesn’t feel at all heavy to ride – it glides along so I knew it would make the ride easier leaving us to focus on the scenery. And I have to admit, it’s fun to draw admiring glances as you cycle along!
We took the train to Stratford International and enjoyed a cycle around the Olympic Park and along the waterways. The indoor and outdoor Velodrome tracks are open for public sessions and it’s fun to watch keen cyclists racing around.
Heading north along a cycle path through Hackney Marshes, we connected with the Sustrans cycle route 1 (http://www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/map/route/londons-docklands-and-lea-valley) and out to the Lea Valley. This fantastic quiet path alongside park, river and marshland passes by the Lee Valley riding centre and we continued on it for a couple of miles to Springfield Marina. (http://www.leevalleypark.org.uk/go/marinas/)
We stopped there for a cup of tea at a waterside café while admiring the lovely boats and barges moored in the marina.
After our little pause, we could have continued towards Waltham Abbey but decided to head back towards Stratford. Leaving the Queen Elisabeth Park we cycled along Stratford High street and picked up the Lee River again at Three Mills. We then followed the Bow Cut to the Limehouse Cut along the canal to Limehouse Basin, a lovely off road route that’s not too busy with pedestrians or other cyclists.
The beauty of the Emu is that you can adjust the power setting to match the terrain – or your energy levels! Without any power assistance it handles just like a normal pedal cycle; with the battery engaged it really is effortless. The controls are easy and pretty intuitive so changing gear or switching between power levels isn’t a problem.
Because our focus was on the scenery rather than on cycling for its own sake, we were able to notice some wonderful things we might otherwise have missed. For instance, under one of the bridges we spotted a swan with five tiny cygnets hitching a ride on her back.
We then followed the Thames to Shadwell where we picked up the over-ground to head back home. The lift at Shadwell station goes only part way to the platform but negotiating the short stairs, with hands on the brakes, isn’t too difficult because the bike isn’t heavy.
The total ride was only about 15 miles and it wasn’t particularly hilly, but it’s so relaxing to engage the power for short periods of time. The great thing about the Emu electric bike is you feel like you’re getting exercise too because you can ride without power, or at a low level. Then when you get tired on the journey home you can reduce the effort by drawing on the battery.
So far, I’ve followed the advice and re-charged the battery often rather than waiting for it to run down, so I always start with it fully charged. When used on lower power, it should last for more than four hours, which is probably enough cycling for one day!
The ebikes certainly encourage us to be more adventurous in our outings. And getting out of central London is made easier as lots of over-ground, DLR and mainline train stations have lifts to the platforms.
I’m now busy planning our next outing by Emu!