On your bike!

The continuing price hike on petrol cars costs a king’s ransom to run. We spend more time stationary in queues than actually getting anywhere and curse about finding somewhere to park, but the bottom line is that the car appears to be impossible to do without, and public transport fairs no better.

With technology coming on leaps and bounds in recent years, it's worth taking a second look. Farmer & Carlise (Leicester and Loughborough) were putting our theories to the test recently showing off one of their latest models - and I have to say, I was very impressed. There is always, of course, the bicycle. It appeals to our greener side, the wind in your hair and the health benefits too.

On your bike!
The only drawback is it can be really hard work - particularly pedalling home, uphill after a long day at work, which is no one’s idea of fun. However as they said all those years ago - the future is electric! Electric cycles to be specific. These cycles, available at Grand Prix Scooters, come in a variety of styles and are light on the pocket too, costing as little as £350.00. Classic ladies and gents styles, Folders, Mountain bikes. All are very smart, presentable and you won’t be embarrassed to be seen on one.

Quality varies enormously from the Car boot/Sunday market stalls (and usually illegal for road use) to the professional, quality top of the range models available here at Grand Prix scooters. Pedal assist is exactly what it says, you pedal and the motor helps you along - we could all do with a helping hand every now and then, especially when it comes to hills! Independent or full power systems can be used entirely independently from the pedals. You can pedal if you wish, but you don’t have to. Safety on these cycles is inbuilt – you apply the brakes and the power is shut off.

Andy Gallkeld, Mark Korczak, Simon Tomas of Cycle Magic and Andy Cryer of CTC.By law these are not motor vehicles. You don’t need a helmet, licence, MOT or tax - more penny saving! As with any pedal cycle you should not ride on the path. Insurance is up to you, not required by law but you might wish to consider it , especially with all the law suits becoming common practice for us now. 15 mph is the maximum legal speed - Downhill you may end up going faster but it won’t be down to the motive power.

These electric cycles are battery powered. Types of batteries will be dependent on how much you are willing to pay. New generation batteries are lighter weight, with improved new advances in technology, at this rate you'll be able to fly battery powered (although perhaps not with the AAA found in the back of your remote!) One man commented recently, he found his Electric Cycle indispensible, using it daily, even taking his weekly trip to Melton Market for his groceries on it! A typical battery takes from 2 – 8 hours to fully charge.

Distance travelled varies on many factors, including rider weight, terrain, weather conditions and how much you use the battery. The less you pedal and the more you let the battery do the work then the shorter the distance travelled, usually 15 – 20 miles should be possible on most makes. Top of the range bikes feature regenerative charging, this is where the battery receives some recharge effect when you go downhill or freewheel. Grand Prix Scooters are a very reputable supplier with spares, backup and technical expertise.

Now for the exciting bit, what's it like to ride? Great fun, but it is oh so tempting to let the motor do all the work. These cycles are no slouch at the traffic lights either. Expect to come back with a smile on your face after a test ride. Smile because they are fun to ride, your travel expenses tumble. Smile as you ride on Local authority cycle ways, separated from traffic flow as you ride right into the city centre to free cycle park areas. Smile – you are not contributing to pollution. Stop being a couch potato - get on your bike!