Guest Post: My name is Philip Middlemiss and I am 72 years old. Here are my experiences of using an electric bike. I have had serious health challenges, but today I am cycling and improving my health with an electric bike.
About ten years ago I had a major heart incident that needed five stents to fix my heart. Five years ago I had a large piece of my colon removed because of bowel cancer, and then two years ago I had a stroke caused by a bleed in the brain.
Not being one to let these things get the better of me, I started walking most days up to about 4 km per day, and I slowly got my health under control (well sort of!). I have in the past enjoyed bike riding, but in my condition that had become an impossibility with a regular bike. That was where electric bikes came in!
I now live in Picton, New Zealand, a small country town of about 4,500 people. It is mildly hilly, so I decided an electric bike might be right for me.
I contacted a local supplier, Smart Power. Ed, the business owner, was very helpful in helping me decide the best option for me, and the bike arrived a few days later. It’s a Phoenix Deluxe with a 300 watt Bafang motor With 3 power levels. The bike has both pedal assist and hand throttle. The battery is a 36 volt 12 amp, giving about 432 watt/hr, so it is a useful size for the motor. The bike has a front disk brake and a V-brake on the rear wheel. Its top speed is capped at 32 km/h.
I started off just going for short rides using maximum pedal assist, and now I travel about 10 km per day, still using maximum pedal assist. But when traveling around the local marina I switch to medium assist. Most of the intersections are on an up-hill, so I switch to throttle control to pull off at those.
The pedal assist modes flatten out the hills and make biking into the wind a breeze. I shot past a couple of young guys the other day who were struggling into the wind. I felt like superman!
There are many bike trails in the area that I have yet to try, which I am looking forward to.
So I encourage anyone who has had health issues to go and get an electric bike, because they take the strain out of cycling. No one is too old to go e-biking, one just has to watch out for idiots driving cars 🙂
I will soon need to get a second e-bike as now my wife is rather keen for us to cycle together!
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