MY-RIDER ONE: ELECTRIFYING FUN!
Just minutes into an early chapter in our My-Rider One biking adventures around Rutland and South Lincolnshire, my wife Carol and I stopped to ask directions in Lyddington, its attractive honey-coloured cottages flanking the Main Street.
In our 70s and unable to pursue our favoured sporting pastime of bowls because of the restrictive regulations surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, we had invested in a pair of MiRider powered bicycles. We were looking to continue a 10-mile loop via the idyllic hamlets of Thorpe-by-Water, Seaton and Bisbrooke.
It was a little after breakfast time, and the temperature was rising, when we interrupted a local dog-walker to ask the way. She considered us sympathetically before pointing towards the appropriately named Thorpe Road!
Glancing at us and our bikes and seemingly questioning our motives, especially at our age, there was almost pity in her voice as she casually mentioned : "Are you sure? It's a a bit steep that way."
Having already travelled a total of almost 150 miles round Rutland's undulating back roads in less than three weeks, I responded almost triumphantly : " Thanks but we do have some help."
In other words I pointed out our MiRider are power-assisted and ideal for travelling adventurers who are both technically challenged and in the twilight of their athleticism.
Seconds later a car stopped and the driver lowered down the window in admiration of our cool-looking wheels.
"Wow!" she said "They look great! Are they electric? Do they fold up? Where did you get them?"
We gave her details of Cranking E-bikes, the local agency owned by Robert Thompson in Bath Row, Stamford and as we mounted up for our next ascent, she promised to call in to check the bikes out for herself.
It's nearly 60 years since either of us rode a bicycle with regularly but, after one or two minor mishaps, twitchy moments and unsteadiness, we have quickly embraced the joy of cycling with powered assistance, even when some gradients test ageing muscles and you have to keep your thumb pressed firmly on the power-boost trigger.
Now with more than 600 miles under our respective belts - even in near freezing temperatures approaching Christmas - we are still just as much in love with our bikes and have tested every facet of this decreasingly novel form of transport and can highly recommend the My-Rider One model.
Other benefits include integrated mudguards to keep puddle splashes at a minimum, comfort-enhancing suspension system under the seat, disc brakes front and rear, kick stand and front LED light.
To date we have suffered only one minor mechanical mishap - a front wheel puncture. Fortunately we were within a mile of our destination and suspect it was caused by negotiating a cattle grid - a bit like riding up the curb and not to be recommended. Lesson learned...in future, a suitable case for dismounting first, despite the bikes' robust tyres.
Elsewhere the MiRider safely handles off-road hazards like gravel, rutted tracks, pot holes and shallow fords though it's best to ensure keeping the 16-inch diameter tyres pumped to 60 psi and the chain and brakes regularly lubricated. Re-charging takes about two and a half hours and the battery is good for at least 1,000 charges before it needs replacing at a cost of £200.
Though at first I found the saddle a little too firm, I have learned to live with it and with the wind in my face and the distractions of the countryside, I rarely notice any slight discomfort.
A great benefit of the MiRider is its adaptability and flexibility. Whip off the saddles, release the handlebar lever, fold up the pedals and even two bikes will fit comfortably into the back of our small hatch-back car. And as a consequence with Covid likely to scupper any chance of an overseas holiday next Spring, Summer or Autumn, we are looking forward to the prospect of cycling excursions further afield without leaving the UK.
h its single gear it offers 250 watts of assistance up to a legal limit of 15.5 mph...and I love it!