Skip to main content
Participant diaries

DIY eBike Adventures: Part 1

By 22nd August 2021August 24th, 2021One Comment

DIY electric bike

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for a while now, for at least 700 miles…

When Kaska heard my husband had converted my regular push bike into an electric assisted bike in December 2020 she suggested I write a blog about it. And I agreed, though I’d not long had the bike conversion when we went into the stay at home COVID lockdown at the end of December.

There were some teething problems. Some glitches with the positioning of the speed monitor had my readout telling me I was going several hundred miles an hour and well above the assist cut out which is set to the legal 15 miles an hour, but only when I started off, and once I was going it was fine, so it took a while and some online research before getting round to resetting it all.

DIY electric bike

Once the sensors were adjusted and the display reset to factory setting I started again. All was well, the bike gave an accurate reading of my total miles travelled, a very important metric, though it still sometimes gets confused about my average miles per hour every once in a while. With the limited travel I was able to do at the start of the year and the resetting of the sensors it took till mid March 2021 to reach my first 100 miles (I was very proud of myself!).

As the odometer on the bike readout clicked up I thought, yes, 500 miles, that’s a respectable number to say I’ve given the bike a good shot and can write something that isn’t just excitement about not having to walk my push bike up the big hill on the way to work.

But I’ve only just got round to writing this, in mid August, as the odometer clicked over to 1223 miles traveled with electric assist. And I’m still delighted that I don’t have to walk the bike up the big hill on the way to work,
– and that the wind being against doesn’t really bother me,
– and I must be getting fitter as I spend more time going without the assist at more than 15 miles an hour
-And I have good panniers which mean I am able to take plants from one place to another (a thing I do surprisingly often!) without worrying about the extra weight.

Other great things about cycling regularly (not dependent on the electric assist)

– I’ve got waterproofs for the wet weather so that’s fine
– no one can hear you sing on the bridge (electric bike not required for that, though I may have more spare puff!)
– I’m saving carbon emissions on every trip
– my commute takes about the same amount of time as catching a bus to work, and maybe 10 mins longer than parking and walking with no extra costs

Things that I didn’t expect which have been great to enjoy while cycling is the scents, the early summer coconut smell of the gorse, which was followed by the gorgeous smell of elderflowers, and you can always tell when a rose bush is in bloom at the side of the road. I’m looking forward to apples and brambles as autumn comes in.

I’ve spotted a few ‘new to me’ plants to add to my iNaturalist account that I was able to stop by the roadside to investigate and even got to see a northern lapwing and its’ chick in the field I passed.

After months and miles of riding, the teething issues, and a replacement crank bolt that fell off in Tentsmuir, I’m still not over the novelty of the electric assist. I am all about maximum assist and ‘TURBO’ mode, when I’m using the bike to commute, as I’m working outside when I get there I don’t feel I need the extra exercise!

Using the pedal assist is like someone giving you a gentle push along, I have the zeal of the newly converted where it comes to electric biking and would recommend everyone who is considering it to give it a go. It’s just great fun!

Check out Part 2 for more technical info to help you build your own ebike.

Green Travel

If you are interested in the carbon footprint of your travel (or other aspects of your life) we offer Carbon Conversations sessions to help you learn more about your personal footprint and explore ways to reduce it.

Helena

Helena

Keen on compost, love leaf mold, focussed on food growing. Trying to grow as much food as we can in our back garden and enjoying the unusual vegetables that you can't buy in the shops. Currently slightly obsessed with perennial kale and skirrets!

One Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: