It is in my DNA
I guess it is in my DNA too: my grandparents used to own a bike shop and my mom grew up helping out in their store. As a kid, I spent many days there (after my uncle took over the business). But moving to San Francisco changed that significantly.
Some people would say that San Francisco is a bike-friendly city, and that is true, especially considering the increasing amount of bike lanes around town. Except that I live on a hill now: a really steep hill. And I can tell you, it’s a climb: commuting to work is not possible without electric support. So how excited do you think I was when Gazelle offered me a test ride on one of their ebikes with a motor? Yes indeed, I was thrilled! So now let me tell you a bit about how this experience turned out.
When I first picked up the bike, I was mostly very excited to have a bicycle again. Like back home in the Netherlands, I was planning to use it for my day-to-day activities: commuting, running errands, going to a restaurant. The bike came with a display (showing your distance, average speed, battery charge) and three levels of support.
Ebikes and Hills
At the first steep hill I drove up, I was surprised to see how even the lowest level of support made the ride significantly easier. At the highest support level, I felt like I was flying up the San Francisco streets, without breaking that much of a sweat. It felt awesome! Going downhill of course was easier (and scarier too) and resulted in some pretty hard-core testing of the brakes every now and then, which proved themselves to work really well by the way.
Little did I know on that first day that this bicycle would even exceed all my expectations, for it turned out to be so much more than just a way of transportation! I noticed that I started planning my life –especially the weekends– around using the bike. I planned day trips to different areas that were beyond walking distance and got to see so much of the city and its surroundings.
Since the battery lasted so long, I never really had to worry about charging it halfway through the trip. I also planned dinners in other areas of San Francisco, just so I could use my bike to get there. Because I was able to get around so easily –and quickly–, it really helped me get to know my new city.
Now that my time with the Gazelle is over, I am back to taking many long walks, agreeing to meet friends in the area where I live (and missing out on all the cool restaurants in other areas), back to spending a ton of money on public transport and taxis and to my long commute to work. All of this resulting in the fact that I am now at a point where I really want an electric bike in my life and I can definitely recommend anyone living in this city the same! Hopefully, this e-bike love story of mine is to be continued in the future… We’ll see!!