by Carly Sorenson
I’ve always been a fan of cycling. Not racing or cross country, but ambling around the countryside, zooming down hills, bimbling along a river… you know, low impact, pleasurable cycling. As much as I’m a fan of the environmentally friendly, fitness improving, endorphin releasing bike as a method of getting from A to B, I’ll happily drive if B is a long uphill slog away from A. I therefore jumped at the chance to ride and review an electrically assisted bike from tumotoenibiza for a week.
Appearance wise, it’s pretty good. It looks a lot like the Dutch style town bike I own and in gleaming white with back wheels, it’s smart. The battery pack for the motor sits neatly on the bar under the seat and we were able to attach a child seat for my toddler with minimum fuss. So far, so good. When you get on, you need to turn a key to switch on the motor ignition, and press ‘on’ on the little control pad attached to the handlebars. This same control pad enables you to increase or decrease the effort put in by the motor – low, medium or high – and to switch the lights on or off. Very user friendly and straightforward.
On setting off, it rides like a normal bike, until you reach walking speed – just a few revolutions of the pedals – when you feel a surge as the motor assist kicks in. My first thought was that I would soon be zooming off without needing to pedal at all, but, as with a normal bike, if you stop pedalling, it gradually slows down to a halt. If you’re expecting a fully motorised bike, you’ll be disappointed. If you’re expecting all the pleasure of a bike but with far less effort required, you’re in luck. At top speed these bikes can reach at least 25km/h allowing you to feel the smug satisfaction of nipping past the lycra clad racing bike clan and barely breaking a sweat. With the assistance of the motors, my husband and I rode from The Ibizan headquarters in Cala De Bou around to San Antonio town in around fifteen minutes, it usually takes at least twenty five and a lot more exertion on my ‘normal’ bike. Not bad at all, and quicker than driving in high season traffic and trying to find a parking place.
Where it really comes into its own though is uphill. We live at the top of a long steep hill and are usually red faced and dripping in sweat by the time we reach the top, often with a disgruntled adrenalin junkie taking on the role of drill sergeant and shouting ‘Go! Push!’ and pushing against our backs from her throne behind one of us. We were pleasantly surprised to find that with the electric motor assisted bikes we barely slowed down for the hill, just dropped a couple of gears, put the motors into high and cruised on up with the satisfied drill sergeant happily shouting ‘Wheeeee!’ from her perch instead. We even had a little sprint race half way up as we had extra energy to burn and wanted to see how well the motor would assist if we pedalled with all our might. They worked fantastically well (I won).
So, would I recommend renting one of these bikes? Absolutely. I’d recommend it for getting around whilst on holiday, going to the beach, park, on a little shopping trip (there’s a space on the bike with clips that we used to secure a small bag) or even on a night out. They’re a great way to explore and get around without worrying too much about traffic or cost of fuel, they hold their battery power incredibly well – I rode mine every day for around an hour and never had to recharge it – and you can ride them straight up to your destination and lock them up when you get there, they come with a heavy duty lock, the key is on a keyring with the ignition key. What’s more, you can take in the sights and sounds and feel good about yourself for doing some exercise at the same time. It’s win win all around. Go and rent one today!