Electric bikes for all! They are environmentally friendly, great exercise and make you smile –  Bruce Whitehead

After taking delivery of an electric bike, an impressed Bruce Whitehead says big retailers should start offering tandems and three- and four-wheelers so everyone can join in
Bruce Whitehead poses for a selfie with his electric bike and the Forth Bridge in the backgroundBruce Whitehead poses for a selfie with his electric bike and the Forth Bridge in the background
Bruce Whitehead poses for a selfie with his electric bike and the Forth Bridge in the background

They call it the “E-bike smile” – tho’ mine’s a bit faded, and not just because of Monday’s weather.

Buying a new bike has become a bit of a trial just now with booming sales outstripping supplies (Halfords says business is up 57 per cent). The extra demand is partly from commuters trying to avoid the risks of public transport with its patchy enforcement of social distancing.

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It took a tweet to Cannondale to find out which stockists actually had them. The first courier refused to help carry it nine steps, plus the bike was damaged. The replacement from another supplier had no instruction manual, and there’s none online. But the lure of the ‘leccy bike was too strong…

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My cycling pal Duich had recommended the Cannondale Tesoro X2, as I wanted something with a pannier and suspension; Dalmeny estate has quite rough trails and my treasured Dawes is not comfy on them.

Also I’ve been wanting to do a particular Highland route, Killin to Currour, but fancied a bit of a boost. It’s called pedal assist; you still pedal but the motor shoves like your parent’s hand when you were wee. It ranges from a gentle nudge to a surging kick when you select the top of four modes, Turbo.

And that’s when you get the smile. If you’re not ready to shell out without a test ride, try Edinburgh’s fab electric hire bikes as I did.

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The eco-friendly appeal of the bike is important too – I plan to do less driving – and even if you’re only pedalling a wee bit, it’s still great aerobic exercise for all ages. And let’s see the big retailers offering affordable three- and four-wheelers and tandems so disabled folk can get the E-bike smile too.

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