• Red Lunday de Waal

On your (e)bike!

For our outdoor living feature Channel finds out more about the e-bike revolution...

Channel’s Heather Vermeer went for a spin on the Shore…

The first time I rode an e-bike I fell off. So it was second time lucky as I gave the Magnum city bike a go. Lighter and less chunky than I expected, these next generation models are stylish, svelte and speedy, as I discovered.  

The guys at Electrify NZ gave me a rundown on the gears and speed settings, and I was away on a circuit of Browns Bay.  Starting on the pavement, in the lowest ‘eco’ setting, I braved the road after a disapproving look from a passerby and a faint knowledge about biking on pavements not being the done thing (perhaps it’s even illegal, I’m not sure, I should check). 

Drivers were kind as I followed Beach Road down to the beachfront for a whizz past the playground and the bumpy boardwalk. I cranked up the setting to ‘sport’ as I bounced along the wooden planks then shifted into turbo mode as I took it onto the grass. I was flying! A couple of hidden dips in the grass nearly sent me off course but the light handling made it easy to readjust. I calmed down, and returned to a more pedestrian speed on eco mode as I rejoined the road towards the end of the beach. 

Browns Bay Road was fun. Apart from the grumpy bloke in the Mitsubishi who felt it appropriate to shout: ‘It’s not a car, you know!” As I made my way in turbo up the steepest part of the incline on the road, keeping as close to the parked cars as I could so as not to upset any motorists. Well that obviously didn’t work; it seems you can’t win on the pavement or the road. 

Riding an e-bike feels as though you’re being carried along, like the biking gods have got your back, and that’s a very pleasant feeling.“Don’t strain yourself, Heather, we’ve got this!” I swear I heard in a whisper. 

There’s still the opportunity for burning more energy if you want, you just decrease the electric settings and flick down the gears to push it harder. You’ve got options; way more than on a standard bike. To me, that’s more fun. And, I discovered, it’s even more fun when you don’t fall off.


Red's Revved Up

Red Lunday de Waal can often be seen cycling between her home in Takapuna and her beloved Devonport.

Red is a founder member of Bike Shore and featured in Channel earlier this year when she completed a solo trek of Te Araroa - the 3000km trail spanning the length of New Zealand, to raise funds for cycling charity project, Mangere BikeFIT.  

Channel: Tell us, when did you first try an e-bike & what was that experience like for you? 

Red: The first time I actually thought I would like to invest in an e-bike was after using one in the Queenstown area on the trails there – it gave me options to go further and discover more and the ride was so smooth – I was hooked! I got the same brand of e-bike – suitable for both mountain biking and urban use and it’s been a game changer! 

Channel: Where did you last ride on your e-bike?

Red: I ride my e-bike almost every day and to make journeys where I might otherwise have used a car. The other day I was meeting a friend at Ambury Park so I cycled from Takapuna to Devonport for the ferry, took the train with my bike from Britomart to Onehunga and cycled again from there. 

Channel: Please finish the sentence, E-bikes should be more widely used because…

Red: E-bikes could be more widely used because they are such a credible alternative to the one-person-one-car mode, they sweat the hills so you don’t have to and they could solve Auckland’s traffic woes overnight!



Issue 83 Dec 2017 / Jan 2018