As a Master of Science (Sustainability) student here in Perth I was looking to make my travel sustainable – in other words use less material, create less emissions and spend less money than I would using any other type of transportation. My main intention was to become much more in control of transporting myself around Perth and essentially replace the car and the bus or train to get around. Outside of this, other considerations included:
- I could convert the bike back to a standard bicycle without the kit
- Get to and from work without needing a shower
- The weight with the conversion kit wasn’t excessive
- The bike could be ridden if there was no battery power remaining
- That I could charge my bike using renewable energy sources
- Ongoing maintenance was as simple or as difficult as a standard bike
Solarbike’s electric kits ticked all the boxes. I did my research and after having ridden a few electric bikes from different stores I caught up with Matt to discuss a solution. Although I have a good mountain bike and was ready to convert that, after our discussion I chose the Giant Cross City 3 flat bar road bike as the better commuting alternative. The conversion took under two hours and I have not looked back.
Fully clad in trousers and shirt, I ride it to work every day under full throttle with minimal pedalling. For the really hot Perth days I make sure I have a few shirts handy at work and change into them when I get in because the backpack can heat up the shoulders and back a bit. On the way home I am usually under full throttle and pedalling flat out. Getting to and from work is now pretty cool. It’s more healthy and I’m finding that I’ve replaced about 65% of all my travel requirements with the new bike – the only reason this isn’t higher is that I’ve got a young child and 50% of the time I’m not on a safe bike path or a bike reserved area of the road. However going to the dentist, the pub, the shops, and pretty much anywhere that I just need a backpack is easier and in most cases quicker – especially to and from work now that I have worked out the bike paths. You know you’ve made a good choice when you pass thousands of cars all grid locked in peak hour. Finally, I chose to get two batteries so I could leave one on charge at home using the solar panels on my roof to charge that battery the next day while using the other. I would recommend the Solarbike solution to anyone interested in removing one more car from the road but without the need to get all lycra’d up!