Bike Drawn Map

30 September 2020

Featured image for Bike Drawn Map

A few years back I made a map of everywhere I’d walked around home, and I included cycling routes on it, in blue, saying:

I tend to get bored with cycling round here as I’m not strong enough to get up the hills and we only have (relatively) flat roads along the valleys. Well, I haven’t added much to the cycling map in the six years since I drew that map, I’ve cycled less and less as time’s gone on. By itself the blue cycling lines looked like this:

The disjoint blue line in the south and the loop in the east are both products of rides where we took the bikes on the car to cycle in other places, so they aren’t really places I’ve cycled “around home” at all.

The idea of getting a pedal-assisted electric bike and being able to ride up the hills as well as down them has been percolating around my brain for a while and I finally went and bought one. It was delivered to me three weeks ago and this is the result:

The yellow lines are the places I’ve already taken my electric bike, in just three weeks! I can cycle from home to reach the traffic-free trail of that long wavy line in the south. Although I haven’t got as far down it as I did with my old bike I got to and from it by myself, no tedious loading of bikes onto roofracks needed, just fun riding. I went for a ride this morning with the specific intention of grabbing hold of that blue eastern loop and including it on the main grid; I didn’t have time to ride further round there, but I will. I haven’t yet been along the route to the north. That is the longest ride I’d taken on my old non-electric bike, and it was that way because that’s the flat(tish) valley-bottom route from here. I’ll certainly go that way again but I’m busy exploring all the other directions at the moment! Up hill and down dale.

It’s glorious being able to actually cycle places, rather than constantly get off and walk up hills. The bike is “pedal assisted” which means that you have to pedal to get the motor to kick in, and it legally has to cut out when you reach 25km/h (a bit over 15mph). You still get plenty of exercise, the electric motor just helps you along a bit in the hard places, you can switch the motor off entirely if you like. It’s definitely not a moped.

The only regret I have is of the “why didn’t I do this years ago?” type! I’m looking forward to watching the yellow lines on this map fill in as I e-bike lots of interesting new routes!