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I recently purchased an electric bike, which I prefer to refer to as “electrically-assisted”, as the bike only works if you are peddling, unlike an electric motorbike which uses electricity as a power source – there are no pedals. I also have a Cannondale road bike, which I very much enjoy, but for different reasons.

Before I bought I really looked into what were the good bikes out there. I wanted a bike that could also function as a regular bike, and not have to utilize the motor all the time. I wanted it to respond like a regular bike as much as possible. I ended up choosing a Moustache Dimanche. Since the purchase I’ve tried other electrically-assisted bikes and I’m glad I went with Moustache. It definitely is “EA 2.0” (Electrically Assisted). Older electric bikes (1.0) have poor motoring systems, don’t ride well without the battery, are heavy, batteries don’t last as long and they look terrible. Spend a little extra and you’ll get something you’ll be much happier with.

I decided on this type of bike for a number of reasons:

  1. Most of the places worth visiting around Nice are in the hills behind the coast. And most of the old villages are situated on top of those hills – it was how they protected themselves from marauding pirates and bad guys. Getting to these villages involves a steep hill climb, about 12 km just to get to up to where many of the villages are located. Getting there on a regular bike would involve more training than I can put in since I’m only in Nice for a few months and don’t bike in the other locations where we are.
  2. I go farther. I’m not held back by thoughts of, well, what if the wind comes up on my return trip and I’m tired, and it is blowing right in my face? That can make me limit the distance of my ride. But, knowing I can always get a little help from the electric motor has taken me farther than I would have gone with a regular bike.
  3. I know I have a little extra power to get out of tight situations. Such as going through tunnels or narrow roads where traffic behind wants to pass. Or in town, it is safer to be traveling close to the speed of the traffic, so they don’t have to pass you.
  4. The bike doesn’t work unless you peddle, so I am getting exercise. And the more often I bike, and become “bike” fit, the less I find I’m using the assistance. The bike is heavier than a regular bike, but it rides quite well when the electric assist is turned off, close to that of a regular mountain bike.
  5. Point Four means that you can use the bike for pre-season training. At the beginning of the season, as you work on getting your legs back in shape, using the electric bike allows you to enjoy your regular routes, and alternate between working out by not using the motor and therefore getting a “weighted” workout (like putting weights on your ankles when you run), and then using the motor when you get tired.
  6. I bike more often because it can be as easy, or as hard, as I want it to be, but still get to go somewhere different.
  7. Sometimes you want arrive at your destination and not be all sweaty, especially if you have an important rendezvous.
  8. Regular bikes are about exercising and getting from A to B. Because of your body position and the speed you are going at, it is hard to take in the passing scenery. With an electric assist you sit upright more, allowing one to enjoy the journey and not so much the destination. Both have their merits.
  9. There’s a “handicap” system built into the bike, in that if you are biking with someone who hasn’t bikes much, or isn’t in as good as shape as you (or the other way around), give that person the electric bike so they can keep up to you, and you both can still get out and explore farther than your other would be able to.
  10. I’m 60. I rode a regular bike for 50 years. Now it’s time for me to get a little extra help to keep enjoying biking!