Experiences with an Electric Bicycle

Notes about my experiences with my new electric bike (e-bike) and some associated thoughts and facts.

Starting out

I bought the bike, a Benelli Classica Retro "http://benellibikes.ca/cruisers/ from costco.ca in 2016 as a Christmas present to myself, but had to wait until my return from New Zealand in 2017, and the appearance of the Canadian spring before I could use it. There was an initial problem in that I needed a helmet to ride legally, and most helmets turned out to be incompatible with my Cochlear Implant! The problem lay in my desire to hear while I rode, so the headpiece - which is held in place magnetically over a coil implanted in my skull - had to be accommodated by the helmet... Two solutions: forget the helmet (and break the law - which in itself didn't worry me) or find a helmet that could be modified to allow the headpiece to stay in place. In the end I found a modifiable helmet, the Activist , courtesy of Mountain Equipment Coop, and with a few deft cuts with a stanley knife into the inner material, was able to carve out a hollow for the headpiece... Problem solved.

So, following a quick recharge I was on the road. And it was, and still is, a lot of fun.


Kitting out

With the basics solved, I realised that even though my bike came equipped with many extras, I still needed several more bits and pieces:

All of which I managed to get together without much delay.



These are a few of the places I have visited on my bike during the 2017 cycling season. I have visited several of them more than once.

Downtown Ottawa about ~48km
Downtown Ottawa route map
Carleton Place ~66km
Carleton Place (outward) route map
Carleton Place (return) route map
Bruce Pit and area ~30km
Bruce Pit route map
Lime Kiln Trail ~22km
Lime Kiln Trail route map
Pinheys Point ~40km
Pinheys Point (outward) route map
Pinheys Point (return) route map
Stittsville ~25km
Stittsville route map

And many other nearer destinations, totalling 925 miles to date (16 Sept 2017). My objective was to cycle at least 1000 miles (1600 km) this year, and I achieved that easily. And I go out on this bike much more frequently than on my old bike, so, even if I expend less effort riding a given distance, in total I am doing a LOT more cardio-vascular exercise than before.

Also bear in mind that in previous years, without electric assistance, my furthest venture was Andrew Haydon Park - a mere 20 km return... so I am exploring a lot more territory.

Andrew Haydon Park route map