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.



My objective was to cycle at least 1000 miles (1600 km) the first year, and I achieved that easily. 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.

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
Britannia Park ~25km
  • Britannia Park route map