Don’t like hills, get an electric assist for your bike

As I approached my 70s I found myself taking the car more and more

CYCLIST DAVID HARDIE is seen above right carrying the Olympic Torch.

CYCLIST DAVID HARDIE is seen above right carrying the Olympic Torch.

But … there are too many hills!

I have been a recreational bicyclist all my life and I really enjoy riding.

I now ride a Townie bicycle. It is not a light weight bicycle nor is it built for speed, but it is a very comfortable bike to ride. They are available at Dodge City Cycles in Cumberland.

As I approached my 70s I began thinking twice about riding my bicycle to Cumberland (500 feet elevation from Royston) or tackling Ryan Road hill, and found myself taking the car more and more.

I researched electric assists for bicycles and made the decision to retrofit my bike. It was a good decision as now I am never concerned about my bicycle destinations around the valley. I do all my grocery shopping by bicycle and only use the car for extra heavy or bulky loads that will not fit on my bike.

There is a website at www.ebikes.ca that has all sorts of information on electric assisted bicycles and batteries. I purchased the eZee conversion kit that is one of the more versatile conversion kits to install.

Navigate from the home page to “store” then click on “conversion kits.” The cost of these kits ranges from $1,200 to $1,600 depending on the battery capacity and other instruments ordered.

It is possible to do the installation yourself if you are handy and have the tools, but it is not a simple task. There are a kits available that will fit almost any bicycle.

We have a bicycle shop here in Courtenay that specializes in electric assist bicycles, A/C Logic Inc. at 625 Cliffe Ave. (the corner of Sixth and Cliffe).

Charles is very knowledgable and has a selection of fully assembled ebikes ranging in price from $1,300 to $2,500. It is worth a visit to try out one of these bikes.

Margaret Harris, president of the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition, writes Shifting Gears. It appears every fourth week. This month’s column is written by David Hardie.

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