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26 August 2020

Steve Jansen on Discover the e-bike

"Now that we use electric bicycles, we sometimes travel up to 80 kilometres a day"

Discover the e-bike was in a number of cities in South Limburg this summer. In July, we were at Heerlen's Bongerd square. Steve Jansen and his wife both decided to trial the e-bike after his wife saw the campaign in the newspaper! ‘She has a keen eye for freebies! I kid, of course,’ explains Steve, jokingly.

‘We both needed size "S" bicycles. My wife chose the Cortina E-Mozzo, with a design similar to her own bicycle. I opted for the ‘Giant’ brand bicycle, which had a more sporty form-factor. I also thought it would be fun to try out a high-speed e-bike.’ 

Too fast for cycling lanes

‘The high-speed e-bike provides a very smooth cycling experience at normal speeds, but I think it's too fast for cycling lanes. As the bicycle can reach speeds in excess of 25 km/h, you have to cycle on the public highway which you share with cars. You must also wear a helmet, as well as have scooter insurance and a left rear-view mirror when cycling on one of these. In my view, that doesn't count as a bike anymore: bikes should be the most flexible mode of transport, and there are no extra usage costs after you buy one.’ Steve offers the following tip: ‘Look before you leap. High-speed e-bikes come with a number of requirements. However, if you want to make a positive contribution to the environment, avoid the struggles of parking your car, and exercise more, then the high-speed e-bike is the way to go.’

A bicycle that does it all

After the trial weeks, Steve decided which bicycle he would buy: ‘At first, I was focused on the stand-out, often sporty models. When the trial weeks came to an end, I instantly knew the bike I wanted. It wasn't going to be a hulking machine that was instantly recognizable as an e-bike. I wanted a bike that does it all.’ He chose the Ampler, of the Curt variety. It had everything he wanted in an e-bike: ‘It's lightweight, looks like a regular bike, can be used as a regular bike when you turn off power assistance, and can even be used off-road.’

The e-bike: for leisure and for commuting

Steve uses his e-bike to cycle to work and for leisure. ‘I cycle to work every day and usually have the pedalling assistance disabled on my way home. It's only five kilometres, and it's just the right distance for me to clear my head.’ Steven regularly heads out with his wife to travel the tourist routes via the cycling junctions. ‘Previously, we would cycle up to 45 kilometres. ‘Now that we both use electric bicycles, we sometimes travel up to 80 kilometres a day.’

For the climate and for my own health

‘Using an electric bicycle is my way of reducing CO2 emissions. However, I also cycle for exercise and my own health. It gets me out into the fresh air, and being quite practical myself, I barely have any maintenance costs. I honestly cannot think of any downsides to e-bikes, besides occasionally getting caught in rain.’