When I met 2 Gentlemen on eBikes back in August 2017

I wrote this blog for my local cycle campaign blog page in August 2017: http://thebikecommittee.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/by-wolf-simpson-i-am-writing-this-after.html

But to keep a record of it & easier to find I am posting it here on my own blog page.

I am writing this after an experience I had earlier today & thought I'd shared what I had already posted online so others can read it & help others see the need for good quality infrastructure..

Whilst waiting on the Wivenhoe Trail to see a steam train passing, in the hour I was there I saw 4 eBikes passing & 2 gentlemen riding some of those eBikes stopped to chat & get photos too. Whilst we all were waiting we chatted about eBikes & the gentleman in the hi-viz jacket with the walking stick attached to his eBike normally uses a mobility scooter.

As he explained to me he found eBikes to be better & faster to use & something I didn't consider before when thinking of mobility scooters compared to eBikes. When the battery dies on a mobility scooter especially when using on terrain like the Wivenhoe Trail then you're stuck there as the mobility scooter is too bulky & heavy to push but if the battery dies on the eBike then its light enough for you to push it along & use it as a walking frame.

Now these guys are in their 60s or older & they found eBikes gave them the mobility & freedom to go around town more than mobility scooters ever could & this is why we need to build infrastructure, for these sort of people especially as the aging population increases & why we need infrastructure suitable for all ages & abilities whether they're walking, cycling or using any other mobility aid.

Just like they already have in the Netherlands.


Lexden Road 'Improvements' at Crouch Street (Updated June 2018)

Note: Updates to the blog are at the bottom if you like to get an update & already have read the original blog already.

As expected with Essex County Council Highway Dept, they're wasting millions in screwing up the road system on schemes like this which no one wants & to make it worse they can't even stick to their own plans & have created a God awful layout that will be dangerous to those who walk & cycle & all to benefit drivers.

Like the cycle lane heading Eastward from the roundabout & straight into a step out point on the crossing which shouldn't even have been built as shown in the plans, so cyclists will have to pull out of the cycle lane into the path of motorists to get around it. Thus Essex County Council Highway Dept have created a conflict point which never should have been built. Then there's the narrow bus stop which will create conflict & squeeze cyclists between parked buses & speeding drivers trying to get past them or bus drivers overtaking them & pulling in, left hooking them. Easily could've done better & ignored words of advice to make it safer.


And still they have the stupid sign up telling those who are cycling to get off & frigging walk when there is no need for this sign at all & they refused to move the frigging thing & showing their arrogance & dislike to those who cycle as don't want them to use the roads even when the works have been practically finished.

As for the access to Crouch Street from Lexden Rd, they have some obscure logos on a road junction which means sweet FA to anyone turning in or out of that side road & TBH I can see this will become a conflict point as no clear indication there meant to be a cycle lane here. Then as you turn onto crouch street, then you're quite likely hit the non reflective low visibility bollard, especially at night time coz if you're like me you're trying not to slow too much when turning due to drivers up your arse as you slow. Again Essex County Council feels we all can turn 90 degrees like a Tron cycle. Could they have done a better way to feed those cycling onto the shared path, yes they could. Did they want to, like hell did they!


Then there's the shared path, just think if you're visually impaired or a child & had to use this. Could you tell it is a shared path or even a road as it all looks the same. Just look at that bike logo! Was there even a point in bothering wasting paint on this?


Even getting off the bus you're using low visual steps that put you straight into the road which you can easily think is a pedestrianised area & how long before we see motor vehicles parked on the pavements?

And it sure hell doesn't look as pleasant as the artistic drawing implies, again no benefit to those walking & cycling as no clear indication what is what & multiple levels not shown in the artistic impression drawing & definitely no fancy cycle parking as shown. And how long do we give it before we see bollards all around it to stop drivers parking everywhere they like coz there is no clear indication or kerb? When someone is run down?


Then there's the other side of the road where clearly Essex County Council Highway Dept don't want you to go as directing you to the left & up a hill than use a more direct & level route, which of course still has no protection added to stop drivers parking on it as clearly no longer visible as a cycle contraflow coz they couldn't be bothered to paint back in the faded markings.


After all Essex County Council's & their contractors couldn't care less about the safety of those cycling & trying to use the contraflow. Again could they have done better to do this point of access to shared path beside Tesco, yes. Did they want to, like hell did they!


Nope they really don't want to encourage you to cycle here, it is all about increasing traffic flow for the benefit of the drivers & sod everyone else who use this area. Expect conflicts & accidents to follow & all thanks to Essex County Council.

Update May 2018

In the 2 months since I originally posted this blog, it has had over 2,000 view & seem to hit home with everyone that lives around this area & all in agreement whether they walk, cycle or driver that it is awful for all.

And just last month I got just the example of the issues with the contraflow that Essex County Council failed to address & which Essex Police & Colchester Borough Council failed to enforce the parking regulations & law. Here is the video of that incident & shows just why it is so bad around here.

And as yet, those responsible at Essex County Council have not admitted that they fucked up & want to discuss with the public how they are going to rectify it.

Update June 2018

To my surprise I found out that Essex County Council have been back to do some more of their 'improvements' & I use that term very loosely. Something I didn't notice was missing before, the road is supposed to be raised to help those walking & cycling go across Rawstorn Road that cuts across Crouch Street.

Now have a look at what is there...


Now this was supposed to be raised to make drivers slow down as they come down the hill or rush along Crouch Street & was supposed to be red tarmac with stone ramps to indicate drivers to slow down as passing through a pedestrian zone as shown in example below.

But as you can see Essex County Council again have failed to do things correctly or keep to the design again, the ramps are so shallow & no changes to the tarmac which will result in drivers not slowing down & eventually will result in someone getting hit whilst crossing the road as there is NO formal crossing point for those walking or cycling to Crouch Street.  And also as you can see in my photos of the new tarmac area, there is yet more drivers who has parked their cars in the Cycle Contraflow as Essex County Council will not put measures in to prevent it.

And of course Essex Police or Colchester County Council refuses to deal with the illegal parking on it. And quite honestly it could easily be fixed if the thick headed Essex County Council Highway Dept actually used a brain cell.

Yup, not exactly rocket science now is it?


Why do so many people keep saying "riding an ebike is cheating"???

Seriously, why?

Who is it cheating? Really, who is it cheating?

Is riding a bike now a competition no matter where you go? See who can get to the shops the fastest & can carry the heaviest load? If this is so, why isn't it in the cycling events or part of the Tour De France? Hell, if it was I might understand the idiot drivers going on about being the latest Wiggins wannabe.

If riding an ebike is cheating then those who use their cars are too but never hear anyone bleat about their neighbours cheating coz the drove 1/2 mile to the shop for the Sunday papers or a bottle of milk.

Should we also say using a walking stick, wheelchair or mobility scooter is cheating too? No one would dare to would they & why is that?

So I ask again, why is using an ebike cheating? Would you rather those who feel they need to use an ebike for whatever reason whether a disability, parenthood or just make it easier to cycle to work every day not bother & give up cycling & use a car instead? Thus add yet more cars to the congested roads.

Come on! Lets stop this bullshit about ebikes are cheating, if you don't want to ride one then don't but quite simply just coz you don't want to doesn't mean everyone shouldn't have to. And saying they're bad for doing so deserves a bloody smack for that, you should be encouraging people to cycle & if it means using an ebike then so be it. Good on them!


I for one love the idea of ebikes, I use one when I need to when my disability isn't as good to ride my Cruiser bike. Would you rather I stayed at home or used a car when my legs are bad when cycling is just what I need to help keep my legs going & try stay free?

Who do you think you are hurting when you go on about "ebikes are for cheating"? Would you say this 80yr old is a cheater coz he chooses to ride an ebike?

Read below the responses I had to my anger at that tweet & see who they are. NONE of them are cheaters, just people using the best mode of transport to get about & stay fit & healthy or like others to. And I like to thank them for their replies.

These are just a handful over 24hrs & all feel the same that ebikes enables people to cycle when it's likely they wouldn't have. As I have often point to with my disability, #cyclingeasierthanwalking & it goes #beyondthebicycle.


It's 2018 & it needs to be the year of the eBike Cruiser...

Well it is the 1st day of 2018 & what a year 2017 has been & one focus I have had to deal with is the ever changing disability where not just 1 leg is causing issues but now the other one has joined in & that has effected my cycling. End of 2017 & looks like I have more lifestyle changes to come in 2018. So having to make changes in my life to adapt to these changes, like buying a laptop to carry on doing the stuff I normally do on the PC but can't as it hurts too much sitting at the desk. Which I have to thank my family for helping me with with vouchers & cash for Christmas to afford this lovely inexpensive laptop & this is the first blog I am writing on the new laptop.

And as I couldn't cycle today (thanks to my knee), I couldn't go to work due to no bus services so instead I have been working on my newest bike which I recently bought to become the next ebike (the 2nd Electra Townie) by adding the perfect handlebars for me & that is with the addition of the side folding centre stand & rear rack done weeks ago.


But that is just the beginning of the many things I need to do to build the perfect ebike for me & that means I need more funds.

So for this to happen I am trying to save what I can & that is a very slow progress when you're working part time & have limited funds, it took well over 6 months to save up to buy the Townie & that was only possible partly coz it was in a sale. So to get the rest of the funds at the rate its going will mean it won't be until 2019/20 before I get a fully functional ebike Cruiser & quite honestly that is too long. I would like to have it fully complete & up & running in 2018, preferably in the Summer.

So in order that I can make this happen I need to sell some of my stuff, especially my existing eBike 'Dutchess' as I can no longer ride it due to my disability changing. It's a lovely bike & atm is just sitting gathering dust & it really shouldn't be, it needs to be ridden.

More about it can be found here: For Sale! One Awesome eBike, my Dutchess. I am looking for £750 & if you are interested then please make me a reasonable offer, if its a price I'm happy to accept then I be more than happy to sell the bike. Tho of course the more I get, the better chance I have to build & complete the next ebike to replace her.

I also have other stuff available to sell to which will help fund the work needed to be done but not enough to cover the whole process to convert the Townie.

A pair of Schwalbe Land Cruiser (reflex) 700x35 that were used on a bike I no longer have & salvaged them. £15/pair.


2 sets of Panniers, the all Black throw over one is Basil & the White panelled clip on roll top one is Bikemate. £10/pair

A bike rack/hanger that can hold 2 bikes & folds down when flat, does need some padding added back onto the area where the bikes sit but is in working order. I like £10 for this.


There's also a SKS Chainboard, suitable for upto 48 teeth front Chainwheel & was bought for a previous bike (I no longer have) but never got round to fitting it on the bottom bracket. So is still new & unused & would like £15 for it.

I also have a Proviz Nightrider 30l Rucksack, got it as a gift but it's not my sort of rucksack so stayed in its packaging. Would like £40 for this.

And lastly there's The Jawbreaker Multi-tool, another gift which I rather sell than use. New & unused & like £40.

So if you are interested then make me an offer & if reasonable I be happy to accept it. You can comment on this blog where I can read but not publish it or can contact me on Twitter @2_Wheeled_Wolf or just email me on wolfdragonrider@gmail.com. 

I'm sorry if you have read all of this before but I need to sell these to get the next ebike built. I could sell them online elsewhere but that would likely involve charges & less funds for the ebike conversion of the Townie & these are just some of the stuff I am looking to sell & when I get a chance to raid the attic, I will have more to sell to get the next eBike built.

And if you can, please share this blog & hopefully someone would be happy to purchase something to help fund this ebike project.