The Joy of Riding
In 2007, in Switzerland, our employer offered us an e-cycle at a reduced price. The company was trying to reduce its carbon footprint by getting us to cycle to work rather than drive. I seized the opportunity! Suddenly, I was able to go down to Lake Geneva for swimming without being discouraged in advance by the steep incline back home, and I started to exercise much more.
Soon I was strong enough to follow my younger and fitter friends on cycle tours, and keep fond memories of our tour around the Bodensee on the magnificent cycle paths spanning Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. I was following four trained cyclist friends without missing a beat!
In Auroville, I couldn’t find any e-cycle to rent and got the next best thing, a Giant Simple 7 from Aurovelo. From the Shakti community, I pedaled every day to Matrimandir, Town Hall, or Visitors Center where I was helping out. I lost 9 kg in 3 months. What a joy!
Then Summer came and arriving drenched in sweat to work or meetings were embarrassing, cycling around at noon for lunch felt like entering an oven, and even going out at night was hard work. KINISI gave me an electric scooter. What a relief! But then I had to suffer through the pollution and dust of the Auroville roads, and I lost touch with the cool, shaded, dust-free, and softly winding cycle trails… That’s when I decided to get an e-cycle.
It is a normal cycle equipped with a Hulikkal electric kit. It has two riding modes: no assist or full throttle. There is a partial assist mode, but it is jerky and I don’t use it.
The cycle goes plenty fast for my taste, and makes me feel safe going out at night, because the front light is amazingly bright, and the rear brake light is so large! The battery unlocks and slides out easily from the back carrier for quick charging (2-3 hours only) on any outlet, giving 30-40 km autonomy. What a joy it is to ride! Best of all, I can go back to my lovely cycle paths! Thank you Kinisi!