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The first thing I did as I went outside is driving around with the e-bike in the garden. We don't have an English lawn and it's good to practise a bit in the country. The youngest offered to give me a hand with our never-ending DIY projects in and outside so I drove around with her too. First time on a moped in years and for my children, it is the very first time. It's a moped, not a bike.
I tried the pedals but couldn't start although the one in the shop did. That bike also kept moving the pedals which I found weird plus it's dangerous because it can hit your legs. If you are tall or I should say if you have long legs like I have this bike is too low. It's meant for little people or those with short(er) legs. This means it's perfect for the youngest and the bus-kid (who is a bit taller than me but hasn't such long legs). Long legs or not, I drove it and it was fun. I miss the scooter I once had.
Yesterday we picked up the moped after nearly 2 weeks of waiting. I let the bus-kid practice on the marketplace first which is much safer than sending it out on the road. It was good enough to learn how to drive around on the small lanes and for using the signals and breaks. It's amazing how fast one gets used to it even if it's for the first time. With me on the back, we drove a bit around and after that, it was time to go home. Me by car and my child by bike. We agreed I would wait at a certain corner half away to check out how or what. Guess what? It worked the other way round. While I had to wait because of all the traffic the bike could take shortcuts and was already out of my vision as I still struggled to get out of town. For a moment I wondered where it could be or if the bicycle road was taken but then I saw a red shirt far ahead of me.
From the meeting point on I drove behind the bike. I can tell you it l's fast enough and if it's used in the right way it can drive 45 perhaps even 50 kilometres an hour which isn't bad at all. Just a pity the roads are bad and... the way back home or out of here is a land road which has a lot of common with a beach or if you like a desert at the moment.
Bicycling should be possible but it's no option at least not for me. The bike is heavy which means it's a hard job to push and turn it. By turn, we drove it on the land and I can tell you that was hard. A bit disappointing is you can not walk next to it while the engine runs. It goes too fast. You need to sit on it and keep both feet on the ground to avoid the bike slipping away or aside. With long legs that is nearly impossible but stubborn me needed to try it. Once back home we were dirty I can tell you that.
I am a bit worried about the road and all those times we cannot use it because getting out of here is hard or nearly impossible (same for ordinary bikes which need to be lifted for 3 kilometres). If that's the case the e-bike will be pretty useless. Well, time will tell. If it rains or isn't so warm the road will be different and driving might be easier and for sure it will be faster than using a bike and cheaper than driving a car.
So after I drove around alone and with the youngest I let her drive. It went well inside our garden so I told her to drive on the land road, the part where it was still possible.
"What if those dogs come", she asked.
"Just drive on", I advised. It was long after she left that I thought the bike came with a horn. We tried it and just like the sound of the signals it hurts the ears. If you ask me that horn makes more noise than the one in my car. If it comes to horning I dislike horns and therefore I never use them.
I bought two extra chain locks next to the lock the bike came with. If the bike is locked an alarm goes off if someone tries to take it away. It's a nice extra but questionable if it would stop someone from stealing it. Once a police officer told me as my scooter was stolen they would even help the thief to lift it into the van if he said he lost the keys. What kind of policeman does that? He even said: What kind of scooter do you like? They can steal them for you.
I can tell you at that time my heart was broken as my scooter was stolen. I locked, used extra heavy chain locks but it was gone within a few minutes and of course, no one noticed anything. People always see everything, gossip and love sensation but if it comes to this... I am quite sure the police did nothing. You waste hours at the police office (these days you can do it yourself online) and next they throw it away. They even admit they do not investigate robberies it's merely for some statistics and sometimes proof insurance companies ask for.
The present bike isn't the quality we had in the old days (my old days of course). I wrote about that earlier and that text you can read here:
In my childhood children at the age of 6-8 years old started learning how to bicycle. In most cases it was on a bigger bike. There was no money to buy a new one every two years till a child stopped growing. This means no little bicycle with small wheels as a help to not fall down. It was a bike bike and a push and off you you go. If not forward into the bushes or on the street. No helmet, knee or elbow protection. If you couldn't sit on the saddle you stood on the pedals. At primary school in the 6th grade, you had to bring your bike with you to school to pass the traffic exam by bicycling a route given. This exam still exists.
At the age of 16 mopeds were popular. Many boys had one, later girls too. A Puch was the best brand and I still see their advertisement in poster size. I never had one. Most likely because I could walk to school and there was no place to go. I wonder if Puch still exists. The last time I saw one was the one I bought for my ex his birthday. That was 30 years ago.
My children never showed interest in a moped at the age of 16. At that time you no longer could buy one and drive it. You needed a driver's license. The one for car driving is good and if you don't have one the only way is to go for the moped license. It feels as if it is the world upside down but it is for sure another way of labelling people as dumb, incapable (you can't do anything before some school taught you how to do it and you have your license). A moped license? This change started about 25-30 years ago too. My children were not interested. Why wasting money on moped lessons and exams if you can go by a car two years later? They preferred to use their bikes instead. No bus but bike. Every day 1-1.5 hours by bike to school under every weather circumstance and 1-1.5 hours to arrive back home and never the wind in the back.
As the e-bike appeared we were not interested. E-bikes are extremely expensive plus you still need to use the pedals. It only makes pedalling easier. Good enough for those who love to bicycle for 30-40 kilometres but not for us. For the price of an e-bike, I can buy one if not two cars. Even a broken battery costs a fortune (a car). Insurance for bikes, mopeds and e-bikes are quite normal today and isn't cheap. But all of those are necessary because even if you use 4 locks it is stolen if you turn around.
Slowly entire populations are forced into e-bikes, e-mopeds and e-cars. You are not able to travel far with an e-car, not able to travel at all without power but that is exactly the point. Humans shouldn't travel but stay at home. That's why we have lockdowns. Positive about an e-bike is you don't need to visit a gas station and it makes it easier to travel longer distances. Negative is you need the power to use it and if this is your only transport you have nothing if the battery is empty.
The moped looks like modern cars... cheap, plastic made in China. It came in parts and the shop had to build it together. This is also a huge difference from my childhood. Quality articles are rare today. Bikes, furniture, literally everything arrives as a DIY parcel made out of plastic or pressed wood fibres. Articles in parts aren't cheaper frequently more expensive although they are unfinished.
We decided to take a two-seater e-moped in case of need. That case is no car but can also be extra transport to reduce the trips to the gas station and save me the high costs of gasoline.
If everything we need uses electricity it will be dangerous. The price of electricity will be sky-high. People can give up on the toaster, coffee machine, television, fridge, oven and stove but if water, heating the house during winters depends on it... if it is the only way of transport and your bank account is involved too there is a huge problem. It means all your beds are on one horse and you will most like lose everything.
Who does not think about his future doesn't invest, will always remain poor!