Ever heard the music track ‘Road to Nowhere’ by the band, Talking Heads? If not, you should. If you have, listen to it again. It’s a tenuous music link to the subject of this post, which involves 2 ebikes and 3 friends. However, I have an announcement to make first.
Just recently, I informed work of my retirement in early 2022. This means that I will take a different road to somewhere new and do some different stuff, of which things on two wheels will play a major part. It will also involve bikes with 3 engines; petrol powered, electric powered and food powered. This last one is obviously me. Some people retire because they have to and don’t know what to do with all that spare time. Some people retire to do other stuff whilst they can. Some people sadly, never make it as far as retirement. Anyway, I have a list of stuff that I want to do as well as a list of stuff equally exciting to do together with my wife.
Firstly, it means that this blog will develop at pace, and here is a (Talking) Heads-up🤪 about how I would describe the future of it, and what you can expect to see and read, and maybe even hear and watch. Read on…….
Diversity and inclusion👍
You may have picked up the threads throughout my posts regarding promoting inclusiveness across all aspects of life and cycling, whilst recognising the interests and diversity of the people I feature and admire. This will continue.
Every ride will be an adventure, getting lost, stopping and looking at stuff, taking photos, meeting people who connect me with other people and places, and capturing the moments.
Supporting the innovators👍
Whilst you’ll notice some links in my sidebar for cycling start-ups, I’m constantly on the look-out for innovators in the cycling world, which doesn’t necessarily mean product innovators either.
Interviewing the interesting👍
Sharing the really interesting people who I meet is paramount to what I want to provide in the form of knowledge transfer and entertainment for readers. Hopefully, I can continue to tease out great stuff with the right questions.
You may have noticed a brand passion thread going through the posts regarding Cannondale and Cilo bikes. Two very different brands and from different eras. There will be more on these in the future you can be sure of. In addition, I think the ebike is an interesting subject as we see a paradigm shift in cycling access and enjoyment for all, as well as an accompanying fast shift in technology.
The introduction of new communication platforms👍
Whilst I have a lot of fun with this blog in written and pictorial format, I will include some new approaches using audio and video, so even if you are still watching TV in black and white, it will still sound the same.
So what? Well, let’s start with a celebration retirement gift, which I’ve naturally bought for myself as I haven’t got time to wait for anyone else to buy me something. I bought an eMTB in 2019 and whilst I’ve written about it in posts, I only actually use it for 50% of my cycling. The other 50% is just me as the engine on an ‘unassisted bike’. The eMTB is the bridge between an off-road motorcycle and a human powered MTB. I use it when everywhere is wet or on alpine rides where an engine assistance just makes it more enjoyable, traction-gifted and sense.
What I have never experienced, is an ebike for the road. Cheating? Nope. My plan in retirement is to cycle for longer and further than my usual 2-3 hour bike rides. I want to push the boundaries of the battery range and motor assistance, which means pedalling effort, just like an unassisted bike. I saw a fabulous ebike in the window of my local bike shop, Cycles Colin (link at end of post) and where I bought my Trek eMTB. They are a super helpful team and have done stuff like removed parts that I didn’t have the tool for, ordered weird stuff for me like studded ice tyres etc and it’s just a pleasure to go in there.
The bike I saw and have subsequently bought, is a Diamant Zouma Supreme+. Sounds special huh! It is the 25kmh version and not the 45kmh one. I want battery range and not top speed for commuting. The motor and battery power are the same on both bikes so my version will go further, although not as fast in covering distance, but this isn’t a problem for me, because I’ll be retired! Ha! I collect my bike from the shop, have a ‘pleased customer with new bike photo’ taken with Mathias, who is smiling as he’s sold me two ebikes now, and head off up the hill back home on what is a 500 metre climb in a few kilometres. The previously wet roads have dried out in recognition of my nice new bike, but it will get a wet christening soon I am sure. I announce my pleased arrival at home and my wife sees the bike for the first time. She likes it.
Diamant is a famous German brand that the Trek bicycle Corporation bought in 2002 and they only use the name on their premium bikes in Switzerland and on the range of Trek bikes in Germany. Diamant were originally a sewing machine parts and high quality needles manufacturing company that started in 1882 and only 3 years later, launched their first bicycle. As an innovative company, they designed and produced the double-roller chain in 1898, which is a design that is still used today and recognised as the international standard for chains. Diamant sponsored riders from as early as 1920 and their race bikes from the 1930s to 1950s are legendary, winning many championships and races. They also made knitting machines in the 1950s as well.
The first long battery range test on my new Diamant will be to ride it to my friends amazing garage (see link below), which is a Swiss-rolling 112 kilometres round trip and I intend to do it without a charge. Just in case I get too carried away with the turbo button on the way there (it is my first long ride after all), I’ll take the charger with me just in case. I’ve done this ride fairly recently on a race bike one way only and in 2 hours, so it’ll be a good comparison from a time, speed and energy perspective. I want some small cycle parts so I won’t be buying anything big like the last visit (see link below) where I came home with a limited edition, Ducati branded MTB.
Another upcoming ride on the eMTB this time will be with another friend and in the Swiss Jura mountains. This is the northern range of mountains that separates France and Switzerland. Whilst this mountain range isn’t as high as the more southern Alps, it is where the coldest temperature has ever been recorded in Switzerland at -41.8 degrees Celsius (-43.2 Fahrenheit). The ride we will do will be in May and not quite as cold😉. A full report to follow.
The last range and power test of both me and my new ebike is to go out with my work friend who is 8 years younger than me and regularly hammers his Pinnarello Superbike, which cost at least twice what my Diamant cost, over the Swiss Alps for 4-5 hours. He averages about 25kmh over the big climbs and descents, so I reckon I will be able to stay with him and maybe even pace him up the big climbs faster. I just need to get through the full 130 kilometres distance without running out of battery. A full report to follow.
So as the title says, I’m on a road to somewhere and if I sound excited about the prospect, it’s because I am. More stuff to follow!
Here’s the link to my local Swiss bike shophttps://www.cyclescolin.ch/accueil
Not read about the most amazing bicycle garage? Read this https://diaryofacyclingnobody.com/the-ultimate-aladdins-cave-of-bike-shops-is-in-switzerland/
Ever bought a Ducati bicycle when you didn’t expect to? Here’s my story https://diaryofacyclingnobody.com/ducati/