A mother-of-two from Aberystwyth is considering ditching her car for a bike after taking part in Sustrans’ E-Move electric cycle loan scheme.
When Hannah Engelkamp, 44, loaned an electric bike for one month, it allowed her to cycle her two young children across town to school and back every day.
The main reason for borrowing the bike was for school runs, but Hannah also used it for food shops, to explore the local area, and visit family and friends.
“Having the electric bike was a complete game-changer for the whole family. Before the trial I had never even sat on an electric bike, now I am considering investing in one!
“I try to make as many green choices as possible, but this sometimes limits our choice of places to go with the children knowing they have to walk back home tired.
“The e-bike made the school commute fun, easy and quick, while also expanding our range for local adventures. Not only is the e-bike cheaper and more environmentally friendly, it also opened up our world.
“We barely used our car during the trial, and it made me realise we really don’t need two cars.
“We are seriously considering trading one in for an electric bike. It will save us money in the long run and provide us with a cleaner, greener mode of transport for shorter journeys.”
The Sustrans E-move pilot, funded by Welsh Government, is an electric cycle loan scheme for people living in Aberystwyth, Barry, Swansea, Newtown, and their surrounding areas.
People may remember Hannah for her walk around Wales with Chico the donkey.
“I’ve gone from choosing an awkward travelling companion then - the donkey 10 years ago, when everything was about adventure and putting yourself in interesting and difficult, exciting, fulfilling situations - to now,” said Hannah.
“We’ve still got the donkey and we’ve added two children along the way who are equally stubborn and provide access issues - faff with buggies, etc.
“These different experiences primed me for my current job for Slow Ways, an organisation creating a network of walking routes to connect all of Britain’s towns, cities and national parks by the most accessible, safe, pleasant way possible.
“This project is about whatever you can walk or wheel (by scooter or wheelchair) personally. There is a clear progression from donkeys to children and what I do today.
“Some Slow Ways are walkable and there are limitations to how far you can walk with kids so we applied for this e-bike and it made a huge difference to us.
“We can do the school run faster and more enjoyably proving you don’t always have to drive. There was a real joy about the commute that I think you lose in a car on a short distance. We could also do a weekly shop on the bike and we have gone as far as Llanfarian and up the Rheidol.
“I felt really confident on this bike. Electric bikes aren’t cheap if you think of them as a bike. But if you think of them as a car, they’re a cheap substitute, depending on where you live.”