If you are exploring a new area for possible photo opportunities what’s the best way of getting around? Essentially there are three options all of which have their pros and cons.
Walking is great. It’s good exercise and the slow pace allows you to truly take in your surroundings and see possible compositions. You can stop whenever you like but you do have to carry all your gear with you. You can more or less go where you please and can avoid noisy, busy and potentially dangerous roads. However it does take a long time to cover very much ground.
At the other end of the scale you can get in your car and see where it takes you. It’s certainly not ‘green’ and there are no health benefits. Yes, it gets you from A to B quickly but trying to drive and take in the scenery at the same time is hardly a good idea. When you do spot a photo opportunity there is always a car behind you and even if there isn’t, the chances are there is nowhere to pull over and park the car. You drive on in search of the next picture and guess what happens – history repeats itself. How frustrating is that?!
The third option, and you can tell where this is heading, is to get on a bike and that’s what I have decided to do. It has health benefits, and whilst footpaths might be out of bounds there are many cycle lanes and bridleways to be discovered. At an average speed of say 10mph it’s 3 times faster than walking but you are not travelling so fast that you can’t take in what’s around you. With a rear bike rack you can carry your camera gear and easily stop whenever you want to.
There is though one disadvantage to using a bike as far as I am concerned. I am not as young or as fit as I used to be and the idea of pedalling up some steep hills with a stiff wind in my face is not that appealing.
The answer to this problem is an eBike. A bicycle with a small motor and rechargeable battery which provides assistance when you most need it. This technology has been around for a while now but has evolved in recent years, so much so that the sale of eBikes is souring. Do read this article by Forbes.com for more information. (Click here)
After quite a lot of research I am now the proud owner of an eBike. To be more precise a ‘Moustache’ Samedi X Road with 11 gears, full suspension, hydraulic disk brakes, a powerful Bosch motor and battery. It’s a hybrid model intended for 50/50 road and off-road use. I had never heard of ‘Moustache’ before. They are a independent French company only making eBikes.
I took the bike out for the first time yesterday and rode for 13 miles. I know that’s not far but it’s much further than I have been on a bike for a long time. First impressions – this machine is brilliant. It was supplied by Fully Charged a specialist eBike company based in Bermondsey near London Bridge Station. Their customer service using ‘online chat’ and in the store itself could not have been better. Incredibly helpful, courteous and knowledgable. First class. They also have a small cafe in the shop serving excellent coffee!
At the end of my first ride along a local cycle path I discovered the blocked up entrance to a disused railway tunnel. An ideal backdrop for a photograph and hopefully just the beginning of many enjoyable eBike excursions with my camera.