On 17th September 2022 while watching YouTube the latest funding campaign from Swytch Bikes was advertised.
I had not thought about cycling for a considerable time. I re-awoke this website from it’s slumber and reflected upon what has occurred in the last 3 years. Let me catch you up on a few key points in my life.
My cycling cessation
I used to work for a Charity, whose office was based within a local council library building. My daily commute took 23 min when cycling. I had space to store my bike and a staff toilet large enough to comfortably change clothes.
Then while working late one evening the office’s ceiling fell down, due to water damage. Thankfully I wasn’t injured physically but the shock caused me great anxiety. The building was considered unsafe and I had to relocate to a different temporary office. I eventually was relocated to a lovely office in a larger library, however my habit of cycling daily had been broken.
I put on weight, my work related stress increased and the unpleasant public transport system in Greater Manchester, which was inefficient, crowded, uncomfortable and expensive was my daily reality.
The Covid-19 Pandemic resulted in me working from home for the best part of 18 months. I put on more weight, I no longer fit into my cycling clothes. My bicycles sat outside getting rusty chains and faded handlebar grips and tape.
New Job / New City Center Office
In January 2021 I started a new job. I can’t recommend enough that if you are unhappy in your current work situation, then get a new job. Life’s too short to be unhappy.
My work life happiness has dramatically improved throughout 2021 and the first 3/4 of 2022. I have been back in the office 3 days a week for about the last 12 months. My work colleagues are great and my current employer is considerate of my safety and well-being. I feel supported and appreciated in equal measure.
A few weeks ago I invited a work colleague to come for a drink after work on Friday. I work in Manchester and we visited a pub I used to attend for pub quizzes pre-pandemic. We chatted about ways to improve the world for about an hour and after a pint I headed home.
I was waiting at a quieter bus stop than usual. A stranger came up to me and while standing a few inches from my face insulted me and attempted to provoke a hate crime against a young lady waiting at the same bus stop.
I am over forty, the attacker was a young and very drunk builder in his early 20’s. I stood up for myself and criticized the attacker for his behavior. This lead to a few ‘bluff chargers’ from the attacker and then escalated to him throwing his bag, coat and High Viz vest into the road.
The attacker was very drunk. After I had used my brain to manipulate the situation and the attackers actions, and the attacker had almost been hit by cars on two occasions. I was able to de-escalate the situation.
I hadn’t received any physical injury (thank god). I learnt that my attacker was called Paul, he worked in construction near my city center office, I know the company he worked for and where he lived. I learnt how long he had been drinking to get into the state he was and why he had ‘abused alcohol’ at the end of his working week.
I felt a lot of sympathy for Paul, but despite the way things ended with Paul’s profuse apologies and his promising to return home without causing any more trouble. I was left with even less desire to waste my time using buses as my primary form of transport.
Options for the future
If I move away from public transport for my commute to work then an electric bike might help me get back into the habit of cycling.
Reasons to choose Swytch
- The Max battery range is enough for my daily commute without needing to recharge at work.
- The price with the ‘pre-order’ discount of 60% is competitive with other conversion kits on eBay, but more pragmatic and elegant.
- I would save £4 per day in bus fares and the cost of recharging the ‘Max’ battery pack would be relatively cheap.
Bus fare savings per year
(2.5 days / week) x (47 weeks / year) x £4 = £470 / year
Electricity Cost of Daily Commute (Max Battery)
Electricity Cost per kWh (~£0.50 estimate for 2022 – 2024)
Max has capacity of 0.18 kWh
Cost per 30 km full recharge = £0.09 / charge
My commute is about 16 km per day
Cost per day is (16 km / 30 km) x £0.09 / full charge = £0.048 / day
- The battery has a relatively small capacity and given it’s suggested Max range of 30 km I can only assume it’s delivering an average power of ‘assist’ to the cyclist of ~ 100 – 200 W. Therefore there is still a lot of ‘exercise’ the rider is getting from the commute. So I expect my health and muscle mass would increase over time.
What do you think, should I order a Switch Kit for delivery early in 2023?