The threshold for ‘but I have to’ gets lower until I’m scarcely prepared to use my legs I reviewed an electric bike once in the 90s, before anyone discovered intuitive software. Working out how to turn it on and off was way beyond anything I’d picked up from a basic humanities education and it was like a high-intensity, unwanted brain workout accompanied by a real fear of death. Everything has changed. The Raleigh Mustang Comp controls are very obvious, the weight is greater than a regular racer yet it’s hardly a moped, but most of all, it’s no longer an energy boost for the tired commuter; it’s a training aid. You pedal for as long as you’re able, and kick the motor in only when you have to. It doesn’t go madly fast — about 22km/h unless you’re determined – but it feels like flying. As the week goes on, the threshold for “but I have to” gets lower and lower until I’m scarcely prepared to use my own legs. But on the other hand, I was cycling everywhere. “I must be getting fitter,” I’d think, sashaying up to Crystal Palace in south London just for the hell of checking out its one-way system, “because I’m so incredibly cold”. I became so attached to it as a mode of transport that I actually Googled the fitness benefits of not being warm enough, but there are none.
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