The Barnsley CycleBoost scheme is a completely free way for you to see if cycling is for you. They loan out both regular pedal bikes and electric bikes for free to the people of Barnsley for between one and three months.
We got on the list, waited a while and hey-presto got one to take for a spin.
I collected my bike under Covid restrictions from the Cycle hub on Eldon street in Barnsley and was met by a great chap who simply knows lots about bikes.
So the bike was ready for me, everything was explained very clearly and we took it for a test ride up back Region Street. He watched me as I tenderly manoeuvred the bike up the alley and turned it round to come back.
I could see he was definitely impressed with my cycling skills 🙂 and I was ready to go and take the journey home back to Shafton. So I hopped on went left got stuck down dead end taxi rank and went back up the road and headed down Eldon Street past ASDA. Yes this is a breeze.
I bolted up Rotherham Road, Carlton Hill without breaking a sweat then past the bakery and then zoomed up Cudworth bypass and into Shafton.
It took me 30 mins from bus station back to Shafton. Loved it 🙂
The bike I loaned was a Gepida e-bike Reptila 1000. It runs on a Bosch Active-line plus motor system and it is very good although it’s limited to 16 Mph and then you have to start working it. It’s a lovely city style bike and I felt really safe and confident on it knowing it had been checked and maintained by the hub. It came with a pannier to store the bike lock and anything else you wanted to put in there in your way home from the shops.
The bike also included a helmet, lights and battery charger plus keys too not only to make sure the battery was safe but a key to secure bike parking in the town centre. Yes, you can go into town and lock it up safe and secure.
Just in-case anyone was thinking of nicking one (we wouldn’t do that in Barnsley would we?) The bike is GPS tracked and the hub can see how it is being used. If used lots the bike loan can be extended up-to 12 weeks.
Overall a great experience. As bike rider years a go and even more recent on the push-rod it felt like cheating a bit but if it gets you out in the fresh air then why not. I only wish I could afford an electric bike and have to take it back just after 4 weeks.. They are quite pricey at £2000 + but I’m sure they will come down in price or maybe more schemes to get us all cycling.