The GoPedelec! test track at the Ecohabitat fair in Jaén, southern Spain, attracted great interest by professionals of the sustainable construction sector, politicians and citizens. The latter being particularly young (16 - 29) proving, that pedelecs and e-bikes are not vehicles for the old and weak anymore.
A report from our Spanish correspondent Andrès Moreno.
The GoPedelec! project is financed by the European Union to promote Light-Electric-Vehicles (LEVs) all over Europe.
On the Test it Track at the Ecohabitat fair in Jaén more than 200 people tried the models brought by the program for the occasion. This was made possible by the cooperation of the Diputación Provincial de Jaén and IFEJA.
It was interesting to see, that 60% of people who tested the electric bicycles were on avg. between 16 to 29 years old, contrary to the popular belief that defines these vehicles as made for older people.
Cycling Made Easy
As Jaén is a city with many steep streets, the most frequently asked question was whether one could easily pedal up the Avenida de Madrid or Paseo de la Estación, two important streets of the capital and with a medium 5% degree of climb. The answer is simple: we are talking about pedal assisted bicycles, meaning hybrid vehicles driven by the riders pedalling power and the motor. This means, that there must be muscular action of the rider, and if you choose the right gear and the maximum level of engine support, the effort is much lower than in a normal bike and the benefits very high.
Jaen has grown and although it has a great ring road around the city and a tram that will cross the city up and down soon, it will still suffer from traffic problems resulting from the massive use of cars for relatively short trips. Personally, I've pedal up the Avenida de Madrid with an electric bike and I usually reach the top much faster than any car, doing moderate exercise, moving with ease through traffic jams and being clean and condescending to all who live in this beautiful city.
The Diputacion de Jaén has understood the easing potential of pedelecs and already made the necessary contacts to arrange a much bigger test track in the city next September, again organized by the GoPedelec! program and coinciding with the Mobility Week. This will help to further inform the general public about the benefits and virtues of pedelecs and let them try by themselves, to see how valuable they would be to incorporate into their daily life.
We thank Populo Servicios Turísticos for helping us manage the transport and organization of the event.
Text and picture: Andrès Moreno
14 April 2011