I thought I'd share with you my recent trip in Israel and Europe as an excellent example of how a good quality folding electric bike can transform the way you travel.
I had a wedding on a somewhat isolated Kibbutz in central Israel on Sunday night then my nephew's Bar Mitzvah (Jewish coming of age ceremony) in Strasbourg France on Monday night and Tuesday, then Eurobike 2010 on Lake Constance in Germany on Wednesday & Thursday returning to Israel on Thursday night / friday morning.
I have a Brompton M3L-X (Kojak tyres) with Freedom Ebikes electric conversion (it's our demo bike). The bike weighs 12kg incl motor plus another 1kg for one battery & controller).
For this trip I managed to pack all my clothes etc (incl dress clothes) as well as two 950gm batteries, charger, chain, lights and other equipment for the 5 day trip into a Brompton C Bag.
I used a small (child's) backpack to carry a couple of extra items and the Phil & Ted's stroller travel bag I use to put the folded Brompton in (it's the perfect size and is dual use!)
My trip went like this:
1. I rode from my home to the Jerusalem Central Bus station. A 4-5km mainly steep uphill ride that takes 30-45 min by bus and 20-30 min by taxi (because of traffic and indirect roads) but only 15 min by Freedom Ebike via some pedestrian / bike path short cuts and through parkland (with bike tracks). At the bus I folded the bike an stowed it and the back pack in the under bus luggage area. The C bag came with me on the bus.
2. I then caught a bus for 45 min to the closest bus stop to the wedding venue. I unfolded the bike and rode 5km to the wedding, arriving with a minimum of sweat thanks to the motor. I changed and locked up the bike and enjoyed the wedding.
3. At around 1:30am as the wedding ended I gave the used battery a quick 15 minute (20%) top up charge and then I rode 20km to Ben Gurion international airport surprising the security guards as I arrived via electric Brompton at 2:15am.
4. Once at the airport the Brompton was an excellent luggage carrier which I folded and placed into the Phil & Ted's bag just as I was checking in. Importantly all my check-in luggage (including bike, batteries, Phil & Ted's bag, shoes, toiletries and other non-carry on items) came to exactly 20kg - No excess luggage to pay.
5. I then took a 4:50am flight to Berlin then Stuttgart where I hired a VW Golf and put the bike and luggage in the trunk and drove to Strasbourg where I could have used Strasbourg's excellent cycle lanes to explore the city (had I not been too busy with family).
6. On the Wednesday morning I drove to Eurobike 2010, parked a few km away in free parking and rode to the show where I explored the huge electric bike pavilions with my electric Brompton and was able to give many interested parties demo rides on the test track including showing off its hill climbing abilities. My Freedom Ebike M3LX was by far the lightest folding electric bike at the show - at 13kg 30% lighter than Birdy's 18.6kg Bionx hybrid, the only other high quality folder on show. At the end of the day I rode back to the car (thanks google maps & iphone) and drove to my hotel in Lindau.
7. Next morning I drove to the parking lot beside Lindau Island, took out my Freedom Ebikes electric M3L-X and rode around the quaint historic island with gorgeous views across the lake to the Swiss Alps.
8. I then drove back towards Eurobike and took a detour through some quaint German countryside to avoid the traffic and parked just outside a village about 5km on the other side of the bike show from the city thus avoiding heavy traffic and parking issues. I rode through some lovely countryside to Eurobike and then back in the afternoon.
9. Afterwards I drove to Munich Airport (at 180kmph on the autobahn) and used the Brompton as a luggage carrier as I raced through the airport to checkin (I thought I was late). The check-in girl asked whether I'd paid for carriage of a bike - I said it was normal luggage and promptly folded it and put it in the Phil & Teds bag. She said wow and agreed.
10. Arriving back in Israel at 2:30am I caught a shared taxi to Jerusalem and then, knowing that my area was often the last to drop off, got out at the first Jerusalem stop, unfolded the bike and rode 15 minutes home thus saving 30 minutes and much frustration of always being last to be dropped off. Over 5 days across 2 continents my Brompton Freedom Ebike had given me enormous freedom to get where I needed, saved $$$ in parking & taxi fares, gave me complete flexibility, and kept me fit as well.