Everyday Cycling Heroes: Mark
Mark has been riding a bike ever since he can remember, describing it as an integral part of his childhood. As he got older, his love for bikes never died, but the effort required to ride became a bit of a barrier for him. Mark came to us to trial an e-cargo bike, and never looked back.
Riding a bike gave Mark his first taste of independence, and the freedom to roam. During his twenties in London, Mark would think nothing of jumping on his bike in the pouring rain to visit friends 10 miles across the city.
As often happens, a car became Mark’s main mode of transport as he got older. In his early 40s, he moved to the West End of Glasgow and a friend introduced him to the delights of the Kelvin Walkway. He started cycling again regularly, investing in a new bike and pannier bags to do his shopping. Alongside his bike, he was driving a diesel van for work.
A couple of years ago, Mark became aware of electric bikes (e-bikes) and their potential. Initially, Mark and his wife Alison felt they could not afford the outlay. Luckily, Alison was following Bike for Good on Facebook, where she spotted a post about our free e-bike trials, an opportunity made available to local residents through our VeloCommunities project.
Mark and his wife borrowed the Tern GSD E-Cargo bike from us in February 2019 for a week, for free. The Tern appealed to Mark because he could envision his wife as a passenger, and it provided the option to carry cargo. Even better, Mark and Alison discovered that there was a possibility of a 0% loan scheme to purchase an e-bike with the Energy Savings Trust, easing his worries about financial constraints.
“Even in unpleasant weather I enjoyed riding this bike. I am in my late 50s and I had begun to find riding an acoustic bike carrying a load to be quite problematic for me. I was amazed at how easy it was to incorporate the e-cargo bike into my daily life, and how easy it had become to carry a load.”
Mark became interested at the possibility of replacing his diesel van with an e-cargo bike, a much more environmentally-friendly option. Another big positive that came out of the trial loan, was that his wife Alison absolutely loved riding pillion; and the couple got excited about planning trips around the canal paths and rivers in Glasgow.
The decision was made, and a Tern GSD E-Cargo bike became theirs in April 2019. Since Mark purchased the bike, he has ridden over 2500 miles around Glasgow and the surrounding areas.
“These are miles I surely would have completed in my van, previously. My parking costs have been slashed to zero, and the savings I have made from no longer buying diesel have been enormous. I have now taken my van off the road, and am in the process of selling it.”
One of Mark’s favourite things about the bike, is that the electrical assistance offered largely reduces the need for him to wear specialised bike clothing. He now feels he can wear his normal clothes on a cycle and wrap up warm, without sweating buckets with the strain of a normal bike, which was no longer serving him.
In the spring, Alison and Mark are planning a trip to the Kelpies in Falkirk on the bike, and are looking forward to more adventures on their Tern.
If you are interested in trialling an e-bike, or an e-cargo bike, this opportunity is available to you if you are a West End local. Or if you are ready to buy, like Mark, we sell e-bikes too. Please call us on 0141 248 5409. 0% loans from Energy Savings Trust are available. A massive thanks to our funder, the Climate Challenge Fund, for making this possible.