I used to bike to school when I was young – and when I arrived in Luxembourg, I brought my old bike, decided that 3 gears were definitely not enough, bought a 7-gear one and enjoyed that for a number of years.
Even so, if you know Luxembourg, you are aware that is built on at least as many hills as Rome, and from where I live, I have to go 100 m up to ride to the old Kirchberg district were we used to work. A bit too strenuous for my liking.
Thanks to Oliver’s great powerpoint about buying an e-bike, my wife and I decided in summer 2020 to finally go for e-bikes. Our criteria were: sufficiently powerful to go up Luxembourg hills, sufficiently big battery to take longer trips and a fairly upright position (we were riding Dutch bikes beforehand).
This was after the first lockdown, when we decided we would spend the summer holidays exploring Luxembourg sights rather than travel abroad. I started by phoning all Luxembourg cycling shops, but everything was sold out… Finally, we slipped across the border to Germany, where a good cycle shop still had some models left. Having heard about long queues and the limited number of customers allowed in, we set out at 7.00 in the morning to arrive on their doorstep half an hour before opening time. They were very good in providing explanations, we were able to test several bikes and finally settled on two Kalkhoff bikes, one with a Bosch and the other with a Shimano engine.
We have since used them very regularly, exploring different parts of Luxembourg and abroad, and now hills are no longer an obstacle: turbo mode on and we fly up there! The bikes are comfortable, easy to use, the batteries have retained nearly full charge even after several winter months without any use, and we have a basket to take our dog along for the ride. Another recent addition is a Peak Design phone holder that is sturdy and easy to use – I’m almost tempted to have Teams meetings on the road, but that is probably not a safe idea…
The bike also came in handy to drive out on summer mornings and take photos of the sunrise – as you can see from the photo.
What I haven’t done so far is to bike to work – the hills are not a problem anymore, but the whole ride would take an hour in each direction, and the last part has quite heavy traffic. I do solemnly swear that I will take the trip to work by bike at least once before the summer – who knows I get hooked on this new mode of transportation…