June 13th – At my destination, a very unusual steed was parked in their shed: an Elegance electric bike. It has a 3 speed Shimano Inter-M rear hub, driven by a shaft drive (yes, shaft drive, so no chain), rear roller brake, front disc brake, a large battery on the back and a motor in the front hub.
It was a heavy beast, and seemed to have both electric pedal assist, full motor drive and pedal only options. It’s a nice looking thing, but it was very heavy, and I wouldn’t want to pedal that far without electric drive…
The shaft drive is clever, but it’s a lot of faith to put into small gears with high efficiency losses and worrying wear rate.
Having said that, it’s a lot of innovative design for a shade off £700.
I don’t like e-bikes, but I can see the utility of this. Find out more about it here.
December 14th – There’s a small stub of driveway or track off Old Park Road in Kings Hill called Kings Hill Field. I think once, it went right across the park to the Darlaston Road, and I suspect it’s the remnant of an old right of way, now curtailed by the lovely Kings Hill Park. There’s a small row of terraces, and the gates to the park; and in the right light, by chance, it looks beautiful.
This is why I love this place.
February 1st – A thing of rare beauty indeed. I shall be ferreting around with this and other mechanical wonders in the coming weeks. There’s nothing like a bit of experimental bike spannering to get you thinking.
November 8th – Urban design. This really irritates me – so much so, one day I’m going to twist the sign out of the way. When on the stop line at the front of the queue leaving Birmingham New Street Station, a sign on a nearby lighting column obscures the view of the lights unless you’re in just the right position. Usually, you’re surrounded by traffic, or in bright sunlight, obscuring the other signals.
I’ve been through here in a van and it’s no better, really. I wish people would think about this stuff – it really is time for less clutter signage at junctions.