Finally the sun has arrived on our epic (400km) cycle ride from the North (Alghero) to the South (Pula) of Sardinia. I have been too depressed until now to document our trip as the weather has literally drained our spirits away:
This was supposed to be our cycling path; we had to carry our bikes across the river that formed as the the rains have been torrential. Last week many of the roads were washed away, towns and businesses flooded, we found Sky news reporting in one we rode through as locals were frantically sand bagging their shop fronts!
We have hired electric bikes before and although it is a complete cheat in many ways it does really allow you to cover huge distance and see much more than you may ordinarily do….and they are so much fun…so we were delighted to see the sunshine yesterday at last:
Note my ‘delighted’ face!
The bikes mean that even if you are not a confident cyclist it is still possible to explore and get a real sense of adventure. They look like a normal bike except although they are significantly heavier with the motor and the battery on board; we had 10 gears which act like ordinary bike gears. Added to the gears you have an odometer into which is built a control for the amount of assistance you would like (eco, tour, sport or turbo). The odometer will also inform you of the range you have left in the battery if you were to drain it using the selected assistance level so that you can gauge how much or little you can rely on it until your next charge.
In eco mode the pedal assistance is quite mild but still noticeable, in particular up the hills where the assistance just takes the edge of the puff and pant. The assistance on any mode cuts out over 25km/hr which is to try and avoid you going uncontrollably fast (and a legal requirement I think as the brakes are only normal bike small disc brakes). As you increase the assistance level you can really feel the motor tugging you along and there are times where you feel like you really put very little in for example in sport or turbo modes on the flat! Which makes it really fun as you can accelerate very fast from a spot in these modes, added to which up a hill in turbo at 25km/h is hilarious! Especially when you overtake very serious road cyclists!!
The island is extremely varied; quite undulating and a mecca for off road mountain bikers with many short and long single tracks and cross country routes. But we have been mainly sticking to smooth tarmac paths and minor roads which has taken us through some sleepy towns. We stop when we see a nice cafe or restaurant, the food is wonderfully fresh and the people are very friendly, before hopping back on our steads and heading off….I highly recommend this form of transport, the mild exercise and the Italian food of course!