The Smart e-bikes Project had a stand at the Eco Technology Show held at Brighton Centre on 14 – 15 June 2013. One of the excellent cycle trainers used by the project was on hand on both days to give advice and help people who wanted to ‘have a go’ on a Raleigh Dover bike (one of the bikes used for the trials) and people seemed to enjoy the experience of whizzing around the area at the back of the ground floor of the Brighton Centre.
Several people were interested in finding out more about the project and it was a worthwhile experience for the project team and a chance to meet and discuss the project with members of the public and other people interested in sustainability and alternative transport.
On Friday, 14th June at a talk entitled Bupa International taps into pedal power: Will we all be riding e-bikes in years to come?, Harriet Barratt Dorling, Manager of Economic and Social Engagement in the Arts at the University of Brighton’s Faculty of Arts, gave a short presentation on the research project, its aims and methodologies. A Bupa employee who took part in the Smart e-bikes research trial gave a first hand account of how she found the experience of using an electric bike. Although she enjoyed the experience, she explained that she is a very keen cyclist and over the period of the 2 month trial she noticed that her levels of fitness had dropped. However, she did stress that she cycles every day on a normal bike and felt that for most people this would not be a problem as she believed that the opportunity to use an electric bike was mostly beneficial and more likely to encourage exercise and the use of a bike for the majority of people.
Bupa International was the initial company to be involved with the Smart e-bikes Project and the data collected from the trials forms an integral part of the research for the project. Forty-one Bupa staff took part in 2 sets of trials between June and November 2012.