I had a cracking start to the week. A Sunday kick about with my lad, an innocuous jog to get the ball and CRACK I rolled over my ankle and went down like a sack o shit. With gritted teeth amidst excruciating pain, I told Dan football was over and we needed to go home.

I’ve sprained my ankle a few times in the past, the first being the worst in a 5-a-side game some years ago which came up like an egg by the time I rolled over and took my shoes and sock off.

I limped home and took a look. It was painful but to my surprise and my son’s (who went a bit green) the egg sized swelling was there under my sock. I’d done a proper job of it.

I popped some Ibuprofen and began the ice treatment pissed that my short term cycling future was on hold.

elephant foot

By Tuesday my ankle was still very swollen but I was able to just about drive being very careful to brake a lot earlier than I normally would. I got to work safely and decided to ditch the van for the week as I hate sitting in traffic, it stresses me out and it was the safer option.

I decided to get the train home so I borrowed an AXON RIDES demo electric folding bike from the store to get me to the station. What a revelation this tiny thing was.


Richard, our new store manager, has a Brompton so I popped them side by side to compare. Wow! It folded up smaller! Actually folding it was easy too. Pedal at 6 o clock, battery (the seatpost) down, unclip the frame, unclip the bars and fold it down, job done. I’d say you could fold it down and open it back up again in less than 30 secs. You can fold the pedals in too if you want. Weight wise it’s fine aswell. About 16kgs which was no problem to carry onto the train carriage.

see for yourself how simple it is

So back to the train. I caught it home which I have to say, despite taking probably a bit longer than the van, it was stress-free, on time and relaxing. The bike was neatly stowed away by me in between the seats and when I got to the station my girlfriend picked me up and it happily folded down and fitted into the tiny boot of her Abarth 500.

it’s small footprint is a big positive

On Wednesday morning I normally cycle into Brum to meet fellow commuters for coffee. We call it Bike #BreakfastClub and anyone is welcome to join us. For October and November we’re meeting in Moor St station from about 7.15am. I had initially decided not to go but I changed my mind and drove to the station because it was thundering down with rain and I hadn’t really tested my ankle cycling yet. I got soaked riding 50 yards from the car once I’d unfolded the bike.

Bike #BreakfastClub

On the train and all was good again. Stress free, easy and convenient. I was liking the train again. Been a long time since I’d been on one. Off at New St I scooted across to Moor St to meet the gang and had a coffee. Numbers were down due to the weather but that didn’t put some hardcore off.

Using the train meant I could stay longer so I had another drink before I cycled back to New St and caught the train to Sutton Coldfield and then the 5 min cycle to shop. Loved it. Great bike and the ankle held up.

Proudly on display in Moor St station

A bit more about the bike. It’s single speed, so no faffy gears but it does have a 250w 3-step motor with 3 modes which basically feels like it picks up or assists you at different speeds or torque. Mode 3 will kick on as soon as you pedal away then you can back off the modes down to 2 and 1 which will kick in while you are pedalling. It’s a bit weird but you get used to it. Additionally it has a throttle. This one will take you upto 15mph at the press of the thumb trigger which I’d say most would probably use to get upto speed with rather than pedalling initially. Plenty of options and the throttle is load of fun. The hydraulic brakes are faultless. Really powerful and I like the 16 inch ‘mag’ wheels. No spokes to worry about and roll well.

UK law on throttles are you can have one legally that will assist upto walking pace so technically this bike does break the rules on the road but who is going to know? There is too much focus on ebike and escooter law in the UK when drivers regularly speed and kill on average 5 a day and no one bats an eyelid.

The bike has lights and a horn you can switch on at the press of button on the left of the bars. The seatpost is the battery which you charge just under the saddle. The only thing I’d say about the bike is it’s not designed for super tall people. I’m 5ft 8 and run my saddles probably higher than most for my height and I was at max so it’s probably suitable upto 5ft 10 in my opinion.

The next morning I decided to ride to the station from home. It’s about 2 miles and goes up and over a reasonable hill, so a good test. I left the house at 8am to get there for the 8.17am train. The bike performed admirably although slower compared to me riding my own bike under my own steam. The big difference being I wasn’t dripping in sweat and breathing out my arse though.

I got on the train, warmed up and relaxed and sat there happy, people watching and playing on my phone for the 50 min journey. Why do people use the car when you can do this? I’ll tell you why in a minute but for now just enjoy the moment with me.

After a few days of proper active, green travel. Cycling, public transport, I had to drive home in the van last night. Sat in traffic yet again, I hated it and wanted to be back on the train.

Now, why do people drive and sit in traffic? It’s a simple answer. It’s cheaper than the train and the bus. One way for me, 50 minutes, about 20 miles was £7. Yes, I could save a quid and bit per journey with a return or season ticket but it is still prohibitively expensive. It cannot be right that public transport is more expensive than a private car. It’s mad and if things are going to change, which we all know they have to, people will need to be financially and conveniently forced to change by making private car use expensive (road pricing, fuel tax, congestion charges, ULEZ charges) to fund an alternative (subsidised public transport, building quality walking and cycling infrastructure designed for mass transit) for them to switch too.

As for the bike. Very impressed. If you are a public transport commuter, a camper, a glamper and you need something to get you around on short little journeys. It’s a great piece of kit that will fit in a boot and get you to places you can’t on foot and don’t want to in a car.

Come and try one.



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