Various bespoke E Cycles

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Vehicle: Various bespoke E Cycles

Engine: Human powered

Colour: Choice of powdered colours

Details: Some examples: Basic bike: Five-speed gearbox, disc and coaster brakes, 300w 24v motor, Li battery optional; four-seater: Two electric motors, battery pack, solar-panelled canopy, six brakes, four seats with plenty of storage

Name: Bill Blakie

From: Invercargill

Range of bikes: Most begin as a four-wheeler for stability. However, any of the bikes can be altered to suit an individual’s requirements, from a one-seater up to a four-seater canopy solar-powered bike so far

When and what inspired you to design and build these eco bikes? About 20 years ago I had a crook hip and found biking good for it, but found getting on and off a two-wheeler had issues and was unmanageable. An engineer by profession, I originally built three-wheelers, but felt a four-wheeler was better as safety is my main focus. The bikes are stable with a steering wheel replacing the traditional handlebars

How many have you made so far? More than 30. About 10-12 have been exported to Switzerland, two to the United States, four or five to Australia and one each to the United Kingdom and the Ukraine, as well as throughout New Zealand. I have also made four or five adapted bikes for children with disabilities (in Christchurch) since 2006

What are they like to ride? Brilliant, smooth, easy and comfortable. They have a comfortable seat. Because they are an e-bike it is passive cycling, so people can go slowly and safely or open the throttle to cruise silently

How often do you ride? I used to ride to work every day for 15 years. Now I ride three to four times a week

Why cycle? Exercise is recommended for those who have had heart attacks or a stroke. It is also known to be good for those who have arthritis and other health issues. Also it gives freedom to get out in the open air, wind in hair, and an easy way to get from A to B, which can be far easier than walking. A chap in Dunedin bought one for his dad in Christchurch who was 89, which allowed his dad to get off his two-wheeler bike and on to something a bit more stable [with the extra wheels]

Top speed/range? A basic model is just over 20kmh with a range of 40km; the four-seater solar-panelled model can travel up to 90km a day

Best cycling experience? Taking part in a competition in Blenheim

Worst cycling experience? Cycling from Invercargill to Bluff with a group of seniors. I was on a three-wheeler and struggled. Although I got down to Bluff, then I realised I had to get back home to Invercargill

What other vehicles of note have you owned? I started with a Standard 10, been Nissans since 1967… have owned about 10 – Bluebirds, 180B, Liberty, Lafesta

If you could go for a drive in any vehicle it would be a…? McLaren race carWhat was the first vehicle you ever bought?Standard 10For more information: go to www.veryeco.com or veryecobikes@gmail.com

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