A few years ago I had the opportunity and pleasure to test ride an e-bike over several weeks, for free. I am a firm supporter of my local neighborhood shops. Prior, I spoke to my local shop about the idea of an electric bike for the future. One day, the owner of Zen Cog bike shop called me one day, “We have a Kalkhoff electric bike test to test. We thought of you.” The German bicycle company Kalkhoff has been working on getting a share of the american e-bike market. I was at the time working on a large business deal which I was looking at adding an electric bike for my company.
I was informed I was able to use the bike for a couple of weeks. It was a really awesome opportunity to run the Kalkhoff Tasman through some heavy use. I was able ride over 50 miles on one charge in one day. The bike was very comfortable, reliable and handled quite well. The German engineering for this bike is superb. Did I mention stylish? The Tasman is a show stopper. The pinkish hue and Dutch style step through would allow for the rider to wear more business attire when cycling. People stopped to ask about the bike and I allowed for people to test it while it was in my care. I was hard pressed to let this beauty go at the end of my trial.
My business project was becoming more involved and I could not justify the purchase at the time. (I had purchased a Surly Long Haul Trucker the year prior from the same shop) I needed to focus on the business project and thought of getting one later when I was more established. I let the bike go. I had not thought of the bike in some years.
Sometimes a lost opportunity has a way of finding you. Just recently, while on a call outside of one of my field offices a friend and fellow cyclist came up to me and said, “The guy who bought the electric bike is selling it.” Whoa! It turned out one of the bike mechanics bought the bike for his wife. They have been able to get ride of one of their cars by utilizing the e-bike. The family is now moving to Europe and will not be taking the bike with them. Paul, the owner of the bike said, “I forgot you tested it first. Do you want it?” I told him I was very interested and would call him later on my decision. Normally, I spent too much time ruminating about such a purchase. I did not this time. I knew the bike and knew how I could utilize the bike for work. I called him a few hours later.
I have the habit of naming objects. Computers, my house and bikes. While I was test riding the bike years ago, the image of Steve McQueen from the “Great Escape” kept creeping into my imagination. So years ago, I named the bike McQueen. This bike seemed to be destined to come back to me.
The bike was well cared for. Paul the former owner is an excellent mechanic. He has worked on several of my bikes over the years. The bike, which will get me to meetings without much of a sweat and in a timely fashion is a great statement on how we can utilize used items for the betterment of the environment and the local community.