Visiting clients with my Brompton Electric (6/19/2019)

I’ll try to clean up this part of the blog at some point. But I had this new idea and quickly typing it down here. I hate cars. And I hate trains as well (except for night trains). But for a program I’m working on I need to visit (potential) clients all around Belgium. Okay, Belgium isn’t that big, but it’s still big enough to at least need some kind of motorized transport to get from one city to another without too much sweat.

So I have been thinking about buying an e-bike. At first I thought I was going to get me one of those super fast ones, a speedpedelec. But after visiting some shops and talking with some experts, it turned out that even the best speedpedelecs wouldn’t hold out for more than 50km. Some city’s that I need to visit in the coming months are further than 100km from my home/work town, Ghent. So after some doubt, and realizing that I couldn’t afford a helicopter, I settled for the Brompton Electric. With this bike, I figured I could still get to places up to 50km (in about 2,5 hours) without being all sweaty and exhausted, and for any place further, I could take the bike with me on the train. Yes, I hate trains. But we all need to compromise at some point, right?

Today I finished my first round trip. I had to be in Halle at 9:30, 60km from Ghent. So I got up at 6:00, took a quick shower, and checked buienradar for the rain forecast during my breakfast. There were some rain showers passing over, but they would be gone soon. Google Maps told me a bike ride to Halle would take 3 hours, but I figured that I could get there faster with my Brompton’s top speed of 25km/h. So, I decided to wait out the small cloudburst and left at 6:55 instead of 6:30.


The ride went pretty smooth, but the battery was as good as empty after about 25km. So I hopped on the train in Haalter. I made a mental note: “full power = 25km, no sweat”. The Meeting in Halle went well, and I still felt fresh afterwards. So I decided to bike home without electric support. 3 hours, one more rain shower, and a short lunch break later, I was home, and pretty exhausted. “No power = 60km, not recommended.”


You may ask why I’m wasting my time riding a bike during working hours. Good question. I got a couple of answers for you:

  1. As I’m only using my brompton Electric for work related transport (I don’t want to appear all panting before my customers, looking like a sweaty cripple.) it’s 100% deductible.
  2. I really love listening to podcasts and audiobooks. And a bike ride is the next best opportunity, after walking, to fill my mind with brand new insights.
  3. I just seem to have plenty of free time. And I find watching TV is too boring.