Cycling opens up new routes and opportunities
E-biking opened up new worlds and opportunities for Kirsi Väljä, an Espoo pensioner who particularly enjoys cycling in nature and parks. She often chooses the route based on the landscape rather than the speed.
Cycling is a sustainable mode of transport and a meaningful way for many Espoo residents to move from one place to another. Our series of stories is about cycling in Espoo. See also the previously published parts in the series: Active cyclists in everyday life, The whole family cycles and E-biking made pedalling the primary mode of transport.
Electric cycling sparked enthusiasm to pedal longer distances
Bicycle is the most important daily transport for Mankkaa-resident Kirsi Väljä. The purchase of an e-bike three years ago revolutionised the transport choices of Väljä and her spouse. Their cars mostly stand idle as Väljä and her spouse ride bikes to the shop and meetings. They have even pedalled to attend a friend’s birthday party all the way in Tuusula.
“Riding an electric bike is quite different from riding an ordinary bike. It’s easy and fun,” says Väljä. “Many places are quicker to reach by bike, and the route is often shorter.”
Väljä says she used to ride a regular bike for hundreds of kilometres every year. However, electric cycling has increased the mileage significantly – after three years, the e-bike’s odometer indicates 8,500 kilometres. In particular, e-biking has inspired Väljä’s spouse to increase cycling.
The couple's enthusiasm for e-biking started three years ago after testing regular mountain bikes at Vierumäki. They then went to a bicycle store to test electric mountain bikes and ended up buying them.
Väljä says she enjoys riding her electric bike and is actually looking forward to windy weather and hilly terrain. Finding new mushroom-picking spots and lunch restaurants also inspires pedalling.
“We go cycling and on bike trips with my spouse and grown-up daughter. We also make day trips several times a year,” Väljä explains.
Cycling is also exercising even when electrically assisted, and you can do it despite minor health issues. “You can cycle even if you have knee problems,” says Väljä.
As for cycling conditions, Väljä says that there should be more bicycle racks that allow the bike to be locked by its frame. She would also like to see more routes like the waterfront route and that the routes should be properly marked. Clearly marked routes would allow convenient combinations of the routes.
“There are plenty of bicycle routes, and I’m very grateful for that. And there is more build all the time. You can ride a bike very safely,” Väljä says happily.