Postie's life just got a bit easier

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 03/04/2014
 Timaru postie Susie Brooking
ELECTRIC ASSISTANCE: Timaru postie Susie Brooking is noticing the benefits of using an E-bike while doing her postal run in hilly Timaru areas.

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Timaru posties are in favour of their new power-assisted E-bikes.

The electrical bikes, manufactured by Washdyke company Reiker, were introduced to posties here last month after successful trial runs.

There are currently 17 E-bikes in Timaru. Delivery leader Neil Mattingley said 12 of the 14 town posties use the bikes for their postal runs, while the other two walk.

He said those using the bikes "love them" and are finding it easier on their bodies.

The E-bikes have come a long way from the old lowline bikes postie of 25 years Susie Brooking started out on.

The power-assisted bikes feature a small motor attached to the front wheel and changeable levels of power, with a top speed of 25kmh, although riders still have to pedal to kickstart the motor.

Brooking said she is not as tired after runs with the E-bikes, compared with a push bike, and it is "amazing" to use uphill.

The battery lasts between 30 and 35km. Brooking said she had run out of power a couple of times, but the E-bikes are still able to work as normal bikes when that happens.

The new bikes are a conversation starter when people see her riding and are curious about how they work. "A lot of men stop and say ‘oh, is that an electric bike?'. More men seem to notice it."

Nationally, New Zealand Post has up to 70 Reiker E-bikes in use. A spokesperson said they will increase that number this year.

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- The Timaru Herald

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