Why electric bikes are great. And nesting magpies are not.

This post was going to be about how much I am enjoying my electric bike. It was going to mention my long-standing back problem which has been extremely difficult to treat and resulted in fairly constant, fairly significant pain and the fact that even with this issue I have been able to re-commence exercising.

It was going to be about how now when I talk about what I have been doing I mention the fact that I am riding again and then I extol the virtues of my electric bike, not because I have any stake in selling them, just because I really believe in what they can offer and I want others to enjoy the benefits too.

It was going to be about how I live in Upper Mt Gravatt which has approximately 6% of its roads that are relatively flat and the others with a gradient from gentle to ridiculous though that that wasn’t any kind of issue or impediment now to my legs/heart/blood pressure/life.

And finally I was going to cover how, when compared to a no-frills no electric bike that yes, they are more expensive but when compared to a moped or motorbike or car that requires petrol and registration and insurance and regular servicing the comparison was extremely favourable.

I was going to cover all of those things.

But then it happened.

You know that scene in Top Gun when Maverick asks for permission to ‘buzz the tower’ and is denied yet does it anyway because he’s a loose cannon and is instinctive and impetuous and his need for fun and freedom and good times overrides his better judgement as a MILITARY OFFICER in charge of a MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR STATE OF THE ART FIGHTER JET capable of DEATH AND DESTRUCTION on a MASSIVE SCALE. Yeah? Well in this case I was the tower and a particularly aggressive magpie was Maverick and (probably if I know my avian maternal habits) she had asked to ‘buzz the tower’ FOUR TIMES IN A ROW (four buzzes, not four requests) and was denied but did it anyway because, in my opinion, she was just downright mean.

Yes, I understand that it’s nesting season and she was just protecting her eggs/chicks and it’s natural and blah, blah, blah but, in my defence, while I am very impressed by my electric bike, it lacks the ability to pedal vertically up trees and, therefore, I was of no threat to her. And magpie eggs taste really bad so I had zero interest in acquiring any, therefore, again – no issue.

But I digress. So what did I do? On Swoop 1 I may or may not have let out a little yelp of surprise and confusion/fear/more surprise and then a) realised it was a magpie and b) started to pedal really quickly. Swoop 2 followed closely (6 seconds? I may not like them but one must admire their manoeuvrability. And tenacity. And protective maternal instincts. Still b#$t$rds though.) to which I responded with mild swearing and the exciting realisation that I was riding an electric bike and could use this power to more quickly elude my winged attacker.

On Swoop 3 I began laughing hysterically as the danger and speed and sheer fun of furiously riding away from a magpie on an electric bike kicked in. It was unexpectedly, wonderfully hilarious like watching your best friend get punched in the groin by a small child. I’m sorry, it just is. Hilarious I mean. If you don’t laugh at that you are probably dead.

Swoop 4 (excessive???) resulted in more crazy laughter and a growing degree of incredulity seeing as I was a good 100 metres away from the site of Swoop 1. At this point I was beginning to think that protective, maternal instincts had very little to do with this incident and that this magpie was just doing it so she could brag to the other magpie mums about how, just for good measure, she swoops 4 times, takes note of the intruder’s approximate height, weight and, if any, means of transportation because you can’t be too thorough when it comes to the safety of your little darlings. And then makes an appropriately coded notch on the tree for posterity. To the collective raised eyebrows and ‘here we go again’ faces from the rest of the magpie mums.

So, in a nutshell, electric bikes are great. And nesting magpies…are not.

Thanks to Matt for this post and his light hearted view on one of the many reasons he loves his electric bike.




Nick Willis
Nick Willis

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