Text and images: Anu Kiiveri-Sahila
Now it’s been put to the test!. The battery life of my Tunturi E275 e-bike, that is. A common question is how long the battery of an e-bike will remain usable. It depends on many factors, such as whether it is summer or winter and the conditions you pedal in. It is also a completely different to pedal on hilly trails than on flat asphalt. This article will provide you some idea of what kind of bike trip you “dare” to go on without a spare battery. You see, during my trip the battery showed signs of giving at exactly the right time – upon arrival at my place of accommodation.
Mäntyharju is easy to access by train and there is comfortable accommodation available right next to the station. Transporting a bicycle on the train is subject to an EUR 5 additional fee. Of course, having your own car around makes moving around more convenient, but many local entrepreneurs also provide transport services. If you want to stay overnight in Mäntyharju, one option is B&B Pinus, located in a lovely old wooden building within sight of the station. The idyllic rooms have views of the lake view and the sunset. After a hearty and tasty breakfast, grab a map and start towards Repovesi (remember to fully charge the battery for the next day).
The Mäntyharju-Repovesi MTB route is about 40 km long with good signposting. A varied combination of trails and old dirt roads, it winds through several lean-to shelters all the way to the outskirts of Repovesi National Park. There are no cafés or other places to shop groceries along the route, so you should pack plenty of energy-rich food in your backpack in addition to water and sports drink. Various nuts, energy bars and dried fruits are good sources of fast-acting energy. You should also bring along a spare tyre, a map (you can’t always fully trust the functioning of your GPS), a travel towel, swimsuit and equipment for making a fire (just to name a few). A spare battery can also be a good option, but it adds more weight to your back, so I didn’t bring one.
Matkoslampi shelteris one rest stop worth mentioning where there is also a SAUNA! I’ve seen a lot of lean-to shelters, but I’ve never a public lean-to with a sauna. You can even take a dip in the forest pond from the tarred sauna. You can also spend the night at the shelter, which also has a solar panel for charging electronic devices. However, there was no socket at the shelter, although there was a USB connector. By the way, the Mäntyharju-Repovesi cycle route has received awards in the past, and I can see why. I find it suitable for people who already have some experience cycling, although “speed kills”, not the distance. Actually, I think it’s your attitude that matters because there is no one there timing you with a stopwatch. The route is very winding and covers a variety of different types of paths. There are rocks and roots, but here and there the cyclist will get spoiled by wonderfully smooth forest paths. The occasional stretches of dirt road also provide some nice variety along the way.
I mostly used the “trail” mode when pedalling or disabled the assistance completely. at all. I find the “eco” mode to work best on flat road sections, and this route had quite a lot of ascent and descent. I switched the assistance off completely when going downhill. I’m not sure if it saves battery, but I imagine it does. I didn’t use the “boost” mode much either because I think it’s only for really extreme situations. On the other hand, I did run into some of those on this route. However, as I’m a bit of a timid mountain biker, I kept my speed moderate, especially when going downhill. Reaching Repovesi, the terrain becomes so steep in places that you have to jump off the bike. I probably would have been able to climb some of the hills with the boost, but it’s also nice to occasionally get off the saddle and stretch your legs little.
In the end, me and my husband ended up accumulating 75 kilometres – a personal record. We started pedalling from the yard of B& B Pinus in Mäntyharju and stopped in Repovesi National Park. From there we continued along the road to the next accommodation, Linkkumylly, located about 15 km from the northern entrance of Repovesi National Park.
And oh yeah, the battery life! About a kilometre before Linkkumylly, the only available assistance was the “eco” mode. Fortunately, there was a couple of kilometres of downhill as the red light started flashing. At Linkkumylly, we had a good sauna and a dip in the lake at the end of an eventful day of cycling.
Mäntyharju-Repovesi route: mantyharju.fi
B&B Pinus: bbpinus.fi