Updated: Mar 6, 2020
On Bill Gordin's second day helping the Tiller Rides team, engineering manager, Rob Jamieson came to him and said “Bill, do you mind riding a Roadster home tonight? We have just made some improvements and need to see how far it will go on one charge”. That morning Bill had ridden his carbon fibre road bike the 38 kilometres from his home in the northern suburbs of Perth to the office, so this request came as a bit of a surprise to him.
All Bill's life, including when he was a kid growing up in Esperance, Western Australia, he's been an active racing cyclist. He was a member of the WA State cycling team that won the Australian Track Teams Pursuit Championships and he won the Australian National Road Championship when he was 19. More recently he represented Australia at the World Masters Championships (see photo below), winning in 2018. Commuting the 38 kilometres to work on his carbon fibre road bike is therefore not something that he finds daunting. But riding the same distance on an e-bike with a totally different riding position, no clip in pedals, no cycling shoes or bike shorts certainly seemed like it would be a challenge. Curious to give the Roadster a spin however, Bill accepted saying, “Sure Rob, I’ll ride it home and then back in the morning - is 76 kilometres far enough?”
So at five o’clock that afternoon Bill walked out of the office and jumped on a Roadster, leaving his lycra hanging in the change room.
Given it was his first ride on a Roadster, Bill gave it a bit of a workout as he headed out of Fremantle and was really surprised as to how good it felt to ride and how well it handled. He had thought he would have to fight it to get it around corners but found that wasn't the case at all, "it just flowed through the corners", he said.
On the way home, Bill rode through Mosman Park, Cottesloe, Swanbourne, City Beach, Scarborough, Sorrento and then inland to his home in Woodvale.
As he turned into his driveway, he looked at his GPS navigator and was surprised to find that the commute had taken only one to two minutes longer on the Roadster compared to the morning’s ride in on his road bike.
He rode the Roadster back into the office the next morning and reported to the Tiller Rides team that his ride certainly wasn’t as challenging as he first thought. He found the bike rode superbly and the lack of clip in pedals was fine given he wasn’t exerting as much effort. The one thing he said he would change would be not to ride such a long distance without wearing shorts or looser pants, as he did get a little chaff from his slim fitting jeans.
"Overall I have to say I really enjoyed the ride. I'm a convert!"
By Emily Lloyd