News, events and schools' information for families across Bath and West Wiltshire

We try out a great alternative for the school run that saves on fuel, is easy to park and it’s a lot of fun too

Have you noticed how many more Tern E-Cargo bikes are out and about on the school run these days? They’re quickly becoming the ideal alternative to a second car, offering a great combination of zero emission, low fuel costs, free parking and the ability to zoom past the traffic jams. Plus, with the sunnier weather starting to make a showing, they’re just great for a day out too!

We recently borrowed a loaner model from the lovely people at Avon Valley Cyclery, who have seen a real upturn in interest for these electric all rounders. In fact, even during our visit to the shop to pick up our loaner, a young family was checking out one of the Terns with a view to the school run and those many pick-ups and drop-offs that inevitably come along as our children’s social lives start making ours look positively miserly!

There’s a range of configurations to suit your family’s needs

Fortunately the training needed to ride the Tern is refreshingly simple – a quick point to the on/off switch, this is where the battery goes, mind the super efficient disc brakes and you’re pretty much off.

From the start, navigating the traffic of central Bath was a doddle. The GSD is as easy to handle as a standard bike but with the huge advantage of a big old boost of power and speed as soon as you start to pedal.

Yes, you do have to do some of the work yourself, but with a variety of power modes to choose from, the Tern is able to soak up the miles with very let sweat and even the hills of Bath are conquered with ease.

Even a ride in the rain can be fun…

For Bath parents Briony and John, their Tern GSD has taken on the role that might have gone to a second car, and they couldn’t be happier with their choice.

“The Tern’s amazing,” said Briony. “We use it in and out of town, it carries a week’s shopping, there’s no pre-booking needed for the recycling centre and we’re seeing more and more of them out and about everyday.

“We got ours three years ago from Avon Valley Cyclery and it’s grown up with us. When we first got it, it had the Clubhouse seats with rails all around as our children were younger. Then as the children have grown, we’ve adapted the seats to grow with them.”

Get a 15% discount off bikes and accessories – including the Tern – in store at Avon Valley Cyclery with this voucher in the
March/April issue of The Bath & Wiltshire Parent

As Briony explained, there are a range of options and accessories including panniers, panniers, carriers and even a trailer, all available through Avon Valley Cyclery.

“Then once you’re out on it, no only are you getting fitter and looking after the environment, but the kids are more aware of their surroundings and how to get places in a more active way than they do in a car,” added John. “They even get used to stopping at red lights and putting their arm out at junctions – all of which is great training for they cycle their own bikes on the road.”

As for the 50 mile range on the batteries, this will vary due to which mode you have the motor set on, but it was plenty of a recent family outing for Briony and the children to Bristol and back, including a stop off at Avon Valley Railway at Bitton.

“The big advantage for us is that we go out into town without worrying about traffic queues and parking charges, and it’s just so easy to get around.”

At £4,100 for the basic model, no, the Tern isn’t exactly a budget bike, but compared to the cost of a second car, not to mention the lack of parking and fuel costs, it’s no wonder that they’re proving more popular than ever.