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Rider Stories: Actor and Environmentalist Jess Sole

Rider Stories: Actor and Environmentalist Jess Sole


Jess Sole is a bit of a force of nature. She made her name in her native South Africa as a stage and screen actor  including becoming Roxie Hart in Chicago, and award-nominated lead roles in Shrek: The Musical and Into The Woods.

Now, Jess is treading the boards up and down the UK in The Rocky Horror Show. She’s also an environmentalist and — guess what  a massive Maeving fan. Jess rides a Black Maeving RM1 to and from stage door every day, and so we thought we'd find out exactly what it is she loves about her RM1. 

When and how did you first become interested in motorcycling? 

While at university I got around on a second hand 125cc scooter. It was the cheapest way to get around if I wanted to be the master of my own schedule. 10 years later, being able to do things in my own time is still a priority for me. It’s also such fun. 

Motorcycling comes with lots of barriers and misconceptions. Did you encounter any of these? If so, what were they?   

I’m strong for my stature, but still, having a slight build made me worry that I wouldn’t be able to handle the weight or bulk of a motorcycle. You have to drive aggressively in order to make your presence on the road known, and you need to make risky manoeuvres if you want to weave through the traffic. I know how to ride a scooter from my university days, but I worried that getting a licence for a motorbike would take a lot of time and money. With Maeving, getting started on a motorcycle was straightforward. It’s super lightweight and easy to handle, and the simple twist-and-go throttle makes the little bursts of acceleration to weave through traffic feel easy and safe. 

What was it about Maeving that caught your eye? 

The first thing I did when I moved to London was buy a bicycle. I still used public transport quite a bit, but by spending the majority of my travel time on two wheels, I got to know and love this city in such a unique way. I’d often considered getting a motorcycle, to have the ability to get around faster if I needed to, for traveling further distances, or for times when I needed to arrive not sweaty. I thought that being on a motorcycle would be more dangerous. Maeving answered all of these needs while being financially accessible and, most importantly, better for the planet. 

How are you finding the Maeving RM1 is fitting into your lifestyle? When are you using it the most? 

When I perform on the West End, it is so satisfying, particularly when it is hot, to just nip into the city centre without hassle. There are plenty of motorcycle parking bays, and you’re almost always guaranteed a space. I can park right next to the theatre and stroll into work calm and cool, both temperature-wise and aesthetic-wise. Being able to leave after the show in my own time is also a major win. You can say hi to people without rushing, sometimes there are extra bits and pieces to sort out, and I have a tendency to faff, so my habit of getting out slightly late doesn’t result in me missing the train or bus. 

Getting groceries and running errands is so much simpler, too – especially if I need to make a few stops. The storage tank can hold more than you expect, and I take my backpack if I need the extra carrying capacity. Although, I’m definitely going to be buying one of the new Maeving pannier bags. 

If Maeving were a character in a play, which role do you think it would be? 

Wow. Tough one! I see the RM1 as harmonising some interesting paradoxes, giving depth to the machine itself and my experience of it. It’s got this classy, vintage aesthetic, but the technology and materials are cutting-edge. It’s got the presence of a large motorcycle, but it’s slimmer and lighter than it seems. So it would need to be a character with equal depth and complexity. 

Is there anything that surprised you about the Maeving RM1, or electric motorcycles more generally?   

I had to charge my battery way less than I thought I would. London is fairly flat, so that does impact how much range I use, but I’m usually only charging once a week. It’s lighter and easier to ride than I expected, it felt safer, and I find myself far less worried about the weather than I initially thought I’d be. 

Have you got any tips for getting the most out of London on a Maeving? 

Spend a little time familiarising yourself with the particular parking rules of your borough and where you travel frequently. Rules change somewhat depending on where you are. After a few trips, you know what’s what. 

Adjust to make room for your new freedom to explore, and create opportunities for spontaneity. You can do this by always keeping your battery as fully charged as possible, even if you know you don’t need it that day. This way, you’ll always have plenty of extra range for new plans. Now that you don’t have to fuss about bus timetables or avoiding traffic, you can be more adventurous. Try out different routes to places you travel to frequently. You’ll find ways of getting around more quickly, and you’ll see things you wouldn’t have otherwise! 

What do you think is the key to getting more and more people to switch to electric? 

Okay, I’m extremely passionate about the environment, so big pitch coming… In my experience, people are put off by two things when it comes to electric: 

  1. They feel like they’re being asked to make a major lifestyle sacrifice in terms of ease, expense, the flexibility of a car, or the hassle of range anxiety. 
  2. They believe that electric vehicles aren’t necessarily part of the answer to decreasing the enormous contribution of personal transport to the total global carbon emissions. 

The Maeving RM1 solves both of these concerns: 

It’s easy to get started: CBTs are a cinch, and the ordering and delivery process of is seamless - their team give you a full rundown on how to use it.

It’s easy to use: operation is simple and intuitive, parking is a breeze, traffic isn’t a thing. When you compare the cost of purchasing and running the RM1 to most other modes of transport, it comes out on top. Yes, a car enables you to do certain kinds of things that a motorbike doesn’t, but a motorbike enables you to do things that a car doesn’t; and the experience of getting around on a bike is so much more pleasurable. 

Travel becomes something you look forward to. You’re integrated with your surroundings; you actually see and feel the world as you move through it. It’s possible to be spontaneous. You can so easily stop and look at something or chat to someone, change your route, or change your schedule.  

You’re on your own time, not public-transport-time or avoid-the-worst-of-rush-hour time. 

On the issue of range anxiety, it just doesn’t feature because the Maeving’s batteries are removable and can be charged anywhere there’s a plug. Which is pretty much everywhere.  

Finally, we’re not just “facing” a climate crisis anymore. We’re in it. We know that. And combating it is going to require real change, and some of that will involve compromise. With a Maeving, you can make a change and actually do something to help the planet out, and it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice because you’re adding so much joy to your life. 

If you were trying to convince a friend to get started on a Maeving, what would you tell them? 

Ha! I’d roll out my answer above... 

Lastly, sum up the feeling of riding the Maeving RM1 in three words: 

There’s no comparison.