How many times do we tell our children to be themselves, be different, stand out from the crowd etc? Many times is the correct answer if you missed it dock yourselves 20 points. We as parents then leave the house in the car that we are supposed to be driving, wearing the latest corporate expectation in the right color and cut with the same hairstyle Continue reading
88 percent of Americans rate a car as a necessity, and only 31 percent of Americans rate High-speed Internet as a necessity. (Pew Research Center)I am an anomaly. I would rank High-speed Internet as a necessity well over a car. I live in a semi-rural area that has four seasons, and having a car is certainly handy, however I would give up the convenience of a car before I would drop my High-speed Internet and here’s why. Continue reading
Rain and electricity are not terribly compatible. Most electric bikes offer some sort of water resistance for riding in the rain. My bike does a pretty good job, and while the Pedego site doesn’t expressly forbid riding in the rain, it doesn’t appear to recommend it either. I have ridden my electric bike to work on several occasions in the rain with no adverse effects. The key to riding in the rain is preparation. If one chooses not to prep they will pay the price in showing up to work or whatever their destination in a soaking heap.
Do you remember the day that you parked your bike for the night, and the next day you awoke and headed for trusty machine only to find that one of the tires had become flat overnight? You went and found your mother of father and begged them to get if fixed because without it you effectively had your wings cut. That feeling is horrible, and it isn’t any better as an adult who commutes to work with an ebike.
If a similar situation happened to our cars as often as on our bicycles we would lobby congress to make the tire manufacturers make a more resilient tire to road hazards. Car tires are heavier, and have more puncture resistant tech than the typical bicycle tires. At least until recently.
There are several companies that use a puncture resistant belt in their tires and they are highly effective. The company I am most familiar with and highly recommend is Schwalbe. I use the Schwalbe Fat Frank on my electric bike and I am very pleased with them. They have many styles to fit just about every type of cyclist to include a dedicated electric bike line of tires called the Energizer. Almost all of their tires have a puncture resistant belt, with the exception of the light weight racing type tires.
With more and more of us commuting to work on our ebicycles companies have and will take notice. They will begin create products around our convenience and safety. There hasn’t been a better time to make the move to electric bicycle commuting.
Riding my ebicycle to work is perhaps the most refreshing part of my day. Like many I work in a climate controlled office, and don’t really see much natural light during my workday. Like many Americans I spend 10-12 hours in my cave office. Being outside has become a challenge for most of us. Even for a few minutes a day. Being part of our environment connects us in a very special way. Our bodies are made of the same material as stars, and contain elements that are all found on our home planet. We share DNA similarities with everything from dogs to trees and so many other things. We are our environment, what separates us from the tree is that we are aware. Cutting ourselves off from our world negates the simple pleasure of being aware.
Leaving my garage in the morning and silently rolling down the street is energizing. You feel like you are floating down an asphalt river. Your senses are alive you see more, hear more and feel more. Imperfections in the road are now visible, garbage discarded smacks you across the eyes, and you begin to see how significantly we impact the world around us. Inside of my climate controlled chemically cleaned and scented vehicle I don’t really see details in my environment, I see reflections in the glass, and I am looking at other cars and guessing which one is going to cut me off or try to kill me in some other way. I cannot smell, barely see, and thanks to the wonderful engineers at Chrysler I rarely notice road imperfections.
Ebicycles just make sense for your commute. Do you remember that wonderful free feeling you had as a child on your bicycle and didn’t have a care in the world? You didn’t care what people thought about your hair, or your shirt, or what brand bicycle you had, you just rode. Ebikes bring that love affair back to many adults who may not have graduated into serious cycling as a hobby, but appreciate the simplicity and freedom that can only be found on a simple machine.
Imagine, regardless of your fitness level, having the ability to get on a bicycle and pedal for an hour or two and not be concerned about the hills, prevailing winds, or what brand cell phone was in your pocket. Pretty sweet thought, but your too fat, your too cool, you don’t have time, etc. Bullshit to all of the excuses. Time is bullshit because we determine how we are going to spend our time. You have exactly as much time as everyone else around you, where you allocate it is up to you. Fat, bullshit an electric bicycle doesn’t care how fat you are, just by getting off the couch for an hour a day might cut a few pounds and make you feel better. You’re too cool, bullshit do a cursory google search for celebrities on ebikes. If they can pull it off I am sure you can to.
I love fenders on my ebicycle some call them mudguards but there is no accounting for taste in English. I love them because it prevents shit from slinging up from my tires and soiling my clothing. When you ride a bicycle as more of a utilitarian transport than a toy or fitness device this little detail becomes important. The longer the
fender the cleaner you will arrive at your destination. Several good commuter ebikes come standard with a fender to include my Pedego City Commuter. It has great fenders and they are very effective.
The earliest fender patent for a bicycle is… I don’t know, can’t find one. There are several fairly recent patents which indicate that people are thinking about different ways to keep road grime off of their clothing.
Electric bicycles are the ideal platform utilitarian technology. Why would one not want a fender on a bicycle? Two common arguments come to mind, appearance, and weight. Appearance is bullshit. The idea that the appearance of your electric bicycle will be diminished by the use of a practical item is outdated. It is like a person standing at a bus stop and its 20 degrees and they don’t wear a jacket because they think anyone gives a damn how they look in a jacket, ridiculous. Weight, now here is one of those silly little arguments that I really have no patience for, particularly when dealing with ebikes. With an ebike it becomes irrelevant to even talk weight at the sub-pound level. Then dealing with non-electric bikes the argument is just as silly. Very few and I mean very few of us are blessed with the ability to be at a lean ideal weight. When I see a gentleman of considerable carriage rolling out of his Frenchman’s jersey (no disrespect to the French cycling team intended) on the latest carbon fiber Dreamliner, I am reminded of how silly the weight issue is for most bicyclists. If I am overweight by 20 lbs., and yes I am overweight by 20 lbs., then wouldn’t it sound silly to argue over a lb. of fenders or less? Shouldn’t my fat ass avoid cheeseburgers for a week and drop 2 lbs effectively making the net weight of my useful fenders -1 lb.?
I love me some fenders on a bike! For some really useful all around information on bicycles, specifically around fender tech check out Sheldonbrown.com. He put together a great site in the day that remains relevant.
Lets get this out in the open right away, I am not interested in getting into the environmental politics of electric vehicles, and commuting by electric bicycle. There are plenty that would argue that we should all ditch our gasoline/diesel cars and never leave our urban centers and walk or bicycle everywhere. Those are interesting ideas, and I don’t concern myself too much with extreme measures either way. Our current transportation issues didn’t occur overnight, and they are not going to disappear overnight. Our environmental concerns have been around for a very long time as well, and as long as there is money to be made on either side those concerns will remain an issue. Fossil Fuels are finite, and as time marches on alternatives will surface, and technology will introduce new and interesting ways to do things. 10 years ago one would not have been very interested in commuting to work on an electric bicycle because the tech just wasn’t feasible.