You’ve heard about ebikes, or electric assist bikes but is one for you? Some people rave about them, others say “no way”, so to help you decide if you should look further, here is a summary of the pros and cons compared to other modes of transportation so you can decide for yourself.
An ebike is essentially a regular bike with the addition of a motor, display, and battery. There is little the average ebike user can do to impact longevity of the motor and display, but the battery is within our sphere of control. It is within our “power” (pun intended) to take steps that will keep the battery in top shape for years to come. A well-maintained battery will result in greater range, performance, and increase the time before the battery needs to be replaced. Specific practices can vary from brand to brand, so always follow the guidelines for your battery manufacturer.
Even if you take precautions while outside on your bike, are alert to your surroundings, and predictable in your actions, there may be a time when you’ll need an emergency maneuver. According to Larry Mysz, League Cycling Instructor and speaker at the Oct. 13 meeting of the Chicago Cycling Club, sometimes you can’t avoid an obstacle and you need to stop or turn quickly. If you know how to do this and have practiced the move it will be second nature when you need it and you will be able to “save your bacon”, that is, come out of the situation unharmed.
When you mention you ride an ebike to someone who is an avid cyclist who goes on 50-100 miles rides on a road bike or is a year around daily commuter who rides 70 miles per week you can almost hear the sneer. An ebike has a motor so is that even cycling? Are you getting any exercise? You may be outdoors but are you working hard enough to get your heart rate up?
Ebikes have exploded on the scene, and for good reason. They are an efficient and environmentally friendly way to get around. With the sustainability of a bike and the assist of clean electric energy, an ebike might be what you need to get around in the COVID-19 world.
An ebike is for you if you want:
The pandemic has changed life as we know it for everyone, from children to seniors, and everyone in between. With limitations on the size of gatherings and face to face interaction many organizations with a social service mission have had to change the way they operate. At the September 15 Evanston Bike Club (EBC) meeting three organizations that also happen to be EBC grant recipients provided an update on adjustments they’ve made to their programs in light of COVID-19.
“Best Tour de France ever.” - George Hincapie, Veteran Tour de France racer
We knew the 2020 version of the Tour de France was going to be different due to the pandemic. The race started 9 weeks later than originally planned, there were strict limits on interactions between fans, staff, and teams and the race was wide open during the first six or so stages with the winner being predicted from six contenders. A likely winner rose up, but pundits were blown away by the surprising upset during the next to the last stage of the race.
In the second week of racing the 2020 Tour de France headed west in the Charente-Maritime département before heading across France to the Alps, visiting the Jura and Massif Central in the process.
The second week of racing saw team tactics change. Teams start out with hope and as it becomes clear they cannot win the overall race, the strategy changes to trying for stage wins.
The first week of the three week Tour de France is on the record books now and we have settled into a familiar groove with a little excitement thrown in.
The race started out in Nice and due to wet weather and nerves among the riders, there were a lot of crashes taking out some contenders before the race got very far. The three lap format enabled riders the first chance to really to size up the competition and fans to begin picking their favorites.
The second stage started and returned back to Nice with a mountain stage in between. It is unusual to have climbing so early in the event. We got to see a favorite from last year attack, Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, which made for some thrilling racing and allowed him to capture his first yellow jersey of the year.
The next stages rotated from flats suited for the sprinters to mountain suited to the climbers. The first summit finish on stage 4 identified the likely contenders, but everyone has a different list of who that might be, so this just means that the race is currently wide open with no clear favorite. Of course, even when there is a strong team and a favorite, there is always the chance of a surprise result due to the risk of crashing, injury, illness, crosswinds, and weather--anything can happen in the Tour de France. Two more weeks of fun.
Long live the Tour de France! The 2020 version of the world’s greatest cycling event is later in the calendar this year, but it is still taking place--at least the initial stages. The 107th edition of this grand tour is steeped in tradition, but this year some things will be different and some things will still be the same.
Sharon Kaminecki and others comment on adventures in bicycling and other stories