Ebikes have exploded in popularity but as with anything new, it will take a while for them to be understood and accepted. If you ride an ebike, you may have been subjected to insults, harassment, and negativity. Motorists may have shouted that you do not belong on the road and other cyclists may have told you ebikes are “cheating.” Why do they hate ebikes? Here are some reasons people resist this new form of transportation and recreation:
During this year of disruptions most of us have spent more time than usual avoiding other people and forgoing our favorite activities. It might be comforting this holiday season to reach out to our business associates, friends and family with a holiday card. In this age of social media, texting, and email, a physical holiday card with a newsletter or hand written message might be welcome. If you have been the recipient of bad holiday newsletters in the past you might think a newsletter is the last thing you want to do, but a newsletter or hand written message tucked into a beautiful card would probably be most welcome this year. Even if the newsletter is obviously sent to others, people will feel more connected to you just for received your special news. Just the act of mailing a holiday card signals that you took the time to think of them and create a bond during the holidays. The addition of a message makes it personal.
If you want to extend your biking season into the colder months, what gear should you have? What is the best type of bicycle to ride in the cold? How do you talk yourself into rolling out when the weather is not sunny, warm and dry? These topics and more were covered at the Nov. 10 virtual Zoom Chicago Cycling Club meeting. Panel members that shared their insights were Charlie Sax, Dave Barish, and Melanie Shaw.
If you are interested in purchasing an ebike and researching the options, you probably discovered there are two types of motors on modern ebikes: the hub and the mid drive. Besides your budget, where the motor is located is the biggest decision you will have to make. While both options will provide you with assistance when you pedal, there are big differences in the technology and it is helpful to understand what these are before you commit.
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.
Sharon Kaminecki and others comment on adventures in bicycling and other stories