That is how my wife feels! I think with proper planning, some reflective gear/lights, it is relatively safe. I occasionally commute and hope to soon purchase an ebike to make that commute more of a practical endeavor. It just takes me too darn long on my regular bike and I am relatively fit. The more I commute, I have become more aware of: new paths, slight alterations to my route, and I always consider timing adjustments all to make it a safer journey. Unfortunately, the nay-sayers do have a point. Commuting can be dangerous. I realize different people have different levels of acceptable risk. We "crazy ones" just feel the risk is worth the reward. There is just something invigorating about getting out there, in the environment, zooming along on a people powered machine(at least mostly people powered for ebikes), feeling the wind on your face, and getting some some exercise. Tell the nay-sayers to try it!!
I feel the same judgement! Although it's mostly from people who can't believe how far I commute and how many rainy days I show up to work on a bike. I'll probably never get hit by a car, but I may get taken out by a tractor or large farm vehicle, due to my back road farm route I take! It may be sort of dangerous, but so is sitting a couple of hours a day in a car. I believe that the extra risk one takes by hopping on a bicycle (ebike or regular) is offset by the benefits of exercise, adventure and connection to your community!
If people don't seem to agree with you on the above logic, maybe point out to them it wouldn't be so dangerous if they got out of their cars and joined us on our bikes!
Yeah she is right but the risk percentage of it happening is not much worse if you were just driving in a car. There is a tons of distracted, texting drivers out there that can instill damage on others be it pedestrians, bicyclists or another car driving motorists.
In today's age when most of us are employed behind a computer screen, sitting on our butts all day, there is not enough movement to keep us healthy. Even if you went to the gym after work and worked out for an hour or so. It's just not enough. Commuting to work, in my mind, gets your blood flowing in the morning and after work. Twice per day, at least an hour of exercise. Fresh air and sun adds more happines to your psyche than being in a gym under artificial lights.
I have mapped my rides using google and mapmyride and 90% of the routes includes biking trails where you have negligible traffic.
Also, I plan on using the side paths or pavements for the rest 10%. We might be of tiny little annoyance to pedestrians but this is up to each individual.
Compared to the risk of driving on the road and getting hit by a drunk driver, I would rather take 1 or 2 mile extra route on a bike trail and enjoy the scenery.
I wish that my route included more options for bike trails. We have some here in the Lowcountry, but none of them along the 20-mile commute I'll be biking starting tomorrow.
I took a dry run today, and ran into no issues. Battery ran out at about 42 miles, which was about a mile short of home. But more on that in my first post about riding my new bike, which I'll be posting in the Pedego forum within the next couple of days.
You're setting the trend and be extra cautious on Friday evenings ride back home. Some people in hurry simply don't care what's around them.
You have some good lights as well, blaze it.
Wow 42 miles....that's a nice ride! I was able to ride my wife's 2013 e3 metro in level 4 peddle assist in Vegas. The topography was up and down....nothing crazy. Lots of stop and goes bcz of street lights and cross walks and was able to get 28 miles before battery died. What is the battery and amp hours you have?
Battery: 36v 10 amp hour Lithium-ion battery stock with optional 15 amp hour upgrade for increased range at $295 or 48v 10 amp hour Lithium-ion upgrade for increased torque and hill climbing ability at $400.
Great question Fitz... One benefit that ebikes offer is increased power and speed which can be applied to longer, but safer routes. To answer your question more directly, I try to understand where the naysayer is coming from. Are they a loved one or are they insecure about their own habits and health?
There are risks associated with every activity and doing nothing is a choice with its own risks. Namely, obesity and depression which are leading causes of death in developed nations. Exercise, including bicycling, gets the blood flowing and releases endorphins, adrenaline and testosterone which contribute to happiness and physical fitness.
There are times of the day, locations in my town and weather conditions that significantly diminish my enthusiasm for riding. To address this I may alter my schedule, ask a friend for a ride or telecommute. If you set a great example and are a supportive individual the likelihood of receiving support from coworkers and family members is greatly increased.
So I deal with naysayers by helping to understand that I care about my health, I enjoy my community and I care for the environment. This is one way that I can express my appreciation for life and support future generations who will depend on the same diminishing energy resources and natural ecosystems that we do. Is the bigger risk really that you could get hurt or even die or that by doing nothing you will certainly contribute to the destruction of others.
Another point on this topic that dawned on me yesterday while I was cruising the streets was this: my increased acceleration and top speed is actually safer! I'll try and explain my reasoning. If I'm traveling on a moderately busy side road and I'm flying along at my new favorite 40km/h it's safer because I get passed by fewer vehicles and when I do get passed they are passing me at a slower rate!
Of course being a smart rider and staying visible are extremely important too.
Hey James, great point there. It's not speed that causes injury, it's changes in speed and perhaps impatience that results from these changes and slowdowns. I've experienced the benefits of faster acceleration and respect in traffic as the result of my ebike for sure.