Commuting by E-bike

bikerjohn

Well-Known Member
The beauty of e-biking, is an ability to ride your speed and style with a faster average speed than when you pedal a non-electric bike. I'm not talking about cycling less effort per hour. For me, it's all about less effort per mile, -more miles per hour!

Tuesday was a fast morning commute (19.3 mph moving speed), and a faster(19.8 mph moving speed) afternoon commute! That's a total of 35 miles in less than 1:47. The southbound leg of the afternoon commute was into 14 mph southerly winds! That's all 238 pounds of 60 year old me, moving my way down the road going to work and back 2X in a day -on an electric bike.

Along with electric assistance, perhaps the commute speed average was due to favorable winds (when heading northbound), along with a high cadence pedal effort. But balancing the whole commute effort was the ride back. Those Southerly portions of the commute were into a modest elevation rise and strong headwinds. Elevation and South winds are definitely a major factor slowing my commutes when using a non-electric-assist bike. Honestly though, biking into the wind with an electric bike can be pleasurable.

So sweet it is commuting with an E-Bike! While it is no substitute for social rides, an electric bike raises ones ability to commute faster with less effort per mile. Speed with less effort can be a substantial reason to commute by bike! A dedicated cyclist whom doesn't commute by bike because of the time involved needs to consider the e-bike option.

A bike with a 350 watt front hub motor, significantly neutralizes unfavorable winds. Even with having the most upright profile, and the heaviest configuration of any commuter bike, an e-bike can get you to a destination quicky and safely. The energy capacity of an entry level e bike like the EG Zurich (the bike I own), assists pedal effort and momentum of a rider. Easily enabling a 230+ pound cyclist a capability to leisurely travel over 40 miles, averaging 16+ mph on a fully charged 36v 12ah battery. No question in my mind that an electric bike is a very capable method for anyone to consider for commuting. The future is here now. E-biking is an alternative for economical transportation needs.
 

pcrdude

Member
That is wonderful for all of you!!!

I can't commute to work with mine for a variety of reasons, but I do really enjoy riding my Dash for fun and exercise.
 

ChrisD_

Member
My motivations were to save money on gas etc., get exercise, and to explore and know more of the area in which we live. Turns out the commute is about the same time or a little slower. I also didn't really know how much I'd love it, and I underestimated how great I feel with the additional exercise.
 

bikerjohn

Well-Known Member
I have Bikejournal friends that don't seem to see the positives of e-biking. Then too, there is a certain arrogance exhibited by the Spandex/road bike crowd when your bike weighs more than 20 pounds and your pedals aren't clip-less.
 

ChrisD_

Member
I've had friends tease me about 'cheating' but it's good spirited. Scarcely anyone really knows what an e-bike is and when I tell them about the exercise I'm getting -- that my bike isn't just a moped or scooter -- they think it's cool. A number of them are into electric cars and they actually arranged for a charging station in the parking lot, and see the bike as another environmentally friendly transportation alternative.

The lycras are a hoot. I smile when I imagine what they think when they see me in my street clothes and ordinary shoes.
 
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ChrisD_

Member
Both links worked, and the conversation seemed pretty familiar. I've seen similar on bikeforums.net particularly in the mountain bike forum. Nevertheless I'm still a taken aback by the unselfconscious judgmental attitude some have - they're entitled judge the propriety of e-bikes and their riders. If you're not part of their religion you're either a heathen or an oppressor. Yikes. One writer said
The guy who insisted on buying (an e-bike) last summer so he wouldn't get sweaty on the way to work ... (is) completely ignoring that part of the joy of cycling is the empowerment one gets from getting to a destination under one's own power.
Hey, that's me at least partly. I don't want to be sweaty when I get to work, but I do ride my ass off on the way home more often than not. Need the exercise to manage my diabetes.

One last thing... riding anything in today's traffic or off-road takes a certain amount of courage and riders do need to advocate for safety, better & more bike lanes, and the overall right to be on a bike. I think that persecution / advocacy mindset makes sense but must make the addition of yet another variable (like me, on an e-bike) a stressful complication.
 

DashRiprock

Active Member
There isn't much use in advocating for electric bike use if they can't be operated anywhere but on a road.

Safety vs. personal responsibility vs. the public funds (multi-use access intent) used to cajole funds/construct the trails are the key issues here. If one is not willing to go up against those in their community (usually high profile muckity mucks not used to being challenged) who feel that these trails are solely the domain of who they and they only choose to use them (not as many citizens as possible at any given time of the day) then there's no sense discussing it here either.

I know this due to the fact that I have battled these same types (off road) who claim to be all about "multi-use" and are nothing but. The local, state or federal government supports their exclusiveness because they are but a small minority of those who truly seek to use the resource (their ultimate goal being to keep it that way) which dovetails with those groups seeking the same end (think single track motorcycles vs atvs and now the exploding side-by-side market off road):
If you don't push for tort reform on the trail (or road for that matter) and make any proposition something that you do at your own risk... you will never enjoy the freedoms that ebikes could possibly (finally) provide where they don't exist now.
 

James

Well-Known Member
What a brilliant call. Keeps everyone safer, while increasing the likelihood of people taking to a bike!