It's kind of funny, usually it's the old people that are accused of resisting change, but in the case of electric bicycles, it seems to be younger riders that are doing most of the resisting. Not universally though, but just generally speaking. I'll be 61 in a couple of weeks. I've changed my whole point of view about riding almost overnight, not because of any age related issues, but solely because my eyes were opened to a different kind riding. I guess I would consider myself primarily a former motorcycle rider more than anything else. I say former, because even though I still have my motorcycle, I haven't ridden it in several years now. I never thought I would ever give it up, but unforeseen things have happened that changed my perception of riding.
My path to electric bicycling wasn't a straight line. As little as a year and a half ago I was your typical know it all rider that took pleasure any chance I got to disparage electric bicycles that I knew very little about. They're too slow. They don't have any range. They cost too much. Sounds familiar, yes?
To understand how I got here, we have to go back 4 years. Out of the blue I decided what I needed was a bicycle to ride around the neighborhood. I bought a nice beach cruiser online. Next I looked online at what people were saying about the bike I had j ust purchased (most people do this before the purchase). By accident I came across a review that said, this was a good bicycle, that they used in their motor bicycle business, with a link. Curiosity about what a motor bicycle is took me to their website.
I never expected what happened next. It was love at first sight. A bicycle just like mine, with a little Chinese 2 stroke kit motor bolted into the V. From that moment on I was on a mission from god, to find the source of these motors. It turned out that wasn't hard to do, even though I never heard of them. eBay, and various other ecommerce stores offer them all over the internet for rock bottom prices. For the next 3 years I built one china girl after another. For myself, for friends, for strangers that hunted me down to build them one. Perfecting my skills each time until finally, my masterpiece.
This is Stunner
But there was a problem. Very early on, not long after making my first china girl, I was riding down the street when I happened upon a bicycle riding ahead of me. I decided to pull up along side of it, and show off a little. I slowly noticed it had a rear hub motor. It was a 500w conversion this guy made on a fairly high end bicycle. He ask me if I'd care to switch bikes for while. Normally I don't ever want to let anyone ride my bike, but the thought of riding an eBike pict my interest, so I agreed.
I wasn't that impressed. His bike would barely do 18 mph with me riding it. He told me the range was barely 20 miles. My china girl would do 30 mph, and had a 45 mile range. After about 2 miles we changed back, and went our separate ways, after getting contact info. I had little reason to think at the time that there was going to be any more to it than that. But there was. Over the next 3 years I couldn't quite get that ride out of my mind. Even though I kept telling myself, it was slow, and it didn't have any range, there was something about it that I couldn't really put my finger on. Maybe the lack of vibration. Or maybe the silence. The torque off the line. Something about it definitely appealed to me, but the lack of speed, and range was a killer for me.
Then, one day a little over a year ago I was browsing a motor bicycle forum when I came across a reference to something called a Stealth Bomber. I figured it was probably some kind of motor bicycle, but when I followed the link, it turned out to be an electric one. A $10,000, 50 mph electric bicycle, with a claimed 50 mile range. Resistance was futile. Even though I didn't have $10,000, and my wife of 34 years would probably divorce me, within 3 weeks time I found myself hitting the button of no return one minute before midnight on September 31st 2013. I had 2 months to figure out how to do the most important splainnin of my life LOL. But now I year later I'd do it all again, because I love my Bomber.