by Kevin Mitchell
I love my eBike! That may sound a little outrageous, given that I am a fit 42-year-old avid cyclist who should probably be riding a fancy road bike rather than a pedal assisted eBike, but that’s how I feel. The reasons I love my eBike are many, but the main reason is that it is a blast to ride, so I can put up with the old man jokes from my co-workers. Inside, I just laugh at their foolishness, since I know I am the one gaining so much from my electric assist ride.
I have been riding my bike to and from work daily now for about three years. As we all know, it’s a great way to get my blood pumping, keep myself pedaling daily, and save money, all while helping the environment. However, about 5 months ago my company moved about 12 miles up the road, so my nice little 3 mile commute turned into 15. Suddenly, it was necessary to really start planning out my day and commute. I did not want to start driving my gas guzzling SUV to work, but was uncertain that riding my regular bicycle would not be feasible with a busy work schedule and family obligations. Given that there is a bike path for most of my commute to work, the eBike seemed like the best option for getting to work. And the biggest benefit is that I still get to ride my bike daily, clearing my mind for the workday ahead.
When I first started to commute the 15 miles to work a few months ago, it seemed like a lot of effort. Even though electric bikes assist the rider while pedaling (which is especially notable on hills), I arrived at work sweaty and red in the face, feeling exhilarated but tired. Even with the eBike, I was getting a good work out. I knew I could not do it every day with out some ramp up riding. Despite the sweat, the ride itself was a blast and all along the route I was zipping up hills and arriving at work probably 10-15 minutes faster than if I was riding a regular bike (and a lot less tired too). Now that I have several months of riding (or ride sharing with co-workers on days I felt too tired), I now am able to ride to and from work just about every day without feeling crushed. All the same benefits of riding a bike to work and not feeling tired all the time!
I also recently was in New York City and was able to use an electric assist bike to get around the city one day. Again…..amazing! I felt like the eBike kept me safer with all the crazy drivers cutting in and out of their lanes. The bike enabled me to quickly speed up and cut through situations when a car was moving in a little too close for comfort. The throttle on the grip allowed me to speed up on hills and move away from congested areas with little effort. It was a great way to tour a crowded city.
I highly recommend electric bikes as a safe, economical and easy way to travel, whether for work or play. You get a workout, you help the environment and you save time. What else can you ask for?!?