Seattle E-Bikes is starting a regular Guest Blogger, Spokes Man, an awesome guy determined to spread the word on e-bikes one volt at a time...
but first, a word, or rather 17 syllables, from our Haiku:
electrons . . .
join human effort
to propel spoked wheels
in clean silence.
Hello fellow Bike enthusiasts! Spokes Man here; happy to share my thoughts on the e-bike world.
I have been fortunate to be a part of the e-bike business for a number of years, and watched it grow dramatically. So wanted to open this blog with a little bit about how its grown...and how it hasn't (ie who's scared to make the jump).
The baby boomers were the first to take it up, as they realized they were no longer saddling up old faithful in the garage, and wanted to be motivated to get out there again - to pedal up steep hills once more, to zoom along sun-dappled roads, to move through the air upon he earth, to feel the wind upon ones face...ahh yes.
Then came some truly venerable people. Ages 67, 75, 83. People with the wisdom and appreciation to be transported and once again be able to glide through nature. I know a 67 year old couple that takes their boat to San Juan Island, takes out their two small 20 inch folding bikes, and proceeds to circumnavigate the 52 miles, including 15 stunning miles along the windblown Straits of Juan de Fuca, looking across 18 miles of water to Port Townsend, and behind it, to the Olympics. Then, up the West side, overlooking Haro Straight to the Canadian Gulf Islands and up to Victoria (can you tell I've joined them a time or two? Epic doesn't even begin to describe the sites and feel of this ride). Lots of up and down, the whole trip has more than 1000 vertical feet. Their little bikes are only supposed to go about 30 miles without a charge, but they always ride hard, conserve energy, and are able to go the distance no problem. It's great to be connected with Seattle e-Bike customers like these ones.
The e-bike "Paradigm Shift" challenge is those who are simply too cool for school. So a brief message to our young commuters and cycling purists: Take an 8 mile commute from Greenlake to Downtown or West Seattle to Capitol Hill. 20-30 year old commuters are supposed to be in a hurry, but they chug along on their pure bikes at 12 miles per hour or less, while our 60 year olds buzz by them at 24. Maybe they don’t realize that an e-bike's not your mothers bike. You can pedal as hard and go as fast as you want. Or, you can chill, relax the pedals and concentrate on the the flowers and the Buicks (that you leave in the dust during traffic:), or expend moderate calories and get to work fresh , dry, and in good time. Its all good.
If you are a person who would never miss an opportunity to climb miss Queen Anne Avenue to the top on your way to Freemont, (instead of skulking along on Dexter or Westlake), or if you pedal a 100 cadence at 24 mph up 10 percent slopes like Queen Anne, or 12% slopes like Madison, then by all means skip the extra 13 pounds, the motor and battery adds, and good luck in the Olympics. But young urban warriors who want to do a six mile commute in 15 minutes while getting precisely the exercise they want, have evolved, and know that one is no longer personally defined by what toys one has, but rather by what those toys do, in this case: liberates. What comes is the freedom to select a bike that can do all sorts of things you could not possibly do without hybridization. They have been released from the toil of walking their bike up Virginia, are now free to buy a fine, climbing macine.
After all, bikes move you through the world in the finest of ways and the finest choice is unlikely to harm your community position, and, who knows, you might be in the vanguard when E-Bikes get truly cool, and then you will have it all.