Well, almost. We’re happy to have the summer warmth hang on as long as possible, but things are definitely beginning to shift as they always do into the shorter days of Fall. Enjoy a smattering of e-bike related treats in our September newsletter. See you out on the roads, paths, and trails.
Are you wondering if riding an electric bike really delivers any sort of health benefits? After all, it’s ‘cheating’ according to some, right? Not at all! Electric bikes may give the same brain boost as pedal-powered bikes do to older people. Cyclists using e-bikes between ages of 50 and 83 got better cognitive and mental health benefits than on pedal bikes, according to a recent study.
For the study, some cyclists rode e-bikes three times a week for 30 minutes over eight weeks. Other participants rode pedal-powered bikes for the same periods. The cyclists on the e-bikes spent 28% of their rides in the lowest power setting and 15% with the motor turned off, the researchers say.
“It is really encouraging that this research suggests older adults’ cognitive function, particularly what we call executive function as well as processing speed, could be improved by cycling in the natural/urban environment, even when that was on an electrically assisted e-bike,” Louise-Ann Leyland, a researcher at University College London and study author, said in a news release.
“We had thought that those who used traditional, pedal-only powered bikes would have the greatest brain and mental health boost, as they would be giving their cardiovascular systems the biggest workout,” said Carien Van Reekum, a professor of psychology at the University of Reading.
“Instead, people who used e-bikes told us that they felt more confident in completing the requested activity of three 30-minute rides a week for eight weeks, compared to pedal bikers. The fact that the group was able to get outside on a bike, even without much physical exertion, is likely to make people feel mentally better.”
So, as it turns out (this is something we at AEB have known for a decade now), riding an ebike is one of those rare instances when you really can have your cake and eat it too! Now you can tackle those tough hills with relative ease, still get plenty of healthful benefits, AND have a jolly good time all the while. What’s not to like about that?!
Its another stormy day here in Ashland; March is doing its “in-like-a-lion…” thing again, so its a quiet day at the shop. I’m taking the opportunity to catch up on marketing projects, website updates, and taking stock of just what we’ve created with the support of our community. This job has great rewards!
Seeing the smiles on the faces of new electric bike owners as they step into (or onto, to be precise) a new chapter in their lifestyle choices brings me great joy. People coming together in the name of fun and health and greater harmony with their natural surroundings is always a rewarding endeavor. What might seem like simple or even trite changes in our daily habits can sometimes surprise us with their actual significance, and its fun to witness that process again and again. Besides that, there’s the piece of this picture where I get to play with cool new stuff all the time!
As e-bikes gain in popularity worldwide more companies are investing greater resources into refining the product. There’s an amazing evolution of innovation and features finding their way into ebikes comparable to what we’ve come to expect from car makers and motorcycle companies. More and more of the big name players are entering the scene all the time – GM, Ford, VW, BMW, KTM, Yamaha – the list goes on and on.
The biggest changes we’re seeing with e-bikes are in the realm of connectivity via the internet. Diagnostics can now be performed that rival much of what you get at your best auto repair centers. Upgrades and downloads can be pushed from manufacturers to their bikes via a computer hook-up or in some cases via the ‘cloud’. Smart phone integration for enhanced user control is also showing up on more bikes.
Motors are more durable and efficient, electronics become more solid and trouble-free, and battery technology, of course, advances every season. Its such an exciting time to be alive and participating, via our spending dollars, in the progression toward healthier more sustainable ways to be and move about in the world around us. If you think that bikes are merely toys and electric bikes are just the latest fad, think again. They’re so much more than that. They represent the two-wheeled aspect of the revolution that’s sweeping (and rolling) across the face of our planet. More and more people are waking up to the fact that we need to come into much greater harmony with the natural world around us. Come join the movement; your children and their children will thank you!
My comments this month are aimed at small businesses whose activities include in-town delivery/pickup of small-to-medium-size items. You know who you are: restaurants, real estate companies, contractors, retail stores, etc. If you have somebody driving around on a regular basis delivering goods or documents or meals, you have a great opportunity to minimize your environmental impact as well as a chance to generate maximum exposure and goodwill.
Imagine an energized employee moving about town with ease, avoiding traffic and parking woes, and promoting yours as an eco-conscious, forward thinking business. An electric cargo bike is a very cost effective means to move your goods, paperwork, etc. from point A to B in human/electric power-assisted style. In most cases the price of the electric cargo bike will be recouped in less than a year when factored against the costs of operating a delivery car, no matter how efficient the car may be.
The tasteful addition of signage on the sides of a cargo bike creates a rolling advertising tool that will have everyone’s attention as it plies the streets of town in a low impact, easy-on-the-planet fashion. You may even find employees vying for the chance to ‘make the errand run’ for the day. On an electric bike, taking care of a handful of chores around town becomes a welcome opportunity to get out and enjoy some fresh air without it becoming an epic, sweaty workout. You’ll find, as most of my customers have, that traveling around Ashland via an electric bike can actually be faster than driving and parking a car. Never has it been so easy to do so much via a bicycle. You will be amazed to discover the range of large and unique sized items that can be transported with an electric cargo bike.
If all this still isn’t enough to get you out the door and on your way to see me then know this; Electric Vehicles Ashland (EVA) is offering a $300 rebate for any electric bike purchased for business-related purposes! You can contact them online or via the City of Ashland offices.
So, get yourself an electric cargo bike, save a chunk of change right off the bat, and continue to rack up the savings for yourself and our one precious planet with every trip you make around town.
We’re lucky enough to be able to ride year ’round in Ashland due to the mildness of winter here. Many of you may not agree with that assessment but believe me, after spending decades in the high country of Montana and Colorado, winter in southern Oregon is not as tough. Nevertheless, I know many of you have your bikes in temporary storage while awaiting warmer days. Now is the perfect time to consider a pre-season tune-up to assure that you’re safe and ready to go once the temps reach your comfort zone.
Even the most expensive of bikes, whether standard or electric, experience component wear and require periodic maintenance to keep them running smoothly. This will also prevent more costly repairs down the road. Every bike should, at minimum, have a general tune-up performed on it once a year. Items to be addressed include: inspect and adjust brakes, gears, cables, headset, hubs, bottom bracket, and wheel spokes. Tire pressure and tread condition, as well as all bolt tightness should be checked. Chain wear is a key item to be checked; replacing a worn chain is far less expensive than waiting until it wears all the gears as well. Following these guidelines will assure that your first ride of the new season will be safe and secure.
Now can also be a great time to invest in any accessories that you’ve been considering to make your riding experience more pleasurable and effective. Baskets, bags, fenders, horns, cell phone holders; all these items can take your riding to the next level.
How about your helmet; is it comfortable and you use it, or does it sit at home while you venture into the world unprotected? There’s nothing pretty about a head injury. We’ve been privy to numerous episodes where a helmet has saved a rider from serious injury. Trust me; helmets save lives!
OK, now you know what it takes to stay ahead of the curve before the upcoming warm weather riding season. Make an appointment to get your bike in tip top shape now and avoid the rush when everybody else is scrambling to get their bike serviced. Who knows; you may even find yourself adding a few months to your usual riding season, and that’s a good thing for us all.