An Electric Bike Primer
This article first appeared in the August issue of the Ashland Locals Guide.
Oh the pleasures of summertime! Its a chance to be outside drinking in the natural beauty of our fair region. Among the myriad opportunities available to us, Ashland is a great place to ride a bike. If only we didn’t have so many pesky hills to climb, right? Depending on where you live, a ride to the grocery store and back can be an epic workout. If you’re up to the task and you have the time, I salute you. However, if you’re like many of us, you do all your around town traveling by car and your bike is reserved for the occasional weekend pleasure/exercise ride. What if there was a way to bridge the gap between these two scenarios? Enter the electric bike!
E-bikes ride and function like regular bicycles with the addition of an electric motor and battery to provide assistance in propelling you forward. The additional 20-25 lbs. of equipment provides power equal to that of another able-bodied adult helping you pedal. Hills seem to flatten out before you and miles slip by easily. Your bicycle elevates from the level of recreational equipment to alternative transportation. You still need to pedal to navigate our varied terrain but it can take a fraction of the effort that a non-electric bike requires. (Remember the virtual able-bodied adult helping with the work?)
Now you can get as much exercise as you desire or as much assistance as you need depending on the situation; you have complete control over the amount of power that the motor delivers. Imagine running across town for an appointment in the morning, meeting a friend downtown for lunch, and then zooming out once more in the afternoon for a few items at the grocery store. All this and you’re still ready to go out dancing tonight because you didn’t exhaust yourself running the day’s errands. This is what e-biking is all about!
E-bikes are easy to ride, they don’t require a driver’s license, and in a town like Ashland you can make most trips as quickly or faster than you can with your car. With a grin on your face you get to cruise past slowed traffic and parking space woes. E-bikes operate on just a few penny’s worth of electricity each day and they don’t require any special maintenance procedures beyond that of a standard bike. If you compute the savings in gas purchases over time, the payback period for the cost of an e-bike is surprisingly short.
I hope I’ve piqued your curiosity about e-bikes in general. If so, I invite you to come by the shop, see all the bikes, and take a test ride. Just one ride is all it takes. I promise. Come ride the future…its here now!