I never dreamed I’d feel this way, but the more I think about it the more excited I get about eBikes. That doesn’t mean I’m ready to abandon my traditional all-pedal, all the time lifestyle. I love feeling the burn when I climb a hill. I love cursing under my breath at the endless Hoosier wind as it batters me. Weird, I know, but I used to be a runner and runners are into that whole no pain, no gain thing…at least the ones I know are.
But everybody’s different and if you’re older and haven’t been on a bicycle in decades, maybe pain isn’t your thing. The bike life can be a little overwhelming. That’s where an eBike might help. It might be the difference between choosing to cycle or choosing to see what’s on channel seventy-seven.
So I’ve become a eBike fanboy…with a couple of qualifications.
Some eBikes have throttles. Others don’t. If your bike doesn’t have a throttle, the only way to engage the motor is to pedal. That’s called pedal assist. This is the way to go. If you don’t have to pedal, it’s not really a bicycle. It’s a scooter.
The nice folks at Boise Electric Bikes in Idaho explained it to me best. Riding a pedal assist bicycle is like having super powers. You pedal effortlessly and the bike rolls forward. This is especially cool when climbing hills. If you don’t pedal, you don’t go anywhere.
An eBike can be the ultimate city cruiser provided it’s light enough to lift onto a bus rack or carry up two flights of stairs to your third floor loft. Some are so heavy that this is impractical. You know what happens when a bicycle is impractical, right?
Sometimes you need a boost. Other times you don’t. You should be able to ride an eBike without help from the motor if you choose to. That means it should have an off switch. If it doesn’t have an off switch, you’re never going to have the opportunity to feel the burn and that would be tragic.
My little company (PedalFree LLC) whose mission it is to help people rediscover the magic of bicycling has chosen to represent Faraday Bicycles of San Francisco. Faraday makes high quality, award-winning, electric pedal-assist bicycles. My goal is to market the bikes through local bike shops and corporations who are interested in integrating cycling into their organizational DNA and recognizing the benefits that go along with it.
This was no small decision for me. I’ve always tried to maintain product neutrality here because the important thing is that we all just get out and ride however we best can do that.
But I came to realize that this particular product is special. It was designed specifically to create cyclists and that is the whole idea behind PedalFree and what I do with bicycles.
When we bike, we heal ourselves and our communities. That is the goal of this blog and the reason I take the time to write every few days.
Spring is in the air. I hope you all have a chance to get on the bike this weekend…whatever the bike happens to be.