E-bikes are not a life chaNger, but a life chaRger.
No more sweaty bike rides to work. Wear your fancy clothes if you want. A hill… who cares!? Stuck in traffic, not really. No time to exercise after your work, no worries, you are already working out on the way home. Need fresh air and want to be good to the enviroment, you got it. And the best of all, get fast everywhere and stay active.
E-bikes have been used in China since the 1990s and became popular about 10 years ago in the Western hemisphere, with Germany having more than half of all electric bicycle sales in the EU (followed by The Netherlands – not hard to imagine – and Belgium. Info taken from statista.com).
E-bikes are a bike, like the normal ones that you know, but they include a battery on the back, front or middle of your bike, a screen to regulate the speed changes and a little engine in one of your wheels. Still, you always need to paddle all the time to have the engine working. The engine is supposed to aid you paddle, not to do the job for you. Depending on the size of the engine and the distances that you ride, you will need to charge the battery, like you charge the battery of your phone, every 2 to 4 days. All these little extras make the bike much heavier and expensive (for a good e-bike you need to pay as a minimum 1500 AUD/1200 USD) than a normal bike, but this “fancy” investment is worth every single penny. An e-bike just solves any excuse that you normally make for avoiding using your normal bike in regular basis.
Once you get an e-bike, you don’t want to go anywhere without it. Distances suddenly become shorter. And the best thing is that there is no need to wait for buses anymore, transfer from the bus to the tram, look for car parking places, or walk long distances because of the lack of bus stops in your area. Why should you, if you can ride to your destination directly and quickly (Some e-bikes can go to 35km/hour or even more. Check your country’s policies though. Some countries, like Australia, allow you to program your bike only for up to 25km/hour).
But what if it rains? You can use wheather proof clothes over your normal clothes or simply jump into a bus with your bicycle; it is at the end not a motorbike.
There is the argument that e-bikers are lazy people because they are been “helped” to paddle. But there would be less “lazy people” joining the active commuting world if there weren’t e-bikes. So are these people who bought their e-bikes to be active,… lazy? It just does not make sense.
My experience with e-bikes
I wake up in the morning, have a big breakfast, wear my “fancy” clothes, ride my e-bike for 5 minutes, take a 20-min ferry from Manly to Sydney, ride 20 min to my destination. Total time commuting: 45 minutes. If I hadn’t an e-bike, 1 hour. In this instance, 15 minutes difference. Not much, BUT…
in exchange I get stress released, SO MANY endorphines, a GREAT mood, LOTS of fresh air, FRESH axils with roses smell, SEXY legs and arms for lifting my heavy bike, cardio, fast transportation, chance to see the city in day light and… I could continue, but let´s leave it here. E-BIKES simply charge my everyday life.
So what do you say? E-bike, bike, bus, car, or…?