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Ebikes – Are They The Future of Biking? - May 2024

"Life is like an ebike ride, sometimes breezy, sometimes uphill, but always exhilarating."

 

- Master MP

 


As all LOYAL SUBSCRIBERS (LS) of MILES PEDDLED (MP) will recall, the inaugural edition of MP published in May of 2021 addressed the issue of:  Ebikes – Are They Cheating?.  Based upon the research of the MILES PEDDLED INSTITUTE (MPI) the conclusion was a definitive “No.”  This Third Anniversary Edition of MP will ask the follow-up question:  “Ebikes – Are They The Future of Biking?.”  Hence, let this edition be known as same.  Playlist suggestion:  FUTURE PEOPLE by Alabama Shakes.

 

Previous editions of MP can be accessed at www.milespeddled.com.

 

Before we get to the subject matter of this Month’s edition, however, Management has an announcement and a postscript from last Month’s Edition.

 

First, the announcement.  On April 16, 2024, WONDER WOMAN (WW) and MASTER MP (MMP) welcomed their first grandchild, LUCY MARIE, into the MP family.  Mom and Little Lucy are doing great, Dad looks a little haggard.  Playlist suggestion:  GRANDMA’S HANDS by Bill Withers.

 

Now to the postscript.  In last month’s edition of MP, Management outlined several places where a bike trek could be done in conjunction with a camping outing.  Recently, FIRST LADY (FL) led such an expedition to BROWN COUNTY STATE PARK which is located just outside of NASHVILLE, INDIANA.

 

·       Camping:

 

BROWN COUNTY STATE PARK (BCSP) is nicknamed the “Little Smokies” because of the area’s resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains.  It is Indiana’s largest State Park and encompasses nearly 16,000 acres of rugged hills, ridges, and fog-shrouded ravines.  There are numerous campsites, and the park also offers a lodge and cabins which can be rented.

 

Just outside the park, is the town of Nashville, Indiana which is a quaint little hamlet famous for unique shopping, dining, arts, and crafts.

 

·       Biking:

 

Inside the park there are approximately 20 miles of tree-lined roads with many scenic vistas.  NOTE:  The park is extremely hilly, and this is where your ebike will come in very useful.

 

For the mountain bike enthusiasts, there are over 20 miles of mountain biking trails inside the park.  It is a local mountain biking Mecca.

 

·       Playlist Suggestion:

 

SMALL TOWN by John Mellencamp.  Or in the alternative, check out the HOOSIER DADDY playlist at YouTube Music.

 

Now on to the subject matter of this month’s edition:  Ebikes – Are They The Future Of Biking?  The short answer is “Yes.”

 

Far from bursting, the ebike bubble has just gotten more interesting.  As the demand for ebikes continues to soar, the bike manufacturers strive to beat the competition by bringing improved performance, higher quality materials, better tech, and more affordability to the ebike market.

 

Ebikes come in many different styles and configurations, including, road bikes, commuter/trek bikes, mountain bikes, cargo bikes, and even fat tire bikes.  In most large cities, where the adoption of ebikes is higher, their appeal is usually as a daily commuter.

 

In this Month’s edition, Management will outline 3 reasons to join the ebike craze; and make 3 recommendations in the commuter ebike category.

 

1.         REASONS

 

According to MPI, there are numerous reasons to invest in an ebike.  Management has distilled these down to 3 main reasons which are as follows:

 

·       Money:

 

An ebike can be used to replace many of your local trips that are now done by car.  This obviously will result in purchasing less gas and most likely less maintenance to the car.  If used frequently, over time, the savings generated by using the ebike will pay for the purchase price.

 

In addition, by using the ebike instead of your car, you will be able to proudly state that you have lowered your carbon footprint and are helping the environment.

 

Playlist suggestion:  MONEY by Pink Floyd.

 

·       Fitness:

 

Contrary to popular perception, you can get a workout using an ebike.  The beauty of an ebike is you get to choose how rigorous of a workout you wish to obtain on any particular occasion.  Moreover, research from MPI indicates that ebike owners are more likely to use their ebike than they would a regular bike and hence increase their activity level which results in greater fitness.

 

Playlist suggestion:  MOTIVATION by Normani.

 

·       Fun:

 

Ebikes allow you to go further, faster, more frequently with no sweat whatsoever (if you choose!)  They will take you to places that you normally would not have gone to on your regular bike.  In short, they are FUN!  Simply ask anyone who owns one and you will get the same statement:  “Why did I wait so long to purchase an ebike.”

 

Playlist suggestion:  AT LEAST I HAD FUN by Martin Jensen and RANI.

 

Video recommendation:  FIVE REASONS TO GET AN EBIKE by estardli@youtube.com.

 

2.         RECOMMENDATIONS

 

·       Under $2,000.00:

 

AVENTON PACE 500.3:

 

The Pace comes in both a step-over and step-through frame.  The price is approximately $1,600.00 but there are currently sales and Aventon is offering a free extra batter which has a value of approximately $500.00.  The top speed with pedal assist is 28 mph; the bike also has a thumb throttle with a top speed of 20 mph.

 

·       Under $2,500.00:

 

RIDE1UP – PRODIGY V2

 

This bike also comes in a step-over and step-through frame.  The MSRP is approximately $2,400.00, but currently there are sales being run directly by Ride1Up.  This is a Class 3 pedal assist only mid-drive ebike with a top speed of 28 mph.

 

NOTE:  For a few hundred dollars more ($2,695.00) you can get the same ebike with a Gates carbon belt driver in lieu of a chain and an Enviolo internally hub gearing system in lieu of a derailer.  Both of these will make the bike virtually maintenance free.  Well worth the small additional cost.

 

·       Under $6,000.00:

 

GAZELLE ECLIPSE C380 PLUS HMB

 

Yes, this is a lot of money, but this bike is well worth it.  For $5,999.00 you can choose between a step-over or step-through frame, and the bike comes with a Gates carbon fiber belt and an Enviolo gearing system which, as noted above, make the bike virtually maintenance free.  In addition, the bike has a Bosch mid-drive motor, high capacity battery; and, comes fully equipped with fenders, rack, lights, hydraulic disc brakes, front suspension fork, and much, much more.  If you are looking for a once in a lifetime ebike purchase, this is it.

 

Time for this Month’s Trivia/Quiz section.  In 1956 The League of American Bicyclists established and began to promote May as the National Bike Month.  The League has established the following important bike days in the month of May 2024:

 

·       National Ride a Bike Day – Sunday, May 5, 2024.

·       Bike to Work Week – May 13, - May 19, 2024

·       Bike to Work Day – Friday, May 17, 2024

 

Be part of the movement and enjoy National Bike Month.  Since May is National Bike Month, the Trivia/Quiz section will be centered around general biking questions which are set forth below.  The answers will be in the Postscript section.

 

1.         The word “bicycle” comes from what language?  English, French, Spanish or German.

 

2.         The first commercially available bicycles were created in what country?  England, France, Spain, or Germany.

 

3.         Approximately how many bicycles are manufactured worldwide each year?  30 million, 60 million, 90 million, 100 million.

 

4.         What country makes the most trips using a bicycle?  France, UK, Netherlands, or United States.

 

5.         What city has the highest percentage of commuters using their bike to get to work?  Copenhagen, New York City, Amsterdam, or London.

 

6.         How many bikes can fit into a single car parking spot?  8, 10, 15 or 21.

 

7.         How many active cycling clubs are there in the United States?  100, 200, 300 or 400.

 

8.         A recent study in England found that cycling can make you feel _____ number of years younger?  3, 5, 7 or 10.

 

9.         The fastest recorded speed of a human riding a bike is which of the following?  93.2 mph, 137.3 mph, 169.1 mph or 183.9 mph.

 

10.       In the United States, what is the most popular form of biking?  Road, hybrid, mountain, or fat tire.

 

TEASE TIME:  Management will be combining the June and July issues into a combo edition which will highlight several rides on which you can obtain some famous Chicago street food.  It will be entitled “Biking for Dogs, Burgers and Beef.”  Playlist suggestion:  HOT DOT by Buck Owens.

 

Time to go, but please remember:  “Live your life as if you are ready to say goodbye to it at any moment as if the time left for you were some pleasant surprise.” – Marcus Aurelius.  As always, remember to R, R & R!


 


 

POSTSCRIPT:

 

Answers to Trivia/Quiz Section:

 

1.         Bicycle:

 

The word “bicycle” comes from the French word “bicyclette.”  Before this name, bicycles were known as “velocipedes.”

 

2.         Commercially Available Bicycles:

 

The first commercially available bicycles were created in France in the 1860’s.

 

3.         Number of Bikes Manufactured:

 

Approximately 100 million bicycles are manufactured each year which is 2.5 times more than the number of automobiles manufactured.

 

4.         Trips:

 

In the Netherlands, 30% of all trips are made via bike.  In the UK, the number of trips is 5%.  Unfortunately, in the US the number of trips is less than 1%. 

 

5.         City Biking:

 

40% of the residents of Amsterdam use their bikes to get to work.  Second is Copenhagen with 36% of the workforce commuting by bicycle.  In New York City approximately 10% of the workforce commutes by bicycle.

 

6.         Parking Spaces:

 

Approximately 15 bicycles can fit into the same area of a single automobile parking space.

 

7.         Clubs:

 

In the U.S. there are over 400 active cycling clubs.  The League of American Bicyclists was established in 1880.

 

8.         Younger:

 

The recent study from England found that cycling can make you feel 10 years younger.  MPI has established that bicyclists have a 2 year higher life expectancy compared to the average person.

 

9.         Speed:

 

The fastest recorded speed of a human riding a bicycle is 183.9 mph.  This record was set by Dennis Mueller-Korenek in 2018.

 

10.       Most Popular U.S. Biking:

 

25% of U.S. cyclists ride mountain bikes which is closely followed by 24% of individuals using hybrid bikes.

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