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Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Two-Wheeled Option (With a Battery)

From the New York Times, 05.06.07:

JEFF BAUM has a breathtaking daily commute. He travels 10 miles each way from his home in Frisco, Colo., to his office in Breckenridge—-up and down winding roads that eventually climb to 9,800 feet in the Rockies--to his job as the executive director of the Breckenridge Music Festival.

For most of his 10 years with the festival, he had driven a standard gasoline-powered sport utility vehicle. Last September, though, he started leaving it at home for something cheaper, quieter and cleaner: an electric bicycle.

It takes him a little longer to get to work, but the bike is more dependable, more nimble, more invigorating and just more fun than the S.U.V., he said. (Read more.)
Sigh. How many of us wish we had a commute this scenic? How many of us would not use an electric bike? This rider misses most of the health benefits of bicycling, but otherwise I can't complain when someone drops the SUV for an electric bike.

Image: New York Times
Visit: Bicycle Colorado
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips


Mary Worrell said...

I think if I get older in age (which I will, of course), I'll pick up something that helps me along on a bike ride if I can't make it myself. I agree, it's much better than the SUV.

Is that a completely electric bike or is it the kind that kicks in on an incline to help you along?

Unknown said...

I disagree that he's missing out on the health benefits. It's making a steep climb feel like a flat grade, but he's still spinning his legs for 20 miles a day. Sure, he'd have stronger lungs and legs if he wasn't using an electric bicycle, but I doubt he'd be out there at all in that case.

50cycles said...

I agree with h. There is evidence from an Australian university study that riding an electric bike keeps the rider in a zone of useful aerobic cardiac exercise for longer and more consistently than a conventional cyclist. Also, there is much evidence from a study at Leeds University that electric bikes are several times more likely to be used on a daily basis by most riders than a regular bike.

Anna Haynes said...

> electric bikes are several times more likely to be used on a daily basis by most riders than a regular bike

Amen. I now do my grocery shopping with my electric bike; previously I took the car.