Bike share and Electric bikes:

by

The University of Washington, not that far south west of us is planning a bike share program.  It is unusual however in that the bikes they plan to use will be electric.  They plan to have 40 bikes – they can be pedalled or run on electric.

See  the article here:  http://www.insidehigered.com/news/2007/11/27/bike

People talk about hybrid cars and more efficient transportation – the reality is that for at least 9 months of the year, in Kelowna, an electric bike is very pratical.  My wife has had one two years now – it is the “scooter” design with storage under the seat  and a locked box on a carrier on the back.  It works very well for her as the fenders and body around the rider protect one from dirt and the weather to a certain extent and make it practical to ride with decent clothing.  It is pretty hopeless for pedalling as the seat is too close to the pedals and the pedals too wide apart for most riders.

The bike is rated to about a 40 km. range with the included battery and is restricted to 32 km/hr by law.  It isn’t a powerhouse but certainly is practical for moderate terrain.  It is great for hauling home a couple of bags of groceries or for making multiple stops as one can store a lock, cable and helmet under the seat or in the box.  It is also inexpensive to run, taking about $.05 electricity to charge the battery.  The legal requirements are that the operator be 16 years or more, wear a bike helmet and follow the rules of the road applicable for cyclists.

I don’t ride it very much and if I was to get an electric would more likely get a kit for a mountain bike.  As it is I need the exercise and don’t wish to go electric and get lazy.

I believe that as fuel prices increase we will see more electric bikes on the road.  “Pure cyclists” may feel these are not needed but there are a lot of folk who will find that they give them transportation freedom that is not otherwise available to them.  I hope that the Provincial Dept. of Transportation (MOT) and the City recognize that electric bikes will become more popular and plan with this in mind.

John.

Advertisements

One Response to “Bike share and Electric bikes:”

  1. electric Says:

    This is so cool! What a smart looking bicycle. And thanks for all the information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: