It’s been a bit quiet here lately. I have been taking some mental time to myself and not really giving a hoot about the social media side of life. After coming back from New Hampshire after my mom’s funeral I was in a bit of a funk, I totally admit that and it took a while to get back into the right head space.
The other thing I did was purchase an e-bike for a dedicated commuter.
I was quite strongly against e-bikes about 5 years ago. I thought of them as really weak motorcycles and the concept of an e-bike for day to day riding seemed to go against my whole idea of what riding should be about.
Since that time we have moved further away from my work and I wanted to continue to commute as much as possible. It’s seven miles to the light rail or seventeen miles all the way to work.
I have also gained a greater appreciation for the bike as a means of transportation (yes, I have always realized this). The bike is not only a means of exercise for me, nor is it just a toy. It’s a valid means of transportation for getting to work and running local errands. A few of my friends have already made comments about not “cheating” on Strava. That is not why I bought this bike. I bought it so I can get to/from work a bit quicker. So far it has knocked between 25-30 minutes off my commute which means I get back upwards of two hours a week. Wednesday’s ride home was also a great example of the “bonus” of an e-bike. It was one of those days when the headwind was 10-15mph constant with bigger gusts. Biking home on my “normal” bike would have been a chore. The e-bike made it a bit easier.
That “easier” is also something I wanted to address. It is not like I am on a motorcycle and I just twist a throttle to go faster. I basically have two choices. Ride at the same effort as before and go faster or ride with less effort and take the same amount of time. I can think of many Mondays biking to light rail after a hard weekend of riding and just being tired. Now I can still ride but maybe not be so cooked.
Anyways, after close to 100 miles of rides in the first week I am fairly pleased with the purchase. Specialized claims “up to 80 miles of range” but the reality is using eco (35% assist), sport (65% assist) and turbo (100% assist) I can get around 40 miles on a full charge. That means one full roundtrip commute. If I bike to train, ride train to work, ride all the way home for about 25 miles total I can be a bit more aggressive in my use of sport and turbo modes on the way home.
All in all, did I need an e-bike? No. Do I enjoy having a dedicated commuter? Yes. Is it nice to have a little extra help now and again while commuting? For sure.
That’s about it for now. Thanks for reading.
2 Comments Add yours
Pete, sorry to hear about your loss. Taking time off from “the internets” is definitely a good thing. But good to see you back.
I need to check out Chehalem Ridge Park at some point. After knowing about it for almost a decade, I was excited to hear that it finally opened. Of course it opened in December, which is probably the worst time to visit, as I’m sure there’s a bit of snow up there more often than not. Did you see any water spigots up there? It would be good to incorporate into a ride.
I’ve been thinking more about electric bikes these past couple years. I’m a bit too broke to get one anytime soon, but it would nice to get a cargo e-bike at some point.
First off – Thank you for the kinds words about my mom.
Chehalem Ridge is nice. They did a really good job on the trails. I didn’t notice any spigots but I wouldn’t be shocked if there are some because of all the picnic shelters. Worse case is Gaston is just a few miles west with a couple stores or even the ball fields.
The e-bike is something I’ve warmed to over the past 12 months. Testing it out at the shop and doing some reading on the Vado specifically was what got me leaning that way. There are more powerful and even cheaper options but I wanted something that was kind of light (relatively speaking) and most importantly didn’t have a suspension fork, which just seems silly for a bike that will primarily see pavement.