Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Today's Low-Carbon Ride to Work and Another Trip to Scotland on a Bike

[Post summary: Bikes, E-Bikes, Gas sucks, the crazy guy from Scotland put out another vid and I decided to share it with you]

See, the Huff-E-Rat hugs trees too.

This really depressing article came out last week and it has strengthened my resolve to work harder at being carbon-free:

 
So this week I rode the regular bike to work on Monday and Tuesday. This morning, I rode the Huff-E on its maiden commute of  seven miles (one way). There's something to be said for a low-powered e-bike.
 
On a non-electric bike, I generally average about 9.5 mph on my ride to work and about 11.2 on my ride home. Apparently my body works better when it's warmer. This morning's ride to work on the electric bike averaged 11.4 mph. It was both chilly and a bit breezy.
 
I still pedaled the whole way - I can't stand to be a on a bike and not pedaling. It just feels wrong. But I was a little less winded and sweaty when I got to work. And I had the same smile. I burned quite a few calories. I burned a tiny amount of electrons - about eight pennies worth. I saw a beautiful sunrise. And I had that smile.

So, back to the low-powered e-bike thought. When you start shopping for e-bikes you run across a lot of 250 watt offerings. Conventional thinking says that anyone over 200 pounds should veer toward something larger. Me, I've plateaued at 240 pounds. The 250 watt setup is great for what I am wanting now - a little boost through the breeze and the cold and the slight inclines we refer to as hills around here. I am wanting to maintain consistent speeds. I am wanting to keep exercising. And this thing is perfect for all of that.

I think I'd be pretty happy with a number of 250 watt bikes. Would they work if I lived near hills? Probably not. Would they work if I wanted the bike to do ALL of the pedaling? Probably not. Would they work if I wanted to travel 20mph? Nope. Would they work if I lost 80 pounds? Sure.

I guess the moral here is to figure out what you want your e-bike to do before you start shopping for an e-bike.

On to the Crazy Scottish guy:

Watch it on youtube (Love the music!)
 
I watch Danny M videos for a tiny vacation and to keep myself humble. I'm impressed with myself for commuting on a bike three days this week - he's out riding on rolling hay bales. I guess I'll keep pedaling.
 
May you stay humble, stop burning gas, and have that smile.
 
PS. When you are looking at e-bikes, one of the things I have learned is that speed can be really dangerous on an electric bike, but it's probably not in the way you'd think. The bikes are perfectly capable of handling the speed, but the drivers around you are not. Anything over 15 mph and automobile drivers will misjudge your speed and pull out in front of you. Their brains are just conditioned to bikes moving slow. Watch yourself out there. Like many other things in the bike commute world, we can all point fingers and talk about fair and responsibility and heads up their...but the only thing that really matters is that we all reach our destinations safely.