Friday, March 17, 2017

Lubbock on a Bike: An electric bike and a 5-day commute

 I love it when a bike comes together!
(You may recognize the components as the same ones from most of my other electric bike builds.)
 
Last August, on that day when people are nice enough to celebrate the fact that I am older, my lovely wife bought me a folding Prodeco Genesis 500 frame - I have a very cool wife! So, I have spent the time since then gathering parts to turn it back into a bicycle. Last weekend I managed to get it all together, and I rode it to work on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. (Woohoo! Success!) Tuesday I rode the non-electric bike. (Woohoo! More success!)

Yep, it's the same frame as the Prodeco Phantom, but a lot shinier.
 
Yep, for me, that's two accomplishments: a bike built and a perfect week of bike commuting (or a week of non-gas-powered commute.) By the time I get home I will have ridden 50 miles on the bike for the week and 6 miles on the truck. Okay, so they're not huge accomplishments, but lately there haven't been many, so I choose to celebrate these.
 
Wednesday Morning - 50th and Utica
 
Spring Break Sidebar - Nope, I did not hang out topless on a beach this week (not a pretty sight!) but I did get a preview of this summer's bike commuter nirvana - no school traffic made the rides much less hectic and I got to take advantage of a couple of bike routes that take me past schools where the traffic is normally rather manic. And it's been nice!
 
Thursday Morning Fog - 36th St
 
Electric Bike Sidebar - for those of you who want details, the e-bike is a 250 watt 36-volt setup with no throttle - it's pedal assist only. Yes, it is completely foldable. No, it's not really powerful enough to haul me and my stuff to work, but I help it out (a lot!) with aggressive pedaling. My average speeds are up about 2 mph over non-electric riding and my commute times are down 4-5 minutes. The bike is a 7-speed, but I use 4th gear most of the time. Once in a while I use third or fifth, but fourth-only would be just fine. I am learning a rhythm for riding this thing. It's a pretty laid-back machine. If you're in a hurry - too bad, Bubba! You pedal and it goes steadily. Windy days are a little easier. Inclines are a little easier. I still get home a little winded, but I recover much more quickly.
 
Hiding under the stairs two flights up
 
May you find yourself enjoying a low-carbon commute as much as I have enjoyed this week!