Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Can I use an Electric Bike for my Commute?

Glad you've found us! I've heard it said that the smartest people tend to be the laziest. They are the people who'll figure out how to simplify a task so they never need to do it again, and thus, can work less. Naturally, my commute is no exception.

You see, I live in San Fransisco where the transportation options aren't that great. Actually, they suck. Sure,

  • I can drive my car to work, but parking costs are insane in this city and I would rarely, if ever, make it to work on time if I even managed to find a spot. 
  • I could take a taxi, but $30 each way, 20 days a month... well, you get it. 
  • Finally, I can walk. It's only about 5 miles and god knows I need the exercise! But...

You get the Idea

So, how can I honor my life long tradition of finding the shortcut, and perhaps have a bit of fun as well?

Using an Electric Bike to Get to Work

If you've never heard of an e-bike, you're in for a treat. Imagine a bicycle with... a motor, and a battery. It's a little bit like a motorcycle, but you don't need to stay where the motorcycles need to stay. You don't need a license. You don't need any gasoline.

Quite simply, an electric bike is a bicycle that does the work for you. These come in many different sizes, from full size 21-speed mountain bike replacements down to "toy" bikes that, while designed to fit adults, can also fit right in the trunk of your car. Which leads me to the best detail of all. You can take one of these bikes right in the elevator, right down the hall, and park it in your office or workspace.

No need to arrange or pay for parking. No need to worry about theft or security. And when it's time to go home (or out to lunch) hope on and go!

This all seems pretty cool, so far.

What are the upsides of using an electric bike to get to work?

  • Quiet
  • Small
  • No gasoline or engine maintenance
  • Probably eco-friendly
  • No sweat before or after work
  • Move quickly wherever small bikes can go, many go 18-20 mph!
  • No need to wait for a train, taxi, or bus
  • Many toy size e-bikes can go ON the train, taxi, or bus
  • They are downright FUN to ride

Downsides of using an electric bike to get to work

  • If you run out of power, you need to park and charge. Or maybe get a taxi home.
  • The coolness factor is still up for debate. Will your friends ridicule you or bow down to your genius?
  • Can be heavy, about 25-35 lbs for toy models, much higher for big ones
  • Initial expense, many cost between $500 and $1500 dollars

In my experience,  the pros outweigh the cons with electric bikes, and personally I found my investment to be well worth it in countless ways. I actually look forward to the fresh air on my daily ride and feel like I've found a cheat code while I whiz by all stopped cars in traffic, waiting at a signal, and especially the ones looking for a place to park!


 As more and more people are moving into cities, ditching cars, and living closer to where they work, we need a more effective, more robust last-mile solution. We're calling this movement "micro-mobility", which perhaps occupies the space between walking and a motorcycle.

What do you think? Would you ride an electric bike to work, would you trade in  your daily train ride or drive if you could?


No comments:

Post a Comment