August 16, 2011
My Bionic Bike Ride
Saturday I joined about 100 other local electeds, planners, advocates and policy wonks for the 7th Annual "Visionaries Voyage" (also known in the past as the Policymakers Ride). This is a yearly bike ride that visits regional open spaces and natural areas and explores existing and potential trail network opportunities. In recent years this has been a focal point for Metro's Intertwine effort (now spun off as an independent non-profit).
Since my regular bike trips our generally restricted to about a five-mile radius, the 30-mile trip from Hillsboro to Dundee (passing parts of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge) was a bit intimidating.
So I rented a Giant e-bike from The e-bike Store. About two years ago I blogged about my experience with an throttle-controlled e-bike. This bike was a "pedal assist" bike that essentially amplifies the amount of force you apply to the pedals.
I was very comfortably able to keep up with the main body of riders (despite some reasonable hills on the route), rather than keeping company with the sweep rider.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find that I was one of at least three e-bike riders on the trip (including one local mayor).
This affirms my belief that e-bikes are going to continue to develop as an effective transportation tool that allows bicycle users of a variety of levels of ability and fitness to extend their range and cover terrain that they would not be able to on a non-powered bike.
August 16, 2011 10:33 AM
Chris I Says:
E-bikes definitely have a big future. They will do a big part in encouraging the general population to consider bike transportation. However, we need to continue to improve bike infrastructure and educational outreach, as many citizens are concerned about safety, or don't know how to ride properly.