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.