Time to consider e-bikes

Transportation options endless, now that bicycles can be powered

  • Aug. 20, 2015 3:00 p.m.

By Jackie Chow

Contributor

Even those who don’t care much for pedalling might want to check out the e-bike, which has the potential to revolutionize our transportation system, if we give it the chance it deserves.

E-bikes are great for elderly people who may not have the strength and stamina anymore to bike very far.

The technology can be used for tricycles for people with balance problems.

And an e-bike will enable a couple with different levels of physical fitness to enjoy a fun ride together.

Some people just like to take it easy, which is why they use the car for most of their trips. They might discover that the e-bike serves their needs.

Those who have to tackle hills or strong head winds on their commute need no longer worry about arriving at work soaked in sweat and perhaps not being able to take a shower.

Hot weather and having to wear a helmet also is less of a nuisance.

Even a commute of 20 or 30 km one way is quite feasible on an e-bike and certainly will become a more appealing and less stressful option as car congestion worsens on our roads.

The technology is also great for multi-day cycle tours, as well as to power cargo bikes that can be used for dropping off kids to school, larger-load grocery shopping, and deliveries.

By riding an e-bike, you save gas and bridge tolls.

Maybe it’ll even enable some families to get rid of that second car, which means you’ll save big, on insurance and car maintenance and repairs as well.

If you’re paying for car parking now, you’ll save on that, too, if you ride a bike.

It also provides a cheap form of exercise and you can skip the gym.

On an e-bike, the rider still needs to pedal, but gets a boost from the electric motor, and can go farther and faster without too much effort.

The bike has different settings, so that the rider can use as much or as little of his own power as he wants.

The range of an e-bike varies depending on the quality and size of the battery, battery age, the motor, road surface, weight, temperature, frequency of stops, wind and hills, but is said to be anywhere from 30 to 100 km.

Legally, e-bikes can only provide the boost up to 32 km/h, in order to be qualified a bicycle.

E-bikes can be more expensive than a regular bike. They range in price from under $1,000 for an entry level e-bike to $3,000 and up for high quality bikes.

Batteries will last about 1,000 charges, and will set you back several hundred dollars to replace.

About 90 per cent of e-bikes sold globally are sold in China, where some 200 million people ride them.

In the Netherlands, one in every five bikes sold is now an e-bike.

In Germany it’s one in 10.

With a failed transit referendum here, mayors want to look at road pricing as a funding option. This will disadvantage the outlying communities, where drivers on average are more car dependent and face longer commutes.

There’s another reason for you to ditch the car and get an e-bike.

Bike to Farms: Send an e-mail to me at jchow23708@yahoo.ca if you’re interested in participating with HUB’s upcoming Bike to Farms event on Sept. 6.

Jackie Chow is a member of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows chapter of HUB Cycling.

Just Posted

Students at James Cameron school contributed their original stories and illustrations to class books which were then published. (Special to The News)
Students with dyslexia at Maple Ridge school become published authors

Each contributed a story and illustration to a class book

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. says the province continues to invest too little in BC Parks, compared with public demand. (Special to The News)
Outdoor rec group decries parks funding

Golden Ears Park packed by record numbers of visitors

Community residents, businesses, and youth are all encouraged to complete economic development surveys. (The News files)
City of Maple Ridge asks for community input on economic development

Three surveys available online will help shape strategy for years to come

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Schools in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows exposed to COVID-19

Davie Jones and Hammond elementary schools have confirmed cases

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Police closed off 16th Avenue between 232nd and 240th streets in Aldergrove Saturday night at the site of a reported motor vehicle accident. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Survivors of rollover crash thank Good Samaritans for coming to their aid

Collision flipped vehicle into a 10-foot ditch on 16th Avenue in Langley

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Most Read