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

Flames lose at home, win in Mission

Host Kodiaks on Friday night

Weavers and spinners to kick off holiday shopping

The Whonnock Weavers and Spinners’ 38th annual exhibit and sale takes place Nov. 25

Strong support for Pitt Meadows transportation projects

Overpass/underpass projects get majority support

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead in Maple Ridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Ridge Meadows Hospital parking is still pay, but streets free

Surrey has removed meters on streets, asking Fraser Health for free parking at the hospital

UPDATE: IHIT confirms identity of Hells Angels homicide victim

Chad John Wilson was one of four men arrested in Spain in 2013 on allegations of smuggling cocaine.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

Most Read