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Four wheels carry your body, but two wheels carry your soul

Posted on February 27, 2016 by Kurt Pearson | 0 Comments

Posted in Bike Safety, Ebikes, Electric Bicycle, Electric Bicycle Conversion Kit, Electric Bicycle Kit, Electric bike, Electric bikes, Electric Powered Bicycle

Why do People Ride an E-Bike?

Posted on February 26, 2016 by Kurt Pearson | 0 Comments

                     Infographic from Portland State Transportation Research and Education Center

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Posted in Bike Culture, Electric bikes, Green Transportation

Why I Ride an Electric Bike

Posted on November 19, 2015 by Kurt Pearson | 0 Comments

By Bobby G.

11-19-2015

You asked me to share with you my reasoning for buying an electric bicycle and I promised to do so. But first I needed for you to understand I have been seriously looking at them for about 5 yrs., fascinated about the new bicycles and how quickly the trend is growing in this country highlighting their simplicity and value.  This makes them truly beautiful through my lens.

My history; I am the only one in my family born in the U.S. and since my parents were both Dutch, bicycles are a part of our DNA. Bikes are not a luxury, but a necessity there.  In Holland there are 16 Million people and literally 99% of them have one, no matter the age….I believe the highest average in the world. Going hand in hand with bicycles and being Dutch, is the need to be a minimalist.  Growing up, I did not have a car till I went to college, but riding a used ‘48 Schwinn Typhoon my daughter happens to still ride with our grandsons. When visiting her in San Antonio, I still climb on just to feel how great it is to spend time with an old friend that just happens to have two wheels.

My next to last bike and still in my shop, is a Trek 728—Trek’s last frame made in the US. (Also the yr. our son was born). I happened to make my century ride on my 728 a couple of years ago for my birthday with my son’s help. He continues to ride and enjoy bikes even more than I do...like I said, DNA.

Last year I began in earnest shopping for a brand and dealer for two electric bikes…one for my wife and myself. We bought these for our 40th anniversary so we could ride together around our home on Lake Cherokee in East Texas. The technology had really come along not only on the motors, but the batteries. My wife was having issues being able to ride her normal bike due to chronic back pain, but still so wanted to ride. This gave me the final push to buy a Pedego Comfort Cruiser for her, which she absolutely loves.  I rode her Pedego and decided what I liked and still needed--then landed with your Yuba Mundo and have never looked back. I have always loved Jeeps and pickup trucks; the Mundo is basically a two-wheeled version of this. It covers all the bases---heavy duty; carries 400lbs, and I sit comfortably upright with my two grandsons and Peaches my dog in the front basket, which by the way, was a deal maker.  It is by far the best basket in the business.  All this, and I can even tow my grandson’s 20” bike when he gets too tired to ride!

This is a winning combination and can only get better as Americans learn about electric bicycles, their affordability and absolute simplicity. It all became so surreal when I took out the Yuba for the first time: little noise; a gracious dose of speed, power and most of all---freedom.    It brings back how much fun a bicycle can be…. hopping on, and then we are ten again.

Thank you Kurt for helping us enjoy this so much.

Most Kind Regards,

Bobby  

Bike Safety | Cycling Survival Guide

Posted on October 08, 2015 by Kurt Pearson | 0 Comments

Everything you need to know about biking is in The Urban Cycling Survival Guide (Book Review)

cover of book
© Mark Ngui

As the weather warms and the dog poop melts, a lot more people are thinking about bikes. If you are one of those who are thinking about using your bike more and your car or transit less, pedal over to your local bookstore and pick up Yvonne Bambrick's Urban Cycling Guide. Cycling has changed so much in the last few years; when I started riding my bike all winter I would be pretty much alone; drivers would yell at me for clogging the road and that I was going to get killed and would deserve it. This year, even though it was a tough and cold one and I was not out as much, I was impressed to see that there were always cyclists out there. The bike is now not just recreation, it's transportation. It's getting crowded out there.

Making people comfortable cycling in the city has huge benefits for everyone. For the city and the taxpayer, it is a great way of taking cars off the roads and getting people out of the over-crowded and subsidized transit systems. It is the least polluting form of mechanized transportation and has the smallest footprint. Yvonne quotes me: "When you ride your bike, it isn’t just transportation, it is the key to designing the sustainable cities of the future."

© Javier Lovera/ Yvonne Bambrick and bike

In North America, the car was the symbol of freedom and independence. But in fact, Yvonne describes how the opposite was true.

I realized that owning and habitually overusing a car for short trips actually made me and billions of others far more dependent on all the systems required to make, buy, park, insure, repair, and fuel a car, rather than providing the independence I’d originally connected to car ownership. Cars, while useful and essential to some, are also a factor in so many of our societal ills — obesity, stress, diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle, worsening air quality, urban sprawl, and divided communities to name but a few. Cars might be symbols of independence and freedom in advertising and rock anthems, but I’ve come to fully appreciate that bicycles actually provide it, and so much more.

Most of the book is a how-to guide; how to buy, what to wear, basic maintenance, reducing risk. It's all good and useful stuff, although some will complain about her helmet ambivalence. I thought she wrote a fair and balanced look at the complicated issue. I would like to hand out copies of the chapter on etiquette to the next cyclist who passes me on the curb side. But my favorite part of the book was the introduction, where she addresses the question, why ride?

Here, she addresses the benefits to the personal benefits one gets by cycling:

Convenience -" If you’re used to a car, that might feel like the most convenient way to get around — you get in, turn on some tunes, and off you go. But how ­convenient is it to waste time in traffic or looking for parking?" This is certainly true in most cities now.

Autonomy "Bikes are empowering, allowing you to get where you want to go on your own terms." Again, this is where the car used to shine, but not anymore. And it certainly beats waiting for a bus.

A healthier body and mind Don't take it from her, this comes from the OECD:

Cycling significantly improves health and, as a form of moderate exercise, can greatly reduce clinical health risks linked to cardiovascular disease, Type-2 diabetes, certain forms of cancer, osteoporosis, and depression. . . Not only does cycling reduce disease-­related deaths, but it also contributes to substantially better health.

Money in your pocket Bikes are (relatively) cheap to buy and maintain and your lunch is your fuel.


Ken and Eti Greenberg

Then there are the important points, how bikes help you rediscover your city, or as I have found, the city you are visiting. She quotes urban designer and theorist Ken Greenberg, (TreeHugger here) :

Self-propelled motion at relatively low speeds offers us more than exercise and a chance to commune with our neighbours. It restores a geographic intuition that was weakened by the car — a feel for the real distances between things, a sense of the connections between the parts of the city.

Of course, bikes give you Eco Warrior Cred" bicycles are the ultimate sustainable transportation vehicles." And last but not least, they are Fun.

© Martin Reis

In the last chapter, Yvonne promotes advocacy, in making our cities better for cyclists. It should be a no-brainer, getting politicians to invest in bike infrastructure, it's so cheap. In Toronto, where Yvonne and I live, the new relatively sane mayor is spending $400 million just to speed up repairs on a decrepit elevated expressway; imagine how many cars might be taken off the road if that much money was spent on making decent bike lanes and other infrastructure. But even if you don't go out and storm city hall;

...remember that just riding your bicycle safely and responsibly is an act of advocacy. If you’ve decided to make the switch, know that there will be moments of resistance — you’ll come up with any number of reasons why driving or taking public transit today is the right thing to do. Sometimes it may be. But far more often than not, if you can work past the resistance, you’ll be glad you did.

Trending Electric Bike News

Posted on July 06, 2015 by Kurt Pearson | 0 Comments

Trending Electric Bike News | Cargo Bike King

 

The trending electric bike news is that they are no longer a fad, but a trend. Today E-bikes are more reliable and affordable than ever before. Of course there are a number of reasons people have stayed away from electric bikes, mainly because some see them as more a gimmick, rather than an alternative form of green transportation. But, E-Bikes and Electric Motor Kits have changed dramatically over the last couple of years, so here are five good reasons to give them a second look!

E-Bikes Have Become Lighter

Battery technology has changed considerably since electric bikes first came out, and the weight of battery packs was major drawback for many people. Within the next year batteries will come down in weight, price and carry three times the energy. Obviously, the addition of an electric motor can add between 6-18lbs., so it is natural to expect an electric bicycle would become heavier.

However, more than the motor it has been the battery that has shed half its weight, thus decreasing the overall weight of E-bikes by as much as 8-10 lbs. Certainly, an electric bike can be made to weight as little as 35 pounds, but it comes at a hefty price. A typical electric bike now weighs between 45-60 lbs. When you consider how little that is to lift, it becomes easy to appreciate the ease with which you could transport an electric bike.

Electric Bikes Are More Affordable

Understandably adding an electric motor kit adds to its price tag. However, now that more domestic companies have entered the electric bike market, there are more affordable models to choose from, and this in turn helps drive new and more affordable technology.

As with most types of technology there are levels of quality; budget, discount and high-end. Motors as such run between $150-750, but it is the battery packages that tend to drive up the price, and of course choosing to buy a purpose-built bike is a costly proposition.

A good choice is to purchase a motor and controller, and at least a 12Ah battery package. This forms the basis of a good mix of cheap price and functionality.

Fashionable Choices

Despite their acceptance, do-it-yourself electric bikes tend to look a bit unattractive with bulky batteries, cables and wires. Although the most affordable, do-it-yourself (DIY) bikes tend to be less attractive overall, and hiding the batteries and cables is the real hurdle. There are electric bike frames that can are designed to address this issue with some elegance.

Green Power

Electric vehicles are better for the environment, and even the lithium batteries are recyclable. There are all kinds of green ways to get electricity, and as a result, you can charge your bike for just a few pennies. Additionally, you can replace your car for many daily trips within a 2-4 mile radius, which constitute 50% of the average miles put on a vehicle. An electric bike is a healthy option that will lower your carbon footprint, and save you money.

Electric Bikes Come Every Size & Shape

Most any bike can be transformed into an Electric Bike, and this includes, tandems, recumbent bikes, road, hybrid, comfort, and mountain bikes. There are more reasons than ever before to invest in an electric bike. Whether you ride regularly or are simply looking to begin doing so, these unique bikes are a great way to cover more ground with less effort. The next time you want to enjoy a day out with the family, wouldn’t it be great if you could keep the car parked and just take your electric bikes instead?  

 

Posted in Electric Bicycle, Electric Bicycle Conversion Kit, Electric Bicycle Kit, Electric Powered Bicycle

Porsche Sings Praise for the Yuba Mundo

Posted on May 12, 2015 by Kurt Pearson | 0 Comments

Little Porsche wings it on the back of a Yuba Mundo

 

 

Posted in Bike Culture, Electric bikes, Green Transportation, Mother Earth News

Be a Roadside Saint when Confronted by Aggressive Drivers

Posted on February 27, 2015 by Kurt Pearson | 0 Comments

Be a Roadside Saint when Confronted by Aggressive Drivers:

Fight Back With Reason. By BOB MIONSKE, from Array

Stay calm, even when drivers behave badly. Photo by Thomas Trutschel (Getty Images)

Bryan Larsen was riding along California's Pacific Coast Highway near Dana Point on a sunny spring day this year when a driver he had passed began harassing him. So Larsen did something smart: He reached for his cell phone and hit record. While the video doesn't show what sparked the confrontation, it clearly captures the Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck swerving into the bike lane as a passenger hurls a bottle of Gatorade at Larsen. The video went viral, so naturally cyclists expected that authorities would prosecute the culprits.

Police tracked down the passenger, and she faces assault and battery charges. But Larsen was shocked to discover that he also faces charges related to profanity he used during the altercation. In California, it's a crime to say anything offensive that provokes a violent reaction.

Unfortunately, this is a common turn of events. One cyclist I represented was arrested after police officers witnessed him breaking the passenger-side mirror of a car with his U-lock. What authorities didn't see was that the driver had repeatedly swerved at the cyclist before he retaliated.

The drivers in many of these cases accuse cyclists of wrongdoing—even when they're clearly victims—so avoid doing or saying anything that supports those claims. Even if you're not recording the incident, another witness might be. Here are four ways to stay on the right side of the law.

Stay Cool
If you are involved in an altercation, you want the driver (or passenger) to look like the obvious culprit. So act like a saint—that means no profanity, threats, or aggressive actions. You don't need to teach the driver a lesson; leave that to the criminal-justice system.

Follow the Laws
If you video a road-rage encounter, be mindful of where and how you ride—authorities may take a close look at your position on the road. Follow traffic signals and maintain a steady, even pace; erratic riding can make you look dangerous. Use the bike lane if there is one; if not, stay as far to the right side of the road as reasonable.

State Your Case
When police show up, you want to make it easy for witnesses to clearly identify the victim—you. The best way to do that: Remain mellow as the driver rages out of control and avoid direct confrontation. Screaming at or physically threatening the driver makes you look like the aggressor.

Defend Yourself
If you are verbally or physically attacked, defend yourself—just make sure your actions are clearly beyond reproach. In many cases, authorities and witnesses won't know what led to the initial altercation; they see only the aftermath. Avoid charges by defending yourself only when you are in immediate danger.

Posted in Bike Culture, Bike Safety, Electric bikes, Green Transportation, Mother Earth News, safety

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