Catherine Deveny’s ten reasons you should get an electric bike

All of Catherine’s household ride bikes for transport.  Increasingly, they’re now riding e-Bikes.  Read her article below and find out why.

I’ve just purchased my third electric bike in three years. Last week I bought a VelectriX Electric Bike from Velo Cycles. It’s such a ripper every time I go to ride it one of my housemates has nicked it.

Bear’s TLDR review of the new bike, ‘Easiest bike to ride ever. Point and shoot’.

eBikes are all fun, no puff, no headwinds, no hills, no dramas. eBike curious? This new one I bought is winner winner chicken dinner (and cheap as chips first link above) but I digress.

I’M SO ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT EBIKES WHEN I GET GOING PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO HAVE TWO BIRTHDAYS WHILE I HAVE STILL NOT TAKEN A BREATH. So I decided to knock up a bit of an FAQ.

I was the first on the eBike at our place, Bear’s been on an eBike since last year (his old bike is covered in cobwebs not a joke) and the new one I just bought is a spare.

‘Why?’ I hear you ask ‘why have you bought a spare electric bike you lunatic?’

For people to borrow if they are eBike curious. Because basically I am the Mother F******* Theresa Of Commuter Cycling.

I am PASSIONATE about getting as many people on two wheels as possible because it’s cheaper than public transport, faster than walking, safer than driving and the closest thing to flying. My thought was that having a spare meant people could borrow it for a week or so and give it a spin. So far I’m averaging one convert a week.

1. Removes Hills

Hills suck. They take the jam out of the donut of a leisurely commute. If you don’t want to win a medal or crush your personal best then hills are just annoying and a deterrent to fun, active, cheap, convenient travel. Imagine where the hills are that someone has picked up the edge of the land and shaken it flat like a tablecloth. That’s what eBikes do.

2. Eliminates Headwinds

There’s nothing worse than hopping on your bike in the morning, you’re running on three cylinders and there’s a f***** headwind. It’s even worse when you are hopping on your bike after work, school, uni, whatever, and you are on one cylinder. Do you sometimes wish there was someone there with a magic want to turn that headwind into a tailwind and pull you home on a string? There is. That is called an eBike.

3. Cures Age, Injuries & Aches and Pains.

Are you a bit of a softy? It’s okay, we all are sometimes. Even the most enthusiastic commuter cyclist sometimes feels a little poorly, somewhat rusty, hungover or just ‘vintage’. The answer is the eBike. Pedal assist knocks the top off the effort needed to commute, especially if you have a step through bike. Step-through bikes are one of the many reasons that Europeans commuter cyclists ride more frequently and to well into old age. A low bar to swing your leg over and the sitting up posture of a step-through makes riding not only more comfortable but much kinder on the joints.

4. Cures Even The Worst Case Of CBF Syndrome.

Can’t Be F****** Syndrome is a common ailment that effects all of us from time to time. It often leads to commuter cyclists saying ‘f*** it we’ll car it, I’m knackered’. Enter the eBike. When you are suffering an episode of CBF the difference between bike and an eBike is massive. Not only will it be enough to get you to ride BUT the mere act of riding, the wind through your hair, the connection with the environment, feeling smug as f*** for pulling your finger out and getting over yourself etc can often totally cure CBF.

5. Arriving Sweet Smelling, Rosy Cheeked, Looking Sharp And Glowing With Rude Health

Dev ready to head off on her VelectriX Urban 2.0

Dev ready to head off on her VelectriX Urban 2.0 – pic by Brent Lukey

Many people are reluctant to ride to work, social outings or events because they sweat like crazy and either there is no shower at destination or they just suffer CBF Syndrome. eBikes again solve the problem. Yes, you pedal but you can decide how much and that extra push from the motor means you get all of the benefits of riding without the downsides of exertion. Fashion is one of the reason some people don’t ride because they don’t want to get around in active wear. eBike is the answer. There is less fitness, exertion and effort needed when you ride an eBike which frees your style and comfort options up.

6. Fun

OMG. OMG. Electric bikes are SO fun. Whenever I put a person on one for the first time they come back and look like they’ve had their first orgasm. This is funny but not a joke.

7. Fitness

Hello and get f**** to those ‘eBikes are cheating’ dickheads. I don’t see my riding as exercise I see it as commuting so I could easily say ‘driving a car is cheating’. Bike riding does not have to be an ordeal. You can do your cardio exercise separately if you are that keen. BUT there are huge exercise benefits to riding an electric bike (I’ll post articles in the below). eBikes mean people ride more (because it’s fun) and exert themselves more than expected (because it’s fun).

From the New York Time article ‘The Surprising Health Benefits of an Electric Bike

‘Perhaps most important, the riders were healthier and more fit now, with significantly greater aerobic fitness, better blood sugar control, and, as a group, a trend toward less body fat.’

From the Inhabitat article ‘Electric bikes could be the key to getting more people to bike commute’

‘Norway, provided 66 people who already owned regular bikes with access to an e-bike for two to four weeks. Another 160 bicycle owners were used as a control group. The impact on the number of trips taken and the distance cycled was dramatic. Before they got the e-bikes, participants did 28% of their trips by bike; with the e-bikes that number went up to almost half of their trips, which amounted to 1.4 trips per day on average. Distance cycled went up from less than 3 miles per day to 6.4 miles.’

8. Love, Pleasure and Beauty

I don’t feel I have really experienced a city unless I have ridden through it on a bike. One of my recent eBike converts from last week says ‘Riding the electric makes me love Melbourne even more. I am not focusing on concentrating and exerting myself and I am not choosing routes to avoid hills. I am able to ride where I like with minimum effort and just breath it all in as I ride around. ‘ It’s joy, pleasure and convenient.

9. Someone To Give YOU A Hand

Most of us are flat knacker getting stuff done for ourselves, our work, our families and all the other bullshit we do. When you get on an eBike that is pedal assist it feels like someone is giving you a little push and you are not doing all the work yourself. There is something deeply comforting about that little bit of assistance and where it fires it wires. Because eBikes are relaxing, fun, encouraging and cheap every time you have a good experience it reinforces you brain to want to go back and do it again.

10. Because You Can Change The World Not Just For You

Like with regular bikes the eBike is cheap (the one in the picture is $1499), convenient (no parking or traffic hassles), environmentally friendly, saves time, great for your health and is fun. But it’s more than that, the more people who cycle the more people it encourages to cycle.

The main reasons people who would like to cycle don’t is fashion (don’t like bike gear), fear (feel cycling is unsafe because of cars and shit infrastructure), family (having to transport young and old family) and fitness (perceived lack of). By hopping on an eBike there are not only HUGE benefits for you but your mere presence on the road encourages others to get their happy ride on. There is nothing better than answering the question ‘How did you get here’ with ‘I came on my bike’. Because everyone deserves a happy ending.