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Getting around with an electric bicycle
Submitted by reikiman on Sat, 06/09/2007 - 09:05
Because electric bicycles have limited speed versus other vehicles on American roads you might think it's unsafe to ride a bike around, electric or otherwise. Electric bicycles generally are 20 miles/hr or thereabouts, and the equipment on an electric bicycle may not be safe for higher speeds. If you want higher speeds, my opinion is you should be riding a motorcycle because the motorcycle equipment is built for high speeds. Bicycling, electric or otherwise, also has the advantage of giving an opportunity to exercise, and the preponderance of fat butts in the U.S. (mine included) indicates bicycling as a useful activity to encourage.
Electric bicycling should make bicycling more adaptable to daily use. A commute by manual bicycle probably leaves the rider sweaty, and undesirable in an office setting, while a commute by electric bicycle should mitigate the sweatiness.
An electric bike can be carried on mass transit whereas often even the small scooters cannot. This makes mass transit more useful, because you can ride to the mass transit station, carry your bike on transit, and ride from transit to your destination. Without the bike you're left with a problem of getting to and from mass transit, and the inner calculus might lead someone to drive instead of walk. Hence an electric bicycle should make mass transit more usable.
An electric bike with a trailer, or with an extended frame like the xtracycle, can carry groceries or other shopping purchases. An electric bike makes hauling groceries easier and more possible.
bikely.com is a collaboratively built set of bike maps built on top of Google Maps. It shows useful bicycle routes for getting around, some of which are usable commutes. While a bicycle, electric or otherwise, isn't very compatible with the traffic on main roads, there are often side roads for getting around that are comfortable to bicycling. Hence the bikely.com maps can help an electric bicyclist know the best route to take for comfortable riding.