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Planning 10-mile eBike commute next week.

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by igotzzoom, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Laguna Hills, CA
    Hi Guys. Well, I'm not a Tesla owner (yet) but I did recently purchase a second-hand eBike. After fixing all the issues on it after I bought it off Craigslist, I probably would have been just as well off buying one new, but that's beside the point. At any rate, it's running pretty well, and with all the components I replaced on it, it's essentially a new bike.

    A lot of my friends have gotten a good laugh from me saying I'm going to get exercise from riding it, but coming off an admittedly pretty sedentary lifestyle for the last several years and getting back into physical activity, the help from the electric motor gives me just enough of a boost to keep from getting discouraged. With the rear motor going, hills are no longer an ominous foil. Just a little pedaling effort, and the motor gives you a nudge forward.

    So the next big planned step with it is a 20-mile round-trip commute to and from my workplace. Fortunately, after a little research and planning, I'm able to make about 2/3 of the trek on dedicated bike trails. Only the last third will I have to contend with road traffic for any appreciable amount. I've targeted next week to start, as the temperature is forecast to go down by about 10 degrees. As far as I know, my workplace does not have showers available to employees, so it is somewhat of a factor. I plan on bringing a change of clothes and a stick of deodorant in my backpack regardless. Anyway, I'll keep you posted on the experience and progress going forward. I'm actually really looking forward to it! I'd love to hear anyone else's similar experiences or stories commuting with an eBike.
     
  2. Father Bill

    Father Bill Member

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    I never commuted with an eBike, but I did with my hybrid road/trail bike. Biking is a wonderful source of exercise, one I miss since I was transferred to a location without bike trails. Good luck, I am sure with your planning and willing spirit you will succeed.

    Peace,

    Father Bill
     
  3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Off and on for several years I commuted 5 1/2 miles each way. But that was somewhere where people weren't surprised to see cyclists, and I had a nice 1+ mile stretch of it on cycle path. Plus it was in a city in the UK so the temperature wasn't too bad. But, yes, I did need to shower when I got to work.

    Here, I'd cycle a good chunk of the year if it were "only" 10 miles each way, but I have relatively friendly traffic conditions. I have done 1 1/2 commutes and I learned that you need a _really_ good water supply in the middle of summer when you're cycling 23 miles.
     
  4. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Yeah, the U.S., aside from a few isolated areas, isn't know for being especially bike-friendly. I was really relieved when I figured out I could make the majority of the trip off regular streets. I'm sure the first few days will be an adventure. Whether-permitting, I plan on doing the bike commute three days a week. I have an ORP horn/light, and just bought a handlebar phone mount. I have several radio apps on my phone, so I'm hoping to have some news or music on my way to work.
     
  5. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    OK. Update time. I've completed two round-trip commutes to work on my e-Bike without major incident. The first day, I found out the bike trail is not totally contiguous, and there were a few points I needed to cross over to the other side (the trail runs in portions on both sides of a concreted creek). I managed to avoid that both ways today. However, I did learn that when they say the motor range on the bike is 20 miles, they aren't kidding. Literally less than a half mile from my house, going uphill, the battery quit. I chanced it today, and didn't charge at work, thinking I could make a round trip on one charge. Well, almost. Lesson learned. Either that, or I need to pedal more. :biggrin:

    But weather-permitting (and this is Southern California, after all, so that should be most of the time) I plan on riding into work 3-4 days a week. I bring a change of professional clothes in my backpack, and a stick of deodorant. Ironically, I found out earlier this week that they're planning on putting in a gym and showers at my work, so if I happen to be especially fragrant when I get in, I'll be able to wash up. I really hope to make a habit of this.
     
  6. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    2,401
    I've been retired since before I got my e-bike, but I used to ride a regular bike to work (except in winter; I didn't want to ride on the roads after dark; that part may be different in SoCal). It's all about the habit - once you have a habit of biking in, it's not a big deal - in fact it's a good way to get some exercise, decompress, etc. I liked it. But it is a definite change and there are some preparations to make, so the transition takes a little getting used to.

    I had showers at work which was a big deal on a regular bike. On an e-bike it might not make as much difference; though obviously it depends.

    Does your ebike have a way to adjust the assist? I can adjust mine by a factor of 10, so I can make it last however long I want to. Though a better solution is to charge it at work, if possible.

    My ebike's default charger is really heavy, but they have an optional travel charger. In fact I bought one because I wanted to use my ebike to get the 20 miles in to Tesla when I helped deliver cars in June - in fact that sounded fun. But Tesla doesn't have a shower, it was REALLY hot in June, and I was going to be working close quarters with customers. I ended up driving or taking the bus.

    I did make a sample run before I started the job. I was familiar with the first half, which I regularly ride on. It turns out the second half, while all paved, is MUCH rougher. My ebike is the stiffest bike I've ridden, and I have a joint disease. Ouch - I wouldn't have wanted to bike that route after all.
     
  7. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Hey ChadS! The charger for mine looks basically like a laptop charger. It doesn't weigh very much and easily fits in a backpack. I had it with me today, which makes me feel all the more foolish for not charging up. Now I know. My e-Bike has a thumb throttle, not a center-drive motor like a lot of the newer ones. The assist seems to basically be on-or-off. If you give it part throttle, it'll give you some boost, but you have to give it full whack for maximum effect. It's a simple hub motor, not a planetary motor like some other bikes, so the power delivery is more once you're going than off-the-line. Mine's basically an older version of this:

    phantomx2v45-full.jpg
     
  8. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Well, I rode my eBike in this morning, but ended up needing a ride home. We had some unexpected flash thunderstorms this afternoon. Thankfully, my wife works at home, and was able to come and pick me up. So that makes 3 1/2 commutes for me. Hoping to increase that total significantly! :smile:
     

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