Riding ebikes – what we have found
The Norwegians are great outdoors people and here is a great quote from Aslak Fyhri of the Norwegian Centre for Transport research, part of the Norwegian Government’s team that encourages cycling.
“What we found is that people travel twice as much on the electric bike [as on a regular bike], both in terms of kilometres, amount of trips, and as part of the total transportation. The effect of having an electric bike was particularly strong among women. They did far more trips with their e-bikes than men did. Men, on the other hand, often went for longer trips once they were out cycling.”
Brite find very similar results as Fyhri’s comments. With a majority of customers buying and renting Brite ebikes being women, the men are usually content in competing in their local cycling clubs on road and gravel bikes. The ebike in road terms can be seen as cheating but the ladies seem to have once again disregarded the macho antics of the men and gone with practicality, speed and comfort. That's not to say that we don't have some superb male customers, we do and we love them, but the girls seem to want electric bikes more.
Our ebikes are used for accessing work, school, hospital and appointments around Galway and Dublin. With a minimal cost of running an ebike, several of our customers have given up the second car and are going with an ebike. So with that, here are three pointers when using a Brite ebike:
- Power to get you out of trouble.
After you buy your ebike, the first thing you need to do is to test the acceleration around traffic. You’ll note that you should be able to accelerate the ebike from 5kms to 25kms in around 10 seconds if needed. This will allow you to get out in front of cars or away from on coming traffic. The ebike has a controller that will tell the motor to speed up and then will if it is a standard European approved ebike, stop at 25kmph. This of course is something that should not be an issue if we had dedicated and segregated bike lanes but while we are waiting for that, an extra bit of power from the motor will allow you to move faster and get you out of trouble if needed.
- Keep your machine working well. Clean your ebike
Cleaning your ebike is essential. Because your average speed on your ebike is higher than a pedal push bike, more dirt and grit will be collected. After each journey, get a bucket with hot water and washing up liquid, a small brush, and a sponge. From front to back, brush the derailleur, the cranks, the chain, the tyres and wheels. This will stop grit getting into your important parts on your ebike. Take your battery out and using a cloth make sure the electronic contacts are clean and dry. By maintaining your ebike you can look forward to enjoying many years riding. Oh yes, and don’t forget to buy yourself a rain cover for the bike and bring your battery indoors during cold weather.
- Expect the unexpected - wear high visibility for ebike safety.
Car drivers on the road need to see you. It may seem unfair that you have to wear high visibility clothes and the driver of the car doesn’t but with Irish cities having an extremely low amount of dedicated cycle ways we Irish ebike riders are going to be competing with cars for road space. Drivers are meant to give cyclists the space to ride safe when overtaking them (at least 1 metre in speed zones up to 50 km/h and at least 1.5 metres in zones over 50km/h). Cyclists can be thrown off course by sudden gusts of wind or when having to avoid uneven road surfaces so they must take care. Light yourself up like a Christmas tree and they will have no choice but to avoid you!!!