Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Batteries Included

I was eating a tuna fish grinder, under a nice row of shade trees by Nashwanatuck pond in Easthampton. Absentmindedly gazing out the windshield and listening to some talk radio.

A couple nearby birds caught my attention. I wiped off my potato chip fingers, and reached for the camera...

Then that last bird quickly took off, as a guy rolled close by on a bicycle, and coasted up the small incline ahead of me. I put the camera down and chewed some more, but pulling off a couple tomato slices first. A commercial came on the radio, and I reached up to change the station; listening in on some old honky-tonkish country type music for a bit, then scanning the stations a little bit, then finally changing it back to the original station. Still gazing out the windshield, my free hand felt around for the bag of potato chips next to me. Something clicked in my mind.

"Hey. That guy coasted up that small incline in front of me..."

Hmm. I scanned up ahead for him, and saw that his bike was parked, and he had gotten off for a bit. I kept one eye up ahead, and went back to the sandwich and dazing out to the sweet rantings of talk radio...

Just as I was finishing, and crinkling up the grinder wrapper, I saw the guy coming back on his bike. I kept one eye ahead as I brushed crumbs off of me.

Nonchalantly I got out of the vehicle, as he rolled up. As he was about to pass by, we gave each other a quick greeting, and I quickly stuck in "Is that an electric bike?" just as he passed. He said yup, and rolled back around.

Pretty neat. An electric, battery powered bicycle. And what I thought was really neat about it, was that it appeared to be just a regular bike. The electric motor and battery were fit pretty seamlessly to the existing frame.

It didn't look bulky or awkward at all. The bike is heavier though; he said it weighed in at about 65 pounds. Most run of the mill bikes weigh in at about 35-45 lbs, I think, so it's not that bad...

He agreed to do a short video demonstration for the blog. Here is Joel:

Relatively light, certainly simple, and it has the option of pedal power. Are we looking at the best thing since the Moped...?


VanDog said...

Wow, that looks almost practical, battery technology has come a long way.

Electric powered bikes aren't particularly new. Last ones I saw were in the 70's. Batteries were heavy, and ran out fairly quickly. Imagine the joy of coasting into town only to run out while there. Pushing home a 100lb bike didn't look fun.

Mary E.Carey said...

Great post! What a great idea.