I was going to start this article with my personal list of reasons for riding your bicycle more often. That is until I did Google search looking for ideas and saw that everybody & their brother had already done this. Google ” top 10 reasons for riding your bike” & you’ll see what I mean. OK, so if this blog’s focus is on e bike kits I’ll write something like 7 good reasons to electrify your ride. Ditto, …. It too has been done to death. All right then, I’ll write about my thoughts about how fun, work and riding your bike relate to one another. Anyway, if you don’t think of your own reasons for doing something you probably won’t be doing that “something” for very long.
OK, lets assume that fun should be factored into everything we do. It’s no secret that if you want to stay healthy and have a productive, successful & stress free life you need to enjoy yourself. And that’s all the time, at work, at home or at play, when your alone and when your with others. No matter what, you need to be able to enjoy yourself.
Yes, we all want & need to have fun. It doesn’t matter what you call it or how you phrase it, what your mind-set is or whether you’re a type A, B, or C personality. We are all wired to crave some degree of pleasure. That said, it stands to reason that the more fun we can have while doing all the stuff necessary for living, working & staying healthy, the better off we’ll be.
Enter the bicycle. For the most part, biking is fun, regardless of what type of bike your using or your reasons for riding it. But if your bike isn’t easily accessible, isn’t set-up to do the things you need it to do, and or your riding conditions aren’t favorable, using your bike may require more effort than it’s worth. Imagine however that your bike is all ready to go and your riding is all down hill, that effort would disappear.
So this was my train of thought when a friend of mine declined my invitation to ride along with me to the store saying “please, like I have time for a bike ride”. This got me thinking as to the real reason so many of us don’t use our bikes. Some of us (myself included) actually feel guilty when we think about doing something that might be fun. We seem to get some types of twisted, masochistic satisfaction from depriving ourselves of having fun. The pleasure center of our brain has somehow been shorted circuited with the need to work center. It was at that moment I realized that the only way I would ever get this person back onto a bike was by turning her bike into something to use for work. If I could get her to use her bike as a means for accomplishing a task she would be able to ride without any feelings of guilt. Once she started riding I hoped her endorphin’s would kick in and she would be having fun while she worked. Whether she admits this or not remains to be seen. All I needed to accomplish this was a little preparation work and then wait for the right opportunity.
So I moved her bike to the front of the garage, dusted if off, put some air in the tires and made sure everything was tight and working properly. Since it already had a nice sized front basket it was ready to be used for “work”. (we call this “utility cycling”) The next time she needed to run to the store for something I was able to convince her to use her bike & I offered to ride along. I had to work through a number of objections but eventually we were off & riding. Surprisingly my plan worked. By substituting the bike for the car for “errands” she was able to ride her bike without feeling guilty. This didn’t happen overnight & it took some work on my part but not only was she soon riding regularly she was actually looking for reasons to use her bike. Eventually she started thinking about using if for commuting to work & she started asking me about my electric bike. She said “if my bike had an engine like yours I could use this for work when the weathers is nice” Yep I thought, the seed had been planted.
This type of thing won’t happen overnight and it won’t happen without a little preparation. If you live in a hilly area you’ll probably need some help in the form of electric assist for it to be completely practical & fun. But you have to begin somewhere & the following are the steps to follow. Feel free to modify these steps as you see fit, but please don’t make it complicated. Biking is all about simplicity.
- Put “this” on your “To-Do List” or else it will never get done.
- Dig your bike out from under the camping tent and move it to the front of the garage or shed.
- Make a permanent parking spot for it in the most convenient place possible.
- Find your tire pump, tire gauge, some spray lube and a couple of hand tools that fit your bike. (A good all-in-one bicycle tool is even better). Keep this stuff on a shelf. table or in a box convenient to your parking spot.
- Inflate the tires & spend a little time making sure everything works properly & is properly adjusted.
- Make a list of practical accessories you’ll need for making your bike a”utility bike” . I.e. a basket, rack, bungee straps, etc. Then get & install them.
- Finally take if for a test ride to the store. What do ya think? Is it worth the effort? If it’s not it’s probably because of the too much physical work and or slow speeds due to hills, head winds, traffic or poor roads. If that’s the case read click the links at the bottom & take a look at some kits at E-BikeKit.com. Examine all the benefits of adding power to your ride. You might be surprised. Remember, It’s got to be fun, easy, convenient & practical.
I’ll finish up with this promise. With an e bike conversion kit installed on your bicycle the amount of time & effort you’ll spend making short trips on your bike will be comparable to, or less than, the time & effort spent if you had used your car. And it’s a lot more fun. Shhhsh, what do you hear, nothing, yea, that’s the sound of my bike.
For a quick chuckle click on “Whats in a Caption”
- nycewheels/beginners guide
- electricbikereport/recomended web-sites
- lowtechmagazine/cargo cycles
- electricbike.com/cargo/cargo bikes
- eco-wheelz.com/ Q&A
- youtube.com/cool way to fight global warming
- youtube.com/wet weather
- lizcanning.com/Revolutions Per Minute
Reason to Ride:
- pedegoelectricbikes/10 reasons
- velonews.competitor/10 reasons
- bikeforums.net/archive/ 10 reasons
- strivenottodrive/10 reasons
Article, events and good reads:
- Ebike News & Events
- NPR/ Try an Electric Bike
This is my Amazon Best Bike & Biking Books shortcut I use when I’m looking for a new paper back or Kindle download. Go ahead & take a look or make your own.
My reasons for writing a lot of this stuff is sometimes more self-serving than not. However the more I become involved with e bikes, EV’s and the organizations dedicated to their use the more excited I get about both their potential for good & their potential for saving money. Sure, I want to make a decent living from working on, building and marketing them, only now I also feel socially obligated to spread the word about the good these EV’s can do. Individually and collectively. So please support this blog and others by linking to us & “like” us. Do business with your local bike shop & support the local biking clubs. Become involved with community clubs, organizations that promote sustainable living & other organizations like Ebikers for Freedom in Pennsylvania. You don’t need to become “a tree huger” but you do need to get involved.
So go ahead get out and explore. Expend some of that pent-up energy and see the things you probably missed as you drove by in your car. In the process you’ll be saving money and helping the community by making one less trip in your car.
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