Tips for eBiking During Coronavirus: Notes and Tales from Riders

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Staying Healthy and Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus

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With approximately 90% of Americans currently under stay-at-home orders due to the spreading of coronavirus, it is crucial to prioritize our health while also taking measures to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Despite the lockdown measures, most state guidelines do allow individuals to leave their homes for exercise, as long as they adhere to social distancing rules.

In this article, we have already covered the official advice issued by the UK government, which is similar to many of the lockdown orders in US states. These guidelines include staying local for exercise, exercising alone or with members of your household, practicing social distancing (with a minimum of 6 feet or 2 meters), and maintaining proper hygiene, including regular handwashing.

The E-bike Boom in the US

As avid readers of EBR may be aware, riding e-bikes can provide exercise benefits when power assist levels are kept low. Furthermore, e-bikes are widely used in cities around the world to transport goods while keeping urban areas free from congestion and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Interestingly, both these attributes have gained significant attention during the current crisis. Adele Nasr, Chief Marketing Officer for Aventon e-bikes, reached out to EBR to share, “We have been busier than ever, we are literally breaking records daily… Hospitals are now using e-bikes with trailers to transport supplies, such as surgical masks, N95 masks, and personal protective equipment, from their warehouses to their emergency rooms and intensive care units.”

Undeniably, during a stay-at-home situation, exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining both physical and mental wellbeing. Aventon’s recent sales figures further validate this notion, as many Americans are purchasing e-bikes not only for exercise but also for daily tasks and errands.

In comparing year-to-date sales figures for January to March 2020 with the same period in 2019, Aventon reports significant increases nationwide. Standout areas include Massachusetts (298% increase), Virginia (438% increase), New Jersey (268% increase), and Washington (391% increase).

Stories from E-bikers

Let’s take a look at a few examples of e-bikers who are making the most out of their e-bikes during this crisis.

One such individual is Manny Diaz, a 56-year-old electrical contractor from LA County, California. He shares, “Everyone in California has to maintain a 6-foot distance to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. My e-bike is a perfect way to do it. With less car traffic at the moment, it’s much easier to ride my e-bike, and I’ve noticed many others taking advantage of this as well. During a 30-minute ride to the Marina, I encountered at least 15 people riding e-bikes, ranging from younger individuals to middle-aged and older folks.”

For Manny, owning an e-bike has expanded his options significantly. He now enjoys riding his e-bike through picturesque neighborhoods, using it for lunch and dinner outings, and frequenting the Ballona Creek bike path. With no traffic or stoplights to worry about, the whole experience feels completely different and enjoyable.

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This weekend’s e-bike adventure

This past weekend, I decided to embark on a thrilling e-bike journey that lasted a delightful three hours. It was an incredible experience as I immersed myself in the joy of riding, all while enjoying the solitude of my own company. The best part was that I also managed to get some much-needed exercise, boosting my overall well-being.

In fact, ever since I acquired my marvelous e-bike, I’ve noticed a remarkable improvement in my sleep patterns. It seems that the combination of exercise and fresh air has been the secret recipe for a peaceful night’s rest.

Unveiling new horizons

One of the most amazing advantages of my e-bike is its ability to transport me to places that are inaccessible by car. I’ve taken my trusty companion to breathtaking locations such as the beach and marina. It’s a surreal experience to find myself in close proximity to magnificent boats and luxurious yachts. I’ve captured countless photographs of the mesmerizing scenery, all without the hassle and expense of parking fees.

Michael Irei: The enthusiastic e-bike rider

Meet Michael Irei, a creative soul hailing from the charming city of Minneapolis. Working in the dynamic world of advertising, Michael’s daily commute is made pleasurable by his beloved e-bike.

“Ordinarily, my incredible e-bike enables me to eliminate the need for two cars within our family. I efficiently make my way to work, relying on the efficient capabilities of this revolutionary mode of transportation. Although I am currently under a stay-at-home order, I am fortunate enough to still enjoy the invigorating fresh air. My initial motivation for acquiring the e-bike was to explore the beautiful bike trails that surround us, much to the delight of my older children who share my passion for cycling.”

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Michael continues, “Living in Minnesota, with its bike-friendly roads, we can easily run errands with ease. Even when I had to commute to work, my e-bike faithfully carried me every single day. Nowadays, I find myself frequenting parks and immersing myself in the great outdoors more than ever before.”

Riding with his family to the park instead of utilizing a car, Michael believes that venturing outside is a valuable asset during times of self-quarantine. Additionally, he efficiently employs his e-bike when visiting Target for grocery shopping, conveniently towing a trailer.

John Pollard: A passion reignited

Introducing John Pollard, a remarkable individual who, at the age of 78, is considered high-risk for the Coronavirus. Residing in Brookline, MA, John excels as a human factors engineer and also imparts his knowledge as a teacher at Tufts University’s school of engineering. Despite his long-standing fondness for cycling, John only recently embraced the wonders of an e-bike.

John shares his thoughts, “With the utmost care for social distancing, I’ve been able to relish the great outdoors on my e-bike, basking in the fresh air. Compared to walking, biking provides a phenomenal opportunity to maintain a safe distance from others. The sheer thrill of effortlessly conquering hills at a blistering speed of 20 miles-per-hour is an exhilarating experience like no other.”

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Reflecting on his escapades, John reveals, “I’ve utilized my e-bike for various purposes, including commuting to work, purchasing groceries, visiting the local drug store, and even making a trip to my attorney’s office. Despite the dreary weather with temperatures of 42 degrees and frequent rainfall, I’ve already accumulated an impressive 24 miles on my trusty companion. However, I long for extended adventures, yearning to explore further. Amidst these challenging times, we are urged to maintain a safe six-feet distance from others, with the freedom to venture out only for essential goods.”

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One unexpected delight is the quieter streets, typically bustling with car traffic but now offering a spacious path for John’s cycling adventures. Moreover, he has been reacquainted with fascinating sights that had faded from his memory over the years.

John concludes with unbridled enthusiasm, “Given that my heart no longer functions with its past vigor, I used to exhaust my energy rapidly. However, with this extraordinary e-bike, I am transported back to my youthful days, reminiscent of the carefree spirit of childhood. I have already embarked on a remarkable nine-mile journey through the enchanting arboretum, with the remaining miles dedicated to essential errands.”

My Journey Through Three Counties to Cambridge

My daily commute takes me from my cozy home in Brookline, Massachusettes, traversing three counties across a four-mile stretch to reach bustling Cambridge. To make this journey, I choose the esteemed Dr. Paul Dudley Bike Path, one of the oldest cycling routes in the entire country. Along this path, I gracefully pedal along the north bank of the river, finally arriving at my office located in the vibrant Kendall Square, where the prestigious MIT resides.

As the weather gradually warms up, I eagerly anticipate exploring other captivating sites on my ebike, such as the expansive arboretum that boasts nearly four miles of winding roads. Additionally, as an ardent architecture enthusiast, I find immense delight in admiring the magnificent homes that grace this area with their timeless beauty.

With a discerning eye, I take pleasure in leisurely riding my ebike around these architectural marvels, savoring every intricate detail. Indeed, this joyous experience remains an open invitation for me, waiting to be savored time and time again. Furthermore, I have exciting plans to conquer the summit of Aspen Wall Hill, eagerly anticipating the breathtaking panoramic view it offers of downtown. Astonishingly, despite residing here for half a century, I have never before ascended to the top. However, with the aid of my new e-bike, I am now empowered to achieve this feat and embark on a thrilling adventure.

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An Unforgettable Journey: Cross Country Odyssey

Incredible tales of adventure unfold as two zealous electric bike enthusiasts embarked on an awe-inspiring quest to journey across the United States and parts of Canada, covering a staggering distance of 12,500 miles over the course of a year. Janet Anspach-Rickey, aged 64, and Stephen Rickey, aged 72, embarked on this extraordinary expedition from their humble abode near Seattle.

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Equipped with the remarkable BULLS Cross Lite Es, featuring the unparalleled Bosch’s Performance Line CX motors, this audacious duo embarked on their expedition in September of 2018, aiming to conclude their thrilling journey by September 2019.

With a meticulous plan in place, they dedicatedly rode for 4-5 hours each day, commencing at 9 am and concluding just around 1 pm. Astonishingly, they achieved an astounding average of 35-40 miles per day, relying solely on a single battery. However, upon reaching Vermont, they wisely decided to procure an additional battery to ensure a seamless continuation of their adventure.

Janet emphasizes that due to their impressive progress, averaging 40-50 miles a day while conserving energy in eco mode, they were eager to maximize their potential by utilizing the sport mode (eMTB mode). This ingenious mode effortlessly adapts between tour and turbo modes based on the terrain, thereby magnifying their daily mileage while effectively utilizing double the battery power.

The inclusion of the second battery proved to be a game-changer as it enabled them to venture west of the mountains, ensuring they avoided any potential snowstorms that may impede their passage. As they conquered new challenges along the way, they reveled in the sheer joy of having these indispensable batteries as their dependable companions.

Having spent countless months traversing unfamiliar terrain, Janet fondly reminisces that the usage of the remarkable BULLS Cross Lite ES reignited the invigorating love they share for cycling. She expresses, “Especially at our age, when faced with headwinds, we switch to tour mode, defying the wind with ease. Fearlessly, we conquer hills without hesitation, generously benefiting from the bike’s increased capacity to carry additional weight. It truly is an absolute delight to ride.”

Despite the prevailing pandemic conditions, Janet Anspach-Rickey and Stephen Rickey continue to gallantly ride their trusty BULLS bikes, encountering numerous fellow cyclists on their path. As Rickey passionately proclaims, “It’s an extraordinary way to venture out while maintaining a safe social distance. The refreshing fresh air, the allure of a change in scenery, and the tranquility of quiet roads make it an unparalleled experience! It feels like we’ve transcended time, taking us back half a century.

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