Considering an electric bicycle

blog-day29-squareFor those of you who live in a milder climate like I do (and even those who get to spend only part of the year with tolerable temperatures), there is no reason not to own a bicycle.  Whether you live in the country or the city, cycling is good exercise and a great alternative to using a car for every little errand.

What has amused me is that, 4 weeks into my carless adventure, I have found that sometimes riding my bicycle is quicker than the bus.  Because the bus only passes my neighborhood every half hour, I know my journey by bus is always going to take AT LEAST an hour.  So, if I ride my bike, it’s about the same – sometimes less.

I am excited that I can take my bicycle on the bus.  This means that if I’m out somewhere with the bike, and I get tired, I can find the nearest bus stop and get the bicycle and myself home with minimal effort.

My sweetheart is visiting with his truck, so over the weekend, we dropped my trusty 10-year-old K2 24-speed bicycle off at Sarasota Bicycle Center on Bee Ridge for a tune up.  I have been using these nice folks for years, and I think they’re great.  Along with the tune-up, I had them attach a sturdy rear rack, a back basket, a front basket and a comfy new seat.

Then we drove down to Ft. Myers to the Fleamasters flea market where Andy’s Electric Bicycles is set up.  Since deciding that the electric scooter is “way too much power for me,” I’ve been considering an electric bicycle as an “Elsie friendly” alternative.  There seem to be 36v and 48v versions of electric bicycles.  I found one model in particular, distributed by Liberty Seamless Enterprises out of Knoxville, PA, that seemed to fit the bill.

The 48v City Bike has a range of 30-40 miles that can be significantly increased by using the pedal assist.  It runs 15-20 mph and would be great for those days when it’s just too hot to pedal or I need to go 10-20 miles.

After giving the bike a short test drive at the flea market, I formulated some opinions.  The one thing I don’t like about this bike is the cheap plastic on it.  It looks kind of cheesy and is probably not very durable.  It would’ve been great if they’d used lightweight metal instead.  I love the kickstand in the back, and the space for a larger trunk (which I would get).  It’s fun and easy to ride – the seat is comfortable, and it’s easily maneuverable.

When you pedal the bike, it engages the motor, and you feel like Super Woman!  You aren’t using all your strength to pedal – you are somehow using the motor and saving some battery power.


I’m pretty sold on this bike, despite it’s minor aesthetic flaws.  It’s exactly what I need.  So, now, dear readers, please help me find a loving home for the electric scooter with someone braver than I.

I have now re-measured my carbon footprint, and I am very happy with the results!  Even with my air travel throughout the year, my carbon footprint is significantly lower than my fellow Americans.  Apparently I am responsible for about 18 metric tons of CO2 in the air every year.  Households my size are averaging 37, and American households in general are averaging 49.  Worldwide, however, the average is 10.  Let’s get it together, Americans!

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