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Electric Bicycles - What’s the Big Deal?

How I was able to swap my car for an e-bike

By Ben Luster

Maybe you’ve heard about the recent infatuation with light electric vehicles (LEVs): e-scooters, e-bikes, and e-mopeds. But what’s the big deal? It’s all hype, right? I mean, how in the world does anyone do school pickup/drop-off on a bike? Let’s not even talk about grocery shopping. There’s no way that can be done. Plus, who has time for pedaling anyway?

Don’t get me wrong, I was skeptical too. That said, I’ll try anything once, but when it comes to LEVs I’m pretty sure I already know the answer. There’s no way these so called “e-rides” can replace a car. But alas, I’ll share my experience and let you decide.

4:47pm

I grab my helmet, instead of my car keys, and hop on my e-bike. So far so good, I’ve spent exactly the same amount of time as I would getting in my car. Whew!

Which One You Grab Can Change The Course Of Your Day

Next stop, the grocery store. On my way, I find my mind wondering to places it normally doesn’t go in the car. I hear birds singing, I smell the tulips at the entrance of the neighborhood, and I begin daydreaming about a camping trip with the family.

In my car, I’m normally fixated on the vehicle in front of me and questioning why they’re driving 2mph slower than me (hurry, I have places to go!), or why they’re driving 2mph faster than me (are they trying to get us killed?!). Can’t everyone learn to drive the right speed? My speed (ha).

My Dad Used To Say, There’s Always Time To Stop And Smell The Flowers

4:59pm

As I complete my right turn into the grocery store parking lot, the first of two very strange things happen. I think the employees mistook me for a celebrity or some other VIP, because they let me park steps away from the door. No more demolition derby with other two-ton vehicles as we fight over the last good spot.

VIP Parking

I waltz into the store feeling re-invigorated from this new level of fame. That’s when the second strange thing happens. I’m not sure if it’s the endorphins created from riding, or my new found red carpet grocery parking experience, but I immediately gravitate toward healthier food choices. See you later chip aisle, hello fruits and vegetables!

Built In Grocery Basket

5:15pm

With grocery shopping now complete, I turn my sights on the best part of the day. School pickup! My daughter’s school is across the street so it only takes a few moments to get there. The proximity of the grocery store and school must also allow the store employees to quickly communicate with the school staff.

They probably called ahead to let the school know that a possible celebrity is on their way, as I’m greeted with the same level of VIP service. I skip the parking lot and cruise right to the front door. My bike parked, I walk in.

5:20pm

Back to the bike with my three-year-old. Up she goes onto our Yepp child seat. Just like her car seat, it comes with a five-point harness, but unlike her car seat it provides the best view in town. Next stop, the playground for some quality daddy-daughter time.

5:27pm

Arriving at the playground we head straight to the swings. My daughter must also be on the same endorphin rush as she is adamant about trying every piece of playground equipment. We play for about fifteen minutes before deciding we’re hungry and most likely mom misses us.

All Smiles At The Playground

5:42pm

Our final voyage takes us home. A peaceful and fulfilled ride that has my daughter and I chatting the whole way. We spot bunnies, squirrels, and lawn mowers; things we never see during our car trips (I also learn how thrilling lawn mowers are to a three-year-old. Who knew?!). We pull into the driveway at 5:47pm and I reflect on the experience:

  • Grocery shopping. Check.
  • School pickup. Check.
  • Playground exploration. Check.
  • 25 minutes of actual travel time (same as it takes me in a car). Check.
  • Feeling better about my choices and growing closer to my daughter. PRICELESS!
Pure Joy

Oh, I almost forgot to mention a few “minor” details. Riding an e-bike, e-scooter, and e-moped is better for the environment and an easy way to improve your health. It’s amazing how one little lifestyle choice can make such a significant impact!

I’m no longer a skeptic and I hope my experience can inspire you to give it a try as well. See you on the bike path soon!

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