Bicycles

Published on July 10th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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Duo Complete Cross-Country Electric Bike Tour

July 10th, 2012 by  

 
This is a fun mid-week story to keep your spirits up. Some folks at electric bicycle company Evelo recently completed what was possibly the first-ever coast-to-coast, self-supported journey on two electric bicycles. (Just to be clear, that would be coast-to-coast in the US, not England or Iceland or something.) The duo completed this journey on less than $20 of electricity. Notably, Evelo’s electric bikes get about 1,000 miles for what it would cost to buy one gallon of gas. 1,000 miles per gallon of gas equivalency… yeah, not bad.

Electric bikes used to bike across the country.

But, why travel across the country on an electric bike? Perhaps just for a little fun?

I’m sure that was part of it, but apparently the goal was a bit broader (no surprise). The purpose of the trip was primarily to promote electric bikes as a viable, green, cheap mode of transportation in the United States.

Bicycling So Popular… for Recreation, Not Transportation

Bicycling is insanely popular as a recreational activity. But far too many people don’t seem to catch that they can extend that fun into their daily life by making it their main mode of transport.

Effort & Sweat… Ugh

Perhaps some people are really turned off by having to use their muscles a little bit to get to work or the shop (not exactly a healthy aversion, but very common). Additionally, many who aren’t actually against that extra physical activity are still turned off by the slight inconvenience of having to shower or change at work (and many workplaces still don’t even provide special facilities for that).

The nice thing about an electric bicycle, for those averse to muscle-powered transportation or showering/changing at work, is that you can ride on electricity instead of your muscles, and yet still enjoy the wind in your face and the youthful fun of bicycling.

Sooooo Far

Another obstacle some people face is a long commute to work (6+ miles, we’ll say). A long commute can really require a high level of fitness and dedication that not everyone has.

An electric bike can cut down the time quite a bit in such situations, as well as the effort it takes to cover those longer distances, thus offering a middle ground between a normal bicycle and a car.

EBs Filling a Gap

Basically, EBs (my abbreviation for electric bikes) make bicycling more accessible to a wider range of the people. In all seriousness, if your local terrain, age, or fitness level is holding you back from bicycling for transportation purposes (or from doing so more), perhaps an electric bicycle is worth a trial spin.

As just shown by this cycling duo (that would be Boris Mordkovich and Anna Mostovetsky, by the way), even bicycling across the country on these things isn’t such a challenge….

Anyway, a big congrats and thanks to Boris and Anna! Not only did they ride EBs across the country, but they also stopped in about 15 cities along the way to give talks and presentations and get folks more familiar with these wonderful machines. A big thanks to you two!

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Image Credit: Evelo/Trans-American Electric Bike Tour


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.



  • Evsroll

    The couple crossing the country were very friendly and dedicated cyclists. The Evelo eBike though is not the greatest on the market. We suggest you look and try before you buy. Our DIY eBikes are easier to ride, have more power, and cost about 1/2 as much.

    EVsRock!
    http://www.evsroll.com/DIY_Electric_Bike.html

  • Captivation

    For me electric bikes perfectly capture the “drop out” philosophy that I aspire to.  I don’t mean dropping out of intellectual activity, or the workforce, or even school.  I mean dropping out of the mainstream media, dropping out of conspicuous consumption, dropping out of buying new products when old ones can be repaired, dropping out of the gas guzzling transportation system.  I have to be honest enough to admit I feel somewhat conflicted by this aspiration.  A few days ago I repaired the motor of an old fan rather than replacing it.  I did this purely to reduce waste at the landfill (fans after all are cheap), but I did have some pangs of discomfort that I was engaging in a 3rd world activity.  Thus the cultural shame of repairing rather than replacing is difficult for me to shrug off, but eventually I hope to “drop out” of that shame and switch to the higher ideal of ecological pride.  

    • lol. and good on you! 😀

      the throw-away mentality is definitely a source of a LOT of our problems.

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