There’s a lot of great reasons to consider an electric bike – skyrocketing fuel prices, parking challenges, the desire to get out and explore the great outdoors, and yes, to be more active.
And as the bikes have evolved, there’s also a lot to like. “For a lot of people, e-bikes are a great alternative,” says Corinne Besler from Victoria’s Ride the Glide, offering e-bike sales and rentals from their storefront at 1208 Wharf St.
“They allow people to get around quickly and efficiently and ride more than they would be able to otherwise.”
The e-bike today
Today’s e-bikes come in various price and battery ranges, and allow cyclists to ride in a traditional mode – true pedal power – then opt for battery-powered pedal assist or to engage the throttle as needed.
“It allows people to go farther than they might be able to with a traditional bike and makes cycling possible for those who otherwise might not be able to. You can pedal as much or as little as you like.”
One of the misconceptions is that e-bikes are lazy. Not true.
“It helps people become more active. We’ve had customers come in who haven’t ridden in 30 years, but want to get on a bike again,” says Besler noting e-bikes can go anywhere traditional bikes are permitted.
A powerful idea
While the distance batteries will last on a single charge varies from bike to bike, along with factors like terrain, grade and how often you’re engaging it, popular models sit in the 30 to 55km range – easily enough for most commutes or weekend rides. A re-charge takes about four hours, in a standard electrical plug.
With more people interested in powering up their ride, and technology constantly improving, prices have dropped. And because Ride the Glide imports directly, today’s bikes are even more affordable.
“The growth is incredible – we have 20-year-old riders looking for a commuter bike to riders in their 70s wanting to give the Goose a spin,” says Besler noting new bikes coming include step-through models great for older riders or those with mobility challenges.
One construction worker even outfitted his e-bike with a trailer to carry his tools!
And for space-limited condo residents, or boaters and RVers looking for on-the-go transportation options, foldable models also offer great space savings.
Take an e-bike for a spin today
If you’re considering an e-bike, take one for a spin. During “Bike to Work Week, Round 2.” Ride the Glide offers a week-long, half-price – $250 – rental. If you decide to buy, 50 per cent goes toward the purchase price. In-store demonstrations are also available – and encouraged – or rent one for a day and give it a test ride.
“We don’t want anyone on a bike they’re not happy with,” Besler says.