Hubby has always wanted a fat tire bike because where we are in Yuma we need to ride through soft sand and gravel to get out of the park and onto nice bike paths. We have ridden right from the park a few times but I find it very difficult to get through the soft sand and also to not fall off my bike while riding through it. Most of the time we load the bikes in the truck, drive past that area and then start our ride … and because of that we don’t do it that often. So yes I could see the benefit to fat tire bikes but we had really good bikes and I didn’t want to spend more money.
While at home in Kelowna we have to take our bikes into town and park at the rec centre if we want to ride. The road from the park to the highway is not conducive to bike riding, at least not in my mind!
As well we would have to ride down, and back up, bridge hill and across the bridge, which has a few elevation changes.
After a lot of research hubby found fat tire electric bikes and thought I would be a shoe in for those … nope. I thought electric bikes would make us lazy. I’m proud of the fact that I can easily walk 12K (8mi) in a day, or that I can ride 35k (22mi) and still get off my bike and walk around. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the idea of an e-bike to get me through the sand and up the long hills, but I was still feeling that an e-bike was the lazy way out.
It took a few weeks, and many discussions with other people, to make me realize that we would probably get more exercise with the e-bikes and I gave in. Hubby had found a young man in Coldstream, B.C. that sold fat tire e-bikes for far less than any we had seen in cycle stores, and after some research he decided those were the bikes for us.
Our bikes were delivered on July 4th and we now have 170km (106mi) on them. I absolutely love my new bike and we have been out riding all the time. I could fill this blog up with all the features and benefits of e-bikes ,but you can Google that and probably get better information than I can give you.
And before you judge us for taking the lazy way out, consider the following:
- We have never even used one bar of battery on any of our bike rides, so we are using the assist sparingly.
- Our bike rides have always been long ones, in fact I have blogged about some of our most enjoyable rides; Cape Disappointment to Long Beach and back, Fisherman’s Warf to Sausalito Ferry Terminal, Grand Canyon, Vancouver Seawall, so while we are not really riding any further than we have in the past, we are doing it more often. I have always had a problem riding up hill and usually get off my bike and walk it up, which means hubby has to wait for me at the top, now I can give my bike a little assist and hills are easy peasy, which again means we get out more 🙂
- And most importantly we aren’t spring chickens anymore, and while we have a lot of years ahead of us, we have opened up our exercise to a more impact friendly way of doing things … I see us riding our e-bikes well into our seventies and hopefully even eighties … that’s twenty to thirty years more biking riding!
So if you are still out there riding your pedal bikes and getting lots of miles in, good on you and I do admire you! But I am now very comfortable with our decision to purchase our e-bikes 🙂
So the dollars and cents. Well they were not cheap bikes ($2,000 each) but far less than most e-bikes ($4,000 plus) because the young man that sells them is just starting out and his uncle has given him warehouse space, so right now his expenses are very low. We have no doubt that the cost will go up a lot once he starts paying rent and hiring sales and service staff.
We are told we will get about 65km (40mi) on the battery before it needs to be recharged. So far we haven’t even used one bar on our 30km plus rides, because we only use the assist when needed for hills, so we don’t know how far we can go, but I will let you know if we ever find out … and remember we can still pedal the bike even when the battery dies so we are not stuck when it does happen. The only time we pay for power is when we are in Yuma but hubby figures it will cost about $.09 per battery (at $.18 per kw) when it’s dead empty so that is pretty cheap!
Aside from the health benefits because we are riding more, we are also saving in fuel. When we are home in Kelowna we drive into town every Tuesday and Wednesday for coffee and to run our errands, so roughly 35km (22mi) a day would use 5L of diesel at $1.239 per litre for a cost of $6.20 CND each day … wow that’s $13.40 a week we save which is a big savings over the course of the summer! Even when we have to start paying to charge our batteries we are still going to save money 😀
And with that revelation I have to end my blog because I’m off to do a spreadsheet to track how long it takes to pay off our new bikes … I will keep you posted.
Oh one final note … we found out that our full time RV Insurance does not cover bikes, any bikes! Several insurance companies told us that bikes would be covered under your home owners policy which doesn’t do you much good if you don’t own a home! So we did invest in another high-end bike lock, hopefully the locks on our bike rack and two high-end locks will protect our bikes.
Until next time …