Me and my e-bike: ‘I’m still laughing!’

Me and my e-bike: 'I'm still laughing!'Nic Smith has been commuting on an e-bike for a few months now, and wouldn’t change a thing. Here’s her story… The best way to illustrate what it’s like to have an e-bike is to tell you that whenever I share the experience with someone who’s never ridden one before, their response is generally ‘Holy shit!!’ and a cackle. People just laugh at how much fun it is to suddenly blast off, with just one turn of the pedals. And I’m still laughing. I’ve had my beast for nearly four months now and I still don’t take for granted the freedom, the mobility and the fun it’s given me. Six months ago …
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A bicycle built for three – how e-bikes changed one family’s commute

A bicycle built for three - how e-bikes changed one family's commuteEmma Coote got an electric cargo bike big enough to carry both kids, and it’s changed her Auckland family-commuting life. She shares her experience with us here…  This morning was the first day I have driven to work in around 2 months. I arrived with battle fatigue! Tomorrow I am most definitely back on our bicycle made for 3. Being able to pedal the kids and myself to school and work, almost exclusively on bike tracks and without doing myself an injury, is life changing. They love it, I love it, the roads have one less car and we all arrive happy and invigorated. We have a 4km commute to school …
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To limit or not – the case for and against e-bike regulation

To limit or not - the case for and against e-bike regulationNZTA is currently running a survey on what New Zealanders think about e-bikes and e-bike riders (as well as other low-powered vehicles, including Segways and hoverboards). This is partly a response to the recommendations from the Cycle Safety Panel, with government now looking at updating laws and regulations around cycling. At this stage, it’s not clear what regulations are being considered, but general discussion around the subject has homed in on potential restrictions for e-bikes, such as: maximum wattage / torque (i.e. how powerful the motor can be) maximum speed assist (i.e. if the bike is going faster than, say 25 km/h, the motor stops helping) and throttles could be banned (i.e. the motor will only assist when you …
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The Lithium-powered Space Bike

The Lithium-powered Space BikeThomas Lumley is a statistician at the University of Auckland, and co-edits the StatsChat blog. He also rides an electric bike to work most days. Here, he interviews himself about how it’s going so far. (Reposted with permission from Thomas’s Tumblr). Q: So, it’s been about 11 months since you got your fancy electric-assist bike. A: Yes, that’s right. Q: Have you given up yet? A: No, it’s still fun. Q: Even with the rain? A: Combining Doppler radar and the detailed weather forecasts has mostly kept me dry. Q: And getting killed by cars? A: So far, still at less than 1 event. Q: How do you feel about busy two-lane roundabouts? A: I …
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Power to the people – how e-bikes are becoming a thing

Power to the people - how e-bikes are becoming a thingYou might have spotted Mercury’s zippy new campaign about how wonderful e-bikes are. It’s part of a top-to-toe brand refresh for them, with a focus on new ways to think about energy, where it comes from, and what we’re using it for. The video is pretty persuasive, with a gorgeous young person biking her surfboard to the beach, flattening out the steep Auckland hills and zooming past Lycra lads as she goes… (If you recognize the various locations, try not to think too hard about how she’s sure as heck taking the long way round – it’s all about the vibe, man! There’s also a nice video of Te Radar taking to the Waikato River Trails and checking out dams, etc, on …
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Cargo bikes are go! Waterfront parade & picnic in the park this Sunday 22 November

Cargo bikes are go! Waterfront parade & picnic in the park this Sunday 22 NovemberWe’re spotting more and more cargo bikes around town, especially electrified ones, being ridden by family-types, dog-owners, and the delivery crews of Urban Sherpa and GreenWheels. Why, it’s almost as if there’s some kind of… cargo cult! And here’s your chance to join it. A bunch of cargo bike folk are organising a ride and picnic this Sunday, 22 November. Meet up at the Ferry Building (which makes it easier for those coming by sea or train), and then ride along the waterfront to the picnic destination in Victoria Park, next to the playground. BYO picnic lunch, kids, dogs, disco balls, etc. If you don’t have a cargo bike yet but just …
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Black & silver power for the win!

Black & silver power for the win!Today the whole country seems to be celebrating the power of black and silver, so I’m delighted to introduce you to Gail and her gorgeous step-through shiny black Pedego Boomerang bike, aka “Black Doris”! Why yes, I am going to segue from our victorious lads in black into introducing you to some women at the top of their game when it comes to how they get around our city. (After all, the boys in black certainly know the value of a good bike ride – how did Sam Whitlock recover from the semifinal in time for the big match?). Gail lives in Devonport, works as a nanny and dog walker, and has clients all over Auckland. I …
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A toast to your good ELF – the solar e-bike has landed!

A toast to your good ELF - the solar e-bike has landed!We wrote about the ELF a few weeks ago – the solar-powered electric trike, invented by the clever people at Organic Transit in Durham, North Carolina. At the time, I thought it amazing, but, y’know, possibly a bit of a wild idea, although this commuting doctor in New Haven, Connecticut, caught my eye. Now the ELF is here (at Bikes & Barbers, 53b Davis Crescent, Newmarket), and the proof is very much in the pudding. You have to make an appointment to test-drive one, that’s how popular they are. Contact Chris or Tomas – 027 5326352 / 0508 BULLITT. Deb King from Quikes in Raglan is the visionary who brought them to New …
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ONYA Bike – the e-bike that tells you where to be!

ONYA Bike - the e-bike that tells you where to be!Peppy is the word. Also, zippy, snappy, and really quite frisky. After the relaxed granny stylings of my first electric bike loan from eCycles, bike #2 – designed by the proprietor himself, Christian Hoff-Nielsen – was a revelation. First up, it absolutely nails the branding: ONYA Bike. “We wanted to make it Kiwi,” says Christian. “In your car, on your bike…” It tells you what it is, and it tells you what to do. Get onya bike. Good onya! As befitting New Zealand’s first folding e-bike, the ONYA is instantly distinctive: it’s a small-wheeled bike, inspired by (and extrapolated from) the familiar Dahon folding-bike geometry. As Christian says, why reinvent the wheel, let alone the frame? “Bike design is …
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FlyKly like the wind! A magic electric wheel, reviewed

FlyKly like the wind! A magic electric wheel, reviewedUrbane bicyclist-about-town and Bike Rave instigator Lennart Nout reviews a cunning new invention that might change the future of bikes. (NB this review is a cross-post with our mates over at TransportBlog. Because you can have too much of a good thing) Why would a (relatively) fit young man like me invest in an electric bike? Because I am lazy. I am not a cyclist, I don’t necessarily enjoy sweating, and my genetic make-up (I’m Dutch) does not make me appreciate hills, especially when I’m on my way to work. I dress for the destination, not for the trip, so anything that helps me up the hills is very welcome. In May 2013, …
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Along for the ride – zooming in on the future of bikes

Along for the ride - zooming in on the future of bikesDid you catch Simon Morton’s 7-part TVNZ series Along for the Ride on biking in New Zealand? All episodes are now available to view on demand at TVNZ online. The whole series is brilliant, but our eyes were naturally drawn to Episode 7, in which Simon finally makes it to Auckland (via biking on the river with ducks in Hamilton!), to find out “whether the city of sails is also a city of cycles”. He meets up with Pippa Coom and Frocks on Bikes, takes a spin with the Velociteers, discovers Diana Swarbrick changing lives at Bikes for Refugees in Mangere, and braves the city streets in a game of Alleycat with the fearless Jenna …
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7 Ways E-Bikes May Surprise You (They Definitely Surprised Me)

7 Ways E-Bikes May Surprise You (They Definitely Surprised Me)So, I’ve basically gotten the hang of my magic carpet/ iron pony/ set of wheels with wings attached, and discovered how comprehensively it flattens the hills – which alone is a reason for everyone in Auckland to rush out and buy, borrow, or bike-share one. But getting around on an e-bike over the last couple of weeks has led to a number of other unexpected discoveries. I wanted to write them down while they’re still fresh. Before the novelty wears off and it’s as if I’ve always travelled this way. 1. If you flatten the hills, you expand the map. It seems obvious, but an e-bike expands your bike range in the same way that a …
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My first unicorn – initial impressions of an e-bike newbie

My first unicorn - initial impressions of an e-bike newbieRemember when you were learning to ride a two wheeler, and a parent would run along behind you and give you a bit of a push and suddenly you were rushing forward without effort? That’s what an e-bike feels like. My brother compares his to a flying carpet. I’ve never ridden a horse, but I did read a lot of horsey books as a child, and the electric bike reminds me of them: the sense of a live thing, gathering itself and exerting itself, running up hills at your command. An iron pony, perhaps. A flying horse. A unicorn Pegasus! If, like me, you’ve never ridden an e-bike before, your first impressions will be all about …
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Me and my bike – Daniel and his Pedego

Me and my bike - Daniel and his PedegoIn the first of our ‘me and my bike’ interviews with ordinary Aucklanders on wheels, we talk to Daniel Newcombe from Auckland Transport about his brand new bike, the benefits of e-bikes, personalising the complicated business of transport planning, and the day he nearly won “transport bingo”. Tell me about your bike. It’s a Pedego City Commuter. I ordered it through Planet Cycles on Dominion Rd, because it’s my local bike shop – if the bike needs looking after, then it’s easy to take it back. Why this bike? I needed to replace my old bike, a scrappy old MTB that got stolen from outside the Council building in town. I was thinking, what …
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Orange you glad e-bikes are catching on?

Great minds think alike! Over on TransportBlog today, Cycle Action stalwart Greg N reviews his uber-groovy electric bike, a Pedego “Orange Smoothy.” Today’s post is all about the bike; tune in next weekend for more about the commute and Greg’s thoughts on the future of electric bikes. It’s a great read. Greg’s a few years into being an e-bike rider, but he captures a lot of my experience so far, especially this bit: I never have to get up on the pedals to get up a hill – I can ride seated all the time if I choose. So e-bikes make it easy to become a “gentleman/woman rider”. The best way to visualise this, …
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