Many consumers realize the value and health benefits of switching from costly and environmentally harmful fossil fuel vehicles. However, for many, this switch can seem difficult and easy to put off even after committing to it and purchasing your e-bike.
This is certainly understandable, but it is definitely a mistake. Switching over to an e-bike for transportation can save you a lot of money and can be far safer than a car. Plus, the process doesn’t need to happen all at once. It can be easier for many to slowly ease into using an e-bike instead. Here are some ways to do just that.
Start With Trips of Under a Mile
Once you have practiced enough to ride your e-bike safely, you need to start using it in situations where you would have used your car. This is, unfortunately, easy. Most of us reach for our car keys several times a day. But, the first place to start looking for opportunities to use your e-bike is short trips.
Many of us take car trips of under a mile every day that could be easily taken on your e-bike instead. When things come up that require a trip to a corner store or a trip to the neighborhood pharmacy, do you reach for your car keys? Many of us do; in fact, according to the 2009 U.S. National Household Transportation Survey, car trips of under one mile added up to approximately ten billion miles every year. This is not only environmentally destructive and wasteful but also extremely hard on your wallet.
Anytime a little trip comes up, whether it is down the street to visit a neighbor or to a nearby convenience store, try taking your e-bike for the journey.
Use Your E-bike for Small Errands
All of us have regular errands we have to do, from buying groceries to making trips to the gym. These trips are very often within walking distance, although sometimes just barely. However, with an e-bike, these distances seem a lot smaller and give an excellent opportunity to ease into using your e-bike in your regular routine.
A trip that may take an hour or more of walking will typically take only a few minutes on an e-bike. A backpack full of groceries may make pedaling a regular bike too tiring to seem worth it, but with pedal-assist or throttle, this won’t be a problem.
So, try to think about what errands you can do on your e-bike rather than in a car. If you are buying groceries for a large family, you may not be able to carry them all on your e-bike alone, but you may be surprised just how much you can. If you are making a trip to the bank or dropping off some library books, grab the e-bike, not the car keys.
Work Your Way Up to Commutes
Your e-bike is the perfect tool for your daily commute that can easily replace your car for most work commutes. This is also likely the last step in integrating your e-bike into your daily routine. Often riders have many concerns that hold them back from taking the leap to ditching the car keys and grabbing an e-bike for their daily commute.
Most riders are concerned with showing up to work sweaty and tired from the trip. With a regular bicycle, this is a valid concern, but an e-bike pedal assist and throttle can reduce the strain and lighten the load on your legs. This can leave you fresh and ready for work while giving you a brisk start to your day.
To ease into it, first, check the distance and time it will take to get to your work. Google Maps offers a bike route calculator that you can use on your smartphone, and this is pretty accurate for traditional bikes. However, keep in mind that the estimate this will give you uses the average speed of a regular bicycle which is about ten miles per hour, and your e-bike can easily double this speed.
So you can typically halve this estimate and come to a rough estimate of how long your commute will take you. Most riders who commute to work on a regular bike will only go up to nine miles away, but this means you should feel safe attempting a bit more than this.
Try riding to work on your e-bike one day and see how it feels, and if all goes well, start trying to ride your e-bike three to four days every week. Try this for a while, and soon you will find it easy, and you can start fully replacing your car for your commute.
Bring the Necessary Equipment
Beyond a bike helmet and lights for night rides, many of us never take the time to get more equipment for our bikes. However, some equipment can be important in making your e-bike ready for a safe, secure, and easy transition to being your main mode of transport.
- Lights are often built into an e-bike, but if not, make sure to get a set.
- Locks are critical for ensuring your e-bike is safe while you go into work or a store.
- Multitools are a lifesaver if anything breaks or comes loose on the road.
- Tire Repair Kit and Pump—Just like a spare tire for your car, it is critical to ensure you have the tools to ensure a flat doesn’t stop you. Once you fix the damage, you need a pump or co2 canister so you can inflate the tire once you finish.
This is not a list of all the gear you may want to bring, but these are the bare necessities to get you started. For equipment that can make your commute a lot easier, check out this guide.
Your e-bike can be an invaluable tool for making your life easier while offering immense savings and doing your part to protect the environment. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to do the transition all at once. Try taking it a little at a time by starting out with replacing your car for short trips, then errands, and finally start switching over to e-biking on your daily commute. With only a little time, you may find you won’t even need a car anymore.