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e-Bikes and Commuters: Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations!

by Ted Johnson

Steve Benning has been experimenting with bike commuting on a loaner Ohm XS 750 e-bike. Now he has to return the fancy Ohm bike. But he sounds like he’s ready to dust off his own bike and to switch to pure pedal power. Sure, he’d like to keep that sweet $3,799 bike, but it has to go back to our J.O.Y.B.A.G.™ fleet for more testing.

In addition to becoming a convert to bike commuting, he’s had the opportunity to talk to many skeptics and resistors to bike commuting.

Steve Benning

Steve with the Fauxhm XS 750

In the video below, Steve says that his most persuasive arguments for bike commuting were simple: It’s fun, and it saves money on gas. Self interest. None of this do-gooder save-the-earth claptrap.

Try it. You have to try it. If I can do it, anyone can do it. And that’s pretty much the truth. And with anything in life, you have to try it first before you can judge it… It doesn’t necessarily have to be on a Monday… I would recommend people trying it first on a day off; riding to and from [work].

[...]

They’ll ask, Well how much gas have you saved? And so far I’m right at about $100, is what I’ve saved by commuting by bike. That’s my cell phone bill. That’s my cable bill. That’s my Internet bill.

Thanks to Robert May who let use his bike to exemplify a trashy bike. It’s actually a salvaged Gamma frame that he’s been lovingly fixing up with new components. (There’s just something about that color that makes it look like a piece of junk.)

The interview was filmed at Tacos Locos.


Creative Commons License Modestly Rude by Rockit_Dogg is licensed under a Attribution (3.0).

 
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6 Responses to “e-Bikes and Commuters: Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations!”

  1. matt says:

    yep, you don’t have to have a “bigger agenda” to be a bike commuter. I do it for selfish reasons:

    * saves me $300/month in gas and parking (I have a long commute)
    * faster than driving in rush hour or taking public transit
    * forces me to exercise – I probably wouldn’t do it otherwise – and also means I can enjoy the foods I like without as much guilt
    * turns out to be a great networking tool. when you roll into the office on two wheels, conversations crop up all over the place

  2. Chrehn says:

    As Robert Bly said, “…on a good day, I’m lying 50% of the time…”. In that spirit, I have to admit that I have a long list of reasons why I ride a bicycle, and they change everyday. Treading lightly on the earth is a very noble reason and not riding around in a metal box all of the time is a healthier choice. However, I am more apt to go with my heart and say women are even more beautiful on bicycles, the world is a much more beautiful place on a bicycle and I feel better after I have been riding my bicycle. On one of the bicycle forums, a contributor said that he, “…appreciated the intimate relationship with his surroundings…” while riding his bicycle. That anonymous quote pretty much sums it for me.

  3. BluesCat says:

    On every day I commute by bike, I solve at least one of the world’s most pressing problems. Now if I could only figure out how to transcribe that solution as I’m riding (instead of forgetting it, immediately, the second I come through the office door), it wouldn’t be long until I have converted this planet to an utter PARADISE.

    Until then, I’m just gonna haveta be satisfied with having FUN as I ride!

  4. n2y2 says:

    I do it strait up for fitness. As I turned 40, the doctor wanted to put me on cholesterol and heart pressure meds for the rest of my life. I begged him off for a year to try getting in shape first.

    I was so inconstant at recreational exercise (jogging, swimming, gym workouts, etc) that it wasn’t working. So I tried bike commuting. It works for me. When it is my transportation to my job and back, I get it done.

    I lost 45 lbs in 6 months without concentrating on my diet. When the doctor saw my blood test, he was sure he had the wrong chart, said he had never seen such a quick turn-around.

    As a side-effect, I save thousands a year in fuel and car maintenance. I also am one less vehicle clogging the interstate, so even people in cars are better off because I ride.

  5. Erik Mar says:

    Right. We need more egocentrism and narcissism as justifications for an activity that clearly benefits others in addition to oneself. After all, as can be seen in any car ad, appeals to public health and the welfare of society as a whole have been the ideological centerpieces of the private automobile industry.

  6. Matt says:

    This article is great, and sums up my feelings. It’s awesome that riding is good for the environment, but that’s not why I do it. I ride my bike to work because riding a bike is FUN.

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