Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Electric Pedal Power Across America

Riding electric bicycles makes you tall.
Really, REALLY tall.
Think it would be just about impossible to bike across the country? Think again.

Longtime bicycle enthusiasts and environmentalists 
Anna Mostovetsky and Boris Mordkovich are taking on the 4,000 mile journey on their EVELO electric-assist bicycles in an adventure called the Trans-American Electric Bike Tour.

EVELO sent the team out to prove their claim that 1,000 miles of land can be crossed on a little more than the cost of a single
gallon of gas today. The team set out on April 7 from New York City. Tomorrow, they will be crossing through Chicago, 800 miles from their starting point.
The Trans-American Electric Bike Tour and EVELO hope to prove a point: that bicycling can be done in spite of distance and tough hills. The electric assist makes it possible to power through any problem. Plus, you get all the added benefits of riding bikes: exercise, fresh air, low/no fuel costs, and easy (free!) parking.
Electric bicycles have already been embraced in Europe. In fact, BMW is going to be launching its new pedelec electric bike at the London 2012 Olympics - and really, could there be a better venue for showing new products?
Good thing the streets were closed off,
 or drivers would have been mad
Electric bikes are finding a wider and wider audience across America, as well.

The second annual CicLAvia event, held on April 10 in Los Angeles, saw thousands of participants ditching their cars in favor of earth-friendly alternatives, including skateboards, roller blades, hula hoops, and yes, electric bicycles. A 7.5-mile route was made available so that the enthusiasts could enjoy a fun long ride. I can only imagine how well this kind of event would be attended in the Willamette Valley!

So what makes electric bikes great for the Northwest lifestyle?

  • Fresh air! Nobody likes being cooped up inside a car on a beautiful day. These babies are like one-seater convertibles.
  • Keep up with your friends. I admit I'm not in prime shape, and when I go biking with my friends I fall behind on hills. Electric-assist would help me to keep up and allow them to keep their pace.
  • Health benefits. If it's easier to bike, you'll bike more. Get your cardio and fat-burning in while you get groceries!
  • Cheap to run. The EVELO bikes go 40 miles on one battery charge, and one battery charge is just eight cents.
  • Good for the planet, of course! Electric companies are starting to offer wind and water-power programs, and that clean electricity fed into your bike means that you are riding renewable.

So get ready to start seeing more occupied bike lanes and people putting up hills, because this isn't just some fad. Electric bikes are going to take hold in our culture, and it's going to be great!




  1. Hell yea bikes are back as if they ever left! My middle school health teacher biked across the country a few years after he taught me. The dude could do pushups with a kid standing on his back. File under badass.

    Anyway, I often think about the famous story The Time Machine, H.G. Wells I think. The hero travels to the future, and makes a pit stop in a utopian world where everyone bikes and there are no cars. That really would be if I died, it'd be rad to appear in a Heaven full of bicycles.

  2. Traveling across the country can even be done without electrical assist, as these other west coasters have proven: :)

  3. I have some extended family who have done either cross-country or at least long-distance bicycling :) I think it's an amazing feat! I think that electrical assist can extend the fun to a wider audience, though.

  4. Great post, Jody. Briskly written, and fun. I like the bullet point list. You mentioned a gallon of gas near the top of the story, yet I thought the story was only about electric-assisted bikes. That confused me. Also, I don't get what you mean about riding electric bikes making you tall. Score = 10