This article and video is from ROSE member Karl Aldinger. Thanks Karl for sharing with us your journey of environmental action and how one person can take action and make a difference. Gene
How I went from wanting an Electric Car, to building an Electric Bicycle:
Like all of you, I’m constantly looking for the next way to reduce my impact on the planet, and move towards a sustainable future. We purchased rooftop solar a while back, so an electric car was my next goal. But as a sports car nut, I had a really hard time deciding on a electric car that wasn’t too big of a compromise in long distance utility. And to make it worthwhile, my wife and I would have to make sure it was used for every trip possible. Electric cars are great, and even the current round are really cool, but I couldn’t help think that they will get much better very soon. I also shopped electric motorcycles, but unfortunately the one I wanted cost $19,000, and given my wife can’t ride it, that was a non-starter.
Then my niece told me that my sister-in-law in France had started riding an electric bicycle and I started doing some research. My commute is 19.2 miles each way, so I wondered, could an electric bike go that far in a reasonable amount of time? The answer is yes, and there are already lots of ways to buy or build one. Please check out this video I made, and consider and electric bike, if a traditional bike is not practical for the distance or (current) athleticism. My cost ~$1,300 for the motor/controller/battery/shipping from emax-ebikes.com in Australia, and I installed it myself on a really nice bike I found on Ebay. I highly recommend checking out electricbikereview.com to learn about all the options you have for buying a new electric bike, including some new ones that are under $1000. Even Trek and Raleigh are making them available in your local bike stores. If this doesn’t resonate with you, consider sharing the video with someone who had to give up on the dream of cycling to work because of hills or distance. As my local bicycle store owner said, “They are a game changer.”