Monday, July 19, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

East Portland Sunday Parkways eBike Meetup

Are you planning to ride in the East Portland Sunday Parkways this Sunday? Interested in meeting other ebikers? Let's try to meet at The eBike Store tent at the Lents Park vendor row around 11am and say hi. I may not be on my ebike, but I'd be honored to ride a lap or two with any of you. Leave a comment if you plan to join us, or just show up.

Update, 7/18/2010:
Thanks to all who showed up for the ebike ride - it was great to see you all! That was fun - I think I'll repeat it for the SE Portland Sunday Parkways.

Review: Bike, Scooter, and Chopper Projects for the Evil Genius

I recently read "Bike, Scooter, and Chopper Projects for the Evil Genius" by Brad Graham and Kathy McGowan, not sure how much ebike-related content it would have. I was pleasantly surprised at the writing style, but it didn't have a lot of ebike info in it.

What it does have, though, is great in-depth instructions on how to build your own, well, as the title describes, bikes, scooters, and choppers, as well as trikes. Several of the projects detail the installation of electric components as part of their design, but they're not all pedal-based, and thus not street legal.

One thing I did really like about the book, though, was that the author gave thorough instructions and pictures about building some pretty fundamental pieces. You may never want to convert a car rim to a spoked bicycle wheel, but if you do, he's got the play-by-play.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Andrew Price, "What's Your Take on Electric Bikes?",, 2/12/2010.

Price thinks Los Angeles may be a great place for an electric bike, then asks his readers what they think.

5 positive
2 neutral
5 negative

Friday, July 9, 2010

East Portland Sunday Parkways Live!

The East Portland Sunday Parkways is Sunday, June 18th. First, if you're even slightly considering volunteering for a Sunday Parkways shift, step up! They are desperately in need of volunteers. Mrs. PDXebiker and I are both doing an intersection shift - help us help make this a successful extension into new Sunday Parkways territory!

Unfortunately I won't be able to pre-ride the East Portland Sunday Parkways route this year, but I will direct your attention to some ebike-related fun at each of the parks along the route. The East Portland is a new area for Sunday Parkways. It's a shorter route at only 4.5 miles, but manages to connect 4 parks and offers an additional 1.5 miles on the Springwater Trail. It also includes some time on the I-205 bike path, which I've been interested in riding since it opened, but haven't made it down that way yet. This will be the perfect excuse.

Lents Park, once considered for the location of a new pro baseball stadium, is a good place to start. The route follows the southern boundary of the park; here you'll find The eBike Store and Kalkhoff Electric Bikes. Drop in and say hi.

Bloomington Park, in the center of the route, has the most vendors setting up there. Best Buy will be there, at the epicenter, sharing their line of electric vehicles.

Ed Benedict Park is co-hosting Sunday Parkways and the East Portland Expo with live music, vendors, and free health screenings. Singing Planet Ebikes will have their Pedego rental ebikes there.

Don't forget that Springwater loop - with the number of events going on, the promise of good weather, and a shorter route, this one could get pretty busy, and the Springwater Loop might be a good alternative to the street route.

In short, I'm looking forward to East Portland Sunday Parkways - it's going to be a great chance to ride in a part of town I've never been. Any PDXebike readers planning on riding?

Updated, 7/12/2010:
Due to construction, the Springwater Corridor loop won't be open for Sunday Parkways. As an alternative, they recommend a short trip down to the Ramona Street Fair.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cars as Metaphors for eBikes

I've been thinking a lot lately about cars as metaphors for ebikes. Initially, I'd thought I'd try to avoid calling a particular ebike "the Ferrari of ebikes" for example, or a similar comparison. I really struggled with this - ebikes are not cars, so why should I compare them to cars?

But realistically, people shopping for ebikes are most familiar with cars as a means of transportation. And it's a rich metaphor - for example, here's how I would describe my ebike, using a car metaphor:

"It's my dad's old truck, but I replaced the old straight 6 with a v8 and better tires. I haven't done a new paint job, so it still looks like a '57 truck, albeit with a bit more power. It's my daily driver."

I've found, though, that once you own an ebike, it becomes much more personal. That said, if you had to apply a car metaphor to your ebike, what would it be? Or do you prefer to avoid using the ebike-as-car metaphor?