Friday, April 27, 2007

Trip report - electric bicycle journey to Grass Valley and back

(Grass Valley and Nevada City are about 3 miles apart as the freeway flies, more if you count the hills.)

I'm liking the electric bicycle* more and more; getting accustomed to its odd pedal-power dynamics, and while I still wish it was mountain-bike rugged, it's wonderful nonetheless. And the whoops of delight that new riders let out when they first take it uphill are mighty fine to hear.

Today was its first venture out of town; rode it from Nevada City to the GV post office and back. The trip took 90 minutes, but that included six stops, four proselytisms, two test rides and one side trip for tourism. Round trip was about 6 miles, and even at the end the battery was still going strong.
(I _wasn't_ sure how long the battery would last, so did some fairly heavy pedaling; next time I'll slack off some, and let it do more of the work.

I want someone in town to sell these bicycles; thus the trip was partly in order to show the bike off to potential sellers. No discernible interest at Sierra Motor Sports; at Briarpatch, Paul H. said possibly, after they've moved to the new store and things settle down; and while TR2 bike shop's owner wasn't in, people there said he might be interested. (Update: I've talked to him; he said he sells/installs a lot of Wilderness Energy kits, but didn't sound real enthusiastic about selling the UrbanMover bikes.)
Didn't try Tour of Nevada City since the impression I've gotten from talking to folks at that store is that they feel the same way about adding power to a bike that Boston feels about putting signs on their streets - life should be a challenge, so that the he-men may rise above the wimps.
(as one of the wimps, i do not share this point of view)

you'll be sharing the bike lane with a trailerThe ride is a little more interesting than I'd like. There isn't always a bike lane, and where there is one, you may find yourself sharing it with parked cars and trailers and luxuriant outstretched sprays of poison oak; and your tires take a beating from the pavement, which is crocodilian in some areas and pocked with utility covers (with not-exactly-seamless installation) in others, while yet other stretches - lower Searls, for one - bring to mind an asphalt rendition of "Patches ahm dependin on ya son".

Thank heavens, and all involved humans, for the repaving of Adams St; it is truly heavenly in comparison.


Anonymous said...

I might suggest just walking unless that extra 1/2 hour is important.

Anonymous said...

I is now Nov 2011. Does anyone sell electric bicycles in GV or NC today?

Lisa Lackey

Anna Haynes said...

Hi Lisa, good question - and no I don't know if anyone's selling them; which is odd, given that our hills & (normally) hot summers should make us a prime market.

I know of some people who're buiding the bikes themselves, but I don't know if they're selling as a business.

Again - good question.

An FYI re Urban Mover, I don't know if they're still selling these bikes in the U.S., but my experience in last couple years with trying to get aftermarket support has not been good. (Plus I just checked, & the phone # they give for their California distributor is out of service)