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Discovering New Access, Perspective, and Freedom with an Electric Bike
May 13, 2014
The OHM Cycle XU700 and the Chicago skyline!
This is a guest post from Cathy Lau, from OHM Cycles.
It’s been only a few months since he bought his first electric bike, but already, Chicagoan Michael Landeche sees and experiences the city in a very different light.
Mike took some time to share the flexibility and choice he has added to his lifestyle thanks to the benefits of his e-bike:
My wife and I recently moved back to Chicago’s north side. Newly married and in the process of purchasing our first home together we decided it was finally time to get rid of my old clunker and become a single car family.
With the annual costs of owning and maintaining a car in the city it made financial sense, not to mention the benefit of decreasing our environmental footprint a little bit.
Around this time, I was first introduced to the idea of electric bikes by a family friend who was doing PR and marketing for a new e-bike shop in Chicago.
She set me up with the brotherly trio who own/operate WanderBikes and we started talking about the perks of e-bikes.
They were great at highlighting all of the different models and types of bikes on the market. They let me test ride different models at their shop (they also do rentals!) and after much consideration I ended up purchasing an Ohm Urban XU 700.
The OHM XU700 electric bike.
I chose the Ohm for several reasons including its durability as a daily commuter bike and its relative affordability compared to other similar models. I’ve been riding for several months now when the weather cooperates and love it.
I work at the Lincoln Park Zoo and my daily commute is just over 12 miles round trip. With my e-bike, I am able to ride this even in the summer time and not be gross and sweaty when I get to work!
Using the power assistance of the electric motor I am able to make my commute in ~30 minutes, a trip that takes around an hour using public transportation.
With the different power settings I have the option to work as hard or little as I want. I can crank up the motor for the morning commute (I am not a morning person) and on the way home ride with little or no motor assist to get a bit of cardio in.
With the extended range of the Ohm, it is also a joy to cruise around the city and run errands or take in the scenery.
Chicago is transitioning into a great biking city. In addition to the highly trafficked Lakefront Trail (18 miles of mixed use path along Lake Michigan) the city has been working hard to add designated bike lanes on many surface streets.
Biking now provides a level of access, perspective, and freedom that is unique from other transportation. That, in combination with the range of an e-bike, allow me to see and experience the city in a different light.
I find one of the questions I get the most about the e-bike is: “Doesn’t it defeat the purpose of biking if the motor does the work for you?” This might seem silly to those of us who ride e-bikes, but I suppose I can understand the sentiment.
So I explain the flexibility of the power assist settings allow you to use as much or as little power from the motor as you would like. If you want to work out the legs a little bit you can even turn on the recharge setting for some added resistance.
Although I do find myself using the throttle to assist in accelerating from a stop. It definitely comes in handy when negotiating traffic during rush hour!
With a little getting used to, an e-bike offers flexibility and benefits unmatched by traditional bikes.
Try one out if you haven’t!
Thanks to Cathy Lau, of OHM Cycles for this inspiring e-bike story!