Day 30: Electric bikes

2 02 2010

Electric bikes seem to be getting a lot of press lately. NPR and the New York Times have both featured stories in recent days. And Sanyo unveiled their “eneloop” at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. But just what in the hell is this thing

I have mixed feelings about electric bikes: 

— If people get out of their cars and onto bikes, then cutting down on auto emissions would obviously benefit the environment, which is always a good thing. However, according to the NYT article, “a typical Chinese model uses five lead batteries in its lifetime, each containing 20 to 30 pounds of lead. In areas without stringent recycling programs, the potential for environmental contamination is high.” 

Brandi Chastain

Brandi Chastain


— I’m skeptical of the exercise benefits. How many people actually pedal the bike instead of pushing a button to engage the motor? If pushing a button provided exercise benefits, then I’d look like Brandi Chastain during the USA World Cup . . . I’ve been pushing buttons on the TV remote for years. 

— Do electric bikes belong in the bike lane or the traffic lane? I’d say a “bike” traveling 30 mph in a bike lane would cause quite a few problems and accidents in most cities. 

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not against electric bikes. In theory I think they’re a good idea. I guess I just don’t know enough about them to make a final decision yet. Do you have one or know someone who does? What are your thoughts on electric bikes? Please leave a comment to share your thoughts. 

Today’s starting weight: 150 (yep, it’s been 30 days since the beginning of this project and all I’ve lost is an entire 3 pounds). Next month will be better. 

Food journal: 

— Organic whole wheat english muffin with Nutella = 294 cal. 

— PB&J on whole wheat = 398
— 1 small apple = 39
— Crystal Light Peach Tea = 10
— 1 fat-free pudding cup = 60 

My Mom’s recipe of one of my favorite meals, King Ranch Chicken (I’ll provide the recipe in an upcoming post). I’m not sure of the calories, so I’ve broken it out with each separate item as best I can figure out:
— Chicken breast (grilled) = 120
— 1 cup cream of mushroom soup = 104
— Cheddar cheese = 226
— Corn tortilla = 52 

Thanks for stopping by. See you tomorrow as I start month #2 of this project.



2 responses

3 02 2010

First, electric bikes shouldn’t be going 30 mph. If it goes thirty miles an hour it should be considered a motorized vehicle. E-bikes are actually supposed to include a governor that keeps their speed around 15-18mph max. Ebikes definitely belong in the bike line. The question you should be asking is should ebikes be allowed to be throttle only? My answer would be an ebike should be required to be pedal assist. WE are trying to get people on bikes. having a throttle operating ebike would be more like have a moped, motorcycle or scooter.

3 02 2010

I agree, Rider, if they’re only going 18 mph max, then having them in the bike lane is fine. If they’re faster than that though, I think they should be required to be in traffic if they’re 30 mph max. If they’re not pedal-assisted, then they’re not really a bicycle, but rather a moped.

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