Around the Hub in a day

Boston is, above all, an old city. Our streets are narrow, our roads are bumpy, and our drivers are, to put it mildly, insane. The public transit system is loved and cherished, but it’s not exactly timely.

If you’re trying to efficiently move about, the bicycle is your best choice — particularly one that’s souped-up with a Copenhagen Wheel. Over the summer, hundreds of people came to our headquarters in Cambridge to take the Copenhagen Wheel out for a full day of exploration. They logged thousands of miles on our fleet and provided invaluable feedback. But more importantly, they had a lot of fun.

Carl Larson was in town from Oregon and took a Wheel out for the day. In a series of trips riding a Copenhagen Wheel, Carl logged 18 miles and explored five different cities in the area in an expedition that lasted 4 hours overall.

We recently spoke with Carl to learn more about his day with the Copenhagen Wheel and his riding experience.

It turns out he is an avid biker so after getting set up with his Superpedestrian demo bike, he set off for Beacon Hill with no hesitation. On the way over from Cambridge, the Wheel’s assist made the climb up the Longfellow Bridge unnoticeable, until the regenerative braking kicked in on the way back down the other side. Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods, and home to the statehouse. It’s a beautiful area to explore, but as the name suggests it’s full of 120ft climbs at nearly a 9% grade. As Carl put it, “not bothering to find ‘the flat route’ around Beacon Hill was a delight.”

Unlike most of our demo riders, Carl already owned an e-bike. “I’m riding a dorky e-bike festooned with wires and battery packs,” Carl told us. He was impressed with the Wheel’s self-contained system and the ease of using the application to lock up. “For an urban rider, it’s a huge relief.”

After some time exploring downtown Boston, he decided “on a whim” to head out to Malden and Everett to do some exploring, with “a side-trip to Bunker Hill, cruising up to the top like it was nothing.”

He considered recharging the bike at Idle Hands Brewery, but “looking at the battery level, and realizing that it had plenty of juice,” he admits, “ I just wanted an excuse to get a beer.”

Carl’s return journey to Superpedestrian took him through small, crowded streets right as rush hour was beginning. For those of you who know the area, you know that trip from Malden to Cambridge can take upwards of an hour by car or bus at 5pm, but for Carl it was 25 minutes.

In about two hours of riding time, Carl traveled 18 miles through Cambridge, Boston, Everett, Malden, and Somerville, all on a day where temperatures hit 85 degrees. Yet instead of sitting in an air-conditioned vehicle moving slowly and sequentially across the city, he enjoyed the wind in his hair as he cruised easily from stop to stop. And when he came across something interesting, parking was hardly a concern.

Apart from taking less time than by car, Carl’s bike trip introduced him to the city in a new and unmediated way. The Copenhagen Wheel made the act of moving, something not possible by car or public transit, an integral part of discovering the city.

Want to give the Copenhagen Wheel a try? We’ll be coming to a city near you in the coming months.

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