Things you think when your eBike is on E

I ride my bike to work: a 16 mile commute. My bike has pedals–but yes, it also has an electric motor that helps me cruise along at an average of 20 miles/per hour, as long as I’m pedaling. It’s a lot of fun to ride, and with no shower at my office, it’s really the only option to bike and not end up a sweaty mess.

Somehow, I didn’t charge my bike correctly the other day and about 2 miles into my ride I realized that I was low on power. The bike has an eco-mode, which happens when you are low on battery. My first thought–turn around, go home. My wife was riding with me and wisely suggested that I turn it off–to save power for the coming hills. I did this immediately.

I have one major hill to climb on my trip. It’s short, less than a half a mile, but it’s steep. My mind became obsessed with this coming obstacle, as I struggled to keep pace with my wife on her road bike (with no motor).

This bike is really heavy.

This realization happened again and again–every time we had to stop or slowdown. I became super strategic (more so than normal) about not losing my momentum. Momentum is always important on a bike, but when your bike is super heavy it becomes a life-altering need. Getting the bike up to full speed takes a lot of energy.

Are both of my tires flat? Nope.

This isn’t an eBike only phenomenon. Some days you just aren’t as strong as other days and you feel like a slug. Your ego says, this can’t be me–what’s going on with this bike? I literally look down and check my tires. Nope, they are fine, it’s all in my mind. I’m just slow. On the eBike with no power, this is multiplied by the weight of the bike. I am slow, and this bike is slow.

I don’t remember all of these hills.

My commute is mostly flat. If you take out that one big hill, it’s about 300 feet of climbing over 16 miles. That’s almost nothing, especially when you have a motor pushing you. When you lack power every rolling hill becomes a battle. Gears shift wildly to attempt to find a comfortable balance of speed to effort.

My seat is too low.

The shifting gears and increased pedal strokes have let you in on another interesting situation. The seat on the bike is at least an inch too low. It’s putting a lot of strain on the knees and it’s making all this pedaling a lot harder than it should be. Why didn’t I ever address this before?

This was way easier with power.

No shit.

I’m sweating like a pig.

It’s really good that my wife suggested saving the little power I had left for the hills. I honestly believe that if I didn’t have the eco-mode boost, I would have been walking up those hills. She’s smart.

I did make it to work. It took me an extra 20–25 minutes. Usually it takes about 50 minutes. That isn’t going all out, just cruising. It could have been worse, but I was sweating way more than normal when I arrived.

Lesson learned: always double check the power levels, before leaving home.

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