My bike is a mobility device – who knew?
As a kid, my bike was for fun. As an adult, I have always thought of myself as a commuter cyclist. I was never interested in road racing, or cross-country cycling or any of the other specialized cycling options involving fancy bikes and Lycra.
I have realized, however, I actually need my bike as a mobility device. I live close enough to my work place that I can walk. Except:
- when it is too hot
- or too cold
- or when the sidewalks are icy
- or when the sidewalks are unploughed.
- or I have my laptop and my lunch and who know what else to haul in a backpack.
- or when it’s raining
- or when my feet (knees, hips) are sore.
I am not the only one. People who have e-bikes use them for far more than short leisurely rides. A recent study about e-bike use in Norway found that “The people who bought e-bikes increased their bicycle use from 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) to 9.2 kilometers (5.7 miles) on average per day; a 340% increase. The e-bike’s share of all their transportation increased dramatically too; from 17% to 49%, where they e-biked instead of walking, taking public transit, and driving. You can read more about the study here.
Melissa and Chris Bruntlett are Canadian urban mobility advocates and authors of Building the Cycling City, The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality. In their view “Cycling is, for many people, a powerful mobility tool. Moreover, building wide cycle paths also helps create space for people that are on tricycles, adapted cycles, mobility scooters, and other modes.”
For now, I am perfectly content with my regular winter and summer bikes to get around. But I can definitely see a an electric bike or a regular/electric cargo bike or trike in my future.
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