29
Mar
10

two things you can’t do on an electric bike…and saved by a hog!

Well, I got my bike! (story to follow) She is a kick in the butt, too. Sporty, easy to ride, quiet and a reason for people to stare. I have been stopped at restaurants and mini marts. Everyone wants to know what it is, how it works, what it costs and where they can look at one. I have become incredibly popular and I am the first electric bike in my town and in my motorcycle club, Rose City Motorcycle Club.
Now, there are differences in electric verses gas and as I have been riding, I have learned two of them the hard way! If the visual that developes in your mind doesn’t cause you to giggle, I will be surprised.

So, here I am on my maiden voyage. I am lovin’ the feel of the bike. I have my full face helmet on with the face shield slightly open so I can feel the breeze in my face. My braids are flyin’ and I’m in heaven. I pull up to the first red traffic light and stop. I’m contemplating where to go and who to see and without thinking I bend the throttle a little, just like I always do. Anticipating the roar of the motor and that rat-tat-tat,  the electic bike lurches forward and me with it. My feet fly up and back down on the asphalt while my body leans back and then snaps forward. My head kinda follows and my helmet slides down ever my eyes. When all the motion stops, I mutter, “phew” as I adjust my helmet back to where I can see again! I couldn’t help but laugh at myself! Then the light turns green and while shaking my head, I’m off again hoping to remember to put that on my list of “things you can’t do on an electric bike..#1” and to never do that again.

Like any vehicle, it takes time to get to know your electric bike. I discovered that I hadn’t quite set the bike up right to charge after having it hooked up all night. I had been in counseling all day with my grandson and the whole time I am thinking about how much I want to get home and ride. The weather was warm for a March day and the sun was out. I just couldn’t stand the thought of missing a perfect day to ride. When the session was over, I kissed my grandson and was the first person out the door. My Suburban must have known what was up because it was unusually stealthy on the freeway and managed to find every hole it could fit in to avoid the traffic.
Once home, I discovered that my hubby had already taken the Road King and was off enjoying the day. I didn’t care! I threw off my clothes and slipped into my leather pants, t-shirt and riding jacket. I grabbed my helmet and gloves, slipped on my boots and ran out the door. It was 4pm and I could still ride for a couple hours before the sun went down. I opened the garage door, unhooked the bike from the electrical outlet, put the seat on and locked it. I was ready!  I pulled it outside and started it up. I checked to see how much juice I had and noticed that it wasnt fully charged. “hmmmm”, I said. I had a little less than 20% battery. “I wonder how far you can go on 20%?”I asked?  And as I was going through what I had done wrong with the charging process in my mind, I heard the familiar sound of the Road King. After “hello’s” my hubby decided we should go to dinner and take a little spin on the bikes together . I didn’t even think to say no……really?  I figured I would have enough juice to ride around town, down to the local Nonna Emilia’s Italian restaurant and back home with no problem. And, I almost made it, too.  But, alas, about a mile from home I lost power. I checked to see how much charge was left and it was at a whopping 3%. Crap!  I started the bike up again and made it a few more feet before I depleted all the charge that was left. To my right sat my hubby on the Road King laughing his butt off. He laughed so hard he just about hurt himself…which made me laugh. So, here we are in the middle divider of the street sitting on our bikes laughing like a couple of crazy people. Too bad laughter doesnt power my bike! But, I was sure glad he decided to come along.
To make a long story short, there we were with the tow rope attached to the forks of my bike and the tail end of the Road King making the last mile home. The Road King towing the Enertia to safety! I only wish someone had taken a picture of that. It does prove that 20% doesn’t go as far as I thought and that we all need each other, gas-powered and electric.That is when I decided that I would have to go home and add to my list..”things you can’t do on an electric bike..#2″.  Just to make a point, my hubby nearly ran out of gas the other day and anticipated having to call me to come get him!!
I’m sure some of you remember having a bike with no gas gauge and having to do the “tank shimmy”, that thing you do so you can hear how much fuel is in the tank. It took some time to figure out what you were hearing meant. From time to time you had to pop off the cap and make a visual. Sometimes you didn’t quite figure right and all you had left was the reserve tank or nothing at all. Well, that’s kind of what I’m going through. I don’t know what the heck 20% charge means, yet! But, I will. 
So, to recap:
#1 thing you can’t do on an electric bike….DO NOT bend the throttle at the red traffic lights..or anywhere else you might be while at a stop. It might not turn out well and you do not hear rat-tat-tat!
#2 thing you can’t do on an electric bike….run out of gas and call AAA to come and gas you up! Its electric and unless you plan on carrying a REALLY long extension cord, consider yourself screwed.
Despite the couple of mishaps, I love this bike. If you are or know a person who would love to ride but feels a little intimidated,  consider the Enertia. Once you get some skills under your belt, you can ride anything! This bike IS the perfect commuter bike. I can’t say enough good things about it. And, the best thing of all is my very “green” grand-daughter thinks I’m wonderful! 
P.S. I have been teased insesively….and all I have to say to that is, when gas is through the roof, think of me!

The “Green” Lady Godiva on wheels….charging!!

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6 Responses to “two things you can’t do on an electric bike…and saved by a hog!”


  1. March 29, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Your post made me laugh – important point though about the extension chord!

    • March 29, 2010 at 6:11 pm

      I think I should develop an ongoing cartoon about it…
      thanx for the comment, my friend! Glad it made you chuckle.

  2. March 30, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Hey Judy… if you need some help with the charging procedures, see this post I did when Brian Wismann went into depth about it: http://brammofan.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/for-enertia-owners-charging-clarified/

    Can’t wait for pics!!

    • March 31, 2010 at 3:37 am

      I’m afraid I learned the hard way but I did learn! I will post this so anyone who wants some clarity can find it there. I think I should have read it prior to riding all over town and running the thing dry….hmmmmmmm!
      I have to admit…I am never a dull person. Thank you, my friend!

  3. April 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    There are more and more concepts for electric bikes coming out if you’ve recently visited any motor shows.. we’re advancing quickly in this direction


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