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We agree, it IS easier than ever to go carless in Seattle. Services like ridesharing, public transit, and dockless bike sharing (the newest entry into the mix) means Seattleites have more options than ever to ditch their cars and add a little variety into their morning commute.
Recently, the popular technology news site GeekWire published an article testing various forms of transportation to see which one was the fastest. Their route took them from their office in the Fremont neighborhood to Flatstick Pub in Pioneer Square, a 5-mile route through the heart of downtown Seattle during evening rush hour. They tested options like a car, bus, rideshare, pedal bike, and an electric skateboard, but we noticed they left out a very popular and efficient mode of transportation; the electric bike!
Don’t worry, GeekWire! We noticed your (assumed accidental) omission of the ebike and we wanted to help make your test as complete as possible. Luckily, our company headquarters is just two miles from the GeekWire office so it was very easy for us to pop on over and do the test ourselves.
We rode the same route and started at the same time to keep consistency with GeekWire’s test. Our participants (all RPB team members, two male, one female) all have varying athletic abilities and they have lived in Seattle for between 1 month and 3 years.
Here is what traffic looked like as we started our trip.
Here is a quick glance at the numbers from the GeekWire test. Our time to beat: 31 minutes.
|Method||Time in Minutes|
Mode of transportation: RadWagon, RadCity, and RadRover
Total trip time: 25 minutes
Years getting around Seattle: between 1 month and 3 years
Cost: None, but ebikes from Rad Power Bikes cost either $1,499 or $1,599 depending on the model. It can also be financed through Affirm and payments start at $125 per month for 12 months.
Requirements: Know how to ride a bike. Also, we highly recommend a helmet as well as appropriate safety/rain gear including reflective clothing, close-toed shoes, a rain jacket, etc.
On positives: Ebikes are practical, efficient, and allow you to arrive at where you’re going without being exhausted and sweaty by the time you get there. Our electric bikes can easily carry everything you need for the day in pannier bags so you don’t have to worry about carrying a backpack or being stuck with the clothes you have when you reach your destination (which is particularly handy when it’s raining).
Ebikes can be ridden in normal bike lanes so you can avoid all of the stop and go traffic. When a street doesn’t have a bike lane, you can feel confident knowing the electric motor can help you keep up with the speed of stop and go traffic for when you need to merge onto the road for small stretches.
On negatives: Riding any bike in congested traffic can be a little intimidating. While our ebikes have lights, reflectors, and a bell, you never know if the car next to you doesn’t see you.
Occasionally being forced to ride in the road can be a downer when the road you have to go down doesn’t have a dedicated bike lane. Luckily, you can plan your route ahead of time to significantly cut back, or remove completely, the chances of this happening.
On riding an ebike in Seattle: Our route was almost entirely in bike lanes and on the road. This is a great benefit of ebikes as you can ride in either, so popping into the road briefly is no problem (especially when a giant truck is blocking the bike lane).
Seattle roads have never been known to be the best, so having a front suspension fork (like on the RadCity and RadRover) or fat tires (like the RadRover) makes the ride significantly smoother.
The electric bike was the fastest mode of transportation for this test, beating out every method GeekWire tested in their original article. We were able to easily knock 6 minutes off their fastest time on the Onewheel+, which we are confident we could do even faster with route optimization as a road closure forced us on a slight detour.
Ebikes are a truly wonderful form of transportation, especially in a bike-friendly city like Seattle which ranks among the highest in the country. The expansive network of bike lanes and trails means you can easily find a way to get where you need to go without dealing with traffic while also enjoying the amazing views Seattle has to offer.
Rad Power Bikes offers four different models of electric bikes to fit almost every need. We’re conveniently located in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood and we offer free test rides on all of our models, meaning you can find out first-hand which model works best for you.
We’re glad we were able to complete GeekWire’s test to include EVERY legitimate form of transportation. ;)
At the finish line waiting for Tim to show up on the Onewheel+.
Side-by-side comparisons can be a very valuable tool when trying to decide between two or more options. Imagine the sheer chaos that would ensure if you had a cold and you couldn’t compare two cold medicines right there at the drugstore! “This one is quick acting, but this one is long lasting… When do I want to feel good, now or later?”
Luckily, Rad Power Bikes has the resources you need to determine which ebike has the features you’re looking for. Picky about the type of motor, material of the grips, or total length of the bike? Our ebike comparison tool has all of the information you’ll need to determine which of our models has the options that tickle your fancy!
Every city is wonderful in its own way. Each has its own distinct personality, culture, and identity that separates it from the rest, leaving its mark on our great country. While no city can be definitively labeled “the best” as everyone’s needs and tastes are a little different, these five cities are standouts for their bicycle infrastructure. They are leading the charge for more bike-friendly living by building bike-specific amenities and safety features, having businesses catering to bicyclists, and offering incentives for people to ditch their cars and go green.
This list is not inclusive as there are many awesome bike routes in every city, but here are some of the best bike routes you can enjoy in the USA’s five bike friendliest cities!
The Burke-Gilman Trail: a 20-mile-long route that takes you from Golden Gardens Park on the Puget Sound all the way to Sammamish River Trail in Bothell, just off the northern tip of Lake Washington. Highlights include Golden Gardens Park, the Fremont Troll, Gas Works Park, the University of Washington, and a beautiful trip along Lake Washington.
Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop: a multi-use loop that takes you around the entirety of Lake Union, connecting with the Burke-Gilman Trail for the northern section and branching off between the University and Fremont bridges. Highlights include Gas Works Park and Lake Union Park.
Seattle Waterfront Trails: an over 5-mile collection of trails taking you from Magnolia on the northern side of Elliott Bay, through downtown Seattle, and down near Harbor Island. Highlights include Myrtle Edwards Park, Olympic Sculpture Park, Pike Place Market, CenturyLink Field, and Safeco Field.
New York City
Central Park: a 6-mile bike route that loops around the entirety of Central Park. Highlights include the Central Park Zoo, the Bethesda Terrace, Belvedere Castle, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and so much more!
Five Boro Bike Tour: a 40-mile annual bike tour that attracts tens of thousands of cyclists to take a traffic-free ride through New York City’s five most iconic neighborhoods: Manhattan, Harlem, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn.
Manhattan Waterfront Greenway: a 31-mile bike route that takes you along the entire edge of Manhattan. Highlights include the One World Trade Center, Battery Park, The Riverside Church, and many other Manhattan staples.
Southeast Neighborhoods: a 13-mile ride through historic Portland neighborhoods with the return route taking place along the lovely Willamette River. Highlights include Tideman-Johnson Park, Oaks Bottom Wetlands, and Oaks Park (where there’s a ferris wheel!).
North Portland Trails: a flat, 19-mile series of trails located on the northern end of the city that showcases the beauty of nature within Portland’s city limits. Highlights include Kelley Point Park, University of Portland, and the Smith and Bybee Lakes Natural Area.
Northeast Ramble: a 15-mile ride through Portland’s Neighborhood Greenways (streets with low traffic volume where bicycles and pedestrians are given priority). Highlights include the Alameda Ridge, Rocky Butte, and Joseph Wood Hill State Park.
The Wiggle: a 1-mile route with plenty of zigs and zags taking you from the northeastern part of the city to the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park. Highlights include the Painted Ladies (just off the route), Sue Bierman Park, and Golden Gate Park.
The Embarcadero: a 3-mile long, waterfront bike path around San Francisco’s northeast coast that gives you access to many of the city’s biggest tourist attractions. Highlights include AT&T Park, Fishermans Wharf, the Exploratorium, and a large number of San Francisco’s piers where you can get unparalleled views of the Bay.
Marina Bay Trail: a 3-mile route along the city’s northern coast that gives you an exceptional view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Highlights include Crissy Field, Ghirardelli Square, the Wave Organ (just off the path), and the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park.
North Shore Channel Trail: a 3.5-mile route along the Chicago River with a mixture of suburban and natural landscapes. Highlights include the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park, the Ladd Arboretum, and Legion Park.
Green Bay Trail: a 9-mile trail starting in Glencoe and follows the water down to Gillson Park. Highlights include the Chicago Botanical Garden, the Baha’i House of Worship, and Northwestern University (just south of the trail).
The 606: a 3-mile elevated bike trail loaded with a bevy of food and drink options just northeast of Humboldt Park. There are too many highlights to list here, so you might as well just check out this Thrillist article.
Looking to enjoy some of these amazing bike routes in style? Check out current ebike models here from Rad Power Bikes!
The top five cities were collected from this bicycling.com article.
We are extremely excited to announce that today Forbes has named the three cofounders of Rad Power Bikes (Mike Radenbaugh, Ty Collins, and Marimar White-Espin) winners of the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 award in Manufacturing & Industry for 2017! Some of the other winners for this award include engineers from Tesla, robotics programmers, and visionaries in safety and health care, so it’s both an honor and humbling knowing that three friends building electric bikes has grown to be one of the most influential ebike companies around.
We want to thank the judges for voting for us, but we most importantly want to thank our community of bike owners for giving us the drive to continually push the world of ebikes forward and provide the best product and buying experience that we can. Nothing we do is for ourselves. While we love what we do and we can’t believe we get to wake up everyday and indulge in our passion, you beautiful people are the reason behind everything we do. Without the support, feedback, and love from you, we wouldn’t exist.
The foolish thing to do after winning this award is to take it as a trophy for crossing the finish line. This is not an end-goal for us. This is not where we call it quits. This is not where we say, “We did it!” This is just a little reassurance that we are doing something right, that what we are building has the potential to be something great. We believe in electric bikes and we want to use this momentum we have to push into this new year stronger and more determined than ever.
… but would it be ok if we celebrated just a bit? We’ll quietly do a jig at our desks then get right back to work, we promise! “Celebrate good times, COME ON!”
New Year’s Eve has always been a bitter-sweet celebration for us. Reminiscing on the memories we made over the past year (good and bad) seem to instantly wash away as the clock strikes midnight, leaving us with a convoluted concoction of wistfulness and hope. “A new year, a new you!” we collectively say as we watch the ball drop from the comfort of our homes, holding close the ones we admire most. And then, from the corner of your eye, you see the dusty home gym you purchased the January before, untouched since April. It makes a great coat rack though, don’tcha think?
You swore you would stick it out this year. Get fit. Lose some weight. Feel like you did in high school. So what happened? You started out so strong, even purchasing clothes a size too small as incentive to keep your new routine going. But then your new fitness regimen became just that, routine. The honeymoon phase ended, the “new car smell” subsided, and your fancy new machine became just another part of your day. The results were there! You were losing weight and you’re pretty sure you saw an ab starting to form, but you lost more than a few pounds during this time. You lost the fun. Maybe you were looking in the wrong place, or maybe you were trying to trick yourself into feeling fun. But fun is a stubborn mule; you either feel it or you don’t.
Fun! It’s such a simple concept, yet it seems almost impossible to hold onto. Fun is the driving force behind so many activities, and people who have found their fun will do anything to keep it around. Rad Power Bikes is a company that was founded because of necessity, but it stayed around because the people behind the company and the community we have built over the years found their fun by riding our bikes. They turned their horrible commute to work into an exciting daily adventure. They ventured into new areas and explored their surroundings in a way they’ve never done before. They overcame physical limitations and went places they couldn’t have before they got on a Rad bike!
Remember when you were a kid and you could go to the park and have the best day of your life? Don’t you miss that feeling? There’s a phrase we’ve used when we describe our bikes to people, “The bike that makes you feel like a kid again.” This isn’t some phrase we paid a marketing team to come up with. This is a phrase we kept hearing over and over again when people were out test riding our bikes. Kids are fun experts. They can find fun anywhere, but somewhere along the way we seem to forget that fun still exists or maybe we talked ourselves out of thinking we have time for fun.
For your 2017 New Year’s Resolution, we are urging everyone to go out there and find their fun! Learn to draw, play some tennis, ride a bike! It’s up to you! Fun is different for everyone, so don’t be afraid to be a little selfish and do something just for you. Happy 2017 and thank you to everyone who has helped make 2016 such a memorable year in the RPB history books! Have fun. Be safe. Stay Rad.
Cities are generally thought of for accommodating cars, but, in recent years, more cities are developing alternative transportation infrastructure, especially for bikes. Making the change from driving your car to riding a bike can be intimidating, but we have 5 reasons why riding an electric bike in the city is advantageous. Let go of your unhealthy clingy relationship with your car and say hello to the freedom of an ebike!
1. No More Parking Headaches
If you’re spending more than 10 minutes trying to find a parking spot, you’re doing it wrong. In cities bike parking is rampant and there’s always a place to lock-up your bike feet from your destination. If you’re looking for covered parking, check with parking garages, many offer bike parking. Did we mention bike parking is free, no more carrying pockets full of loose change or rushing to beat the meter, no crippling fear of getting a parking ticket, and no more parking restrictions that don’t allow you to park on days that end in “Y”.
2. No More Traffic
Do red brake lights ignite an unhealthy negative reaction? Do you put your life on hold by waiting until after rush hour to go out or commute home? If the answer is yes, it’s time to switch to an electric bike. With an electric bike you can take advantage of your community’s bike paths that are designed to make biking easy, efficient, and fast. Fall in love with bike lanes as you buzz by a long line of idling cars. Navigate through unexpected traffic so you can get home faster and use that extra time for yourself.
3. Save Money
Before you pay off your car, chances are you put way more money into it with registration fees, gas, and maintenance. However, electric bikes are low maintenance, only cost cents to charge (unless you have solar, then it’s practically free!) and if it’s under 20mph you don’t have to register it. Say goodbye to unpredictable gas prices that eat into your savings and hello to the affordability of electricity.
4. Simplify your lifestyle
Welcome to the simple life of ebiking. Instead of lugging around a car full of items you think you might need through out your day, you become more conscious of the things you truly need. A backseat full of stuff can be condensed to a backpack. You become more organized, and less burdened by clutter.
5. Reduced Carbon Footprint
Riding an electric bike basically makes you an environmental super hero. Cities experience higher levels of air pollution with thousands of cars on the roads each day. The average car emits 271 grams per 1 kilometer (0.6lbs per 1.6 miles) while, depending on your city's source of energy, an electric bike emits 22 grams per 1 kilometer (.05lbs per 1.6 miles). Just switching to an electric bike one day a week can have a significant impact on reducing CO2 emissions.
Ready to get riding?!
As corny as it may seem, the new year really is a great opportunity to wipe the slate clean and focus on your wants and goals for the future. On this one day of the year, you can look forward and see the year in its entirety, the score is reset to zero, and fate is in your hands! Here at Rad Power Bikes, we believe that 2016 will truly be the year of the ebike, and want to give you a few fun and easy ways you can use electric bikes from Rad Power Bikes to crush your 2016 new year's resolutions!
These are just a few resolutions that you can cross off with your Rad Power Bike, but the possibilities are almost endless! Take the Rad Power Bikes 2016 car-free pledge by committing to alternative transportation one day a week. Even if it's not on a Rad Power Bike, instead of driving a car, take the bus, ride a bike, or walk. At Rad Power Bikes we'd like to supply you with the tools you need to accomplish your car-free goal, right now you can take $100 off the White RadRover now through January 8th, 2016 with code "Car-Free-16".
This 2016 get out, be rad, and make this your year of the ebike!
There are a lot of factors that come in to play when deciding which electric bike you should purchase. Speed, comfort, functionality, overall RADness, and more are all important, but one of the most important factors that most future ebike owners will want to know is, "how many miles will it go on a charge?"
Ultimately, miles per charge is just as important and miles per gallon when deciding on what car to purchase. Knowing that you very well might be wondering this very thing, we put together this infographic to help show you what type of mileage you can expect on your RadRover based on three key elements:
Now that you have an idea about how far you'll be able to ride, all that's next is for you to pick up your RadRover electric fat bike and to start planning your next adventure!
Phone: (800) 939-0310
Sales/Tech Support Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm PT
Seattle Store Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm Sat-Sun 9am-3pm PT
Seattle Store Address: 2622 NW Market St, Seattle WA, 98107
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