The great outdoors belongs to everybody, and when it comes to exploring it, an ebike is the most accessible option. In fact, accessibility is built right into Rad Power Bikes' mission statement!
Throughout the month of March, we’ll be highlighting the ways in which nature and ebikes go hand-in-hand -- from the mental health benefits of fresh air to the physical wins earned by going farther and the products that can keep you on the road longer. It's also Women's History Month, and we'll be showcasing the women riders who are using our ebikes to get outside like never before.
By Megan Michelson
Two summers ago, I vowed to give up my car as much as possible and replace my gas-guzzling errands with fresh air and my electric bike instead. Grocery shopping? I picked up necessary supplies and packed everything I needed on my bike. Taking the kids to school or the park? That’s what the kid seats on my RadWagon are for—plus, the basket can haul backpacks and sand toys, too.
Whether I was commuting to work, meeting a friend across town, or just getting outside for some exercise, I committed to pedaling, while my car collected dust in the driveway. I zoomed past the line of summer tourist traffic in my hometown of Tahoe City, California, and arrived at my destination refreshed and exhilarated. It was a win-win for me, my family, and the environment. My mode of transportation had never felt so transformative.
I’m not the only woman who’s changed their ways with help from an ebike. Women across the U.S.—from cities to rural areas—are realizing that being mobile doesn’t just mean driving a car or taking public transportation. We have options now, the freedom to hop on a bike and whisk ourselves to wherever we’re going—no matter the hills or distance between here and there. The benefits of riding a bike are plenty—research has shown cycling can do everything from drop your risk of heart disease and cancer to increase the flow of creativity to help reduce pollution.
Katherine Johnson Martinko describes her cargo ebike as a modern-day minivan. She uses it to cart her kids, pick up groceries, and get to the gym and back. She used to head to the gym on a traditional bike, but says that after an hour of lifting weights, the last thing she wants to do is pedal home. Now, she makes the 5 mile trip on a ebike -- and can get back in roughly half the time. “With the e-bike … it's no big deal. It takes me 18 minutes to get from door-to-door, and that's impressive considering I usually give myself at least 10 minutes to go by car and likely 30-40 minutes to do it by regular bike,” Martinko wrote in Treehugger.
In other words: We’re willing to go farther, thanks to a little battery support. A study from the Information Centre for Gender Research in Norway found that women with electric bikes increased the number of daily trips by bicycle and doubled the length they traveled, compared to traditional cyclists.
Yessenia Funes, a New York City-based poet and journalist, discovered the beauty of ebikes during the early days of the COVID pandemic, when public transportation in the city felt stifling. “It’s the type of freedom that could serve us well as we contemplate our post-coronavirus future in cities and what low- or no-carbon mobility could look like that helps everyone get around in a way that’s actually fun,” Funes wrote on Gizmodo.
The best part? You don’t have to be a Spandex-clad, super-serious road cyclist to hop on an ebike. My 73-year-old mother rides one around town to go to yoga class and pick up coffee. People with disabilities are finding ebikes offer them the freedom of movement. It doesn’t matter your age, your fitness level, or where you live: We can all ride a bike now.
“Hills? No problem when your bike has a battery boost. Sweat? See ya never,” Funes wrote. “They make riding so much more fun, especially for those of us who are not super athletic and fit.”
The environmental benefits of an ebike, Funes points out, are purely a bonus to the fun and freedom one feels while riding one. A study from researchers at Oregon’s Portland State University found that carbon emissions could be cut by 12 percent if a mere 15 percent of commutes were made on ebikes instead of cars. As Funes writes, “In a carbon-free world where cities are less car-centric, ebikes will be the personal vehicle of choice for the short trips that most city dwellers take."
That's just the kind of Rad world we can really get behind.
Interested in an electric bike but don't know where to begin? Take our quiz to find the right model for you!