I will say I am not a cyclist by any means. With a pre-existing knee condition that limits the stress I can put on my knees, biking has never really been an option as a mode of transportation. It was just my luck that one of my classes was going to take a bike tour and, being too stubborn to say I couldn’t use a bike, I began considering my options. The Viking eBike project came up in my search and I decided it would be my best shot of making it through the bike tour.
About a week later came my orientation and I didn’t know what to expect. I worried that I would have to learn a complicated system or have to put more force on the bike than I was able to give. The e-bike was a major surprise, it was simple enough to ride not unlike an normal bike. When the assist kicked in, it took little time to get adjusted and made the ride all that much easier and fun. I used the bike for the whole of a weekend and felt empowered that I could get around without depending on the Bellingham Bus System or my gas-guzzler. During the bike tour, the e-bike allowed me to keep pace with the class’s best riders without breaking a sweat. The whole of the tour filled me with confidence that I wasn’t a weakling for have drawn the short-straw of the gene pool.
However it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The bike has a beefy frame making it heavier than an average bike and a hassle to carry up a flight of stairs to your second story apartment. Also the battery, 10 pounds on its own, didn’t like coming out from its comfy port. But the challenges only made the experience that much better. By the last day, I could finally carry the bike up my stairs in one go. To tell the truth, if I could have fit the bike in my apartment comfortably I would have kept the E-bike for the quarter.
Looking back, the e-bike has given me the hope to believe in something I thought would never be possible. That someday I will be able to bike to work.