Today’s blog post comes to us from WWU student and energy policy major, Olivia. She is a WWU Energy Ambassador and a electric bike researcher with our project advisor, Beth Hartsoch. Thanks Olivia!
On Friday morning, I picked up the eProdigy electric bike from the Office of Sustainability and received my lock, helmet, bike bag, and quick refresher lesson on how to turn on, use, and lock the bike. On my first ride on the bike around campus, I found that it was heavier and a little harder to maneuver than my regular bike, but I quickly adapted to these changes and ended up enjoying it. During my commute home from work, I loved the bike’s ability to start quickly at stoplights and propel me up the steep hills.
My typical Saturday consists of grabbing coffee at a local coffee shop, browsing through the farmers’ market for the freshest fruit, and enjoying the outdoors. This Saturday was no different, except I did it all on my bike! I started my journey from the Happy Valley neighborhoods to the farmers market and met up with a friend, bought blueberries and coffee, and had Indian food for lunch. There was plenty of bike parking, but cars were circling the area looking for a spot to park. (They should have biked!)
Next, I used the interurban trail to get to Boulevard. During this short ride, I didn’t use the electric assist as it was slightly downhill and other cyclists and pedestrians were utilizing the trail as well. After sitting in the sun and reading, I biked from the park to Trader Joe’s to buy groceries. On my way home, the electric assist saved me from a miserable ride home with what seemed like 50 pounds of groceries stuffed in my backpack. It made it easier to pull into traffic out of the parking lot, keep up with traffic at busy intersections, and make it up the hill near the ridge on Garden Street.
Overall, the electric assist enabled me to do all the things I love doing – drinking coffee and being outside – without having to worry about parking, the environmental impact of driving, and being exhausted when I reached my destination. I will definitely consider purchasing an electric bike in the future.