What is the Viking eBike Project?
The Viking eBike Project is a grant-funded program to introduce Western community members to eBikes. We hope to increase the number of people biking and bike commuting. The main component of our project is an eBike loan program. We loan eBikes, free of charge, to departments and individuals in the Western community, either for a quarter or for up to 4 days.
Who should sign up for an eBike loan?
Anyone! We want anyone and everyone to try an eBike to see how it can change their daily commute. If you commute to campus by car or your department makes multiple short car trips each day or you are just curious, sign up today! Please fill out this form if you are interested!
What are the benefits of riding a bike? What are the benefits of an eBike?
Bicycling has tons of benefits. In addition to greater fitness, bike commuters are more productive, happier, and better shoppers. Bicycling is safe, easy to adopt, and significantly reduces carbon emissions. Viking eBikes combine all the benefits of a regular bicycle with the speed of a car, making riding a bike even more accessible.
Because the eBike has an electric motor, I don’t have to pedal, right?
No. Although there is a throttle on the eBikes, riders still need to pedal to move the bike. The electric motor makes each pedal stroke insanely more powerful and can make a rider feel as if they do not need to pedal to move the bike.
What kind of bikes are available to use?
We have a fleet of eProdigy’s Jasper electric assist bikes. Built next door in Vancouver, BC these bikes have a great set of features that make them perfect for first time eBike users.
What’s the range of a Viking eBike?
Depending on the rider’s use, the bikes travel anywhere from 40 to 60 miles on a single charge.
What accessories does the Viking eBike project provide?
We provide a very sturdy U-lock and cable, Bar Mitts, a charger, a helmet, a rain poncho, panniers, a VeloTrack (cell phone case on the bike), and Ankle Straps (reflective material strips that go around a rider’s ankle).
FAQ for short term check-out:
How long can I check the bike out for?
This depends. We can loan the bike out from anywhere from an hour to 4 days. The amount of time you have the bike for is dependent on how many other people want to use the bike, what you are using the bike for, and how many times you have checked the bike out. We will try to be as inclusive as possible.
How much does it cost to check the bike out?
Checking the bike out is free! Because we are funded by the Sustainable Action Fund, we have can let people use the Viking eBikes for free. However, you as a rider are responsible for any lost or damaged equipment.
What happens if I lose the bike or I break it?
As a rider, you are liable for any damage or loss of the equipment. A great article about liability as a rider of a Viking eBike can be found here.
I want to check out a bike for the short term. Where do I start? What’s the process?
Here’s a quick breakdown of the process:
- Attend an E-Bike orientation. At this orientation, you will be taught how to use the bike properly and how to stay safe while riding.
- Work with the Office of Sustainable Transportation to find a time to check out the bike.
- When you are scheduled, pick up the bike from the Office of Sustainable Transportation, ride safely, and please return the bike on time.
What happens in the orientation? How long does it last? Why do I have to attend an orientation?
The orientation is a complete lesson in using the Viking eBikes. If you attend one, you will be trained how to operate a Viking eBike, general bike safety tips, and will get a chance to make mistakes with a team member who can provide feedback. An orientation session will take about 30 minutes, so plan accordingly. Electric assist bikes handle differently than normal bikes and can be confusing and dangerous to use if someone is not properly trained. A little training will ensure you have a great experience on a Viking eBike.