How to ride a longtail with electric assistPosted: December 2, 2009
My electrified Kona Ute longtail is the equivalent of a wood-paneled station wagon. Although at times I feel like the bicycle world version of a much larger semi truck. The electric Ute is stable at speed on straightaways, predictable in corners as long as you’re paying attention, and able to haul a significant amount of stuff.
Here’s the top 3 things I’ve learned thus far about riding an electric utility bike:
- Avoid braking; it means you’ve likely wasted human or electric energy to get up to speed.
- Conserve battery life; I’m only getting 5MPC versus the claimed 20 out of my eZee battery. It may just be defective; they’re sending a replacement now so this one can be analyzed. But in general, conservation is always a good thing. I try to use the battery in only three scenarios: climbing hills when loaded, getting up to speed quickly, and getting out of a tight jam quickly (like going from a stop to crossing two lanes turning left).
- Don’t assume; given that you travel and approach much faster than drivers expect you to with the electric assist, be careful on roundabouts, turn lanes, etc.
And a bonus lesson I’ve experienced: take advantage of being able to stop and talk to people, to watch the sun set and moon rise, and to truly experience the year-round weather. It is easy to do so on a bicycle and a good reminder of yet another reason bicycles are better for us than cars.
Speaking of weather, here’s my latest discovery which I now can’t remember how I lived without it: a ski boot dryer called DryGuy. You can use it year round to dry out your cycling shoes and gloves. It heats them up in the winter and can also blow cool air through them in the summer. Not cheap, but recommended.