On 20th January 2021 we bought an electric bike or e-bike. It looks like a normal 2-wheeler scooty but much light weighted. The heaviest part of the vehicle is the battery which is removable. This article is not going to concentrate on the make-model or any other such technical details about an e-bike. The intention here is to present the attitude changes created by and necessary for an e-vehicle.
We all understand the basic principle of an e-vehicle. There are many factors that influence the mileage of an e-bike. An e-bike does not need to keep its engine, or rather the motor, turned on always like conventional fuel vehicle. Hence the mechanism is such that the motor turns on when the accelerator is activated and is turned off when the accelerator is left alone. Don’t get caught-up with the thought that this will stop the vehicle as in any conventional fuel-driven vehicle. Because of this feature of being able to easily switch between ON/OFF engine states, an e-bike benefits heavily on the momentum gained by the vehicle in the ON state to propel the vehicle in the OFF state.
So, what it means is actual planning of the route, especially for long distance travels, such that it is compatible with this mode of travel. It means that slopes are good as it adds to the momentum, flat roads will also be preferred as they will help maintain the gained momentum for a distance and up-hill roads are to be avoided. Climbing flyovers are worth it if the road after that gives enough freeway to benefit from the gained potential energy. So before starting a journey planning the route will become part of life of the owner of e-bike.
It does not matter if the picked route is a long-route or a shortcut. It is more important to have a route of least resistance and a prior planning increases the chances of finding such a route and reaching the destination easily.
If momentum so gained is to be used efficiently then avoid using the breaks. This does not mean a no-breaks usage, it means use only on-need basis. It also means that the rider should try the best to keep the need from arising. The way to achieve this would be to always keep an eye on the road. If there is a hump at a distance it is best to use the momentum to reach and cross over rather than speeding up to it and then using breaks. Similar strategy must be followed for potholes and for traffic signals. This will need full concentration of the rider on the road, an attitude change necessitated by e-bike usage.
Route planning is one part of the plan. If one plans to travel a long distance, then one must ensure that the battery is charged enough for the journey. Unlike a conventional bike one cannot just take the transport and start the journey. One should know the mileage, one’s self-management skill and based on that take on the journey.
An e-Bike cannot be washed and so it is risky to ride in heavy rain, also on roads that are water lodged, that is in a way weakness of an e-Bike. Basically, it means that know your strengths and weaknesses, build strengths and avoid weaknesses, if necessary and possible, then take on the journey.
No dilly-dallying. The focus must be on the destination and in that direction do we proceed. There can be no sudden plans of diverting away from the direction of the destination. Any diversion will increase stress on the transport hence increasing the unsurety of reaching the destination. Therefore, there is a necessary increase in the focus towards target destination.
So now we have planning, focus on the path, and focus on the destination as the necessary attitudinal changes. With these it becomes imminent that the owner of e-bike will always be slow in reaching the destination. My current personal experience is that it takes the same time as a public transport. This necessitates that the rider maintains patience throughout the entire journey. No point in racing with others or having fictitious races as that is not the main goal.
Develop these attributes along with patience then the journey will become more enjoyable along with creating a positive impact on the environment. These attributes also ensure that there are no unnecessary rides taken just for the sake of riding. As a pro-tip let me add that the rider has to keep the details of the bike, like price, mileage (how much for full charge and how much distance can be covered in one full charge), maintenance cost etc at their fingertips.
The people around are slowly warming up to an e-Bike and so there will be many riders who will come along and ask. Give them freely all the possible points to help them make an informed decision. Convey, even it is a single good thing.