CS4PR: Welcome! So Michael, you told me that you sold your car six months ago. Can you tell me more about that?
Michael: Yeah, so I used to own a 1984 Toyota Celica. You know it’s a quite old car. …What I noticed is that, especially in Vancouver, I got frustrated driving around with traffic. And I realized that I really enjoyed cycling. In addition, my car insurance was high and gas was quite expensive, and I’m like, you know what? We live in a connected city and you can bike anywhere in Vancouver. So, I decided to sell and got an electric bike, which is great for the hills. The one thing that really changed, personally, is that whenever I need to go somewhere, it’s very uplifting. It’s not like I’m dreading the drive there. I actually look forward to the ride. As I’m riding, I’m connecting with the environment and connecting with the community and I get to feel much more around my surroundings. So I’m really enjoying this experience. It’s been six months so far. So far in Prince Rupert the electric assist is very nice ‘cause there are quite a bit of hills. I haven’t had any issues with it so far. And since Prince Rupert is quite a dense city for its size, you can get to places from here and there. I also see avid cyclists around. So overall, it has been a great experience.
CS4PR: What could make your cycling experience better here in Prince Rupert?
Michael: I think the main thing is talking about how dark it gets and the one concern that I do have, and I am mindful of, is that there’s often very limited visibility. So when I’m cycling, I always try to wear reflective gear and turn on my lights. It usually helps, but the one thing I’m extremely mindful of is parked cars. I usually try to stay a metre and a half away because there were a couple of occasions where the door would just swing out open and it’s just being mindful of what context you’re biking in. So I feel like as long as you are biking defensively rather than aggressively, that makes a better biking experience. I also tend to stick to the more less traffic areas. So if possible, I would go around side streets or even neighborhoods and, even though it might take one minute more, often the riding experience is much better.
CS4PR: So, you’re saving money on gas, insurance and the expenses related to owning a car. You also feel happier commuting by bicycle. What advice would you give someone who’s considering an e-bike?
Michael: Definitely do your research. There are many e-bikes out there but each one is best suited for a particular lifestyle and climate. When I started looking at e-bikes, the top five things I looked for were affordability, reliability, waterproofing, heavy duty, and quality. Starting out with a priority list allows you to specify viable e-bike options. Two things you should never overlook are the battery specifications and motor strength as these ultimately dictate the performance levels of your bike.
CS4PR: Thank you very much!