Tag Archives: cycle

Cycling EBike strategies

Okay, now for some safety. How much does the average car weigh? Around 3,400 Pounds give or take. Smaller cars less, bigger vehicles more and what happens when a car hits a cyclist?

I have in recent times found myself nearly hit, not my fault while ebiking, but rather the drivers so lets review a few things first.

1.) Make sure you have side mirrors on your bicycle.

2.) Make sure to glance those mirrors every few seconds while watching for what is ahead of you.

3.) Leave 3 to 4 feet from parked cars, otherwise you will meet “FLIPPER” and I ain’t talking about dolphins either.

4.) Never challenge a Motorist in a vehicle, remember the weight of a vehicle?

There are assholes, but car drivers will lead to the below. (Be aware next video contains profanity)

One strategy you might consider is when at a stop light and cars are coming up behind you and stopping waiting to go.

5.) Make sure to use your bike mirror and watch the traffic about to start behind you at the light. When the traffic starts, take a few seconds pause and let the vehicles go first. Then start across the intersection, this way what is behind you should be clear.

6.) If a double lane is available, in California bikes and cars share the outside lane. But if traffic is light, stay in the middle of the road. What this typically does is force the driver of the vehicle to change lanes, almost 100% of the time. Cause if you stay to the far right or outside of the lane, the driver is encouraged to slip by you closer so force them into the other lane by just taking up the outside lane. Be aware though, if the driver does not seem to change lanes to scoot to the side as quickly as possible. This type of car driver that is unyielding I find on average about 1 in 100. In California, the law is a car or vehicle must give a cyclist of any type, at least 3 feet space.

I cannot stress enough to be aware at all times and again, use your mirror to constantly monitor what is behind you as well as of course ahead of you. Riding can be simple, fun, decent exercise and mind cleansing, but it can also be very dangerous, so vigilance is key and one very last piece of advice.

7.) Make sure to wear bright color tops and that your riding lights are all charged up. Visibility to drivers will mean they see you and avoid a mishap or worse.

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How to mount a Jamz Plus Speaker on a bike.

I think my video will explain it all, and this applies to all bikes, motorcycles and trike. Fast, cheap and easy, an hour of your time.

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EBike Anarchy

So there was Memorial Weekend as every year, a massive bicycle ride through Atomic Cycles with hundreds of riders. Well the LAPD sent undercover agents to monitor this on the weekend. Now of course, yours truly here drank “WATER” with ice cubes on this near 100 degree day. Paul at the cycle shop put on a great and wacky show as usual and the Chppercabras were there and other bicycle member groups too. There was free food and drinks and the theme was on Elvis Presley. Of course I didn’t mention that a late personal friend of mine was Elvis real life original love before he got hitched and they were friends until Elvis real life death in 1977. She used to tell me how much of a true Southern Gentleman Elvis was.

So this tall guy wears a tall black wig, glasses and a white Elvis outfit.

By the way YUCK! The free food were peanut butter and banana sandwiches, no wonder I had to forgo the free food.

So here are some of the wacky events before the big bike ride.

And what it is really all about, ya wanna see, okay I’m not in this one but see what it’s like to go for a major ride.

So where do we find out about the events and rides put on by the great Paul at Atomic Cycles, Ratrod Bikes and Choppercabra amongst other mid-valley groups? You go here. ATOMIC CYCLES

 

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So California the green state gives green ebikes the big FU!

The word had come in, if you want to ride an ebike on a bicycle path in California, we the state ASSembly are going to screw you more. That is because A.) we are dippoops and don’t know what the “F” we are doing and B.) We make new laws out of thin air just to make em.

Assemblyman Branford’s office did just this. They stated they are opening up bicycle lanes and to who? Pedal ASSist cycles which account for about 15% of all Electric Bicycle sales around the globe. So they took DMV law 406b and bumped it from the current 1kilowatt to a lower 750 watts for riding, through in for God knows what stupid reason, the bicycle must weigh less than 80 pounds, what about the rider jerks? Did you consider maybe a 300 pounder guy should not be allowed to ride when a 160 pounder guy can? What f’ing morons. The logic behind making this new law (like we need another law in California with the man in the moon mentality) was flawed from the start, the very start. (This folks is what happens when your legislature is a mix of Liberalism and Marijuana) you go figure that one out.

If you people seriously want to fix the bicycle path issues, here they are.

1.) Move all pedestrian traffic off of bicycle paths.

2.) Post a maximum speed limit for pedaling cyclists as well as ebikes and gas powered bikes aka. ‘Gbikes’ and forget this size and that size. I’ll now explain this for the morons to understand.

If you drive down a street marked maximum speed limit 35MPH and you are in a V-12 cylinder Ferrari and the other person is in a 4 cylinder Toyota, you both drive at a maximum speed limit of 35mph or around there. If you go faster you get a ticket if you get caught. Same should apply to bicycles regardless of how top end they can go. What is fair for one form of transportation should be especially fair for a slower form. Post a maximum sign speed limit on all California bicycle paths, get pedestrians off them and problem fixed.

Instead, what your California honorary ASSemblyman has done is make it the bicycles weighs this much, the motor wattage is this much, you cannot travel beyond 20MPH while a pedaling cyclists can do 45MPH. Moron, if an EBiker gets stopped here is how the conversation will go.

Officer: What wattage is this electric bicycle?

Rider: (It’s really 5,000 watts) Uh, officer it is a 500 watt motor.

Officer: We don’t carry bicycle scales, how much does this weigh without a rider?

Rider: Uh, officer, it weighs a tad over 50 pounds.

Do you people understand? Seriously. Obama gave trillions from the feds for green transportation, here it is a zero emissions bicycle and the ASSemblyman has stated he wants to help you while sticking a bent kickstand up your ass, and that’s a ride worth fighting for.

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Car alternatives coming your way.

So first the ground transportation worth watching.

From the past!!!

and a bit fast forward.

and this one

and a bit of hover perhaps.

and let us not forget water, yes cars for water.

and finally this one.

and then there is flight and jetcars or aerocars, yes they are coming if rather slowly and a few are here already. The future catching up? You decide.

and finally the Chinese bought into Moller. I remember this on the front page of Popular Mechanic’s 1991 edition.

January 1991 Edition

Well better late than never!

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Things To Consider When E-Cycling On Roads.

E-Bike

E-Bike

There is nothing cleaner than riding a whisper quiet, quick accelerating, breeze-in-your-face electric bicycle. The problem with today’s current crop comes down to one word which is government. The government and various agencies have kept electric bicycles as an expensive hobby rather than encouraging and facilitating it for serious transportation. Now while it is important to get exercise, that also pumps out carbon into the atmosphere. Something that remains right now hotly debated around the globe.

So the current “LEGAL” street Ebike cannot go faster than 20mph. If you have a gas bike you can go 30mph, so much for promoting green transportation huh. If you ride a poly carbon 33 speed racer, you can pedal to around 50mph legally and crank out carbs while you are at it, which bespeaks volumes against politicians who say they are for green…nothing more than hypocrites if you ask me. So riding can be lots of fun as well as safe and that is what this blog topic is all about, safety.

First there is the bicycle. Make sure you have installed thorn proof tires and tubes. At speed, a blowout especially up front can mean you become an instant trapeze artist and you don’t want that.

Second make sure you have a left hand mirror not convex, that shows you who is coming up behind you, because a car weighs over 3,000 pounds or more and trucks are worse.

Third always wear a helmet especially a DOT approved helmet because a head injury can leave you brain dead like meat head, dead from the neck up.

Fourth when riding always try where you can to keep four feet between you and parked cars and here is the clue and reason for it. People, I mean dumb idiots swing their doors open. Most because they are meat heads and some just because they are mean heads. A sudden door opening in front of you at speed can kill. Make sure when you ride to glimpse if possible through the back window if a car or truck has a driver. That is when you must slow and be super cautious to get the distance between you and how wide the door can open.

Five while you are worried about parked cars, also keep glimpsing the mirror on your left to see and know where cars approaching from behind are.

Six are road obstructions. Bike lanes are next to the curb essentially and this is a very neglected part of the road. Here is what you will find. Potholes, rock debris, nails, broken glass, oil slicks from parked cars, a dead animal like a squirrel.

John McChipmunk

John McChipmunk

It is super important to look ahead so you don’t accidentally run over any of these.

Seven is liquids particularly water. Make sure your bicycle has a water rack on the frame and keep a water bottle with cold water on tap. You will get a dry throat from traveling consistent speeds and if pedaling you will dehydrate, so keep plenty of water.

Eight remember I first mentioned flats. Well most come from debris such as a nail puncture. Carry an extra can of instant inflate with you. Get a flat and it will fix most small holes. If it ever happens, you will be glad you had it.

Finally legalities. Slow bikes are legal, but fast bikes on road usage are not. Technically you are breaking the law depending on specs. For the most part if you keep the speed in the 20mph area and are riding safely, the law will give it a pass as far as most officers go. If you are going the higher speeds and acting like a jerkwad, then you will pickup a ticket and probably lose your bicycle and maybe even end up before a judge too. So the call is of course yours. Will the laws allow you a faster electric bicycle, I suspect eventually if the politicians are really serious about real green transportation they will. So you want something faster.

There is sort of a way around it. You can own and operate a fast electric bicycle off road. If you ride it safely on road it is of course a gamble but possible to fly under the radar. I will give you a few riding examples and you will probably see the rules tossed in the videos, but always good to watch anyhow and I can attest a lot of fun.

Legal:

Not So Legal But Lotsa Fun!

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E-Bicycle Crap

So there is this firm in Chatsworth California and they make what Lauren Sanchez loves, her izip custom bike. They also make the cheaper ezip. Now from my dealings going out there, I have found them somewhat hostile. The girl on the phone was nice, mind you to me, but this big black woman put her hands on her sides and was just plain vicious.

The problem with the Currie system is numerous, too numerous to discuss, but here is my adventure with the Men’s Ezip Trailz.

ezip

Ezip Men’s Diamond Frame Trailz by Currie.

First off, the quality of what is built won’t last more than a few years. The lead acid battery weighs in at over 18 pounds and two are 36 pounds. That is a tremendous amount of weight plus the rider on the back tire which is why the back tire wears out faster with two batts instead of one. The batteries being heavy bob up and down with every little road bump or worse on trails off-road. This can break the electrical connector in the battery mount rendering the system broken. The more bumps on the road, sidewalk or off-trail you get, the faster the condition can happen.

The battery life span is also about 6 months to a year and then you are looking at per battery pack about 140 dollars with shipping and tax give or take a few bucks. The system seems to be designed on the lead acid batteries to make sales for Currie, longer on their lithium batteries.

Then there are the front suspension forks. Mine started leaking oil after about two months of limited road usage. They still soak up bumps but not like they used to.
The 24volt motor on this machine also is not only very noisy, but uses older technology (as of this writing) brushes. These wear out after a year or two and the motor must be replaced, again almost a hundred bucks for new parts.

I have read elsewhere on the net that the wheels have a want to rust out early because of their quality. It has evidently happened more than once to folks. This bike is entry level to Ebikes and costs about 400 dollars though prices can be had lower elsewhere if you are at the right place at the right time. While new bikes are nice and feel good from the start in the long run you may regret having spent your hard earned cash unless you are as wealthy as Misses Sanchez is 😉 and then you can buy a rocket bike for God Sakes!!

My suggestion is if you are starting out, it would cost over a grand but last the longest. Get a decent quality Mountain Bike and then install a Papamotors kit on it. They sell complete kits and the install is quite straight forward. Considering you are half the price to a kit and there are many strong MTN. Bikes out there already, this would be the best route. It bypasses you buying something that gives less performance and over time makes up for much of the difference I just recommended. Here are some links to help you get started.

Papamotors recommends the Giant ATX bike but there are many others and oh, you can install their kits on many varying bikes like a beach cruiser for example, so you are not entirely limited, something to remember.

http://www.electric-bikekit.com/ <—Papa Motors

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/

How easy is the Papamotors kit to install?

In the end, this is the best advice you will get from experience and the most honest as well. Telling it as it always is.

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