Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

Electric bike!

Though I came close once or twice (hello, 1966 Dodge Charger!), I didn't buy a vehicle this year... until this week! Not a car, though, or a motorcycle, or in fact even a scooter. Here's what I got:

It's an Ultra Motor Europa, phased out this year to make way for the hipper A2B, which uses the same drive components and electronics. My favorite part? I got it for $1500 less than retail... and I like this design better, anyway! I think it looks sorta SFnal-urban-retro-futuristic.

It just arrived today, and of course I dropped everything to put it together. I'll put its big battery - with a carry handle! - on the charger overnight, and tomorrow ride it down to Sunflower Outdoor & Bike shop downtown to true the spokes, adjust the brakes, and so forth.

I had to get a replacement for my scooter to get onto campus. See, in its infinite wisdom, KU is disallowing scooters from parking at bicycle racks anymore, and will require them to park in their own parking spaces... which they didn't have the budget to create this year, so they'll have to park in the distant and tiny motorcycle spots. Idiotic, especially when car parking is really tight and during a time when we should be encouraging students to get out of their cars and SUVs and onto two wheels. Typical bureaucratic stupidity. Parking at a motorcycle spot would do me absolutely no good for the times when I need to scoot across campus to take care of organizational things, run errands before and after teaching, and so forth.

Riding my charming, aluminum-framed, finned-fendered bicycle is a good option, right? Except during the six months per year when it's 80°F or hotter and humid; no one wants to show up for a class, presentation, or meeting dripping sweat. Trust me; I speak from experience. So I started looking for an electric conversion kit to convert my bike to electric, to ease the strenuosity of bicycling up the hill while enjoying the benefits of exercise, too: The perfect compromise!

I found a few great kits out there, but then I found the Europa on mega-clearance (here I refer back to the 70% savings)... which is about the price of an electric-conversion kit alone. Lithium-ion rechargable batteries of 36v or higher are not cheap, nor is a nice brushless electric motor, nor the controllers and chargers and so forth. With this bike, I also get a front disk brake, lights, suspension forks and seat, and much more... plus my bike remains a lightweight pedaller: Win-win!

Off to charge it up....

Tags: vehicles

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