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  1. #1 Electric bicycle gives commuter a boost on 22-mile way to work 
    Electric bicycle gives commuter a boost on 22-mile way to work

    Hybrid vehicle takes Daniel Rowell from North Laurel to Sykesville

    If you are traveling the roads of western Howard County some pleasant fall morning, there's a chance you'll spot a bicyclist who seems to be going rather fast for the amount of exertion he's putting into his pedaling.

    Meet Daniel Rowell, an intrepid commuter who regularly makes the roughly 22-mile journey from his North Laurel home to his Sykesville workplace aboard his $8,000 Optibike a hybrid electric bicycle that supplements pedal power with a battery-driven engine.

    Rowell is one of a small band of long-distance commuters who regularly leave cars at home and hop aboard electric bikes. It's a choice that draws scorn from some bicyclists though it is almost as effective in reducing carbon emissions.

    "The purists don't like it," he said. "They think you're cheating. I tell them I'm not in a race."

    Electric bikes are still a novelty in the United States, with a few hundred thousand on the streets and their numbers "poking along," said Frank Jamerson, a spokesman for the Light Electric Vehicle Association. In Asia, he said, there are more than 120 million electric bikes on the road, and they are selling in Europe at a rate of 1 million a year.

    "The only thing that will change America is when gasoline goes to $10 a gallon," he said.

    Under Maryland law, electric bikes face a combination of regulations. They're classified as mopeds and must follow the same rules of the road as bicycles, said Motor Vehicle Administration spokeswoman Karen Coyle. But unlike conventional bicyclists, their adult operator's are required to carry a driver's license, while those under 16 need a moped permit, Coyle said.

    Rowell, a 46-year-old father of five, says riding the hybrid bike lets him combine commuting with exercise but not so much that he shows up at the office sweaty and exhausted. Meanwhile, he figures he's saving about $2,000 a year on gasoline and auto maintenance.

    "I do it more for the idea behind it. It's a new technology. It's a fun technology," he said.

    He estimates that it takes about an hour to bike each way to his job as an electrical engineer with Northrop Grumman a commute that takes about a half-hour by car. Top speed on a flat stretch of road with full battery power is about 34 mph, though the average cruising speed is 25 mph to 30 mph and can drop to 10 mph to 12 mph going up a steep hill.
    Much more at the link. This is not a moped - you really have to pedal almost the whole time to conserve the battery. You just go faster than normal and it can help on the hills. I'm all for it!

    Baltimore Sun
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  2. #2  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    More bicycles going down the middle of the road at 20 mph in rush hour traffic, fantastic!
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
    http://i.imgur.com/FHvkMSE.jpg
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  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    More bicycles going down the middle of the road at 20 mph in rush hour traffic, fantastic!
    They don't let bicycles go down the middle of the road out here.
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  4. #4  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    More bicycles going down the middle of the road at 20 mph in rush hour traffic, fantastic!
    Civilized areas of the country have bike trails :p
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    Civilized areas of the country have bike trails :p
    They have empty bike trails here, they would rather go down the middle of the road.
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
    http://i.imgur.com/FHvkMSE.jpg
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  6. #6  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    They have empty bike trails here, they would rather go down the middle of the road.
    It's a redneck thing.
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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  7. #7  
    Well, this is still a great idea for Colorado. One of the things that keeps people off their bikes is the crazy uphill action out here. It's one thing to get a high-power granny gear and do that kind of thing for fun or exercise, it's something else to face that to or from work.
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  8. #8  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Well, this is still a great idea for Colorado. One of the things that keeps people off their bikes is the crazy uphill action out here. It's one thing to get a high-power granny gear and do that kind of thing for fun or exercise, it's something else to face that to or from work.
    riding a bike to work in colorado is an exercise in stupidity. If the altitude doesn't get you - the plow truck will.
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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  9. #9  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    It's a redneck thing.
    Rednecks grow up and drive cars(except for Bubba).
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
    http://i.imgur.com/FHvkMSE.jpg
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    riding a bike to work in colorado is an exercise in stupidity. If the altitude doesn't get you - the plow truck will.
    Not true - I've done it myself. The altitude doesn't bother us, flatlander. If the roads are clear enough to ride, the plows are long gone. ;)
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