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Has the time of ebikes finally come?

Why Australians are buying e-bikes

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Solarbike – West Aussie eBike experimenters!

Just came across these guys, http://www.solarbike.com.au/ – hailing from my own home town, it seems these guys have been experimenting with a variety of charging options and are particularly keen on solar, which is neat. If I still lived in Perth, I would be very keen on one of these, as I had tried to get something along these lines functioning some years ago but gave up as I just don’t have the technical expertise. I like that they’ve worked out an optimal system and can set one up for you, not on the cheap end of things but they’ve done the hard work for you.

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World Record Attempt for “longest eBike ride” a sham?

Hitting international news all over the world is the story of Eddie Sedgemore, a 66 year old Brit, who is claiming to be making a world record attempt for the “longest journey on a motorized bicycle” according to Powabyke.com. Eddie has previously completed several trips the length of Britain on electric cycles, and has raised hundreds of pounds for charity, which is fantastic: and he’s now set his sights significantly greater than his previous rides. However, having researched the story a little more, I’m in two minds about how valid this world record attempt is, given the record it’s claiming to break is not for an electric bicycle – but for a mobility scooter. No matter what the age or physical fitness of the rider, these are NOT the same things, and gives entirely the wrong impression about electric bicycles. Not only that: there’s already been a MUCH longer record breaking attempt, on a mobility scooter, not an eBike!

The current “official” world record for “Longest Journey on an Electric Mobility Vehicle (scooter)” was set by John Duckworth in the UK – he travelled 2,662.8 km (1654.6 miles) around mainland UK on a Horizon Mayan electric mobility scooter between June 20, 2004 and July 27, 2004, finishing in Hincaster, Cumbria. However since this world record ride there had since been another MUCH longer ride made by the same charity organising John Duckworth’s currently listed ride: after 117 days riding, they completed 5,349 miles – completely blowing away the currently underway 1,655 mile “record breaking attempt” planned by Eddie.

Now don’t get me wrong – I believe that supporting charities and rides like this are very worthwhile, and raising awareness is even more important; but I’m simply astonished that the rider and bike company in the first place would mis-categorize a fully functioning eBike as a “mobility scooter” like this – and that major media outlets like the BBC would publish this and have it syndicated worldwide, after have done so little research to confirm the facts being bandied about. I imagine the mobility scooter riders who’ve done the previous world record attempts may be feeling… well, a touch miffed might be putting it mildly!

I’d also like to point out the differences between the two types of vehicles, a motorized scooter clearly seen above, contrasting with the image below of Eddie with the Powabyke X-byke electric bicycle he will be riding for this claimed record breaking attempt:

Not the same kind of vehicle in any way, shape or form, no matter how you try to slice it. What there should be of course, is a new category of vehicle for the world record attempt. However, Eddie might find that Spaniard Guim Valls Teruel who is this month beginning his Electric Bicycle World Tour might be beating him by just a little bit…. try 5 continents compared to just tootling around the UK!

Seriously – I’m impressed at the media coverage, and that’s good for electric bikes which are getting more and more mainstream press now (finally!!!) – but let’s do it under appropriate auspices, please?

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Nathan Fillion’s electric skateboard!

Great, and you JUST finished paying off the settlement over the Wayne Coyne hamster ball incident.

So it’s another post not strictly about electric bicycles – but the electric skateboard is probably its closest relative! Thanks to xkcd‘s latest comic (pictured and linked above) I now know that Nathan Fillion does indeed have an electric skateboard – an 800w one from this EW account, and after a little bit of web ferretting, I’m going to guess he most probably owns a board from Altered because they seem to be the best known and apparently are the originators of the vehicle. And when I say vehicle I do mean it, because 800 watts is a serious amount of torque, much more than any of the eBikes I own! Those boards are designed for all terrain and can go over grass and rough ground. Yikes! Below is one of the more standard street versions:

There also seems to be one manufacturer in Australia, Kronik Boardz. They also do a couple of 800w models including one with foot locks – and I wonder how on earth they manage to get away with that in this country! I guess maybe electric skateboards are yet to be classified? If 800w electric bicycles were legal here, we’d probably have a hell of a lot more converts… see below for a Channel 10 intoduction to Kronik electric skateboards in Oz!

While they don’t look too exciting on video, I’m a bit of a nanna when it comes to riding, so seriously, I could even consider getting one of these. I’ve never been keen on skateboarding, and my very brief flirtation with a Razor scooter ended in several bruised bits (including my ego), but an electric skateboard might be something I’d be able to pick up a fair bit quicker. And while I really enjoy my Trikke, it’s a whole lot more effort than a bike to ride, so it’s stayed in storage for a while. An electric skateboard would be considerably more portable than either, too. Plus I could say yeah, Nathan Fillion has one of these, when people ask me about it in the street. *chuckle*

Looking forward to Part Two from xkcd tomorrow!

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Making the rounds at the moment…

Is this fantastic video from cycle stuntman Danny MacAskill. No, it’s not an eBike but it’s just so out-of-this-world incredible that I’m posting it anyways. Check it out below.

Inspired Bicycles – Danny MacAskill April 2009

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Quick photo post from Orbost!

Hey folks! The ride is going FANTASTICALLY!!! We just had our first hilly morning and the bikes performed brilliantly.

I’m going to post a handful of pics and we are only hitting a net cafe … well, this is the first one and I only have 5 more mins before we set off again.

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Phil Ceberano playing @ Launch

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Me!

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Heading off on the Yarra trail

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Bebe!! Finnley in trailer

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