For years I dreamed of finding a reliable electric bike that I could take back and forth to work.
I checked out reviews online, but I was afraid to buy something I could not see or ride first. I tried going to bike shops, but I always left disappointed. A lot of them seemed to be regular bikes with a motor slapped on them as an afterthought. I didn’t want to show up at work all sweaty. I wanted to use my bike as transportation, as a car replacement.
Then I stumbled upon the Juiced Riders ODK.
Here was a bike, I thought. An e-bike conceived first and foremost as a commuter. A bike that had pedals I could use or not use. A bike with a friggin’ 50-mile range.
The reviews were stellar, and I found the video and review posted by Electric Bike Review particularly persuasive.
“It’s kind of a unique class of electric bikes,” the reviewer said. Man, oh man was he right: It has an enormous 48 volt battery and a 500 watt motor, making the hills of my south Austin neighborhood easy to climb. It even has cruise control, which saves the wrist on long jaunts.
I was ready to pull the trigger, but I hesitated to make such a large purchase over the Internet. It’s a significant investment, after all. Suppose the battery quit working? What about routine maintenance? I hit the button for local retail outlets where I could buy a Juiced Rider, and up came Rocket Electrics on Riverside.
A smart move.
It didn’t cost anymore to get the bike at Rocket, and they know all of their products intimately. They can help you understand what rebates you’re eligible for, and they know how to repair them if something goes wrong—whether you need a flat tire fixed or your brakes adjusted. And if you can’t go to them, they’ll come to you with their mobile bike service. They also have the inside skinny on all the cool places to ride and what the rules of the road are.
It’s been over a year since I bought my e-bike and I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s changed my life. Traffic never slows me down when I’m on my e-bike, and parking is a breeze. I’ve cut my rush hour commuting time in half and otherwise it’s a wash.
The benefits go beyond logistics and time management, though. There’s something liberating about owning and riding an e-bike. I love seeing the ducks on Lady Bird Lake instead of a line of cars on my way into work. I feel good about consuming less gas and emitting fewer pollutants. I appreciate having another commuting option.
And hell, it’s just plain fun.