Commuting by e-bike

Inspired by our trip to Europe, and following Bike Shop Girl on Twitter, I took the Scott Sub Active eRide demo home from the shop, and for the past month, have been using the bike to commute to and from work.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m sitting upright, I’m wearing street clothes, or I’m not focused on working out but instead getting to work “safe and not sweaty,” riding the e-bike is a totally different experience than riding my road bike.

Let’s start with what to wear. . . which is, whatever I want!

While I’ve ridden in sandals, flats, and boots, my favorite riding shoes were my Converse All Stars. As the weather has gotten cooler, I’ve been working through my wardrobe to find the right riding jacket. My bright pink Bellweather jacket, while not as weatherproof as I’d like, fits over most other jackets and (hopefully) increases visibility.

The bike comes with bungee cords which can be used to hold a bag to the built-in rack, but I soon realized adding a basket would make packing for work easier. We selected the “Pack ‘n Pedal” basket from Thule which is lightweight, can accommodate my computer bag, and makes hooking a small cargo net on top easy.

We’ve also added a few other accessories including a new rear light – the built-in backlight is dim and doesn’t flash – and phone mount. If I decide to keep the demo, I will also be adding a front light (again, the built-in light is really dim), a rearview mirror and replace the saddle with something slimmer.

“Driving” the eRide is a Bosch battery that is removable, using the key that also locks the rear wheel. With a 6-9 mile commute, I find I need to charge the battery every 4-5 days, depending on how much “boost” I use (the level ranges from light help in “Eco” mode to a lot of help when I go “Turbo.”)

The locking back wheel makes me feel more secure when running in to pick up coffee or lunch, but for anything longer I still felt safer using a cable lock. Fortunately, I’m able to bring the bike into my office, so I don’t generally have to worry about locking it up.

The cockpit has gears and a bell on the right, boost, lights and battery status on the left and an added phone holder (which I’m not really sure I need).

Since starting riding the e-bike I have ridden 177 miles, mostly on nice days but once in the rain. I’ve enjoyed my commute more, and find that it doesn’t take much much more time than when I’m driving.

I’m not sure how long I will continue riding, but for now, I’m planning on commuting by bike as long as weather, and schedules, permit.

Have questions about the eRide or commuting by e-bike? Leave a comment!

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