My New Ride

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I’m still an eBike rookie, but I finally got all of the necessary pieces to put this baby on the trail and I went out for a 10 mile test ride today. With a “warm” (38F) Minnesota December day to enjoy, I hit the trail from our place to downtown Red Wing, about an 8 mile round trip. I averaged 16mph over snow and a little ice on the Cannon River Trail and had about as much fun as I’ve ever had on a bicycle.

The bike, a Rad Power Radrover, is a blimp; about 70 pounds with the fenders, heavy duty rear rack, and mirror added aftermarket. It doesn’t feel like that on flat land. Those 4” fat tires are surprisingly low resistance, even though I ran my first ride with 15 pounds in the tires in case the snow and ice was a problem. That was a surprise, because the tires look and feel like they ought to really produce some drag. I do not understand why they don’t. I’m a lard ass, at 220 pounds, and the bike’s max range, 40 miles, is probably not something I can count on, but today’s ride didn’t take much out of the battery capacity.

I mostly rode in Pedal Assist System (PAS) modes 2 (Eco) and mode 4 (Power). Lower mode numbers indicate less assistance from the motor. Max speed for an eBike is typically 20mph and the speedo indicated around 19.5-19.8mph for my Sunday ride. My GPS logged an average 18mph (moving) for the trip and there were a lot of spots where I slowed down for ice on the trail. I’d guess 90% of the ride was in mode 2, but I switched up to mode 4 when I crossed Highway 61 and for a couple of uphill bits downtown. Other than those quick getaways at lights and intersections, I pedaled the whole trip.

The exercise I got from this ride was surprising. When I swung off of the bike in my garage, my legs were downright rubbery. I was actually surprised to be tired because I didn’t notice it until I had to walk. While there isn’t as much pressure required to pedal the bike with the motor assistance, the cadence is way up from my usual 70-something rate.

I am absolutely happy with having an eBike to experiement with this winter. Now, I gotta buy a winter helmet and a better bike lock.

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