Our son, OLM, is going to be five. FIVE!
There are no words to describe how overwhelming that is.
Well actually, there are plenty which is why I write this blog. Anyway…
He’s going to go to kindergarten in the Fall and with that our worlds are going to turn upside down. AGAIN. To make the transition smoother and more fun we are looking for ways to ease that pain. I wrote a post on ways to prepare for kindergarten and realize now that this topic needs to be added to that list.
We live about 2.5 kilometers from the school which in itself isn’t a problem but living in the city means there are a few challenges to overcome during the commute. Mainly busy roads and traffic. And while riding our bikes sounds like a great idea in theory, OLM just isn’t ready or old enough to understand the rules of the road riding beside me.
Walking is always an option, however with all the distractions along the way, namely two playgrounds, and pretty much anything else really, it isn’t realistic to rely on it. A 15 minute walk can easily turn into an hour. And then there’s the return journey. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
A neighbour of ours bought a longtail bike for her commute to the school. She was able to bring three kids on the back of her bike and, even more impressively, up the hill six blocks without a tremendous amount of effort.
It got me thinking about all the options.
We decided to test-drive electric scooters and e-bikes to see how they measured up against each other.
We took a Torino electric scooter for a test drive a few weeks back thinking that would be a fun way to get to school. It’s a sweet ride with lots of power considering it is a small electric motor. There was plenty of room for both OLM and I. Being 6′ tall I never imagined being able to fit on a scooter so that was a bonus. At first, OLM sat on the seat behind me, holding on to my waist. His feet didn’t quite touch the foot rests however so that unnerved me a bit.
I was surprised at how well he behaved. There were no flailing arms and ‘Look at me!’ which I expected.
Half way through our test drive I put him on the seat in front of me. He held onto the middle of the handlebars but there wasn’t really anywhere for him to really get a grip. He loved being able to see everything and the occasional ‘Weeeeeee!’ was heard by many.
We drove the route to school we would take and aside from the near miss when the curb jumped out as us it was fun zipping around. Going up the hill was a breeze. We got a few encouraging if not surprised looks and there was the crazy guy who yelled ‘You shouldn’t do that, it’s dangerous!’ while riding his own scooter much too fast.
After giving it some thought I realized two important components were missing if we were to go the scooter route.
- Mama needs exercise.
- When mama gets exercise it NEEDS to be fun! My hand got a workout from holding the throttle but that won’t cut it for physical exertion.
At that point I seriously considered sucking it up and hitching up a trailer up to my traditional pedal bike but realistically I knew I would dread that hill every morning. And as OLM continues to grow despite all the coffee and cigarettes we give him I don’t know that I want to deal with that. It was hard enough getting him up that hill on my bike when he was a toddler. Not fun.
We went to a few e-bike retailers in town and after test driving a few brands, comparing the motors, warranties and of course the overall style, we’ve settled on the Pedego Stretch, which according to Electric Bike Review, was given a 9.5 out of 10 rating. It is so pretty!
It is a powerful, beautiful, cruiser style and is not only fun to ride but I get to choose how much I exert myself. It has a throttle for full out cruising and 5 levels of pedal assist. I can also pedal entirely on my own power if I wish. I never thought I would enjoy an e-bike so much but I have to tell you, I am so excited about this bike!
The upright seat position and pretty frame has me thinking about how I can accessorize to show it off. It also has a step through feature so I don’t have to swing my leg over OLM’s head when mounting the bike. Dismounting becomes easier and safer for all, especially when I have little passengers.
And the best part? OLM loves the idea that a school friend can ride with him. Talk about a great way to motivate him to get out the door in the mornings! The Pedego Stretch is an investment at nearly $5000 so we really have to be sure that we’ll get great value. I can see us using this bike for years to come and with the 400 pounds of cargo it can carry, I can see us doing a lot of shopping and distance riding on this beautiful e-bike. But which colour do we choose? This is our final decision to make and you would think it wouldn’t be a big deal. But if you were buying a new car, colour is important right?
Which colour would you choose and why?
If you are interested in knowing more about this amazing electric bike, drop me a line. You could also contact Jamie at E-Cit-ECycle on Broadway in Vancouver.