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Bikes Replacing Cars as Mode of Transportation

Would You Bike to Work If Bikes Were Wired?

I haven't been hit too hard by the rising gas prices here in the US, but If I was a driver, I would definitely be considering buying a bike right about now. This has to be good for the bike industry, as more people are turning to gas-friendly modes of transportation to save a few bucks. This point was proven over the weekend at the Interbike Trade Show in Las Vegas. Over 23,000 people attended the show, which promoters say is the biggest turnout ever.

One of the bikes featured at the show was the Tailwind eBike – an electric-powered model that goes 25 miles on a charge – which I wouldn't mind owning, except for the price. Sure $3,200 bucks for an electric-powered bike is a lot of cash, but for my money, there would need to be a few adjustments made first.

My preferred list of amenities to add on the eBike would include GPS, a self-powered iPod or phone charger, and maybe even a headlight so I can see and be seen at night. I know these ideas may seem silly, but all my friends who drive charge their phones and iPods in their cars, and use GPS regularly. If a bike was their main mode of transport, I'm sure they would miss these capabilities. Would you buy a bike as your mode of transportation if they were a bit more wired?


Join The Conversation
popsplenda popsplenda 8 years
I'd ride so much more if the streets in my town were safer. Giant dedicated bike lanes away from cars would be fab.
redsugar redsugar 8 years
I would bike to work if I didn't have a child. Houston is not exactly a bike-friendly city and I am too nervous to put my three-year old in the bike trailer in rush hour traffic.
mabziegurl mabziegurl 8 years
I purchased a bike several months ago and ride it to work when its not too hot. It is a hassle, changing clothes/shoes at work. Its relaxing and I get in some exercise. Sometimes after work, I end up riding around for a bit before heading home and I don't have to change my clothes or "prepare" to exercise.. I'm already ready!
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
I've tested out an electric bike before, and while they are totally awesome to ride I don't think they are actually necessary unless you have to bike REALLY far. I'd rather work my legs a little bit more on a normal bicycle (I love my old school cruiser!). And I would totally bike to work, and have done when the weather is nice. It's been raining here for months and I hate cycling in the cole - but spring is around the corner! As I've said about a bajillion times, if I lived in a very bike friendly city like Copenhagen or any Euro city for that matter, I would bike in a second.
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 8 years
my answer to the gas hike is to buy a scooter. i am not interested in getting all sweaty and stinky in transit so no bike for me. a scooter, on the other hand uses less gas and requires no power from me. haha.
gemsera gemsera 8 years
Considering I work 35 miles from home, a bike is not an option. Besides, its SO unsafe to ride your bike ANYWHERE in england. Dont care what anyone says, the drivers here couldnt drive in their lane if it was 100ft wide let alone swerve well for bikes. Sad really, my old home (AU) was so bike friendly... and I do enjoy it.
Kazagirl Kazagirl 8 years
No. I like my car. If I rode a bike I would never go to work when it rained or snowed.
hkmarks hkmarks 8 years
I would love an electric bike, since asthma takes the wind out of my sails pretty quickly. I ride to work sometimes anyway, but there's only one reasonable route, and it includes a rather dangerous narrow underpass with aggressive traffic. There are safer routes but they're way out of the way, or one way in the wrong direction, so it's easier and faster to walk. I wouldn't ride with music anyway, but if I did I'd use non-isolating headphones -- the foamy clip-on kind.
retrotyan retrotyan 8 years
I ride a bike to and from work everyday. Though I'm currently living in a bike culture (Japan), everyone around these parts drives... and they're all pretty horrible drivers at that (this is coming from a Masshole!). I've got the bike-powered bike light and the dorky little grocery basket... It's a pretty sweet set up and I get to rightly laugh at my coworkers who drive 500m to work. I listen to my iPod while biking. I don't know if an iPod charger is really necessary, though, because you'd have to be biking for hecka long for that to be of any use. I don't think it's dangerous as long as you take precautions: I only listen to non-distracting music (NOT podcasts) and keep the volume on the lowest setting the iPod will allow (plenty listenable with my cheap, semi-noise isolating earphones). Oh, and look both ways before you ride through an intersection... especially in places where they aren't used to stopping for cyclists.
Tami715 Tami715 8 years
It'd be a great way to stay in shape and save money, but this really wouldn't be an option for me in Phoenix. When it's 110 degrees outside, the last thing I'd want to do is ride a bike an hour to work. Getting in the hot car is unbearable enough.
aylee aylee 8 years
If my work is close enough, I definitely would! Not only to save on gas, but it would be the only work-out I'd get. I need to work out but I hate it so I don't. However, my work is not close enough and I ride the subway anyway.
EvilDorkGirl EvilDorkGirl 8 years
I'm so glad to hear other bikers saying that wearing headphones & riding a bike is dangerous. I'm a bike rider myself and there is no way I'd do that with how drivers don't pay attention. I need to be able to hear them coming up behind me or stopping so that I can react as quickly as possible... and stay out of the hospital. As far as pimping out a bike with GPS, cell charger, and a light goes -- do it! There are all sorts of brackets you can attach to your bike so that you can use an existing GPS unit. Lights & cell phone charger -- use the sun. There are lots of solar-powered lights, and you can just pick up a solar bag to charge your cell in while you're riding. Viola! You now have a wired bike.
CaptainUnicorn CaptainUnicorn 8 years
I do ride a bike to work and live in Boston (i.e. bad weather and roads and the WORST drivers...Massholes). I've thought about how great it would be to have GPS on my bike, and I think this is a huge market for someone to exploit (Garmin? Tom Tom? You listening?!) Having an iPod charger/plug-in could be a hazard though. You really shouldn't be listening to anything other than the lovely sounds of cars being pissed off and honking at you when you're just riding in YOUR bike lane. :) Another cool device that someone could invent would involve dictating text messages via your voice so you can text and bike at the same time. Again, this is probably not safe like an iPod plug-in, but it'd be good for less urban areas.
LittleRedRyan LittleRedRyan 8 years
@Lawrah: I ride my bike and listen to my ipod at the same time. I don't see much difference in me riding while listening to music or NPR podcasts than someone bumping their stereo loud enough for everyone else to hear. Granted I do run the risk of being seriously injured much more by drivers not paying attention to me or me not seeing them but I guess that is a risk that I choose to take. As far as charging phone, GPS, and the lot, I really don't see a point. This might be because my ride to work is only about 25 minutes so I don't think I'd get much of a charge, the other issue is I'd worry about cables getting in the way of things. I don't need GPS on my bike because I know Seattle pretty well, but I have stopped in places and used google maps via my blackberry. There are lights available that are powered by the front wheels movement but I'm more a fan of the small battery powered ones just to keep extra stuff off my bike. As for the electric bikes, I'm so not a fan. Just pedal, if you have big hills (I do in seattle) use buses or trollies to get up hills, or find alternate routes.
TsuKata TsuKata 8 years
I'd happily take my bike to work if it were safe to do so. Unfortunately, suburbs aren't known for having bike-safe roads and passageways! Chicagoland is one of the better areas for biking, but there's still no safe way for me to ride from my home to my work (~15 miles away). It actually requires a lot of inefficient routing to take a safe way from my home to my public library, only 5 miles away by drive but 7.5 miles if I ride my bike!
Bracha1 Bracha1 8 years
I really enjoy riding my bike and it is definitely a good way to stay in shape and save on gas at the pumps. Of course, not everywhere is it safe to do this but I am very close to some shopping areas and riding to them is easy.
Lawrah Lawrah 8 years
Everyone is so concerned about people talking on cellphones, playing the their gps and texting while driving. I just see this as more of a disaster. My husband and I were driving and some guy was listening to his ipod while on a bike. He wasn't paying attention. Being on a bike you really don't need any distractions.
Purly Purly 8 years
Maybe if I lived in a place with no rain and no winter!
vitisva vitisva 8 years
Since unfortunately right now I'm in a city (which is probably where this bike may be of most use) it'd probably be stolen. Hell my neighbors just had another attempted break in this morning!
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