How Not to Ride an E-Bike

Anyone who has read at least one article on the helmet debate is familiar with the perpetual wellspring of rationalizations cyclists can create for doing something in an unsafe manner. Rather: for doing something in a manner that could be made more safe if life didn’t conspire against us sometimes.

Here I am endangering the life of my stepdaughter, because, well, because I just had to.

How Not to Ride a Hebb E-Bike
Count the mistakes in this picture

It began with good intentions.

I’m teaching her to use our award-winning bus system here in Flagstaff. The plan was that I would get on the bus and ride it to the bus stop near her school. She would join me on the bus, and we’d commute home together.

I missed the bus.

Then I remembered that I had a Hebb Electro Glide e-bike at my disposal, lent to me by Pete Prebus, of Electric Bike Report. I jumped on the bike and went full-throttle to the school. It was a good workout. I had to pedal hard to maintain 20 mph–which is the point at which, by law, the Hebb won’t help me go any faster. But I got to the school much faster than I would have without the electric boost.

I arrived at the school. She was there, miffed of course. Now what?

I didn’t know the carrying capacity of the rear rack, so I came up with this brilliant plan: She’d stand on one pedal, and I’d stand on the other. We’d motor to our destination. I got to wear the helmet, because… uh. Because.

We went about one mile in this manner.

To take the focus off of my irresponsibility for a moment, the Hebb bike did great. It wasn’t very quick with two people on it and no pedal power, but it got us there at about normal pedaling speed.

My stepdaughter thought it was a blast, even though I kept saying, “This is probably not a good idea.”

That night when her mom came home, she changed her tune and tattled on me for my recklessness with her safety. Justice was served.

Sigh. Here’s Pete’s Review of the Hebb Electro Glide.

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