Introduction to Electric Bikes Seminar—An Overview of the Evening.
Last week I had the chance to host a special evening that was focused on E-bikes. Earlier in the year while I was riding my E-bike to the open house for the new SDG&E Innovation Center, I envisioned it as the perfect place to bring people together to help them find out about E-bikes and give them the opportunity to try some out. With much effort and little fanfare, the seminar was a total success.
About eighty people were part of the event. Also, between myself, friends and many local shops and distant companies, there was a total of 29 E-bikes on hand for them to test ride and learn about. A bunch of generously donated raffle prizes allowed me to break the flow of my talk to keep the attendees happy and interested. All the shops and companies that brought the bikes and gifts will be listed below. Many thanks to all of them.
As things got closer to the beginning of my talk, I greeted the guests and had each vender line up all the bikes they brought in the front of the room. The gaggle of E-bikes was very impressive. I laid out some props to help me explain some of the subjects on the front row of tables. A full set of Ferei bike lights were also on display.
Following my introduction and that of the venders on hand, I started the seminar by explaining that E-bikes are just regular bikes with the addition of a power system to assist your ride. Using the E-Brompton (from NYCeWheels) I demonstrated it can be ridden like any normal bike, or powered down the road with electric power. Then I pointed out that a combination of your own pedal power and the electric-assist is really the best way to ride them.
I went on the talk about the reasons E-bikes are needed. After that I discussed the extra components that help to make-up an E-bike. The group heard about motor and drive systems, control systems and their operation. I continued with battery types, charging, and their characteristics. Then onto flat protection and basic bike maintenance. We talked about biking safety and group rides too. The short Q & A session ended my talk and all the E-bikes were taken outside into the big parking lot for the group to ride.
And ride they did. E-bikes of all types and colors scurried around with lights a blinking. Ridekick had one of their E-trailers in the show and it got ridden by lots of people. I think everyone interested had a chance to try each bike they were attracted to. The vendors were able to fill in all the extra info on each bike that I didn’t have time to cover. My talk lasted one and a half hours and the riding part of the evening went on a little longer than that.
I do wish I could have talked longer about the bikes. There were many topics I rushed through that I felt needed more explanation. I have posted many articles on those topics, so anyone who wants to dive deeper into those parts on E-bikes can scour my site for that information. Most of these are in sections marked as opinion, E-bike general interest and E-bike test reviews.
The subjects I wanted to cover better are—Why we need E-bikes—How the different control systems work—How to pick the control system type that is best for you—Bike safety—Basic E-bike troubleshooting—and a few others. I hoped to discuss E-bike conversions in much more in depth too.
I wanted to show everyone the ID dog tags that my wife and wear while we commute and the matching ones attached to our bikes with covers marked ’EMER INFO’ that hide our personal info. That info includes name, address, contact info, blood type, allergies and insurance type
So if you are striving for more details that weren‘t covered in my talk, check those articles that I have written on the mentioned subjects. Some more reasons we need E-bikes were in a article I wrote on the Electric Bike Report site and the link to that can be found in ’My blogs on other sites’ category. One other thing that would have been nice to do, and was on my mind, was to highlight each bike’s layout and control system operation. But then again, there were 29 of them.
The seminar was such a success it convinced the management at the Innovation Center to give me the green light to do it again. I am hoping to do it twice a year. I would like to be able to have guest speakers and a longer time for the test rides to be taken. I am not sure if everyone wants to spend that much time for the seminar, but many, many people wanted more. I got tons of positive feed-back on the ways things went and the content of the evening.
There were a couple special treats too. Mark Mullai rode his solar powered bike to the seminar from Riverside county. Well, actually only halfway because the clouds moved in on the second day and forced him to bring it by van the rest of the way. The raffle prizes included three free E-bike rentals from Ivan Stewart’s Electric Bike Center, three cool bike accessories from San Diego Electric Bike, four water bottles and T-shirts from Ridekick and the grand prize was a free E-bike tour from San Diego Fly Rides.
I want to express a deep felt thanks to everyone involved with my seminar. From each person who took the time to hear what I had to say, the knowledgeable venders who brought their wares and the whole staff at the SDG&E Innovation Center who were so warming and helpful. I had several Facebook, other friends and bike shops that helped to share the flyer to get the word out about this seminar. Many local bike shops and companies promised to come and bring more raffle gifts, but they never showed.
As you read this, I hope you have the same thought I had. “My community needs this”. You can make it happen just like I did. Promote bikes and E-bikes every chance you get. We as individuals need more people on bikes for our health and the health of the world. You can do it. And if you can’t hold your own E-bike seminar, try to find someone that can. Your community will thank you. I know I can’t wait for the next one I will host.
Thanks for the support and for listening, Turbo Bob.
Lists of the companies, E-bikes they brought and links to find them.
——-Ivan Stewart’s Electric Bike Center http://iselectricbikecenter.com/
Gary Stewart and his mechanic Mazen
Hebb UltraGlide 500 http://www.hebbebikes.com/
e-Joe Anggun http://www.ejoebike.com/
e-Moto Malibu http://www.emotoev.com/
EZ pedaler F-300 http://www.ezpedaler.com/
——-San Diego Fly Rides http://www.sandiegoflyrides.com/
Ike & Megan Fazzio
Stromer Sport http://www.stromer.ch/
BionX E-bike conversion kit on a 350 HT Range http://www.bionxinternational.com/bionx-international-north-america/
——-Currie Technologies http://www.currietech.com/
IZIP E3 Zuma
Fast Forward Edge
Fast Forward Ride
——-San Diego Electric Bike http://www.sdelectricbike.com/
Pat Winston & Kurt Pearson
Schwinn comfort bike with a custom E-bike conversion
Land Rider comfort bike with a custom E-bike conversion
GT comfort hybrid bike with a custom E-bike conversion
Shoreline beach cruiser with a custom E-bike conversion
——-Beach Bikes and Beyond http://beachbikesandbeyond.com/
Ridekick E-trailer http://www.ridekick.com/
——-Fallbrook Technologies http://www.fallbrooktech.com/
Kalkhoff ProConnect with the NuVinci N360 Harmony drive train http://www.kalkhoffusa.com/
——-Surf Monkey http://www.surfmonkeybikes.com/
Pedego E-bike Beach Cruiser White http://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com/
Pedego E-bike Beach Cruiser Yellow
——-Levay Elektrocycles / OB E-bikes http://www.elektrocycle.com/
750 watt downhill mountain E-bike
Foldable mountain E-bike
——-Steven Shultz with his own personal E-bike
Busetti folding E-bike http://www.busettii.com/
——-Mark Mullai with his own personal E-bike
Solar powered E-bike
eZip Mountain Trailz