Friday, June 5, 2009

Start of something green!

Well here goes.

I'm starting this blog to document my ebike building/riding experience. I'm a Washington, DC area commuter who is tired of the daily rat race of catching the bus and dealing with the crowds in the Washington, DC Metro (subway) system. I recently happened upon a used eGO electric scooter on Craigslist and bought it to use as my commuting vehicle. This has been a wonderful experience. The eGO is a handsome, powerful and long range electric scooter. It has many components of a regular bicycle except that it has a monocoque designed body that holds the motor, batteries, electronics and the front fork/steering mechanism and rear wheels. It's a brilliantly simple design and it's built to last.

There is a strong network of dealers across the country and the eGO vehicles company has been in business for many years. All is good...

Except, my daily commute takes me on a bike trail that states: "No Motor Vehicles!"

This puts me in a dilemma. I'm riding what is essentially a bike. It doesn't have pedals, but it has two bicycle wheels, a bicycle handlebar, bicycle brakes, bicycle seat, everything but the pedals. I've been yelled at by riders and joggers on the bike path. Okay, I admit that I'm not a bike!

This is the issue. I need to get to work in a safe and speedy manner. I can't ride my bike to work since I can't get into the office sweaty and grimey from my trip in. The eGO was essentially perfect (except for one small issue!).

To solve this problem, I'm embarking on an adveture of putting together my own electric bicycle. It will be a true bicycle but it will contain a very quiet and unobtrusive electric hub motor contained in the front wheel. The plan is to use the bike path without being yelled at!

My other major goal is to do this without laying out the seemingly thousands of dollars needed to get a bike on the road. There are some good quality electric bikes out there, but they tend to run in the $1,500/2,500 range. That's too much for my taste and my electric engineering knowledge allows me to put together my own bike without paying others to put a package together for me.

Now, you may say that it's still a motor vehicle. True, but it's one where the motor can be stealth and I can pedal away to minimize the yellers! :-)

I'll document my progress here. Stay tuned!

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