By The Verge

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Social distance over greater distances.


If you’ve been thinking about buying an electric bike but have been hesitant to pull the trigger, now may be the best time to go through with a purchase.

COVID-19 has completely upended how we get around on a daily basis. Public transportation is seen as too risky. Shared bikes and scooters probably are, too. You’re most likely staying at home or sheltering in place, so you don’t have too far to travel to run errands or get some fresh air. Walking is fine — for a while. Eventually, there’s going to be diminishing returns, especially as you wear out all of your available routes. You could haul out your old bike for a ride — and you should — but why not go electric?

Let’s look at all of the reasons why e-bikes are really the best mode of transportation for our new pandemic way of life and why this is a very good time to get one for yourself (if you’re fortunate enough to still be employed).

Social distancing: Experts advise that you stay at least six feet away from other people to minimize the spread of infection. It’s a blunt response to the immediate crisis that will last weeks, likely months, and possibly longer if there’s a resurgence before a vaccine can be found.

Cycling is an excellent way to adhere to social distancing guidelines — as long as you’re riding alone. Racing is an excellent group activity, but it’s probably not the best type of cycling for the present moment, so leave the spandex at home. An e-bike, with its varying levels of assist, is the perfect way to get outside, feel the breeze on your skin, watch the pavement rush past underneath, and still get that shot of endorphins in your brain without expending too much effort.

An e-bike also lets you ride farther to escape the congested hearts of most cities where crowded bike paths, especially in Europe, can still pose a risk. Most e-bikes will travel at least 25 miles (40 kilometers), with 50-plus miles (80-plus kilometers) possible when fitted with bigger batteries or when dialing back the assisted power level. And if the battery does die, you can often pop in a spare or pedal home for some much-needed exercise.

Owned, not shared: The shared scooter and bike startups thought they could stick it out during the pandemic, but it appears many are scaling back as ridership fizzles and operations become more difficult and expensive. Infectious disease experts say the risk of contracting coronavirus from a shared vehicle is low even though early studies show it hanging about on surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for a few days. Naturally, many aren’t willing to take the risk. In a recent video conference, micromobility analyst Horace Dediu said the novel coronavirus could accelerate the shift from shared vehicles to personally owned ones. We tend to agree.

Read the full and original article at The Verge

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