We gonna rock down to…Electric Avenue!
In a continuing quest to make my Prius obsolete in my life, I test-rode an electric bike this weekend. Lucky for me, there is an iZip store right on Lincoln Boulevard in Venice. Not ready to plunk down a whole lot of cash for what is potentially a toy, I tried out the eZip Trailz with the low-step frame, which is the lowest-end model (if you are annoyed and confused by all the _Zip’s in this post, I don’t blame you. They are different lines of electric bikes by the same company Currie Technologies, but the iZip bikes are more integrated, expensive, and supposedly less prone to problems.).
Ethan, our friendly salesman, took us for a joy ride through the hilly neighborhood just west of the store. Having suffered a rather humiliating scooter accident prior (synopsis: I never even made it on to a real street before I needed a first-aid kit), I was apprehensive. But the bike, while heavy, allows for normal riding, just with some much-welcomed boost (not the fear-inducing, coordination-requiring rocket launch from a scooter). Most of the models enable 2 riding modes: throttle and pedal-assist. Using the first, you won’t even have to pedal on flat terrain; if you are light enough, this will also be true on hills. Rolling up the San Francisco-style mountain on 4th Avenue just north of Rose (something I’d normally dread) without huffing, sweating, pain, and looking stupid was SO MUCH FUN. I had a dumb grin on my face the whole time.
These wheels can get up to 15 mph and range as far as 20 miles, according to the website. I’m thinking they will be great for my frequent trips to Westwood, Culver City, and Pacific Palisades. I forced myself to follow the mandatory 24-hour sleep-on-it rule after my test ride, but I’m pretty sure I am going to cave any day this week…