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Kick Your Car Habit!

May 5, 2010

Don't worry kids. His helmet is behind his arm.

As May is Bike Month I have been talking to a lot of people regarding their car habit. My goal has been to encourage Austinites to kick the habit by committing to trading car trips for bike trips when traveling 2 miles or less. Did you know that about 40 percent of all travel is within two miles of home and about 90 percent of it by car?

Unfortunately, that’s also when cars create the most pollution. As an incentive Bicycle Sport Shop is hosting the Austin Commuter Challenge, a city wide competition, that rewards participants when they trade car trips for bike trips with prizes and awards. However, I still get excuses from people regarding why they can’t ride their bikes. For most it’s the Texas heat. If you are not already a committed commuter, pedaling down the road in the heat of the day can be a bit discouraging. Well, no more excuses people! Your sweat free commute has been right under your nose and you didn’t even know it.

Beat the Texas Heat with an Electric Assist

Electric assist bikes are unlike mopeds and scooters in that there is no throttle. The bike is still powered by the rider, but assisted by an electrical motor. Just jump on, pedal like you would any other bike and let the electric assist do its thing. With a steady spin of the pedals you’ll ride faster, power up hills with no problem, extend the range you are comfortable riding, tow a trailer with ease. Many would compare the sensation of riding an electric assist to getting an extra push from behind. Simply put, these bikes help you get more out of your ride, with less effort. All the while, you will be saving gas money, and making a valuable contribution to our community through carbon emission reduction. :^)

Some of you may have seen a recent post on Bike Hugger about the Lexus Hybrid Bicycle. Originally released at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, Lexus has no current plans to produce the bicycle. I did find an electric bike in Berlin that topped out at a cool 50mph, but you can’t get one for less than $44,000USD. While the Huffzilla may be a cheaper option, there is still hope for those of you looking for a stylish sweat-free commute at a reasonable price, Trek’s recently released Ride +. Your Power, Plus – Electric Assist Bike.

Trek Velenci

Trek FX +

The sweat-free commuter, Valencia+ is built to tackle the daily grind with the added boost of electric assist. Featuring a natural riding position and commute-ready Bontrager Hardcase tires and powerful disc brakes. This bike is made to get the job done. If you’re looking to get more out of your workout, or your rides, the FX+ is the bike for you. It’s like a treadmill that takes you somewhere, and it’s loaded with the same Ride Longer features as the original, but with the added boost of electric assist. FX+ is the choice for getting back into shape or anybody who has been away from their bike for a while.

Trek 7200 +

Pull a trailer of kids, haul groceries, and never to worry about another hill – the 7200+ makes life easier. Our smoothest riding and most comfortable Ride+ bike features a suspension fork and an upright riding position. It’s built for the long haul with puncture-resistant Bontrager H2+ tires.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2010 6:35 am

    I missed registration, but maybe next year.

    My commute is only seven miles from Georgetown to Round Rock aboard an ’83 Schwinn LeTour. 52 up front and a fixed 17 cog in back. I’ve been making this commute since November. My bike at that time was a 1978 Schwinn Sprint, also a fixed gear. The coldest morning was around 20 deg F. The warmest ride home was probably yesterday. My commute is the most relaxing part of my day. Twenty-five minutes in the morning to get psyched up for work…25 minutes in the afternoon to help me unwind.

    I’m a 40 year old father of four…a lifetime rider, one-time BMXer back in the Greg Hill, Harry Leary, RL Osborn and Mike Buff days, and still enjoy the benefits and simplicity of this machine they call the bicycle. I grew up reading BMX Action, Freestylin’ and spent my summers jumping over my dad’s Pinto, building quarter pipes and riding laps around Georgetown on my 40 pound Huffy LeGrande. That bike weighed a ton.

    You don’t necessarily have to be young and fit to ride to work or school, you just have to think you are. Where your head goes, the body will follow, right?

    I would encourage any adult out there to find a bike that fits and start riding. If you live within 10 miles of work or school and are physically able to ride, what are you waiting for? It’s lonely out there between Georgetown and Round Rock. I could use the company!


  2. Kelli permalink
    June 7, 2010 3:53 pm

    I make the same commute, my question is what road are you riding?? 1460? I scared of that shoulderless road in a car. I’m new to biking and would like to find a more enjoyable way to commute.



  3. June 8, 2010 5:00 pm

    “You don’t necessarily have to be young and fit to ride to work or school, you just have to think you are. Where your head goes, the body will follow, right?”

    Well said, Joe! We’ll be looking for you in next year’s Commuter Challenge.

    Kelli, depending on where you’re looking to ride to and from, might help you find a safe route. You might also check out one of Austin Cycling Association’s Defensive Cycling Courses. You can find the details at .

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