The Foolproof Guide to Riding Your E-Bike 365 Days a Year
Automobiles and light trucks account for about 11 percent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Burning 1L of gasoline produces approximately 2.3 kg of CO2. This means that the average Canadian vehicle, which burns 2,000 L of gasoline every year, releases about 4,600 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere. As for our friends to the South, the transportation sector accounts for 27% of all greenhouse gas. It is said that 80-90% of cars’ environmental impact comes from fuel consumption and emissions of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
“So, for all of you out there that would like to take on the challenge, here is a list of the essentials that are required to keep your car off the road while still having a smile on your face”.
One easy way to help mitigate that number is to take as many vehicles off the road as possible. There are many ways to accomplish this feat such as taking the bus, carpooling, walking, or riding your bike. Our CEO and founder, Edgar Dearden, has decided to take on this challenge head-on. He sold his car, bought an e-bike, and now bikes 365 days a year in a ski town, nonetheless.
As we all know, Whistler has four seasons, three of which are cold and wet so biking every day is no easy feat. This winter alone, the temperatures dropped down to -27 but you could still find Eddie riding around town, to and from work, and on a bit milder days, dropping his 3-year-old off at daycare. The trick is you need to know how to dress for the elements, just like when you are skiing, clothing will make you or break you. So, for all of you out there that would like to take on the challenge, here is a list of the essentials that are required to keep your car off the road while still having a smile on your face.
Let’s start with the equipment itself, the key is getting the right bike that fits you and your family’s needs. There are several e-bike options out there, a few that you see around Whistler are Rad Bikes and Volt Bikes. They seem to be the most popular brands for commuter bikes, if you want an electric mountain bike, well that is another story. Eddie purchased the VoltBike Yukon 750. This bike has everything he needs from storage racks, (which a milk crate can be fastened to), long battery life, a spacious area to attach his daughter’s Mac Ride Seat and of course the weight and stability to be able to ride in all terrain. It is important to know that riding in the snow is not risk-free, so you need to take the proper precautions when taking it on. The biggest is to get studded tires, Eddie opted for the Dillinger 4” Studded Fat Bike Tires which has made all
the difference in the world. After a few spills, he has now
realized that the studded tires need to go on at the same time as the winter tires would on cars. As fun, as it can be,
riding on snow without studded tires, is not recommended. He also recommends the 4” and not the 2” as it provides
that much more traction especially at the high speeds the e-bike can go.
Clothing For Winter Riding
There has been some trial and error coming up with this list which means most of the R&D has been done for you. The hardest piece is to figure out what to wear on really cold days but also when you need to remove layers so that you are not arriving at your destination all sweaty.
“It is important to know that riding in the snow is not risk-free, so you need to take the proper precautions when taking it on”
Depending on the temperature, you will need to layer up. You should always start with your base layers which will be jeans or pants, a shirt, a hoodie, ski gloves, a Gortex jacket, and then a pair of rain pants on any day that is wet or not nice out. You don’t want your clothes to get dirty. Eddie has invested in a Helly Hansen rubber rain suit with pants and a jacket that always keep him dry.
Cold Weather Layers
If the temperature drops around 0C you will need to add a puffy coat underneath the Gortex jacket. If it is raining, just replace the Gortex jacket with a rain jacket. When it drops down below -10 you need to wear a puffy jacket, a Gortex jacket, and the rain jacket.
Believe it or not, Eddie was able to wear the -10C combination during our Artic outflow cold snap that went down to -21C. The only thing that got cold was his hands but to help with that, he just stopped halfway from home and work in a hotel lobby to warm up before doing the last 4 km stretch.
Speaking of hands, a must-have for any e-bike to handle the winter is a pair of handlebar mittens that are affixed to the handlebars, keeping your hands nice and toasty. You will need to have your gloves on with these for any winter riding otherwise your hands just get too cold going the high speeds the bike can take you. Also, you cannot forget bungee cords, they are a must-have for any e-bike rider without a car. You can pretty much tie down anything to the bike or the milk crate that you would have otherwise used a car to get like groceries, skis, bags, or doing a garbage run. Anything bigger, just borrow your friend’s truck.
If you look around Whistler, you will notice there are quite a few people that ride e-bikes all year round, it is becoming a big movement in our little town as it is cost-effective and good for the environment. We hope this blog helps you to ride in colder weather as it is pretty rare that someone in this town says “it is too cold to go skiing” so why would they say the same about biking?!
At GNAR Inc we are passionate about creating sustainable homes and helping Mother Nature anyway we can. Let us know how we can help, call us at 604.962.1611 or email email@example.com for more information.