You may remember a post from a month or two ago referencing my spontaneous desire to buy an electric bike in the context of other spontaneous desires. Well, I've become well-known here for my follow-through. In early November, after lots of price-checking and research, I found a used electric bike on a craigslist-esque Taiwanese website, contacted the owner, checked it out, and got myself a new toy.
The bike is about a year old and is the same size (maybe a bit shorter) than an average bike. It's equipped with a lead-acid battery that weighs about 25 pounds, which would render the bike totally impractical if it didn't so handily fit in my building's elevator. With the battery off, you ride it just like a regular bike. With the battery on, you can "rev" the "engine" to about 15mph without pedaling. All this for a mere 5000 TWD (about $165 US).
This means that I can now ride to work sweat-free and fee-free in about the same time as the bus would take. I pass most of the regular bikes on the road, except this one stubborn old man who pedals furiously and manages to pull just ahead. This is by far the best mode of transportation for me. I plug it into the wall for a few hours at night, and voila, I have four hours of battery. An efficient and effortless way to get around, it doesn't require a license and doesn't emit any form of exhaust. The best part? People here think electric bikes are extremely nerdy, so it will probably never get stolen.
And now, a grainy picture of my electric bike.