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Bikes, but make it fancy!

The uprising popularity of electrical bicycles and their impact on transport

Raluca-Mara Mare

Staff Writer

Photo via BIXI.

March is ending, spring is coming, flowers are blooming, and the air is nice. It is not surprising that many students feel the urge to go out and explore and live in the moment, especially after the long winter that just passed. If you are one of those students that still wonders what to do, allow me to provide a suggestion: electric bikes!

In case you didn't know, electric bicycles, commonly referred to as e-Bikes, are motorised bicycles that have an electric motor. This provides an eco-friendly, healthy, and less physically demanding alternative to standard bicycles. It avoids soul-wrecking car traffic and supplies a faster version of a traditional bike. Furthermore, you can enjoy the fresh outside air you so desperately need after spending the winter season indoors.

E-Bikes have become increasingly popular, with the market’s value estimated at 24 billion dollars as of 2021, according to Precedence Research. Depending on the model, an electric bike might cost anywhere from 1000 to 6000 dollars, leading to 2000$ on average. Additionally, there are two types of electric bicycles on the market: pedal-assist and throttle-assist. The distinction is that pedal-assist provides help for the rider during the pedalling motion while throttle-assist can switch the pedalling into a motor-fueled displacement. E-Bikes typically contain batteries that last up to 5 years and may travel between 30 and 80 kilometres between charges. E-Bikes can indeed represent a good long-term transport investment.

Besides, did you know that you could rent BIXI electric bikes and travel throughout Montreal in a fun and fast way? By doing so, you would not have to buy an e-Bike to enjoy a good hangout or fast transportation. Over the course of the past few years, the electric option experienced a rise of 24% in its rental rate compared to the regular alternative. The price is equally beneficial: starting after the first minute of use, e-Bikes cost 13 cents per minute for members and 30 cents per minute for occasional users. To locate the BIXI e-Bike rental, check out the BIXI app and search the map of Greater Montreal. Not only will the app indicate the closest spot and battery level of the current bikes, but it will also provide a timer to keep track of the minutes you spent using the e-Bike. It will equally notify you when your rental is ending. Whether for a fun meetup with friends, a solo explorer day, or an adventurous date idea, e-Bikes are the way to go!

You might wonder what to do with an e-Bike, so let me provide some insight into various activities and cool spots you could attend. For instance, you can explore Montreal’s Old Port and stop at cosy coffee shops such as Café Olimpico. The rent time limit for BIXI is 24 hours. You could therefore tour the whole city in that time spread. The propulsion limit is 32 km/h to provide safety and protection for the users. Another fun place to go to is one of Montréal’s many parks! One of my favourite places is Park La Fontaine in the borough of Le Plateau-Mont-Royal. Nature is gorgeous, and the bicycle paths are never-ending. Lastly, you could cover the wonderful downtown of Montreal and do some fun shopping!

Here is a little safety tip for your e-Bike escapade; wear a helmet! I am aware that it is not the most fashionable accessory, but it is, in fact, mandatory under the Highway Safety Code. To rent an electric bike, you need to be older than 14 (which I assume you are). Moreover, users between the ages of 14 and 17 must possess a Class 6D licence in order to operate a moped machine. Legal guardians are required by law to acquire the membership on behalf of minors.

Lastly, e-Bikes are revolutionary. By providing assistance, speed and less physical demand, these types of machinery are experiencing an ongoing popularity increase. Ecological and economical, they equally represent a fun way to explore your surroundings, stay in shape, and keep your serotonin level rising! BIXI seasonal memberships are currently on sale for 89$ instead of 99$ and are available from April 15 to November 15, with unlimited trips of 45 minutes and under! Don’t walk, pedal!

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