Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are gaining traction as a convenient and efficient mobility option around the Eagle River Valley and beyond. Learn more at an E-Bike Demo Day from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28 at the Mountain Recreation Field House in Edwards.
Kind Bikes and Skis, Moontime Cyclery, Mountain Pedaler, Pedal Power, Quiet Kat, Sun and Ski, Venture Sports and Craniologie will be at the event with a variety of brands of e-bikes available for the public to demo free of charge. In addition to being able to take an e-bike for a spin, participants will have the opportunity to win $100 gift cards for each of the participating businesses, which will be raffled off during the event. E-bike Demo Day is sponsored by Town of Vail, Climate Action Collaborative, Eagle County and Walking Mountains Science Center.
Why e-bikes? E-bikes provide an opportunity for residents to ride longer distances in less time as compared to conventional bicycles, according to Beth Markham, the town’s environmental sustainability coordinator. Since e-bikes provide an electric assist, they work well for running errands and hauling cargo without having to exert a large amount of effort to do so. However, e-bikes do provide a moderate physical activity outlet, most are legal on bike paths and roadways, and typically don’t require additional licensing or insurance requirements. As a result, e-bikes represented 88 percent of global bicycle sales in 2018.
According to the 2017 Eagle County Energy Inventory, transportation is the largest source of carbon pollution in Eagle County, and e-bikes are an excellent alternative to driving alone in the car. The Eagle County Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2016, established an ambitious goal of 25 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2025 and 80 percent reduction by 2050. On average each resident in Eagle County commutes 40 miles per day (derived from the 2017 Eagle County Energy Inventory). If Eagle County residents left their cars behind twice a week and utilized other modes of transportation such as walking, biking, skating, or carpooling, an average of 38.9 pounds of carbon per Eagle County household would be prevented from entering the atmosphere each day, or 233,000 tons of carbon emissions each year. This action alone would represent a 17 percent reduction in total carbon emissions in Eagle County.
The E-Bike Demo Day on Aug. 28 is a great opportunity for residents to test out an e-bike or two and consider if it might be an option for reducing their carbon footprint. Participants are asked to bring a helmet from home. For more information contact Markham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-479-2333.