Redefining Reliable Transportation

 This electric assist bike was donated to us several months ago in fairly pristine condition, and just needed a few adjustments and a charge to the battery. There's always a lot going on in the summer at b4h, so researching and promoting the bike has fallen by the wayside. When Darwin approached us about renting it to be able to make it to a job site beyond the realm of public transport, we agreed they could borrow it in exchange for a blog post about the experience that we could use to promote the adoption of this lovely and utilitarian machine.

This electric assist bike was donated to us several months ago in fairly pristine condition, and just needed a few adjustments and a charge to the battery. There's always a lot going on in the summer at b4h, so researching and promoting the bike has fallen by the wayside. When Darwin approached us about renting it to be able to make it to a job site beyond the realm of public transport, we agreed they could borrow it in exchange for a blog post about the experience that we could use to promote the adoption of this lovely and utilitarian machine.

Near the beginning of 2018 I was given a promotion at work. The position I was promoted to had previously only been given to people with a car and there was some concern from my boss and colleagues that my inability to drive would cause issues with my job performance. The fact that they gave me the promotion despite these concerns speaks to my overall awesomeness, of course, and anxiety gradually eased as I continued to prove myself reliable using public transit and the occasional Lyft ride.

Then I was tasked with venturing out to a worksite 10 miles beyond the purview of Trimet. Additionally, Lyft and other cab services would take me out to that site but they would not send a driver out to take me back. The people I knew with cars had work the days I was meant to be out at the site and couldn’t come pick me up. I was nearly sick with anxiety trying to find a solution. I didn’t want my lack of transportation to keep me from doing my job and override all the other things I bring to the table in my work.

I remembered that Bikes for Humanity had an electric bike they were getting ready to sell. I didn’t have the money to buy it but I hoped they would let me rent it for the days I was meant to be out at that particular site. Of course Andrew, the B4H director, did me one better and let me borrow it for free. He’s too precious for this cold capitalist world.

Unfortunately more problems soon arose:

  1. Would the bike be able to fit on the bike rack of the bus?

  2. Would I be able to lift a huge gajillion ton bike on of the bus after my body was a noodly mess from work and riding back into town?

  3. Would the Lyft/cab driver taking me out there from town (but not taking me back because…?) be willing to take the bike with me?

The answer to these questions turned out to be as follows:

  1. Yes.

  2. Miraculously, yes.

  3. Yes? Oh thank god.

Then the only fears that were left were these - would the battery hold for as long as I needed it to and how the hell was I going to survive speeding down a winding twisting NW Skyline/Cornelius Pass road?

Well I obviously survived and despite shaking from adrenaline and taking downhill curves at 40 miles an hour, I actually ended up enjoying the ride a lot. The ability to work a third as hard going uphill thanks to the motor assist was a blessing during a 10 mile ride in 99 degree weather. So was the luxury of just being able to cruise without pedaling on long flat stretches of rural farmland.

Total between the the two trips I rode it for, the battery lasted 2.5 hours and 19 miles on one charge. I was able to reassure my boss and colleagues (and myself tbh) that a lack of car was not a barrier to doing my job. Bikes for Humanity helped me prove that reliable transportation can come in many forms and their electric bike helped me save my job and my life. I’m not exaggerating, if I had had to walk or just use a regular bike for those 10 miles I literally would have died...at least partially...mostly on the inside.

Anyway, electric bikes are great, B4H is great. Save the planet and your job and get this bike!