So, in March of 2018, I had posted that I bought an Ancheer folding electric mountain bike.
I bought it so that I could cycle more, get to places easier without requiring the use of a bus, but still potentially have the backup option of loading onto a bus should weather or health necessitate said choice.
And ride that bike I did. I would sometimes just go out for 12 mile rides with no rhyme or reason, just a strange need to be in the moment, making the pedals spin. I was able to enjoy cycling again, because I could go much further, much longer, and be in far, far less pain overall. It was exercise that I didn’t dread, and I had fun taking those Saturday trips into downtown for sushi, then going nuts along the river trails and through neighborhoods.
Turning heads when I ride was actually kind of nice. Hey!, someone would shout from a vehicle or at a crosswalk. Is that one of those electric bikes? And I’d turn and reply that it was. People loved it, because here’s a big person, cruising along on a bike that you could see they’re putting pedaling effort into, but not looking winded, and cruising along at up to 20 miles per hour.
I like to think that older folks, upon seeing this, feel more inspired to go out and spend some cash on an electric bicycle, whether they build it themselves, or pick up a pre-fabricated machine. With the number of folks I’ve passed this summer and fall, riding their own electric cycles, I think it is true. Seeing someone do it daily gets them to think, Well, sheesh. If that person can do it, then I can do it.
I noticed somewhere in late Summer, maybe early Fall, there was a crease in my frame in a spot that didn’t make sense. The frame was seemingly cheap and weak, prone to damage, even with careful riding. I didn’t replace the bike then, because other than that weird crease, it seemed I could at least probably get to the end of the year, maybe even to tax season where I could consider replacing it with a better performing e-bike, or even converting another bike.
I had even thrown money at someone to build a new battery for it recently as the existing battery started to just hold less and less of a charge.
Well, with less than two weeks left in the year, my bike decided to give up the ghost. On my short ride to work today, I heard an unusual pop, and felt the bike geometry shift.
It’s a folding bicycle… that was now in danger of folding while I’m trying to bike to work. The hinge latch had popped, unsecuring the bike’s hinge while I’m cycling up a bridge that I cross every day. The front wheel is now about an inch to the left of where it should be.
I can’t use my front brakes at this point, lest the front of the bike slow down quicker than the rear of the bike, forcing it to fold rapidly and toss me off.
I switched immediately to twist throttle mode, so I could at least limp it the rest of the way to work, with judicious application of only the rear brake and short bursts of throttle — pedaling would likely cause enough lateral motion that the broken clamp situation would have only been exacerbated.
With the last half mile covered, I did at least make it to work on time, but it tells me this bike is at its end. Safety-wise, I would not trust the bicycle for anything beyond harvesting its parts and building a new e-bike or e-scooter up from that, and even this might be questionable as I need to have a look at the various components.
In the interim, this leaves me without my daily machine to get around. I do have my previous bike, which I never did sell. This is a moment in which I’m glad I had NOT done so, because I can at least use it to get around, albeit at a much reduced rate.
Also, with having been under the weather really bad in the past couple of weeks and missing work, it’s really not in a happy place of my budget to just buy a new machine. 😐
I’ll figure stuff out, though, I guess.