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E-bikes a big draw at Craftsbury electric vehicle event

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copyright the Chronicle September 6, 2017


by Elizabeth Trail


CRAFTSBURY COMMON — “It’s like the hand of God reaches down and pushes you along,” Larry Gilbert said.

Mr. Gilbert’s playful description of what it’s like to ride an electric bicycle was pretty much spot on.

In the beginning, the electric bike feels heavy and awkward. It weighs about twice as much as an ordinary bicycle, and it has big, fat, heavily ribbed tires that don’t exactly turn on a dime.

But halfway around the first turn of the pedals, the battery assist kicked in and the bike leapt forward as though pushed from behind by an unseen hand.

It was a little unnerving at first.

Mr. Gilbert, the owner of ZoomBikes in Montpelier, was offering electric bicycle rides at the Craftsbury Farmers Market on Saturday morning.

E-bikes have a battery powered assist that makes them move along with far less effort on the part of the rider than an ordinary bike.

That makes e-bikes an option for people with bad knees or other physical challenges.   And it makes them great for shopping or commuting, especially when hills are involved.

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