New to E-Bikes?

Richard and an e-bike

Richard, a bikeshare guru and tea connoisseur, shares some tips to inspire you to take an e-spin. This WE-cycle Board Member and founder of the independent tea company Two Leaves and a Bud has a taste for what brings us smiles.

Are you ready to give e-bikes a go? Well, your timing couldn’t be better! This summer, WE-cycle has a fleet of 25 class I e-bikes ready for you. You’ll spot them by their vibrant blue color. But before you swing a leg over that electric steed, get some tips from bikeshare guru (and WE-cycle board member) Richard Rosenfeld.

Two Leaves and a Bud founder Richard with a blue e-bike Photo: Craig Turpin, @risingsunphotog

As the founder of Two Leaves and a Bud, an independent tea company, Richard has traveled the world “in pursuit of great tea.” Along the way, he has sampled not only tea leaves, but bikeshare — from Paris to New York to Asia. “I basically travel with bikeshare and a collapsible helmet everywhere I go.”

Having ridden a bike for 55-plus years, Richard says, “The good news is riding a bike keeps getting better and better.” Take e-biking, which is transforming the industry. “Anyone who gets on an e-WE-cycle ain’t going back. You check out that bike, push on those pedals, and life is good.” Take it from Richard and ride like a pro:

  • Wear a helmet. “Yeesh, it tweaks me every time I see someone tooling down the street at 20 mph with no helmet!” E-bikes go faster. Protect your noggin.
  • Practice before riding on the street. “The first time you push on the pedal you are like, ‘Yikes! This is crazy!’ which is almost immediately followed by, ‘Yikes, this is awesome!’ Get comfortable with the basics: starting, slowing, stopping and maneuvering. Remember, the WE-cycle e-bikes don’t go faster than 20 mph.
  • Take all the safety precautions you normally would. “Look both ways, every time. I don’t care if they have a stop sign. Be aware.” To this, we’ll add: ride single file, signal your intentions, announce when passing, and follow the rules of the road.
  • Pedal. “What gets me is how similar it is to a pedal bike. This is pedal-assist; you have to pedal. The more you pedal, the more the bike helps you.”
  • Keep it short. “WE-cycle is for transportation and on the blue e-bikes going to an uphill station just got a lot easier and a lot more fun! And if you want to cruise on an e-bike to Maroon Bells? Rent a bike! (And, please please please stay in your lane on the way up and down!)”

To find an e-bike at a WE-cycle station, download the app Transit, which will give you real-time availability. Stations with e-bikes are indicated with a little electrical bolt. As always, the first 30 minutes of each ride are free (with overtime fees for each additional minute: +$.50/min for a silver pedal bike and +$5.00/min for a blue e-bike). For longer rides, please visit a local bike shop.