May is National Bike Month, when advocates tout the benefits of getting around on two wheels and ask more people to give that commuting option a try. But if you’re still a bit wary of all that pedling, there is the option of electric bikes, or ebikes, which are a great fit for Boston, according to a new report.
GenZe, an electric scooter and bike company out of Silicon Valley, looked at cities across the country where ebikes “offer the perfect local transportation option for commuters,” and Boston ranked in the top 10.
Boston landed at number 8 on the list, beating out Washington and Minneapolis and coming behind major bike metropolises like San Francisco, Seattle and New York City.
“There have been many published studies that rank the top bicycle cities in the country, but none of these studies are ebike-specific” said Tom Valasek, GenZe chief marketing officer, in a statement. “We aimed to identify the cities where ebikes can make a substantial difference in daily commuting.”
And what are those differences? Ebikes offer some added power, Valasek said, that help cyclists handle hills and terrain that would often be difficult on conventional bikes.
You do still get some exercise on an ebike, but they offer some support for beginners, experts say, or those recovering from injuries. Those in the industry see ebikes as a healthy, environmentally friendly alternative to cars, not a competition with other two-wheeled transportation.
For the study, GenZe looked at three things: terrain, including the drage of streets, number of hills and geographic size; hours spent in traffic per city; and the total miles of bikeways, including dedicated bike lanes, bike paths and shared streets, available around the city.
With some notable hills, a relatively small geographic size and nearly 200 miles of bikeways, according to GenZe, Boston is a great place to take an ebike out for a spin.