Marketing Intern at Revelo Electric
For most of the time, travelling with your ebikes can turn your journey into something so much more. Steve Evagelou, Revelo Electric VP of Marketing and Design, and ebike owner speaks about his journey to Florida, the people he met and the reaction toward his ebikes.
What kind of ebike do you own?
We have one Revelo LE-1 and one folding FLEX model.
What is it like to travel with an electric bike as opposed to a regular one?
We often travel down south to Florida and this time we decided to take the Revelo ebikes with us on our road trip. We own a mid-sized sedan and were pleasantly surprised that we were able to fit both ebikes in the trunk with plenty of space left over for baggage.
The condo we stay in is in Fort Lauderdale. While we have vacationed here several times and rented (traditional pedal) bikes before, it was a totally new experience to do it with an ebike. We could explore further and without the sweat, which can be hard to avoid on a traditional bike in the hot, humid Florida sun.
We also did a few day trips to Key Largo, Palm Beach, South Beach and Marco Island. Every other day we packed the ebikes into the car's trunk, which only took a minute or so, then drove to these areas (about an hour or so away), parked the car and explored by day on ebike, then drove back home by night. It was great to be able to spontaneously pop the ebikes into the trunk and just go anywhere. No fumbling with an expensive, cumbersome bike rack either. Bike racks can be a pain, we own one but over time stopped using it because it took too long to set up and sometimes it even scratched our car. This time around was fantastic, a whole new adventure! We will definitely do it again!
How was the riding experience in a different country as opposed to Canada?
We did not find any difference at all. In fact, to our surprise, we found that many parts of Florida had bike lanes. We felt very safe at all times.
Did anyone in Florida stop to ask about your ebikes?
Yes, we had many people approach us, many retirees and snow birds who vacation every year down south. Like us, their main preference in biking was less about the exercise and more about the freedom to quickly and simply just grab the bike and explore the beautiful surroundings like going to the beach or stopping for a drink without getting all sweaty.
The ebikes are so compact! We were able to have them right beside us at all times, even when we stopped to have lunch or drinks.
Also, being in a condo with limited space, the option to fold and stow the ebikes in a closet was ideal.
Others who stopped us were boaters and RV users who absolutely loved them. They immediately understood the benefit of the ebike's portability. We were informed that most boaters end up leaving their regular bikes on the dock before they sail out because they're either too heavy and/or too big to bring aboard. Boaters already have plenty of issues to deal with, plus space is a premium. They want something that's simple and convenient. The FLEX is ideal, it's lightweight to carry aboard and compact enough to stow away into a hatch. When they arrive into another town or port, the ebike can be quickly unfolded to begin exploring immediately.
Another gentleman we met was from Europe whose friends are musicians and who often travel by train or bus. We caught his eye when he saw us folding it up and then packing it into our car's trunk. Another gentleman worked in a local restaurant and thought the ebike would be perfect for his daily commute. He travels just a few miles a day so he doesn't need the expense of a car but doesn't like showing up to work all sweaty by traditional biking.
What was their reaction?
The most common reaction from people is finding out the bike is actually electric. Curiosity first, followed by amazement. "Is that an electric bike? Wow, I've never seen one like it before."
When they looked at the ebike, they saw no chain, but they saw front pedals. So they were amazed to find out that an electric motor is hidden in the hub of the back wheel. Everyone that tried the ebike was amazed at how easy and fun it was to ride. There was no learning curve at all. The icing on the cake was when they saw how easily and quickly we folded it down.
If anyone is interested in traveling anywhere with their ebikes for the first time, what would your advice be for them in terms of proper care, etc.?
I would say make sure to bring a bike pump and your helmet and that's about it. Truly, all the common adjustments you need to make, like your seat height and handlebars are done with quick release levers so no extra tools are necessary. Travelling by car, train, boat or bus is painless... the ebike is just like a suitcase on wheels. In fact, when folded up the FLEX can roll on its back wheel if you don’t want to carry it. Very cool and convenient!
If you are flying, the ebike can be taken aboard as luggage but there are some special rules regarding transporting a lithium battery by air (it's certainly possible, just check with the airline in advance). Overall, it was a maintenance and trouble-free experience. Other than making sure we had a fully charged battery each day, there was no additional prep time compared to a traditional bike.