Admission of error is a cleansing exercise. And I need to be cleansed. I was wrong. The electric bike was a stupid idea.
Being fair to Jesse circa 2008, the electric bike SEEMED
like a good idea because the electric bike people didn't include any information about how many flat tires I would get in a calendar year (12), how many of those flats would require me to walk over 5 miles with the bike (3), how many times the battery charger would fail, leaving me with a 50+ pound bike that I now had to peddle home under my own power (3), or how many times the battery pack would fail completely, leaving me without a means of transportation (2, including one still ongoing that has yet to be resolved). Whether the technology was not meant for the heavy duty use I gave it, or if the bike was just a piece of shit I leave for others to determine. Either way, the project was a failure.
But failure need not be a total loss. Doors close, windows open, and so forth. So here is the window that has opened for me: I have replaced the bike with a scooter.
The pros: it goes 2-3 times as fast as the bicycle, it uses time-tested internal combustion engine technology, and it is super cool. My transformation into a European-style liberal elitist hippie snob is now complete.
The cons: it is moderately less green than the electric bike (60-80 mpg vs. electric charge from windmills in the Texas panhandle), it required me to get a motorcycle endorsement on my license that cost me a weekend in a motorcycle safety course, and I'm probably 10-15% more likely to kill myself on it than on the bike.
You want to see it from behind, don't you? Of course you do. Perv.
It is not a Vespa. It is a Kymco People 150. It is exactly the same thing as a Vespa except 20% cheaper and they don't sell it out of a Ferrari dealership. (Important shopping tip: if you are in the market for an affordable vehicle, the Ferrari dealership should not be your first stop.)
Oh, and you know who loves this thing? THE LADIES. Don't believe me? Check out this piece I picked up.