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Old 12-17-2011, 01:09 PM
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CTripps CTripps is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 1,311
Default Re: How Did You Get Started With Motorized Bicycles?

Every once in a while when I lived in London (Ontario) I used to see a motorized bike, and there was at least one motorized skateboard as well (I saw that one several times over the years with different riders/owners) but was never able to talk to the riders about them. Usually we were going opposite directions etc. When I was younger I rode my bike everywhere, any time of year. Killed a few, built a few FrankenBikes out of the parts, rode them until the road salt and seasons caused them to come apart too.

My wife and I moved out to Vancouver a little over four years ago, and have seen a few MABs around. There are a lot of shops around the lower mainland that sell e-bikes and convertion kits, but they never appealed to me. The electric front wheel kits looked okay, but on closer inspection seemed a little flimsy for my bike. I like to (ab)use the beast a little on off-road trails as it was built for sometimes and the replacement rim just didn't inspire confidence, so I never went that route.

I'm lucky in one way; since I moved here my place of work has actually moved closer to my house, I can almost see it across the river from my porch. When that happened I started biking to work again. I used the bus a lot too (still do when I have to) but it only loops around the area I work in for a couple of hours at each end of the workday. Stay for O/T, walk home. A guy I was working with told me about 6 months ago about a friend who'd motorized, so I bugged him until he texted his friend to find out where he got the motor. That's when I found out about ZoomBicycles, and that they were close enough for me to pick up instead of paying shipping. I have a car now, but I survived pretty well without one for our first two and a half years here. The car only goes out when we need the carrying space for groceries etc, or when the motorized bicycle is being a b*tch in the morning and it's too late for me to get to a bus that would get me there on time. Of course, the car burns more gas in one day than the bike does in a week, and I get to be stuck for 40 minutes in traffic at the end of the day, instead of home in 15 minutes (or usually less) on the bike.

So, I bought the kit, spent a little time last summer putting it on my bike. That lead to meeting some of the neighbours, both are vintage Mustang owners, one a (semi) retired master mechanic who happens to have his own mini-shop in his garage. Acety torch, MIG welder, and many more interesting items, plus a lot of experience. After watching me work on it and test ride it he went out and got a kit for his wife's bike. She was a bit too nervous about it I think, so I paid him for the kit and set it up on a used bike my wife bought.

Since then I've picked up a stack of five kits, though one has been sacrificed as a parts motor, and have a couple of other bikes in the garage waiting for me to have time to work on them. I've been collecting parts and things they'll need as I go, now it's just a matter of having enough hours together at once to do something useful.


Any day that starts with a good ride is already a better day, and a bad day riding still beats a good day working.

My Builds: My Beast, Harley59's bike, my Cruiser
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