In praise of the ebike for surfing

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by Toonces, May 6, 2019.

  1. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    353
    Apr 25, 2016
    'Sup SI.

    As I've discussed in a couple of threads, I've been riding a train to work and back the last couple of months. Here in SoCal we can bring a bike on the train. What was holding me back, though, is that I'm lazy - I don't enjoy biking at all - and there are a couple of hills near my house that, while not huge, are just big enough to make biking a real pain in the ass.

    I ended up getting my son an ebike for Xmas and after trying it out I decided to take the plunge myself. And like my Slyde handboard, this ebike has just changed my whole life.

    From my house to the train station is 2 miles, and from the downtown train station to work is another 4 miles, so I'm doing 12 miles round trip every day. On the ebike I can do this and, if I don't want to get sweaty or if I just don't feel like getting any workout at all, I just crank up the peddle assist and the motor does all the work. If I want to get some exercise I turn down the assist and can work as hard as I want. It's a great and convenient way to get some exercise before and after work...no matter what I do the rest of the day, I'm at least getting the heart pumping at some point.

    Where this has really changed things, though, is getting around to the surf. I live about 2 miles from the beach, but there are surf spots all over within about 5 miles; Between Oceanside Pier and North Ponto are probably dozens of rideable waves, and those two spots are maybe 10 miles apart. My bike gets 30-40 miles on a charge and does 20mph so anything within about 10-15 miles each way is very easily reachable; I mean Swami's is less than that from my house. The motor makes riding the bike so effortless that I pretty much never drive to surf anymore.

    Imagine the typical scenario: It's Saturday morning. I get up, have some breakfast and coffee while I check the cams. Around 9 I'm ready to head down. Normally I'd throw everything in the car, drive the 10 minutes/2 miles downtown and then look all over for parking. Park, walk down to the beach, check the surf, and then either surf where I parked, or more likely get my crap and then walk however many blocks to where the waves are decent.

    Now, imagine the bike scenario. I bike down and it takes 12 minutes, but then I bike right up to the beach. I see the peak I want a half mile down the way...just peddle down, lock the bike to a sign/fence/bike rack/whatever, pull the board off the little side rack, and I'm in the water. No worries about parking. No BS. And all those stretches of beach with no parking allowed at all? No problem there, either. In fact, now all those tracts of beach that the car clowns are too lazy to "walk" to are accessible to me on my bike....great way to beat the crowds!

    So, as we get towards summer and surf season, and all that parking BS (and pay parking on the east coast... F that), I suggest that if you live within 10-15 miles of the coast, you may want to consider an ebike. A regular bike works, too, but if you're like me and just aren't into the whole biking thing, an ebike might be just what you need to get you started. It is just so damn convenient, I can't believe I used to drive now.
     
    Kanman, Yankkee, Wavestrom and 2 others like this.
  2. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    353
    Apr 25, 2016
    Also want to add: The bike I got is by RadPower Bikes. It's this little folding thing. I haven't tried folding it, but it would definitely fit in a hatchback folded up. Something to consider for Wavestrom and other RI cats; there are tons of breaks with "No Parking" but within a couple of mile bike commute of legit parking out there.

    Here in north San Diego County gas is currently $4.15/gallon. I've done the math and I'm basically saving a buck for every mile I put on my bike by not driving to work (that's just gas, if I add wear and tear it's even more). I've already got 500 miles on my bike; at this rate in about 3-5 more months the bike will have paid for itself in gas money savings.

    I use bike surfboard racks by Ho Stevie! and I have this little bike carrier rack on the back. I put the towel and wetsuit in that and strap it down with some bungies. It looks super kook, but it works just as smooth as you can imagine. I wear an old backpack with one of those little luggage locks to lock the zipper, and strap the backpack to the bike by running the lock through the top loop. None of this will really deter a determined thief, but I don't bring anything I can't afford to lose with me anyway. So far so good; I'm not sure this would work at Ocean Beach Pier, though.
     
    Yankkee, Wavestrom, DosXX and 2 others like this.

  3. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    Pretty cool dude, glad you found a solution.
     
  4. DosXX

    DosXX Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2013
    Sounds like you found a good, workable alternative.
     
    DawnPatrol321 likes this.
  5. CJsurf

    CJsurf Well-Known Member

    984
    Apr 28, 2014
    How many ebikes a month does the OP sell at his job? Ha!!!!!

    Hiking down to Lowers and having guys wizz by you does make you pretty jealous.....especially on the hike up the hill when leaving.
     
    SCOB3YVILLE and DawnPatrol321 like this.
  6. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    Reminds me of Emass and the Carver skateboart. :cool:
     
    sisurfdogg likes this.
  7. Wavestrom

    Wavestrom Well-Known Member

    422
    Jul 5, 2014
    I'd be a little worried about someone stealing my $1500 bike when I was out on the water but that's still very cool.
     
    sisurfdogg likes this.
  8. CJsurf

    CJsurf Well-Known Member

    984
    Apr 28, 2014
    Truth right there. My town is said to be the bike theft capital of the state of NJ. Couple of years ago my son left a local surfshop and encountered a couple of our finest municipal housing residents taking bolt cutters to his bike lock. If he'd have come out 10 seconds later the bike would have been gone. Had another at the local library have the cable lock nearly cut through right outside the building while my wife was inside. Know other people who have had their sheds raided for bikes. There is no crime here though.......o_O:(;)
     
  9. Manik

    Manik Well-Known Member

    352
    Dec 25, 2015
    Walmarts website has them pretty cheap, some around 500 bucks. Don't know the brands or quality but am looking to get one at the end of the summer (prices should drop), had a blast when I tried my buddy's. Can't think of a better way to get around a beach town, especially with the traffic. The season hasn't even started and I'm giving the one finger salute almost daily on the road.
     
    sisurfdogg likes this.
  10. CJsurf

    CJsurf Well-Known Member

    984
    Apr 28, 2014
    Thankfully the roads in my town are totally flat so the hardest the bike ride to surf ever gets is if I'm carrying a longboard under my arm or if I'm biking home against the wind. The spots I'm biking to are all within a mile of home so I don't have far to go. 3-speed EarthCruiser for me.
     
  11. JayD

    JayD Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    When I first lived in Palolo Valley, I would bike down to the surf with board and have to walk bike and board back up hill...about 1/3 the return trip....

    Thinking back over the last 35 years, I have bent over backwards all sorts of ways to catch some waves along the way!
     
  12. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Now, you see, every year I register my car at town hall and for an extra $5, as a resident, I get a parking pass for designated areas. The parking areas for residents are near the ocean. I park there when I go surfing after 8AM, which is rare--I usually go earlier during the 3 better seasons. If I arrive at the designated parking lot, and I see an out of state plate, I call the parking police, they come and attach a $100 fine on the miscreant car. I love doing that, especially if I get to see when the driver returns to his car - bulging carotids, screaming and threatening.....but he has to pay it, or, by reciprocal agreement, his state will not allow him to register his car. It really keeps the masshole population in check. BTW, the parking meter guys--most are my friends; they love it when I text them!!
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
    sisurfdogg likes this.
  13. Mr.Belmar

    Mr.Belmar Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    CJsurf- I thought I lived in the bike theft capital of the world! I guess all nj shore towns are...

    Bike theft stories- when I was in my 20’s, myself and a buddy of mine went though a rash of bikes stolen from us. I always found my bikes in the garbage and fixed them so I never cared much-my buddy decided to buy a new one at one point, within weeks it was stolen. I tried to warn him that it was gonna get stolen! We started searching the whole town over looking for it. Mean streets of Belmar. Lol Strangely enough we found it- in some guys 2 car garage along with 40/50 other bikes! Craziest thing ever- the garage turned out to be heavily guarded and they only would open the garage door about 2 feet so as not to show all the bikes... we staked the place out...we tried, but never got that bike back.... it was like out of a movie or something- they had this big bike chop shop operation going on, I think it was either 17 or 15th st.

    Anyways- I wAs always wondering about those ebikes. I always wanted to try to convert a 2stroke engine onto a bike, they sell kits to go it. I like gas operated equipment much better- there is something about the sounds and smell... (sorry environmentalists lol)
    Anyways- it’s very flat around here so I don’t really have a need for a powered bike...

    And Barry- interesting comment. Doesn’t surprise me... but I thought you had a little more class (and better things to do) then calling the bike cops for a parking violation
     
  14. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    As a resident town taxpayer, my home taxes are $11000/year. Then, to park in those designated areas, I pay for the sticker. Out of town/staters pay zero taxes, zero sticker fee, and you expect residents to allow out of town and out of state cars to fill the resident parking areas, and pay nothing? Keep in mind, those parking areas fill up quickly. The non payers are lucky they aren't towed, which I believe they should be. Keep in mind, as a young man, I was a State Trooper for a while--I believe in rule of law. Class has zero to do with it......if anything, living within the rules set up by a voting township is class, not breaking the law, or allowing others to do so at the expense of others.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  15. La_Piedra

    La_Piedra Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2017
    Put one of those motors on a fat tire bike and I might be interested
     
    capecodcdog likes this.
  16. sisurfdogg

    sisurfdogg Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    When I lived on Singer Island I had a sweet Cannondale locked up to my front porch with a heavy cable and pad lock. Woke up one morning and was gonna check the surf, it was gone, and an old POS gnarly rusty hoopdie bike was lying in my front yard. Needless to say, I was a tad pissed.
     
    La_Piedra and DawnPatrol321 like this.
  17. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    Someone stole my mountain bike off of my screened patio when I lived in Brandon / Tampa. They just slit the screen with a knife and then unlocked the door and let themselves in and took the bike. I wouldn't be surprised if they did it while I was home, because I am pretty sure I saw it about an hour before it was stolen.

    I had an idea of who stole it and told them if I found out who did it I was going to smash their face in. I called the cops but they basically said I was SOL. And I was, because he offered zero help and said a few things that sounded racist, which I'm not sure if it had anything to do with my wife being a different color than me, but it sure seemed that way at the time.
     
  18. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    353
    Apr 25, 2016
    The bike getting stolen is definitely a valid concern. I live in Carlsbad, which seems to be pretty bike friendly and safe in the areas where I surf. When I'm at home I lock it in my garage. My work place is very secure, and both at work and when I surf I use a really thick chain. Sure, it can be cut, but the person would have to have some pretty good bolt cutters and basically be out looking to deliberately steal a bike. I'm not sure anything would deter that.

    Ocean Beach is pretty close to where I work and easily bikeable, but I have very strong reservations about parking the bike there. I think there might be some spots that are safer than others, but regardless I understand that there's a chance it will get stolen. I guess the point is that some discretion is warranted as to where I park and lock the bike. It's still uncommon enough that it draws comments frequently, so I know it will get noticed. So far, everywhere I lock it to surf is in town, in pretty heavily pedestrian trafficked areas, so I'm hopeful that most would-be thieves will be deterred.

    There are a number of kits out there if you are interested in building your own. I'm not very handy like that, and so I paid for the convenience of getting a pre-built one.

    I did quite a bit of research on ebikes before I pulled the trigger on mine. Since I'm racking up a lot of miles, and rely on it to get to/from work, I spent a bit more to get one with a larger engine and battery. If you're on flat land and only driving a few miles a day to go surf and back, those Walmart ones might work just fine. Just understand that a $500 Walmart ebike is essentially disposable, and you're probably not going to get thousands of miles out of it, or 30+ miles endurance. A 300W motor is going to struggle getting you up anything but the smallest hills. It seems that ~$1200-1500 is about as cheap as you can go and get a quality bike. Still, do your own research if you're interested. I read a lot of reviews and watched a bunch of YouTube videos on the RadPower bikes before I bought, but I'm sure there are plenty of other brands at that price point that would work. I got my son a Sondors.

    Anyway, with the traffic in a lot of the beach towns, not having to stress over dealing with traffic and finding parking has been a huge relief for me, and I think it could be for some of you, too.
     
    DawnPatrol321 likes this.
  19. foamieswithmyhomies

    foamieswithmyhomies Well-Known Member

    375
    Sep 18, 2014
    link for the walmart bike
     
  20. foamieswithmyhomies

    foamieswithmyhomies Well-Known Member

    375
    Sep 18, 2014
    I had an original Surfboards Hawaii 7-6 stolen out of my car and the cops thought it was funny that I even had a surfboard, let along try and help look. If whatever was stolen ain't registered and you're not payin taxes on it, good luck getting them to care!