The reason for my wanting of an e-bike is because I’m jealous that my boyfriend has bought one, and I want one. Because he lives and works at a different campus he thought it would be handy to buy one so he can both visit me and leave me home. He lives nearer the centre of Chengdu while I live 30 minutes by metro.
My own bike is still out of service as I have been too busy to get it fixed, but when I do, I know It’ll be a disappointment. The weather is very hot at the moment, and I am not looking forward to cycling to work at all. Whereas with an e-bike, there will be no sweating and you get there faster. But I suppose I could always buy one in the future.
E-bikes are big businesses in China. Particularly in Chengdu, there are so many. Mainly due to the fact that most of Chengdu is pretty flat, it’s an ideal place to drive one. There are apparently 120 million e-bikes in China, and this number is increasing.
There are a few different varieties of e-bikes that I have seen. There are quite small ones, usually used by older women with babies. They usually have a small seat at the back so the baby sits there. These are not used for going long distances.
Another type is the one my boyfriend has. These are the nicer looking ones. These are (to me) Italian looking, and they are more like scooters. Many of the new ones have really cool designs on them. You can fit two people on these.
The biggest types are used for going long distances. They are sturdier but they are also a lot bigger and heavier. You can fit two comfortable, but I often see two adults and a child on these. Usually families.
Although e bikes are really handy, there are quite a lot of accidents. I personally have never seen any, but from what I see around me, there are many near misses. I know I’m not safe while cycling, but these e-bikes can go up to 60kph so they are pretty fast.
And so many people don’t wear helmets. We are planning on buying them because, we would rather be safe than sorry.
Also, China has a law stating that only one person is allowed to sit on an e-bike. I never knew this law actually existed. People ignore this rule completely, and the police don’t seem to care. Even if they did, the amount of people driving these things, they would never eradicate the problem.
So If plan on staying in China for another year, I might invest in one. They are pretty cheap to western standards. You can get second hand ones for 1300 Yuan, or 155 Euro. So cheap!