Getting out the house quicker / Making the eBike the easy choice (over a car)


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I like riding my bike but sometimes it feels like I am walking all over the house getting ready for a ride. Often including multiple trips up and down stairs as I realize I forgot something I need. I feel like I walk around the house for 15 minutes sometimes getting ready. I want to use my bike not just for exercise but also for trips to the grocery store, to grab lunch, etc.

I've been making lots of little changes to things to make it quicker and easier to choose my bike over a car. I wanted to share what I've done so far and I'd love to hear what others have done along these lines as well.
  • I store my bikes inside the house, and I cleared all the space around the bike to make it easier to get into/out of the house. I have the charger right there waiting for me when I park now.
  • I have cycling specific shoes with the BOA dials. They live right there next to the bike, with a chair I can use for putting them on/taking them off before/after rides.
  • I've got a bottle of sunblock on a shelf there with my bike so I can slather up before a ride.
  • I use prescription sunglasses when I ride, that are also headphones (bose frames). I setup a charger for them near my bike so they are always charged, and always there for me to switch with my glasses before/after a ride.
  • I am building a second wallet that will live with my bike. Duplicate copy of my credit card, ID, and some cash. I'm physically attaching my bike lock keys to the wallet so I never forget to take it with me when I lock up my bike somewhere.
  • I've got a light rain jacket with my bike for moderate weather.

Things that still feel a bit annoying I haven't found any clever solutions to:
  • Gathering all my water bottles for my ride, and bringing them back upstairs to our kitchen when I get home from a ride.
  • Having my hands full with groceries, take-out, etc. along with all the aforementioned water bottles when returning from an errand run.
  • Putting on padded shorts
Have you found any 'hacks' to make getting out of the house for a ride easier?
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The rule has to be: Set the bike up the night before your next morning's commute. That means put your work clothes into your pack or pannier in advance. Lay out your shorts etc. that you are going to ride the night before as well. Fill your water bottles. Keep helmet and gloves in the same place every day and make that place right where you can grab them every morning. Keys, wallet and phone go close to the bike (I, like you, keep my bikes indoors). If you have a lot of water bottles, switch to a larger container so you need fewer. I limit myself to one per existing cage and if I need more I'm using the 3L Camelbak.

I have multiple bikes and found I need to bite the bullet and keep a permanent, complete tool and roadside kit permanently on each individual bike rather than trying to share one kit across the fleet. Planting the tool kit takes time, and I'm 50/50 on forgetting it.

As soon as the battery starts to cool (I have a temp sensor on mine to confirm this) plug in the charger on LOW amperage and let it start trickling in power. I use a manual cutoff timer and I know how many volts in an hour my charger puts in at X amps, so I set my mechanical cutoff timer to kill the power physically before any sort of overcharge condition can possibly occur. I usually like to kill it at an 80% charge. That has the double advantage of making it still more difficult to even approach an overcharge state.

If I leave these things to the morning, I have a good chance of saying to hell with it and driving. The bike should be able to just roll out the door fully kitted out.
Good advice for morning commuters! Personally I work from home and my rides are much more impulsive. Switching from multiple smaller water bottles to a larger backpack style hydration thing has been something I've been meaning to try though. I actually have one for hiking I've just never tried it on the bike. I should give it a go.

for a commute, i just make sure the lock is in my backpack. no need to fuss with anything else.

for a longer pleasure ride, things i need to take care of :

take off clothes
put on bike shorts
put on heart rate strap
put on bike shirt
put on socks
put on shoes
keys, $20, credit card, mask in a pocket
attach phone to bike, maybe varia light depending on ride
if >40 miles, grab a 750ml bottle with gatorade

takes perhaps 4 min
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UI don't wear bike clothes on my commutes its a hassle. but I had to find work pants that could survive all the riding I do. found non cotton pants work best. the nI don't have to change clothes for the commute.
I switched to cycling 'underwear' instead of the usual cycling shorts because the world is not ready for my awesomeness in spandex. But the benefits of a good 9-panel padded short are there. Especially if you pedal. Not so much the padding but the elimination of chafing thanks to the panels...

For winter commuting, I am good in normal shorts and a t-shirt down to about the mid 30's fahrenheit. I go to a long sleeve t shirt around 40 degrees. Even with the electric assist, I let my workout keep me warm. But below about the mid 30's I need long pants. I found the ideal pants are Duluth Trading Flex Firehose pants (ultimate relaxed fit version). Nice and expandy for your ride, and with their BallRoom gusset, they are anatomically ... friendly in the riding position. They will also take insertable knee pads which makes them awesome for some weekend long range shooting comps I do where you are getting down into a prone position and back up again a bunch of times in a day.

I actually have one for hiking I've just never tried it on the bike. I should give it a go.
What you see below is another way to do it, and you only need an ordinary bike rack not the mongo skateboard deck I am showing it on here. I am using a basic molle hydration carrier and strapping it onto the rack. I bought a food-grade length of silicone tubing of the proper size on Amazon. I also bought a connector kit so the new XL hose has connection and drinking fittings on each end. I also spiral-wrapped the silicone tube in silicone tape because if its worth doing its worth overdoing.

You route the hose forward to the bars and with very little effort you can find a way to mount it so you can drink in the riding position and easily re-set the hose in its cradle. In particular there are magnet fittings meant for these hoses that you don't see in this pic but they are there under the strap

15 mins of wandering around getting focussed might be a good thing? I'd say it's much safer to wander up and down stairs forgetting things than being out in public at high speed whilst your mind is still chaotic. On the days your mind is clear it'll only take 1 trip to be ready.
I keep a backpack that holds my lock, and n95 mask. The only thing I add is my wallet.
The bike stays in my home office so its easy to get to and it close to the door.

1) I also switched to flat nylon pedals so any shoe with a rubber sole will work.
2) changed the quick release to skewers so I don't even bother locking up the wheels; just the frame.
3) switched to gel seat so I don't need to change clothes. Most of the time I'm riding in khakis and a polo shirt.
4) changed the front chainring to 38 tooth so I can ride it on all hills comfortably in my area
5) replaced my Ergon GP1 grips with foam grips. The GP1 provided no cushioning so I would always have to wear padded bike gloves. The foam grips provide plenty of cushioning that it makes me smile when I riding. The foam grips make the ride much more comfortable. I don't even bother looking for my gloves anymore even I probably should for protection.

I use it for doing returns and quick runs to Home Depot for picking up items that can fit in my backpack. It's not an ebike so I don't worry have charging the battery. Just wanted something simple, easy to ride, and lightweight; 25 lbs I think.


This year, I have more mileage on my bicycles than my car.
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2) changed the quick release to skewers so I don't even bother locking up the wheels; just the frame.
I need to do this, I never remove my front wheel so the skewer is only making it easier for other people.

I'd suggest just taking a pannier back and forth from your house to your eBike. Everything in one bag.
Tough one with my current pannier bags. They are attached as a set of two + a 'trunk' all on a single MIK connector. More than I'd want to carry. But I could definitely see the value in that if I ever want to change out my bags.

15 mins of wandering around getting focussed might be a good thing? I'd say it's much safer to wander up and down stairs forgetting things than being out in public at high speed whilst your mind is still chaotic. On the days your mind is clear it'll only take 1 trip to be ready.
Ha, I do love your point of view here. I'm still looking to streamline things but I appreciate the sentiment of making sure I have a clear head before getting on a bike.
Try having a bag inside one of the panniers with all your upstairs stuff?

We do this on the motorbike trips - an overnight bag for eg motel stays so we can leave all the camping / expedition gear attached.
I have handlebar bags on each of my ebikes with their own toolkit. Water bottle holders and bike locks on each bike. I check tire pressures about every 2 or 3 weeks. I have SS insulated water bottles that I keep in the freezer between rides. After a ride I charge up the battery and lights for the next ride and put my water bottle back in the freezer. When I'm ready to ride I fill up my bottle and go.
I live without a car.
There are panniers on the bike for the ready kit plus any purchases or finds. My pannier contains a complete repair kit, 3 tubes, 1 tire, 3 20 oz bottles of water, cable & lock, a personal bag containing the helmet, sun+safety glasses, sun gloves, hi vis vest, N95 mask. The bag covers helmet & sundries when I shop eat or meet and keeps birds from spotting it. There is plastic $1 poncho & medium rain resistant jacket in the pannier.
My public pants contain wallet, change, cell phone, keys, nose tissues, comb, ear plugs for leaf blowers etc. They are black dickies, no spandex involved. No special bike underwear, I wear cotton/poly.
Leaving involves putting on public pants, socks shoes, public shirt, locking up. Shoes are black New Balance walkers or SAS nurse shoes which have a stiffer shank. Any special items for an anticipated meetings (I play+tune piano in church weekends) or food+clothing+repair parts+ag supplies for my summer camp. I did the sun screen right after I shaved in the morning. After I pull bike out of garage I don suitable gear in the personal bag. Most trips to summer camp involve supplies in bags, parts or tools for projects, water or mower fuel or in gallon jugs.
Returning involves reloading personal bag, putting bike in garage, putting away any purchases. Back from summer camp, dirty clothes to the bin, recyclables to the bin, garbage went in a bin by roadside on the way home, tools etc to garage. Today by side of the road I scored a 1/4"x6' angle iron and a 3' long treated 4x4 for some projects, put those away when got home.
I charge the bike twice a week, not on the day I just rode it 30 miles. Some other day when battery is cool.
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