Noting that all great things have humble beginnings, Lao Tzu, founding father of Taoist Chinese philosophy, is famously quoted as saying that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Interestingly Bob Huddart, Comox Valley entrepreneur and community activist, began his journey to the eBob electrical powered bicycle trailer—the next major step up in bicycle transportation—with a simple question: What would it take for me to be able to be able to go for a two week camping trip on my bike? Obviously some people go light and lean with the food, clothing and equipment. And some people are so physically fit they can bike all that gear up hills like the grind up from the Denman ferry, but Bob was asking how he could bike his way to a comfortable holiday(even to the Himalayas, he only half playfully quipped) without breaking his back.
The idea of a battery-driven bike trailer with sufficient capacity to carry the weight and bulk of an extended vacation settled quickly over Bob’s thoughts, and he took the fledgling idea to the next meeting of Transition Town Comox Valley. There the idea was brainstormed into an all purpose cargo trailer that could become the centre piece to moving to more environmentally friendly transportation generally including business uses of all kinds from repair persons, to food carts, to delivery trailers. Its use for transporting young families and/or their gear was immediately seized on and relished.
Bob was busy with his other businesses, with things like organizing the very successful local Vegan Dine Out and simply living a full and engaged life. Thus it was three years before the idea came back, this time with the meditations of the previous three years, and he was ready to move from vision to action.
Engaging Comox Valley fabricator and environment friendly transportation activist Ross Hunt, the two of them spent a year putting together a functional prototype for the eBob. The first single motored prototype didn’t pass Bob’s fitness test (Bob struggled up Royston Road with it) so back to the drawing boards and out came the two-motored model. Bob sold off a rental house and from there it was simply a matter of putting the prototype into production drawings and assembling the rest of the manufacture and sales team. Nov 25 this year the eBob, the world’s first commercially available electric back-of-bike cargo trailer, with three sizes of lockable cargo space, one or two hub motors and as many 36 volt 20 amp-hour batteries as you want, went, officially, on the market. The widely adaptable back of the bike cargo trailers attach to any bike that takes a trailer hitch.
The well designed and tested electric bike trailers come with balanced to bike and trailer disc brakes, signal lights and water proof, tamper proof, fully enclosed box. The 30” wide trailer will carry 300 lbs at up to 32 kms/hr and cover 80km on a charge. The economic benefit is apparent when you consider a full charge on the batteries costs less than 30 cents.
Environmentally, and socially, the eBob could, potentially, change the way we live as there is such a huge range of recreational, transportation, family and business uses where such a cargo trailer could replace our gas guzzling cars and trucks.
Consider the impact on gas consumption and infrastructure construction if we in the Comox Valley converted to electric cargo bike trailers for even some of the following:
- Delivery services. i.e. groceries
- Food vending—especially locally grown organic food
- Airport cargo handling
- Recycling pickup
- Mail and parcel delivery
- Family travel –90% of cargo cycles in Amsterdam are used primarily for family transport
In addition to such a wide range of tangible cargo, the eBob might well deliver a less tangible but equally prized intangible –happiness. Imagine the happiness of getting fresh air exercise while contributing to saving our planet and creating a more people friendly community. It is widely recognized that the Danes are the happiest people in the world—people who ride bikes more than anywhere else.
Want to know more about these planet and people friendly battery-powered cargo bike trailers, there is nothing like direct experience to tell you what it is really like (and Bob is still very interested in what people want from future models)? You can contact Bob to arrange a test ride at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-969-4062.
Happy(Earth friendly) Trails to you!