With the new school year right around the corner, you’ve likely started loading up on the essentials. While #2 pencils and protractors are cool and all, there’s one item you should really add to that list: an electric bike!
We reached out to a few Rad riders to hear how an ebike has helped them ease back in to academia.
A Rad Grad and a Proud Dad
Rad dad Brian Mickelson is a RadRunner fanatic.
He bought one for himself during the height of the pandemic to help him get outside more, but quickly realized it was also a great way to get his kids to school—especially since it gave him an excuse to squeeze in an extra ride.
“The kids love it, but it’s definitely dad’s bike,” he joked.
While Brian would put his do-it-all ebike to the test by commuting to work or picking up his teenage daughter from tennis practice, the RadRunner really got its time to shine when his youngest son graduated from 5th grade.
“Because of COVID, they wanted to do something special, but keep it socially distanced,” he explained. “So they had a motorcade where the kids' families could decorate their cars and drive around a loop while people stood in their driveways cheering.”
His son had the idea to use the RadRunner instead of the family car, so the Mickelsons loaded it up with signs and balloons and hit the road.
As you might imagine, it was a standout.
“There was lots of honking and waving, but also loads of people running up to us and asking ‘Where did you get that bike?” he told us.
“A lot of the other kids were in cars, so you couldn't always tell which child was in which, but it didn't take long for people to absolutely recognize the Mickelson family.”
4,000 Miles and Counting!
Since heading off to college in 2018, Rad rider Tawny Simpson has racked up over 4,000 miles on her RadMini.
“I don’t own a car,” she told us. “There are a bunch of buses on campus, and I guess you could always walk, but I really wanted to get places faster.”
The RadMini made it easy to get to traverse the University of Oregon campus, but for Tawny, those daily trips were just the beginning. She’d use her bike to explore local bike trails, head downtown to pick up the occasional pizza, and commute to her off-campus job.
“It makes it possible to take a little more time when I’m getting ready to go places. I can leave a little later rather than trying to catch a bus.”
Tawny found that the RadMini was also the perfect accessory for dorm life since it could be folded up and tucked away when it wasn’t helping her balance her busy schedule.
“I’d use the electric assist to walk it up the stairs, then fold it up and keep it on the other side of the room,” she explained. “It made sense size-wise.”
Back to School at 49
After spending decades as a professional photographer, Daniel Macdonald decided it was time for a career shift. He knew he wanted to do something that would help him serve his community, so he set his sights on nursing.
That decision meant he’d need prerequisites, so he enrolled in college for the first time at age 49.
Helping him take that big step? His RadRunner.
“I definitely wanted something other than a car because campus parking is always an issue,” he said. “The commute isn’t super far and I probably could’ve done it on my usual bicycle, but it gets really hot in Sacramento.”
After researching electric bikes, the RadRunner immediately caught his eye.
“It's different than just having another bicycle that happens to be electric, it’s almost like a moped,” he said. “I’m a busy guy with a wife, kids, and a dog, so I knew I’d need something that made the commute efficient. Having that extra speed and power to go back and forth was really appealing.”
The new bike was also a great way to break the ice on campus.
“I definitely had people come up and ask me about it. Sometimes it would technical questions, like, ‘What's the range and speed?’ or ‘How long does it take to charge?” he said. “Other times it would just be excited students asking ‘What the heck is that?’”
Having It All
As a mental health professional, Seattle dad Drew Syvertsen knows how a morning workout can brighten your entire day. He also knows that making the time for it can be a little easier said than done.
“Sometimes it feels like if you choose to exercise before dropping off the kids on your way to work, it kind of costs you somewhere else,” he said. “You're like, ‘OK, well, if I do this, I won't have time to pick up coffee later.’ If there's a time crunch of any kind of, usually the exercise routine is the first to go.”
The RadWagon, he told us, makes it possible for him and his wife to do both.
For starters, it’s a great way to avoid the daily traffic that comes when hundreds of parents try to drop their kids off at school at the same time.
“It's awesome. My wife or I can cruise up on the bike, throw down the kickstand, pop off, and hug our kids before sending them off,” he said. “We have it outfitted with panniers, so it carries their backpacks and my work bag.”
The extra time gives Drew a chance to go for a run in the morning — or just enjoy a little more pedaling on his ebike.
“It saves you time getting to work and it's exercise, so it's a win-win,” he said. “I’m able to get a little fresh air and be a bit more alert. I don't have to sit in traffic and be grumpy.”