Redwood City, March 1, 2016. /Motostrano/ Traffic along the Dumbarton bridge has increased nearly 30% in the last five years and it shows. If you commute from Fremont to Palo Alto by car and back you know that slow moving feeling of being stuck in your car, not moving.
You may have also noticed people on bicycles moving freely along the south side of the bridge. That's because the Dumbarton is equipped with a user friendly bike path, allowing cyclists a way to bypass the traffic and arrive home fresh and stress-free. But most commuters still go by car.
As user friendly as the path is, for any one who does not ride a bike daily, or for people with health conditions, getting on a bike for a daily commute can be a chore. The bridge has a slight climb and is notorious for some pretty daunting gusts of wind that can put a damper on any bike commute.
Enter the electric bicycle. Ebikes take the pain out of a long commute, a steep hill or a brutal head wind. Powered by a small silent motor, electric bikes propel the rider along faster than they would otherwise be able to pedal and with less effort. Ebikes are super-effective tool for short and mid-length commutes such as Fremont to Redwood City.
To prove this point, the San Francisco E-Bike Meet-Up Group will be hosting an evening e-bike ride from Redwood City Tuesday at 6pm starting at Motostrano, California's largest electric bike store. The ride, hosted by the group's founder, Joe Witherspoon will take place on the busiest day of the week for the Dumbarton bridge and hopes to call attention to e-bikes as a great problem-solver for urban commuter traffic, stress and health issues. The group will ride along side the parked cars on the road and meet for dinner in Fremont before heading back the same evening.
Average time by car for this 17 mile trip is almost two hours. By electric bicycle it should take less time and involve less stress, without adding traffic congestion.
In January 2016, Facebook announced a $1 Million donation to help figure out what to do with all the traffic on this bridge. Joe Witherspoon of Motostrano LLC thinks people just need to ride more e-bikes.
"Electric bicycles are really taking off," said Witherspoon "People are finding out that an ebike can be a great tool for the daily commuter who just wants to get to work and back without the stress of traffic and without sweating. The stretch of road from East Palo Alto to Fremont is the perfect e-bike ride and loads of commuters already go by ebike"
Witherspoon started the San Francisco Ebike Meet-up group last year to organize group rides all around the Bay Area and beyond. Groups range from 5 to 15 riders and riders participate to socialize, to test out their own e-bikes and to promote electric bikes to the world at large. "We just try to show the bikes to the world, while testing them in various conditions. We ride all over, both on and off-road.