QuietRush wins 2014 HunterEVPrize 1500 eBike class and energy-autonomy award in National Science Week
Quiet Rush are delighted to have won the 2014 Hunter EV Prize 1500 eBike class amongst a diverse team of entries, including converted motorcycles and high powered eBike kit bikes, racing a standard Stealth Fighter as part of our range of Australian designed and made Offroad Electric Bike range from Stealth Electric Bikes. Whilst not designed specifically for tarmac racing, their versatility and leading-edge performance and reliability made the race thoroughly enjoyable, backed up by the knowledge that they can be ridden just as hard in off road settings. The bikes truly are a unique vehicle, developed from Australian ingenuity into an internationally recognised export, regarded by many as the worlds best electric bikes. We relied on quality products from Kali Protectives and Troy-Lee Designs to keep us safe whilst racing.
Quiet Rush was also recognised as an innovator for energy-autonomy, taking 3rd place in the National Science Week Cup-Sparking Innovation in EVolution Prize. Our in-vehicle solar charging system, built with Goal Zero products from Laughing Mind (http://www.laughingmind.com/energy-autonomy.html) attracted a lot of interest over the 2 days, showcasing the possibility of running grid-independent, portable eBike charging systems using solar power as our primary energy source. This makes powered adventure possible wherever you are, providing clean, renewably sourced power for charging a wide range of digital devices and recreational products. Whilst not at the grade of 1st place winner Elmofo with their world-leading electric race-car charging system, we are delighted to be recognised for effort in this category, using consumer products available from Laughing Mind as a Goal Zero dealer committed to innovating in new markets.
QuietRush wishes to acknowledge our sincere thanks to the Hunter EV Festival sponsors for making the event possible, with particular mention of the hard work of the event organising team at the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment at the University of Newcastle.
Quiet Rush particularly want to thank the following parties:
With the Hunter EV Festival practice day coming up fast on 31 July 2014, we thought it would be worth taking a quick retrospective at where two wheeled transport options have evolved from. The electric bikes the school teams will be preparing, whilst unable to be powered by pedals during the event, will have the ability to trace some of their lineage back to older machinery that still gets around today.
On a recent weekend trip, we came across the Newcastle Vintage Motorcycle Club members out for a day trip to Morpeth Park, with a whole bunch of bikes spanning many years of technology and engine styles, including a blast from our past, a Suzuki GT750 water-cooled 2-stroke. But there was also older gear, including combined pedal+powered vintage bikes, allowing two different modes of propulsion, a feature shared by our bikes.
Naturally, seeing two wheel machines fitted with pedals is always going to attract our gaze. When we paused to check them out in closer detail, contrasting a 1912 BSA and Triumph motorcycle with our Stealth Fighter, more than one similarity emerged.
Can you guess which brand name component these machines share across that timespan?
Yep, it was the Brooks saddles. Supporting the backside of riders across the world, for over a century. Performance and drivetrains may have changed a lot, but not riders desire for a comfy seat. It's why we use a Brooks B17, a 100yr old design, but still working beautifully. And in case you're wondering what the pedals on these older machines were for, here's a quick snapshot.
You'd think that there would be a lot in common between groups of people who share:
It's interesting to observe the comment threads for articles like the following:
It seems from reading through the comments that people fit into roughly three camps: Deniers, Integrators and Challengers
- Deniers take the line that anything with a motor is definitely not a bicycle - human effort alone is what counts, getting to the top of a hill can only be done by the applied use of personal sweat and determination (never mind if you've got a health condition that might compromise your ability to do so);
- Integrators take a more open view, noting that there is merit in giving some level of assistance to riders who need it or desire it, who might be happy to share a trail with an assisted rider, but it's not quite their cup of tea;
- Challengers are open advocates for mixed trail use and wanting to question why they might not be allowed to share trails, seeking well supported evidence to demonstrate why they should be excluded.
The thing is, they also have a lot in common:
Getting those trails endorsed and supported by land managers takes advocacy effort, time, clearly expressed positions and goodwill between the groups. But it can be done.
Using a multi-use trail in a way that endangers any other user risks the viability of that resource for continued use by anyone on two wheels. That too, can be done. It's a shared problem.
IMBA have made their position clear at the present moment, through:
Here's an extract from the first IMBA link
Will IMBA eventually need to retool our approach to sustainable trail design and construction to accommodate these bikes? We recognize the benefits of e-bikes, yet also recognize that this type bike creates many added challenges for land managers and for IMBA's approach to mitigating the impacts of bicycling in natural environments.
I wonder if advice like this would be given if the writer had bothered to actually try an eBike. Once you do, you very quickly realise that they're a long way off being a motorcycle. Especially at the lower end 200W output bikes.
Whilst the two tribes are recognised, their ability to play together nicely is not supported. It seems a little sanctimonious and elitist given the scale of the challenges our planet faces and the extent of population health issues. Which would you prefer: seeing an overweight relative die an early death, or making the modal switch from car-use with a bike that makes the transition easier to going completely unpowered?
I'd ask you to consider, when we have so much in common, why this should continue to be the case when the world needs a combined, urgent and relentless focus on getting onto a lower emissions trajectory - two wheeled transport is a big part of the solution opportunity for doing that. Especially when bikes such as these are fully capable of being charged in offgrid setups.
One of the things I've learnt as a parent of 3 kids under 6 is to remember to ride only as far as the kids can go...and still be able to return! What also helps is the ability to work out how to ride one handed whilst hauling a kids bike across your shoulder.
Handling the spread of skills and interest across a 2, 4 and 6y.o makes for some interesting riding challenges. Whilst my 6y.o. is capable of much better distances and adventures now, we're still a little limited by her 4y.o. brothers ability to go the distance. At least the youngest is happy to kick back in the kiddicarrier with a handful of snacks and a teddy..
it seems to me that a lot of riding policy and infrastructure is, however, still geared towards the individual cyclist, when there are a whole bunch of emerging riders in young families wanting to get out and about, exercising their autonomy and skills mastery whilst being close enough to the parental wing in case of emergency..or hunger..or exhaustion..or a nose needing a wipe. The list goes on...and on..Having a bit of extra power can transform short to medium-range family rides. Where adventures had previously dissipated into unending coaxing, cajoling to return to home base for an overtired kid, now I can pop the pooped-one into the trailer, sling their little bike over the shoulder and carry on (mostly) cheerfully to the end of the ride. It's no bakfiet or cargocycle, but at least the middle one has had a go at getting out, building skills, safe in the knowledge that they can still participate towards the end (if a little more passively as a trailer passenger.
I have noticed a local rider recently working themselves as a bicycling B-double equivalent, with a tagalong for their eldest rider and trailer attached to the tagalong. Makes for a pretty long rig, and very demanding load on single bike brakes when pulling up all that extra weight.