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I know you’re not over-simplifying this immense problem… and also know precious few people - cyclists and otherwise - have the means and the capacity to design their lives with sustainability at the forefront of their thoughts and actions. It’s just not how our cities and towns have taken shape since Model Ts started rolling off assembly lines.
For me, I made a series of conscious decisions five years ago to leave the big city (Seattle) and move to a smaller town (Bellingham). While a primary driver was the employment opportunity offered to me, at the micro level when it came to choosing a neighborhood where I could 1) afford to live 2) avoid an unreasonable or unpleasant commute and 3) have ready access to trails… I feel I was EXTREMELY lucky to be able to satisfy each of these goals. I \*can’t\* reasonably pedal to work (unfortunately) but these days I often work from home anyhow. I \*can\* basically coast to the trails and when i do drive, I am behind the wheel of a thirty year old Bubble Era Toyota van.
I can’t deny I have had ebike fever for a few months now but sh\*t, reading this report gives me pause. After getting past the high entry cost, can I justify the decision given what I now know about the environmental impact? Will I really reduce car trips if I purchase a mountain-specific ebike? (FWIW I have had my eye on the \*alloy* Rail for a while. I don’t really see the benefit of a carbon frame for a bike with a motor.)
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