Sunday 6th February 2022 19.21 Published by

Hey, look: I got back here within a couple weeks this time.


So, until just about exactly now, it’s been absurdly warm around here. Here being Denver. Where the mountains are. With snow on them. But, until just about exactly now, it’s been sixty-odd degrees every day since sometime in October.

Until just about exactly now. It just finally started getting cold around here, and snowy, and a good time to stay inside.

So we went shopping online.

Okay: givit.

It wasn’t as impulsive as it sounds. It was a little; but it’s not like we suddenly heard that eBikes were a thing, and grabbed the first one we saw in the wild. In fact, we suddenly heard they existed about five years ago, down at Southlands Mall, when a new store opened up with these bikes for five thousand bucks operating on a principle similar to a couple ZBoards I already had in the house.

But, because we were just hearing about the things for the first time, we didn’t leap into throwing five thousand bucks at one. Or ten thousand, in the event that we might have grabbed two of them.

We’d probably have grabbed two of them. Two ZBoards, so we can each ride one around at the same time. More recently, we got a couple OneWheels for the same reason. Always two there are, or whatever.

ZBoard; OneWheel.

But we didn’t leap into buying anything, five years ago. We did however leap into testdriving the things. One thing. And really only Hunter. Mostly because I didn’t care all that much right then; also because I wasn’t gonna get into all the paperwork and helmetwearing they required before I could roll a bicycle around in the OfficeMax lot for a minute.

But Hunter gave it a try, with a borrowed helmet; and she liked it.

Then we chatted about how totally we’d think about it overnight and likely come back in the morning. And then we didn’t go back in the morning.

But that’s okay. It didn’t seem like a significant priority right then.

So, five years later, we’ve been rolling around on the OneWheels. A little less, just about exactly now, when there’s anything from six inches of snow to six inches of pavement between instances of shadowsnow—that thing where it’s fifty-odd degress in a city lacking oxygen, so any snow protected from direct sunlight by the shade of a fence is frictionless ice until it isn’t. And ice appearing under a single cheaterslick on a board requiring balance in four directions is upsetting.

So we’ve been doing less of that sort of thing, however unfortunately.

Which loosely reminded me, about a week ago, that motorised bikes were a thing. Once. Which led to wondering whether they still were. Which led to Hunter somewhat eagerly telling me they still exist, and cost less, and weigh less, and go faster, and she’d show me a website, and there’s a screenshot up there somewhere.

So, we contemplated that for a minute or two; then she EMailed the people behind the website, just to ask if they happened to do anything for disabled vets; then she called the people behind the website because disabled vets need to do orders over the phone to get things matched correctly to an EMailed JPEG of a DD214.

Pick a card; agree to authorise; done.

The disabled vet thing was a bit negligible: instead of $999, the thing was $949; with salestax, it was back up around the listed price. That being the $999. So far as I can tell, watching videos of people talking about these things, it’s always $999; the crossed out $1099 thing is something of a scam. it’s like when fridgepacks are officially $5.99, but they’re actually never more than four for twelve bucks or whatever.

Since she was buying this thing over the phone, she was able to ask silly questions—like Now What.

And the answer was that they’d likely get the thing in the mail, as it were, within a couple weeks; and then it’d probably be in the mail for another week or two; and then we’d need to be here to sign for it, because it’s heavy and it costs a bit. And that was okay, because just about exactly now there’s all this snow on the ground.

So that was that. Until, the next day, Hunter mentioned that she already had something of a tracking number. So: okay.

The day after that, it was awaiting pickup by FedEx.

So that’s bad news. Because FedEx are useless morons. They just are. I’ll probably be able to prove it, over the next week or so.

So, whenever FedEx get around to dropping by to pick the thing up, it’ll be in transit. Okay.

Another day, and they picked the thing up. Now the waiting begins.

Another day, and it’ll be here tomorrow.

Tomorrow, and it’ll be the next day, because there’s a Shipping Exception.

So, another day, and the thing we’ve got to be here to sign for gets delivered.


That’s seriously it. Some lump with ShipEx yanked this dilapidated box outta the ShipEx Truck, scooted it up the driveway, squished it into a hedge twenty feet from the front door, and ran away. Because ShipEx are useless morons.

The Elusive ShipEx Moron

Whatever. It’s Special Education Express. It’s what happens when people fall for using them to deliver things.

I limped out to grab seventy-odd pounds of battered cardboard and whatever might still exist inside, and carried it in here. Then I dumped it on the floor next to the BoFlex thing I also recently whimsically grabbed because just about exactly now there’s snow out there.

The box isn’t even open yet, and El the Feral KittyMonster is already scoping new real estate.

As for opening the box: we did that; but, by that point, I’d swapped my smartphone for the GoPro Hero10 thing I bought recently…on a whim.

I buy things on whims a lot, really.

And that’s pretty much the story. Bought an eBike, nearly on a whim; expected it to show up around the end of the month, until it was gonna show up on Saturday, until it showed up today, once I bothered to go out and grab the thing that never actually got delivered. The usual, I suppose.

The good news is that no one hates the thing. Hunter likes it well enough: it’s a bike, which she kinda wanted; it’s motorised, which is neat. She’s not sure about my hasty storage solution—just kinda folding it up and stashing it near the BoFlex until she wants me to pick up sixty-four pounds of metal and carry it out the door for her. Or maybe for me: I might occasionally hop on the thing to ride around a little. Once it’s warmer than it is just about exactly now.

I’m not sure what I didn’t get covered in the video itself, if anything. It’s a relatively heavy bike, of course; but that’s not really news, to me: my first bike was this massive 1961 Schwinn thing with three speeds and a gravitational field, and I was shorter then. It seems pretty tight for something that folds up; it’s not as marginally rickety as a RazorScooter, for example. Again: the brakes as they came preinstalled are a bit spongey; but that’s easy enough to fix whenever I get around to it.

And the thing where it just takes off, rolling its way from zero up to twenty at the speed of eight hundred and fifty watts of whatever that translates to through horsepower and torque and iciness: that’s kinda neat. It can carry 330lbs, presumably in addition to itself; so it might be a simple means of rolling up to the supermarket and filling up a backpack with fridgepacks of soda which don’t really cost $5.99 each.

I’m probably supposed to settle on whether I’d recommend it. And I don’t exactly know. I don’t regret getting the thing, whimsically or otherwise; but…it’s a bike. And there are so many factors in matching bikes to people that I’m not really sure where things meet up. It probably is a little small for me, at five and a half feet long and four feet tall. But I’m used to that. I think the last bike I got that seemed exactly big enough for me was this Fuji 12Speed I got in 1982. For, incidentally, a couple hundred more than this Lectric thing cost. Three and a half times as much, in adjusted dollars.

Which is probably another topic to address: it’s a thousand bucks. To my thinking, it’s probably worth that. Like, if I wanted to ride this thing instead of driving a car, it’d probably pay for itself in…whatever fuel costs these days. Four bucks a gallon? Divided by driving in the city? Call it twenty-five cents a mile, if you’re careful with the accelerator. Four thousand miles riding around on something that can carry you and pretty much whatever you could carry out the door without tipping over. For something that can roll that much weight up a hill without your help, four thousand miles could happen in less than a year. Probably. At a guess.

I think it’s okay. But I spent twice as much on a OneWheelXR a few weeks before FutureMotion announced the forthcoming GT. So it might be okay in a relatively whimsical way.

Meh. it’s okay.

Have a webcomic:

‘Denver is Mountain Time, right? Because we’re driving to Billings in the summer, if you want to meet us there.’

More later….

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