Park City has long been a hub for world class mountain bike single track. But in recent years, the addition of paved trails and bike lanes throughout town has also made it a haven for bike commuting for both exercise and practical purposes.
Still, one of the limitations to bike commuting in Park City has always been the hills. We Parkites are generally a fit people, so it’s not that we can’t handle the hills. It’s just that nobody wants to arrive to their destination sweaty in the hot July heat.
One possible solution? Ebikes. Everywhere I turn I seem to hear of another friend getting an electric bike. I even heard a friend say he saw an ebike on the Crest Trail! Not recommended (or allowed, for that matter).
Even if you aren’t ready to go all in with a purchase just yet, Park City has a highly renowned ebike share program. Now people who want to get around town without a car can do so while taking in the scenery and feeling the wind in their hair.
Benefits of Electric Bikes for Summer Commuting
The list of ebike benefits is a long one. Here are some Park City specific benefits that top my list for replacing your car for the summer.
- Save on gas. Good for your pocketbook and the environment.
- Get some light exercise. Believe it or not, you do get some physical benefits from these pedal assist bikes.
- Get more vitamin D. The extra sunshine is good for all of us.
- Park closer. Don’t worry about the park and ride lot for the Silly Market or the long walk up to Snow Park Lodge for the next Deer Valley show.
- Fewer cars on the road. Park City traffic can be a bear, even during some summer events. Do your part when you can.
Downsides of Electric Bikes for Summer Commuting
The downsides of ebike commuting are few, but if I have to name some, I can.
- Security. Unless you are using the bike share, you’ll have to figure out how to park your bike securely when you arrive at your destination.
- Bike share reliability. Sometimes there can be glitches with the bike share program; other times bikes are not available where you need one. What’s more, while there are stations throughout town, the parking is not as convenient as owning your own.
- Complexity. Compared to a regular bike, especially a commuter bike, ebikes have more parts and greater complexity. You will need to find a trusted bike shop to help with repairs.
- Weight. These bikes aren’t as easy to maneuver around or get into a vehicle.
- Weather. Even in the reliable Park City weather, we can have some bad days. Hot summer afternoons are notorious for the popup lightning storm, which would not be ideal on an ebike.
The benefits of electric bikes far outweigh the deterrents. If you aren’t ready to be come a full time ebike jockey, check out the bike share program the next time you head up to a Deer Valley concert or a crowded special event. You won’t be disappointed. Have you tried the e-bikes in Park City? I have not yet. My kids laughed at me when I told them I was going to trade in my convertible MINI for an e-bike. I did trade in the convertible…still hoping to get on an e-bike this summer.