Saturday, August 2, 2014

Mariner 7 Foldable Electric Bicycle

Prodeco Mariner 7
Two years ago, I checked out my first foldable electric bike in Greenwich Village. I knew it was a matter of time before I bought one. That time arrived two weeks ago as I drove past the San Diego Electric Bike Company in Solana Beach. I made a U-turn, parked, and spent some time speaking with the company founder. Thirty minutes later I purchased a Prodeco Mariner 7 which began my love affair with e-bikes.

The Mariner 7 is a regular, foldable bike, with 20" tires that incorporate a front-wheel drive motor and battery. It easily folds up and fits in the trunk of my Honda Accord. The Florida based manufacturer advertises that the Mariner 7 will go 18 mph with a range of 25 – 35 miles. Of course, range and speed depend on my weight, terrain, and how much pedaling I do.

As the name implies, the Mariner 7 is intended for boat owners – it also works well for those who own planes and RVs. I can pedal it like any other eight-speed bike or use the throttle for some extra zip; or use both at the same time. Obviously, the less I use the motor, the further it'll go.

What I like about my e-bike is that I can ride it around San Diego without breaking a sweat while going up hills on warm days – and San Diego has its share of hills. My bike also draws a lot of attention. Two weeks ago I rode through Balboa Park and snapped some photos. Each time I stopped, people asked me questions about the bike.

Click to enlarge
The most interesting person to ask me about my bike was Rhonda. She seemed to know a bit about e-bikes when she asked me how I liked my Mariner 7. It turns out she and her husband have owned nine e-bikes and she knew all the San Diego e-bike companies and owners.

It's Rhonda's personal story that fascinated me. She used to weigh 457 pounds and lost more than 270 pounds over the past two and a half years. An impressive, transformational achievement.

1 comment:

Tony Giaccone said...

I've been thinking about an electric bike since I was in Colombia. The floor of the valley is particularly flat and the sun is always around, and it would be the perfect place to have an electric bike. It would also be great on the boat. Well not... On the boat, but when the boat was in the harbor and I was on the land. ;-)