Welcome to the blog that discovers the cycling-adjacent weird and wonderful tidbits as I walk the aisles of the Sea Otter Classic 2023 Expo. Today, I talked with the two representatives of Jiangsu Snail Zhixing Technology Co.,Ltd , which manufactures solar-powered scooters.
Photovoltaic panels cover the front and the deck of this scooter, which I’m told can charge the battery in roughly six to eight hours on a sunny California day. They’re trying to break into the shared mobility market with this scooter. They believe that solar charging can benefit scooter share companies that currently must pay contractors to charge public scooter batteries.
I’m curious why they named they include the snail in their company name. These slimy, shelled gastropods don’t generally carry a positive connotation for Western consumers, so I asked, “Why snail? Does the snail have special significance in Chinese culture?”
They told me there’s no special meaning behind the snail, but they wanted to convey the idea that this scooter is snail-like in that snails keep moving along despite their (ahem) snail’s pace. I suppose the Western equivalent might be “slow and steady wins the race” from Aesop’s fable of “The Tortoise and the Hare.”
That’s when I noticed the name of their scooter — the “Sunail” — is a pun. It’s a sun-powered snail that’s always on the go despite its languid pace. Get it?
The Snail Scooter company’s booth isn’t far from the tire bridge at Sea Otter if you’d like to see it for yourself, or watch their promotional video.
Cain Ramirez is the Co-Founder and CEO of Cowgirl Bike Courier. He has been designated by Cyclelicious as part of the less-than-one percent of transportation cyclists that identify as “Strong & Fearless”.
It started off as a joke.
Rich had just posted a press release for the Sea Otter Classic on Twitter. In it was mention of the Second Iteration of their infamous eMTB Race. I laughed. I don’t ride mountain bikes. Truth be told, I don’t particularly like mountain bikes, or mountain bike culture for that matter. Despite these preconceived notions, I’m a complete sucker for erratic and quirky cycling concepts.
Three years ago, Faraday introduced their electric bike, notable because it’s much prettier than other ebikes, among other features. Earlier this week, Faraday launched a crowd-funding campaign for a step-through model they call the “Cortland” (rhymes with Portland?).
Did you know you can get attention from the store manager of a supermarket when you attach a GoPro camera to your shopping cart?
I stalked my neighbor Lisa as she rode down to Nob Hill Foods for her Thanksgiving feast shopping. Lisa and her husband Neal own and operate NTS Works, so she uses her 2×4 electric assist cargo bike for her shopping.
I’m the guy on the skinny tired road bike you’ll see occasionally riding alongside in this video. On level ground we rode at what I consider a normal, relaxed pace, but going uphill I had to work to keep up with the loaded cargo bike. I’m huffing and puffing when Lisa tells me, “I’m only in low power mode. Should I turn this down some more?”
Why would anyone ride a bike for grocery shopping? For the couple of the days prior to the American Thanksgiving holiday, the parking lots are a chaotic mess. Bikes allow the savvy shopper to shimmy past everybody waiting with their blinker on as they wait for a parking space to open up.
Carrying capacity can be an issue, and cargo bikes are a solution to that. I don’t personally have a cargo bike, so I grocery shop with the Burley Travoy bike trailer.
Attention Portland, Oregon: the NTS Works 2×4 electric assist cargo bike will be at Clever Cycles this Tuesday, September 10 2013, from noon to 4 PM.
Clever Cycles is the center of the American cargo bike world; I’m interested in what experienced cargo bike riders think about this bike after they see it.
NTS Works has been focusing their PR on non-endemic media — that is, they’re taking their bike to the non-bike mainstream media. Although all of the Santa Cruz bike nerds know about this local effort, I think Clever Cycles will be the first visit to a cargo bike shop for NTS Works proprietors Neal and Lisa Saiki. Last week, it was CNN’s “the Next List” blog, today it’s Forbes Magazine (albeit the writer Michael Kanellos is a San Francisco bike nut). You can also catch a review of the 2×4 in MotorHome Magazine next month.
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