although the topic has been covered in a couple of times in Jacobs blog as well as in some discussions I would like to seek your advice to pick 1-2 bicycles for commuting/groceries...
I work 4 days a week and commute with my bicycle - at the moment 2x 6.2 miles. Due to moving to another place I will soon have to do 2x 12.8 miles a working day.
Additionally I do train 2x2hrs a week in the evenings (martial arts) and I work about 1-1.5 days (full-time) in my garden (3000sqm where I harvest a whole lot of my veggies, beans, potatoes and hopefully soon eggs).
I guess this will be definitely to much. For that reason I am considering to buy a pedelec (an e-bike that supports you as you pedal).
Now I find that good pedelecs cost around 3000 dollar and do only support your pedeling to a speed of 15.5mph (some max 16.8mph) unless you pay even more and pay for an extra insurance (maybe EU-specific).
Now I recon that I can save about 700 dollars for public transport. Effectively 500 dollar as I consider to pay another 200 dollar for repair parts. This means that such a bike will pay for itself after 6yrs.
Even if this is financially far from optimal there are some advantages: if I buy a bike and co-finance it by not taking public transport I pay money for something I have. If I go by bike I will have more regular training - which will surely support my physical endurance supporting my fitness in martial arts as well as in the garden. But taking the ebike I would not be so very exhausted (which I suspect but do not now for sure, yet).
And I think - although I am not totally sure about it - I will be faster on my ways on average. Although I can go faster than > 20mph with a regular road bike I will be supported on acceleration, on hills and when the wind blows (which is not so seldom where I live) - and can go certainly faster on flat areas.
A drawback is that even pedelecs in the range of the named price (3000 dollars) weigh 45 lbs.
An alternative is to take a road-bike (with the risk to overtrain and thus to pay for tickets again?).
Another alternative would be to skip marital arts training (which I would not like to do).
Do you have any experience and/or suggestions? What would you do? Buy a cheaper (=likely to be less reliable?) e-bike (say for 1800 dollar (only for commuting) and a touring/road bike for 1000 dollar that could also be used for grocerise)... Just take the public transportation and buy a cheap road bike and save at least occasionally?
A last aspect: I cannot say that there is not at least a profane consumerist thinking involved best described by: I what that cool stuff now! (e.g. this one http://merida-bikes.com/de_ch/bike/2011/230/E-Bike/E-SPRESSO+10+EQ - sorry I could not find an English page showing the same).
As you see there are quite a few things I have been thinking about... I am happy for your ideas/comments.