Both new and experienced bikers know how problematic it can be to find a power source to charge your bicycle on the go. Obviously, it’s not the search for a power outlet that is the tough part - it’s the process of finding a safe and friendly one that makes the difference.
In most cases, it’s necessary to ask for other people’s permission when you’re using their electricity, which means you might encounter some very uncomfortable situations. For example, did you know that charging your bike uses the same amount of electricity as using a laptop in a coffee shop? Yeah, most shop owners don’t know this either, hence the awkward scenarios.
Where Can I Charge My Bike?
Most bikes are engineered to use little electricity during charging, but you might still face challenges with some people not allowing you to charge your bike. That’s why we created this post which provides you with many choices.
Gas Stations Or Shops
Gas stations are a great place to charge your bike as there is always a coffee shop nearby to relax while your bike is charging. Workers at gas stations are friendly towards bikers and normally don’t have any issue with people charging their bikes.
This is probably your best shot, so we suggest you start here if you have no one to visit and ask a favor from.
Campgrounds And Playgrounds
You can always check whether your local park has a location earmarked for phone or laptop charging, as those areas usually have several power outlets. However, you don’t want to take up too much space, as you will bother others in the park, and that’s just unpleasant to begin with.
Large Coffee Shops
This option is not guaranteed since each coffee shop owner has a different mindset regarding people using their electricity. Some are fine with clients charging their phones and laptops, but they might not allow such for electric bikes.
Some coffee shops are simply too small to host electric bikes, which is why we suggest you try your luck with a larger coffee shop. Make sure to grab a drink, and be polite - most owners won’t create any issues if you’re already sitting there with a cup of tea.
If you are a student or someone who often visits an educational institute or a library, you might want to charge your bike while you are there - the power of multitasking! While many such locations have a bike rack, you might notice a lack of power sources nearby.
That's why making friends with the cleaning staff, or the receptionist makes a lot of difference. Inside information is always useful, especially in crowded places where it’s easy and common to get your stuff stolen.
Charge Your Bike While You Work
Charging your electric bicycle at work is a really good idea since it can easily be explained to your colleagues and your boss. You can always elaborate on how you don’t want your bike to get lost or stolen, and having it nearby makes the situation more comfortable for you.
If your workspace has a dedicated space for jackets, shoes, and luggage, you can easily bring your bike there. Make sure to keep it clean, and let other people know that you're going to charge it there. It might be a good conversation starter, too!
Charge The Bike At Someone’s House
Any good friend or relative will surely give you a hand if you need to charge your bike at their place. Of course, you can always ask people whether you can count on them when you’re in a clutch, but make sure you don’t get used to this and make it a habit to charge your bike at other people’s homes .
If you’re visiting someone and drinking coffee at their place, you can make use of this time. However, people aren't always in the mood to have guests, and they can't always be at home.
Most malls have bike racks and a power source nearby, but you might want to question the safety of putting your bike there. Many bikers use electrical outlets not intended for charging bikes, such as vending or coffee machines, but we do not support using these electrical power points. You should always be honest and simply ask, most people will give you a hand.
Local Fire Stations
We all know that firefighters love to help, right? Although we don’t think you should bother them and use a local firehouse as a charging station, you can ask them for help once or twice if you have a crisis. Ensure that you don’t get in their way and don’t bother them, as emergencies happen all of the time, and you don’t want to prolong their reaction time. It’s also pretty cool to see firefighters in action, right?
Our Best Advice
Make Sure To Clean Your Bike Well. If your bike is clean and it looks well maintained, others will likely let you bring it anywhere you want. How would you respond if someone asked whether they could put their muddy tires and dusty suspensions in your common room? So many reasons to say no, right?
Communication Is Key. Communication is key to a good life, especially when it comes to favors. If you help people, people will help you - it’s quite simple. So make sure to be polite and to ask in a friendly manner. Don’t guilt-trip people and make them feel as if they are doing something bad by saying no, as you will never get a second chance.
Give Small “Thank You” Gifts. For example, if the cleaning staff in a local coffee shop or a nice Barista helps you with your bike, you can either leave them a tip or buy them a small chocolate or a cup of coffee. Small things really do matter, and you will create friendships that you maybe weren’t expecting at all.
Protect Your Bike Well. This piece of advice is aimed at your well-being! Getting your bike stolen is such a problematic event - not only have you lost a significant amount of money, but also your transportation back home! Make sure to invest in a proper accessory that will protect your bike and give you peace of mind when you’re spending your time shopping or reading a book in the library.
Use The Proper Outlet. To stay safe, we always suggest you use a 15 Amps, 120 V outlet. Stronger outlets or modified ones made for large vending machines could potentially damage your bike’s battery, and this is a cost you don’t want to encounter.
Have A Spare Battery On You. Our best tip is however to have a spare battery on you. We don't recommend that you always use it, but just in those times when you really can't find a place to charge your bike at. Having one in your bike’s storage gives you the feeling of safety and is great to extend your trips.
Charging your electric bike is something you have to do, and you sometimes simply don’t have a choice - you have to charge it right now, somewhere nearby. We suggest you rely on friends and family first, as well as gas stations. If you can’t use any of the mentioned options, you should follow our tips to maximize your chances of “collaboration” with a local coffee shop owner or the cleaning staff at your Uni.