The Fast Track to Suburbia?
It’s been a worldwide trend. Calgary like other cities across the world has seen more and more of its population moving to the suburbs and choosing space over proximity to the oﬃce. Calgary’s latest assessment figures show property values have increased by more than 10% in some parts of the suburbs. So far that move seems here to stay.
There’s another trend that’s been quietly taking the world by storm that can make the suburbs even more accessible and aﬀordable. Electric Bikes sales have been on the rise worldwide. Deloitte recently predicted there would be around 300 million e-bikes in circulation worldwide by 2023. Calgary is keeping pace. Bow Cycle’s electric bike store saw sales exponentially boom this year, up 50%. Next year they’re predicting another increase in sales of 30%. People aren’t just buying them for fitness but also to commute.
In fact, Bow Cycles store manager Adam Hatcher thinks eventually all households could have an e bike. Many even view them as an alternative to a second car. Despite the painful price tag (around $3,000-$5,000) the bikes can soon pay for themselves. “You’re not paying for gas or costly insurance and they can be used in winter with studs” says Hatcher.
He’s not the only one noting the changes. Bike Calgary says more and more of its members are choosing e-bikes. Many are looking at it as a commuting option. The e-bike can open up parts of the city that would previously have deterred cyclists. North and North West Calgary are classic examples. Hills become easy with the electronic assist yet all the health benefits of biking remain for the rest of the journey. With speeds of up to 32 km/h on a class 1, the e-bike can significantly reduce commuter time. Another move Bike Calgary notes is members using e-bikes to travel to LRT stations. Biking itself saw a spike during Covid with many viewing it as a safer way to travel rather than public transport.
Covid has changed many of our lifestyle choices and it seems that some are here to stay. Sales of detached and semi-detached homes continue to the lead the way in Calgary’s housing rebound. Apartment prices have risen but not at the same rate. E-bike sales are predicted to continue rising. Bike Calgary says some housing associations are even looking at how they can make life in the suburbs more bike friendly. It appears there could be a new fast track to suburbia…Posted by Kirby Cox on