Our Village Fair and other news

Last Sunday, Mount Airy had its annual village fair, which took place in the ‘bustling’ center of West Mount Airy, the corner of Greene St. and Carpenter Lane. There were plenty of unique attractions and events, including a ‘free for all’ (basically a free garage sale) by Phillyfreecycle, a bike-powered blender at the Mt. Airy Bike Collective cranking out fruit smoothies, a pie-eating contest sponsored by High Point Cafe, and a slow ice cream eating contest sponsored by us at PHEW.

Despite some rain that eventually cleared up, the day went great. Lots of people turned out and enjoyed themselves.  I’m also pleased to announce that I am the 2010 pie-eating contest winner! There was some tough competition, but I emerged victorious (and covered with pie.) It was a classic no-hands speed-eating contest, so getting messy was inevitable. The prize for victory was, ironically, a pie. Fortunately I’m allowed to claim my pie at any time so wasn’t stuck with a stomachache and a fresh pie at the same time.

Afshin is also a two-time winner of the pie-eating contest, which means PHEW is pretty dominant in the contest. We’ll have to see what next year’s result will be…

In actual E-bike related news, last week Afshin and I dashed out to Las Vegas for the Interbike trade show, which is a GIANT annual meeting of the bike industry. We went to scout out new E-bike designs and see what was going on with bike design in general. The mainstream of the bike industry is picking up E-bikes in a big way, as a good number of manufacturers featured their electric offerings.

There were also some new names on the scene with different and interesting designs. One maker called Lightning had a very light (24 lb) singlespeed electric bike at the show, but judging by the the total lack of coverage on their website or in the media, it’s likely the bike is not ready for mass production. I guess we’ll keep our eyes out.

There was also a very nice looking electric motor design by Achiever,  which places the motor and controller in the bottom bracket, using a motor attached to the cranks to assist in turning the pedals. The company claims that this is preferable to the standard hub-motor setup because the motor is kept at an optimal RPM by the rider as they select the appropriate gear while riding. This design also makes the weight of the bike more balanced, since the weight of the motor and controller is at the center of the bike instead of at either end as it would with a hub motor.

We’ll see how these designs come along and see about getting some models to test. If we pick up any new products, we’ll let you know.