Motorized bicycle saves drivers money - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Motorized bicycle saves drivers money

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email 

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -  If you're starting to feel the pinch of higher gas prices there may be a more affordable way for you to get around town.

When gas prices sky rocket commuters often look for ways to cut back, like riding a bicycle for instance, but one bike has an extra part you might not expect.

Piston Cycles owner and motor bike builder, Jonathan Lee said, "The engine is a two stroke. It requires a mix just like a weed eater or a chainsaw. It holds half a gallon of gas and averages between 180 and 220 miles per gallon depending on the ride."

Motorized bicycles were produced in the 1960's but never seemed to gain as much popularity as other means of transportation. But Jonathan Lee is bringing them back and saving people money, "It's very cheap gas. Back and forth to work and around town I run about $1.25 a week putting 150 miles per week on the bike."

You have to use some physical effort to start the bike, but after that it's a smooth ride.

"You ride it as a regular bike. You start it up and once you hit five miles per hour you engage the clutch and the engine starts and it'll continue to run until you hit a kill switch in case there's a problem," explained Lee.

Lee says drivers can take the bike on roadways, "It still falls under all bicycle laws: stopping at red lights, hand signals, everything."

But he warns, be prepared to attract some extra attention, "I've been stopped in Columbus by a police officer. I thought there were going to be some issues as to what I was doing, but he just inquired where it came from and how I got it. He was dumb-founded."

The engines allow the bike to get up to 45 miles per hour. Lee says he is spending around a $1.50 in gas and traveling an estimated 150 miles per week. That breaks down to roughly 220 miles per gallon.

The best part: the bike is 100 percent street legal.

To contact Piston Cycles you can e-mail pistoncycles@ymail.com or call (334)297-6222.

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