Several people have asked me what happens with a JUMP bike if the battery runs out before you get to your destination. Now I know. It isn’t too bad. I have been picking up low battery bikes and returning them to hubs where they are more easily picked up by the field crew for charging, and if the battery goes completely dead and they disappear from the system, they are in a known spot where they can be found. Last night I picked up a bike that showed in the app as having a low battery (one red bar on the battery indicator, see the screen capture at right for an example), and it was so low that it did not provide any detectable pedal assist. It did have enough battery to power the headlights and taillights, but the pedaling was all mine.

The bikes are heavy, and so getting started from a stop requires some muscle. But once moving, the bikes are not hard to pedal, and the electric motor does not cause any significant drag. I would not want to go up a hill, but there aren’t any real hills in the current service area, and pedaling into a strong headwind would probably not be pleasant. People with handicaps or less strong muscles should probably avoid low battery bikes, just to make sure.

The bikes that show up in the app with a $ bike icon (not fixed yet), I call ‘low battery’, These still have considerably life in them, as long as you aren’t doing a long ride. The ones that show with a single red bar, I call ‘low-low battery’. These may get you to a nearly location, but you wouldn’t pick one for a longer trip.

Most of the time when I take a low-low battery bike to a hub, it puts itself into ‘repair’ mode a minute or so after I lock it up, which is what it should do.

About Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.

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bike share

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