Exit Lane: Dr. Jason Gilliland

Dr. Jason Gilliland
Professor
Western University

2018 Specialized Turbo Como 2.0
Specialized 1.2 battery, 460 Wh
700 kilometres


WHEN STUDENTS ASK how I get to Western, I usually say ‘BBMW’—bike, bus, mainly walking. I’m a multi-modal traveler. In snow and heavy rain, I usually commute to work by LTC bus, or taxi/carpool when I am in a hurry or need an extra hour sleep! In nicer weather, I love to ride my bike.

I GOT THE Como bike about a year ago from To Wheels in downtown London. Neck and shoulder pains forced me off my old road bike, so I needed to find a smoother ride with an upright seating position. This bike is so comfortable and ideal for urban commuting.

THE MOST ATTRACTIVE feature of this bike is that it is fast. It has an ­electric motor for pedal assist—the harder you pedal, the more power the motor puts out. I thought a Tesla would be my first electric vehicle, but I love the concept of a pedal-assist electric bike. There are no costs for gas, insurance or parking. Also, if you want to go top speed, you’re going to get a workout compared to traditional electric bikes.

BECAUSE I CAN take the Thames Valley Parkway bike paths and avoid all the traffic congestion around downtown and Western, it usually takes me less time to get to work by bike than it does by car. I once made it from Old South to campus in under 13 minutes.

IT GOES ABOUT 100 kilometres on a charge, depending on how much you use the power settings. But I usually just plug it in every Sunday night, after I’ve gone about 75 kilometres. I wish the battery had more capacity so I could take it on long trips—maybe to Port Stanley. It’s a heavy bike, so I don’t go too far without power.

MY DREAM VEHICLE is a Tesla Model S, but it will probably always be beyond my pay grade. I will probably buy an electric car soon, but I’m waiting for prices to become more attractive, ­hopefully once the rebates are brought back. Until then, I’ll keep riding my electric bike. 

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