Microdocumentary by Mammals is a creative project of SmartyGirlLeadership Indie.
As promised we are right alongside our readers in DIY indie film projects from behind-the-scenes video production to bootstrapping fundraising.
Photo Credit: YouTube SGL TV Microdocumentary by Mammals FAQ The Making of “Emerging Ebikes”
So as Part 2 of our bike documentary short series, we’ve interviewed green transport experts outside of Washington State such as Pedelec Adventures’ Susanne Bruesch of Berlin Germany and Sustainable Transportation Consultant Ayman Zoubir of Lyon France.
Who is next? You guessed it! That’s Turbo Bob!
Four Fast Facts
- Turbo Bob is an aviation and automotive technician
- He predicts that the fourth profile of the ebike rider is the teen who will be receiving his/her first electric personal transport rather than first car because of the cost savings and environmental benefit to parents
- Turbo Bob hosts an “Introduction to Electric Bicycles” cost-free seminar twice a year in San Diego as a community event, with no sales, no pressure for the public to learn about and test ride electric assist bikes
- Turbo Bob and his wife Barbara are championing the term “People on Bikes” to describe the people riding bicycles to bring attention to the human life on wheels that is sharing traffic with cars
Our Editor-in-Chief Renee Marchol interviewed Turbo Bob last week by phone. Our editors were most curious about how Bob maintains a bike library to blog so prolifically, what is his relationship to bike makers, and how he advocates for bike safety and green transport adoption in his community.
As promised SmartyGirlLeadership blog shares MBA best practices so that challenge of maintaining objectivity for product reviews is transparent. Likewise, Turbo Bob shared his commitment to avoid partnering with instrusive advertisements on his Turbo Bob Bicycling Blog. Why? Because his approach is a no sales pressure approach. As in his interview with Morgan Lee of The San Diego Union Tribune in April 2013, Bob is well-qualified to speak about high-tech but is most interested about the green effect and “youthful innocence” that each bike ride brings. So you’ll notice that similar bicycle blogs have chosen a different strategy. This is how Turbo Bob is distinctive.
So without bike ads in sidebars, how is Turbo Bob receiving access to all these electric bikes to review? The electric bike companies contact Turbo Bob based on his reputation of giving even-handed product reviews. What does Turbo Bob do when he’s not adding posts to his own blog? He is an active member of a Meetup called the Electric Bike Club of San Diego while writing the E-bike monthly column for reborn Bicycle Business Journal. In other words, Bob stays immersed in the field study of ebikes.
So if Bob doesn’t advertise for bike companies what incentive do bike makers receive in approaching Bob for an evaluation? Turbo Bob shared that he chooses to give constructive feedback to startup E-bike makers who have a long way to go for improvements. Instead of slamming them in a damning review, if they are receptive the engineers and in-house team receives his suggestions for improvement. Then they are invited to submit the bike for review again, for a second chance. Bob tries to test each bike for two weeks in different terrain and varying temperatures to really evaluate its capabilities though a full review can be done in 4 hours. How does it perform after 20 miles on a hot day ? How does it ride on a misty 1 mile trip to the market?
Lastly, Turbo Bob and his wife Barbara are so community-minded and respected in San Diego that an energy innovation center offered to host his “Introduction to Electric Bicycles” community event, craft services were sponsored, and electric assist bike retailers agreed to a “onsite sales prohibited” policy to participate in a test riding day event for the general public. With waiver of course.
Our Editor-in-Chief Renee Marchol and her Emerging Ebikes indie production team knows that what Turbo Bob has accomplished is difficult to coordinate. In the past year, for Part 1 of SGL’s supported electric assist bike documentary short our logistic coordinators found that Pacific Northwest bike coalitions, bike retailers, bike athletes, bike commuters and government transport authorities are fragmented in their individual efforts. Turbo Bob has united efforts for a non-commercial cause of improving the green neighborhoods of People on Bikes.
Turbo Bob is passionate about getting people to embrace bikes and all they stand for. He does much of this through his testing, reviews and feedback to the bike companies. Find out more about city security for folding bikes and electric bikes on his Turbo Bob’s Bicycle Blog.