Edit: Karmic reached full funding in seven days!!  Way to go guys!

I want to take some time today to talk about someone I met - someone who truly loves cycling and wants everyone to be able to experience that feeling.  Mostly, I want to talk about what he's doing lately, since it was a bit NDA before.

I met Hong Quan for coffee in Redwood City shortly before I moved down to LA, for a bikes and coffee type meetup that involved, well, just that.  I had wanted to meet Hong to hear more about his company after he reached out to me, and I'm certainly glad that I did.  

What stuck out to me the most was Hong's passion for not only cycling, but for sharing the love of cycling.  He spoke about riding with his daughter, and how he felt everyone should be able to enjoy the feeling of riding a bike.  He really struck a chord with me.  

Hong took his ideas and willingness to want others to love riding bikes and started Karmic Bikes, with the goal to bring cycling to everyone, especially those that either aren't physically capable to do heavy riding, or are perhaps intimidated by something like the hills of San Francisco.  Now, I'll be the first to admit that I've never been a huge fan of most e-bikes, as they're expensive and bulky looking.  But seeing a photo of the first prototype made me do a double take, and hearing the price tag compared  - I didn't notice that it had a battery pack, or even that it was an e-bike at first glance.  

Three days ago (I'm a bit late, I know, I'm still moving in) the Kickstarter launched, and already they've raised more than half of their goal.  You can learn more here.  Though I can't back a full bike right now (though at $1337 for an early backer it's a crazy deal for a fully loaded e-bike) I want to share this with all of you and spread the word about Karmic as much as I can.  And I did grab a t-shirt!

I know that many cyclists scoff at the idea of an e-bike, but Hong brought up a good point: why?  Maybe the woman riding to work has a disability that makes it difficult for her to pedal up hills.  Maybe the man in the distance is elderly and hasn't been able to ride for years - what does it matter to you?  If you believe that they're "cheating" because they're faster than you, then maybe you should re-evaluate why you ride.  I have to thank Hong for a lot of what he said - he actually made me really think about the way I treat my rides and my commutes.  Ride for fun, no matter how you do it.  

I'm supporting this company because I love Hong's enthusiasm and vision for Karmic, and while I know I've complained about more people on bikes wreaking havoc by not knowing what they're doing, from the bottom of my heart I support more people riding, especially if something like this makes riding accessible to them for the first time.  

May is Bike Month, after all.  

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