How Electric Vehicles Can Make a Difference

An eery puff of white smoke appeared over the volcano. Steve Erickson, co-owner of Showers Pass, an all-weather cycling apparel company, and I were in Antigua, Guatemala, paying our respects to ASELSI, an organization that provides assistance of all kinds to the native peoples, from putting tin roofs on their adobe houses, to teaching young mothers best practices for nursing care.

Our journey would take us deep into the country, meeting the warm and gracious people of Guatemala, and picking up a few words of Q’eqchi’ along the way. Our only regret from the trip was not going full-on Anthony Bourdain and trying the savory smelling grilled chicken we saw offered by countless street vendors near Lake Atitlán. Next time.

But on that visit, we had our eye on the volcano. Later we would learn just how troublesome and dangerous volcanos can be.

While there are ambitious plans by scientists to prevent volcanic eruptions, in reality there is very little we can do to stop them or the climate change they cause. Not true for the climate change we can effect. That requires immediate and urgent action, as we see in this most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures.

Light e-vehicles alone won’t save the world, but they are a start. Every time one of us makes the conscious choice to walk, pedal a bike, or ride an e-bike or e-scooter, we are doing our small part to affect change. That’s good for the planet.

“Every time one of us makes the conscious choice to walk, pedal a bike, or ride an e-bike or e-scooter, we are doing our small part to affect change.”

Making that conscious choice demands a sacrifice, to decline the comfort and protection of an oil fired car and instead, expose ourselves to the elements — precipitation, heat and cold. That’s one reason Steve invested in Showers Pass, because his company offers the cyclist protection from the elements so he or she can more easily make that positive choice for the planet.

Some 18 months after our visit to Guatemala, the Volcán de Fuego, about 16 km from Antigua, erupted and caused terrible devastation and loss of life. No amount of special clothing would have helped — it was simply a tragic, unpreventable and heartbreaking disaster. Fortunately our friends at ASELSI were unharmed, and they are on the ground doing what they can.

We do what we can — that’s all we can do. Buying or renting a light electric vehicle is one step you can take, for yourselves, your neighbors, and for the planet.

For that, we say thank you.


About Brant Huddleston

Brant Huddleston, born 1956, hosts a podcast and blog on ways boomers and their aging parents enjoy peak life experiences well into their sunset years. In this role he interviews experts on cutting edge innovations in caregiving, indy travel and and healthy aging, exploring best practices, tools, tips and technologies useful for older adults. Brant retired from IBM after holding positions in engineering, sales, and management, and now develops self-guided audio tours that run on popular smartphones. A nomadic traveller, you’ll find Brant on the road whenever he scares up a few pesos, and in Washington DC otherwise, where he lives close to his daughters and grand-kids. He rides anything that rolls.


About Steve Erickson

Steve Erickson, born 1957, is the co-owner of Showers Pass, an all weather cycling apparel company located in Portland, Oregon. Steve started his career as a missionary, migrating to various positions in the electronic components industry, working in Europe for over 15 years. In 2000 he bought an electronic tools company with a partner, growing it five fold, and then selling it to invest in Showers Pass. A passionate and accomplished cyclist, and a survivor of triple bypass heart surgery, Steve literally rides to live and lives to ride. When not in Portland near his kids and grandson, you’ll either find him walking the Oregon coast or climbing the Alps d’Huez on his titanium Seven.