Trickles of Transcendence (Ep. 2)

in #story9 months ago (edited)


My VanMoof Journey Continues

I’ve discovered that owning an e-bike is an adventure, just not exactly the kind of adventure that I might have imagined. To be fair this is a relatively new segment of the bike industry. It’s also a segment that’s grown exponentially since the start of the pandemic and has been the victim of its own growing pains.

After a year of of thinking about it (more like trying to justify dropping $2k on a bike) I bought a VanMoof S3 in January of 2020. After a relatively trouble-free summer of riding, the bike’s main battery blew a fuse in mid-August. Since the battery isn’t user serviceable the bike was effectively bricked and had to be repaired by VanMoof.

The company agreed to send me a box to return the bike in mid-August and the box never came. After dozens of emails to VanMoof customer support and nearly a month-and-a-half of waiting, the team decided to give me a brand new 2021 S3 and two free accessories for my trouble. I chose the front carrier rack and a rear pannier bag.


My 2021 VanMoof S3

The 2021 version of the bike is mostly the same as the 2020 model but a few updates. It has Apple’s FindMy feature built in, different pedals, and tires. The 2021 model feels slightly more refined but that’s largely due to a new firmware update. After my experiences with both the VanMoof bike and dealing with the company I’ve decided to stick with the brand. Despite the flaws in the product and the customer service they offered a generous solution in the end.

I would also recommend VanMoof to others, with a few caveats based on my own experience as well as feedback from various online VanMoof groups:

  • Don’t rely on the bike as my only source of transportation. The reliability isn’t quite “there” yet;
  • Own a back-up bike in case you experience a problem that renders the bike unrideable; and
  • If you aren’t fairly technically and mechanically inclined I wouldn’t recommend buying one unless there’s a VanMoof store or service hub within reasonable driving distance from your home.

HiveFest 6!


HiveFest is nearly here! Believe me when I tell you @roelandp knows how to throw a party, even a virtual one. If you haven’t signed up yet please do and also please consider voting for the Hive.Fund proposal and donating to @hivefest to help cover the expenses of planning this event. More information on all of the above can be found HERE. Thanks in advance and many thanks to Roeland for all of his hard work this year. HiveFest has been the premiere event for the platform for the past five years and this one will be no exception.

Engagement Isn’t Dead


I can’t tell you how happy I was with the reader engagement on my most recent poem, The Last of the Analogs. It sparked so many great discussions that kicked my brain into hyper-drive. I'm considering expanding on the concepts in the poem and turning it to something much bigger like a short story or even a novella. I'll share more on this as the idea develops.

I appreciate everyone who liked, commented, and share it! After nearly six years on this platform it was great to get that kind of love.

A Tale of Two Thanksgivings


On November 9th it'll already be one year since my Father's passing. It's been such a rollercoaster for us all but it's been especially challenging for my Mom. We didn't want her to be alone on this anniversary so we're going to be packing up the car in a few days and taking a road trip down to Ohio.

Since none of my family can remember that last time we were all together for Thanksgiving we decided to make an early Thanksgiving dinner while we were visiting. Nothing would have made my Father any happier than that.

We'll also be having another Thanksgiving dinner with my wife's side of the family once we get back from our week in Ohio. I'd better start shopping for some expandable pants.

Have a great week, all!

(Gifs sourced from Giphy.com, photo is original.)

All for now.

With Gratitude,

Eric Vance Walton



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Poetry should move us, it should change us, it should glitch our brains, shift our moods to another frequency. Poetry should evoke feelings of melancholy, whimsy, it should remind us what it feels like to be in love, or cause us to think about something in a completely different way. I view poetry, and all art really, as a temporary and fragile bridge between our world and a more pure and refined one. This is a world we could bring into creation if enough of us believed in it. This book is ephemera, destined to end up forgotten, lingering on some dusty shelf or tucked away in a dark attic. Yet the words, they will live on in memory. I hope these words become a part of you, bubble up into your memory when you least expect them to and make you feel a little more alive.

Pick up a copy of Ephemera today on Amazon.



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Most of us have experienced a moment of perfect peace at least once in our lives. In these moments we lose ourselves and feel connected to everything. I call these mindful moments. Words can’t describe how complete they make us feel.

These moments are usually fragile, evaporating in seconds. What if there was a way to train your mind to experience more of them? It’s deceptively easy and requires nothing more than a subtle shift in mindset. My new book, Mindful Moments, will teach you to be much more content despite the chaos and imperfect circumstances continuing to unfold around you. Upgrade your life experience today for only $15.99 on Amazon.com.



Let’s Keep In Touch

www.ericvancewalton.net

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I really appreciate you Eric because you love your mother very much. Yes ... you should have to see her periodically. Does your mother live alone? I like your bike too, Eric. Bicycles are a cheap and healthy means of transportation. .I'm also happy to hear that your bike problem has been well resolved. Have a nice day, Eric.

Thank you Eliana. She’s a very special lady. It’s been fun to spoil her a little. I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

How time flies!!! I think it was yesterday when you said you would buy your bicycle and when you gave us the news of your father's death. I can imagine how that meeting will be and how nostalgic you are going to feel. I just hope what's left of the year is to be thankful for a lot. For my part, again thankful for your support. Here in Venezuela the internet has had a lot of failures. I try to work in spite of those failures! I'm going to read that poem you point out. I'm sure it will be very interesting to read, as always. Hugs to you, Eric.

Yes, time is like a runaway train it just goes faster and faster! I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you're still having down in Venezuela but I'm glad you're working through them. I'm very grateful to be able to spend a week with my family. We're also escaping Minnesota just in time. We have the first measurable snow fall of the season forecasted for Fri-Sun of this week. Thanks for your comment Nancy and take care of yourself!

Hello dear friend @ericvancewalton good afternoon
I'm sorry for everything you had to go through with the bike, however it was worth the wait, they really solved the problem very well

There is nothing more beautiful than being with the family together, without a doubt your father would be very happy about that.

I take this opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous week dear friend

Thanks my friend! Thankfully I have a spare bike so when it was broken down I had another one to ride. I agree with what you say about family. Most times there's six months or more between visits so I really try to make the most of it. Have a wonderful week!

I’ve discovered that owning an e-bike is an adventure, just not exactly the kind of adventure that I might have imagined.

When I think about electronic vehicles, then my first concern about them is the lifespan of their batteries, and whether they can be replaced or not, and if yes, then for how much.

After a year of of thinking about it (more like trying to justify dropping $2k on a bike) I bought a VanMoof S3 in January of 2020.

$2000 USD for a bike? Damn. My annual/yearly pension-like income is approximately $3000 USD. Take the double of that $2000 USD, and you can buy literally a house in some parts in the countryside of my country (Hungary).

I had a relatively trouble-free summer of riding until things went south when the bike’s main battery blew a fuse in mid-August. Since the battery isn’t user serviceable the bike was effectively bricked and had to be repaired by VanMoof.

Damn again. For $2000 USD I would expect something much more durable.

After dozens of emails to VanMoof customer support and nearly a month-and-a-half of waiting, the team decided to give me a brand new 2021 S3 and two free accessories for my trouble.

That is the least they could do. At least the customer service is more or less helpful. This is good to hear. But the price of the bike is a big shame.

I agree, the bike should be much more durable and user serviceable. To VanMoof's credit, they are trying hard to satisfy their customers but I'm sure between the supply chain problems and the pandemic it feels like they're on a sinking ship.

Yes, the economies of Hungary and the US are worlds away it seems but the US economy is rather deceptive. The salaries are higher here but so is the cost of everything. That house that can be bought in your country for $4000 would probably be at least $250,000 here (probably more). People are paying $3,500 per month for a two bedroom apartment in our city. Studio apartments (basically one room with a bathroom) are around $1,500 per month. I saw a statistic the other day that shocked me...78% of Americans have no savings, nothing in the bank.

I wish you a great week and thanks for the comment!

After dozens of emails to VanMoof customer support and nearly a month-and-a-half of waiting...

is good that they gave you a new 2021 S3. Isn't there a web-site which publishes public customer complaints? Therefore, the company would deal with ypur problem, if it is a corporate company.

I have read someone else's post about HIVE post. I will try to join it, for the first time.

Thanks! TrustPilot publishes customer reviews and last I checked VanMoof's scores are abysmal. What their fans have said time and time again though is happy customers don't write reviews typically. I've also heard this product failure rate is typical across the e-bike industry. I'd highly recommend HiveFest! I hope you join.

That is great about the Bike. That stink that you had to wait as long as you did, but it really sounds like they took care of you! I didn't see your poem. It must have dropped on the weekend? I will have to go back and take a look. My wife and I are heading down to Columbus on Friday. We get to watch our nieces play some basketball, so I am really excited about that. I signed up for HiveFest and I voted and donated. Since we are leaving at the end of the week I am not sure how much I will be able to attend. I look forward to being able to attend one in person some day!

I'm really happy with the outcome (so far). I haven't taken the new one on any longer rides yet but for the shorter rides I've taken it's been flawless. I probably did publish the poem on a weekend. The posts have been few and far between lately on my end. Awesome that you're coming down to C-bus! I wish we had more time there we could meet up for a drink or a meal. My brother and his family are coming down from Canfield on Friday then we're going to make our pre-Thanksgiving Day meal on Saturday. We'll be pulling out on Tuesday to head back home. Thanks for donating to HiveFest! I'm in the same boat this year since the event will be right in the middle of our trip. I would HIGHLY recommend trying to make it to the next in-person HiveFest. My wife and I went to #1 (Amsterdam) and #2 (Lisbon) and made memories that we still talk about. The food, venues, and everything were top notch.

That sounds amazing being able to go to one of those countries. Even Krakow and Thailand looked pretty awesome from the stories I read about it. Yeah, we are heading down Friday morning after we get our booster shots and hanging out in Dublin. I think Saturday or Sunday we have basketball games in Whitehall that we have to go to and then the other day they are playing somewhere else. Monday is Bambi day up here, so school is off and we are taking the day to travel back. I hope you have an awesome time with your family!

It was amazing. Amsterdam in 2016 was my first European trip and it was a whirlwind. I think we were only in the city for four days. I'm sorry we missed Krakow and Thailand. Roeland was planning the Bangkok event when we were visiting him in Amsterdam the last time and we saw firsthand how much work when into it.

That sounds like a great trip. Whitehall is just miles from where I grew up on the east side of Columbus...586 Elizabeth Ave.

Thanks, I hope you enjoy your trip too!

Wow, you have all the connections! Amsterdam does seem like it would be a really cool place to visit.

Not really connections, just a network of friends. I highly recommend AMS. It's not just the red light district and weed shops as many of the travel shows would have you believe. The city is much more complex and steeped in culture. We'll be going back, hopefully, in 2022 or 2023. If you two decide to go be sure to reach out and we'll share some recommendations.

Will do! Yeah, we've got weed shops on pretty much every corner here now, so that isn't even a draw! :)

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