This is a guest post from Pete Prebus from Electric Bike Report. Pete is passionate about promoting the electric bike as a viable alternative to driving a car. He has
Are electric bikers “cheating”? Should we consider them cyclists? If you’re an avid cyclist you may have pondered these questions or you may feel strongly that they are “cheating”. I have been an avid cyclist for over 20 years and I can relate to some of these questions. Overall I think that electric bikes are great for the sport as well as they are one of the most energy efficient ways of getting around.
Electric bikes are a great introduction to regular cycling. It seems that there are a number of people who think the idea of cycling is great, but when it comes down to it they may have tried it and been frustrated with how difficult it is to climb the hills and ride into a head wind. They may have also tried to ride with friends or significant others who are avid cyclists and end up frustrated because they can’t keep up with them. The electric bike is a cool way to get an idea of what cycling can be like with out having to worry about some of the strenuous obstacles normal cyclists have to deal with. Electric bikes allow you to cruz up that steep hill and enjoy the quite ride on two wheels!
Who knows, some people may end up getting into regular cycling after they realize how much fun riding a bike can be. Once you get a taste of how fun and freeing riding an electric bike can be, it can lead to other more hard core things like.....wearing lycra! Maybe not, but you probably see what I’m getting at. Having more avid cyclists in the world is not a bad thing!
Imagine more people using electric bikes instead of driving their cars all the time. I know there are a lot of tough commuter cyclists out there that pride themselves on riding in any kind of weather and dealing with the worst traffic. I applaud you for that and I think it is great! In you’re eyes the electric bike may not provide that toughness, but it is better than people driving cars all the time. The cool thing about electric bikes is that a little power assist (equaling less sweat) encourages more people to ditch their car for a small trip around town or their commute to work. The electric cargo bikes are a great way to take it a step further as a car alternative (replacement?).
Electric bikes also make it possible for people who cannot use a regular bike to enjoy cycling. Some people may not be able to enjoy a traditional bike because of physical limitations and/or age. Breaking down this barrier with a little help from an electric motor helps people enjoy the fun of riding a bike again or for the first time.
If more people become “E” cyclists, more people will be aware of the issues that all cyclists face on a daily basis. Let’s face it, life as a cyclist can be a little tough sometimes. If you are a road rider you have to deal with cars getting a little too close to you on the road or an angry motorist yelling at you for some reason. If you are a commuter you have to worry about cars cutting you off as they speed ahead of you just to slam on the brakes and turn into the shopping center. If you are a mountain biker you have to worry about trails being closed to bikes. The more people who are part of the cycling world in one form or another the better, because there is power in numbers!
What this all boils down to is that electric bikes are a great way to get people into and excited about cycling. The more people that are familiar with the cycling world the better. Cyclists face many issues and having more people that understand and support cycling is a good thing.
Do you think electric bikes are good for the cycling community? Do you have any points to add? I’d like to hear from you. Please leave a comment below!
Pete Prebus from Electric Bike Report