EBike Shaming

Jaxx

Active Member
One of the goals in purchasing a new ebike, I wanted to get out and join some bike groups and start socializing with people outside of kids and work. Well, this last weekend, I went on my first group ride and sadly, I was bike shamed. There were a few that had the balls to say their negative comments to my face but there were a few that didnt.

Comments were:
-She is lazy.
-Expensive cop-out bike
-Wont lose weight or get into shape with an ebike
-I am 70 something and still use a real bike, why cant you?

I ended up turning around and coming home. Although I do not really care what they think of my bike, I had to admit that my feelings were hurt. I will look around for another group that hopefully will be more accepting.

For those in the Portland OR, do you know any biking groups that welcome Ebikes?

Disgusting. Don't, just don't be put off by that kind of crap. Wait til you meet some genuine folks. We're all one big family, regardless of what we ride?
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately we live in a time when ignorant people are celebrated for shooting their mouths off without thinking, making insulting comments to strangers and calling people names. Not only are they celebrated, they are elected to high office. It should come as no surprise in this toxic time that strangers are insulting other strangers, calling them names, etc because of petty differences and personal choices.

As a community of e-bike riders our demographic puts us in a group that remembers a more civil time when manners and decency mattered. We can only hope those standards will be restored and restored soon.

Till then we have to remain true to our principals, continue to be kind and do our best to let the hurtful comments of the uncouth and impolite roll off our backs. As I have tried to impress on my three sons, the only opinions of others that should matter to you at all are the opinions of those for whom you have respect.

Friedman-2015-OrianaPhotography-103.jpg
 

christob

Well-Known Member
...I went on my first group ride and sadly, I was bike shamed...
Comments were:
-She is lazy.
-Expensive cop-out bike
-Wont lose weight or get into shape with an ebike
-I am 70 something and still use a real bike, why cant you?
Although I do not really care what they think of my bike, I had to admit that my feelings were hurt.
Something I've been trying to actively remember -- I don't need or want negative people around me, whether socially, or even in my family -- people who, as their principal way of being, routinely diminish, routinely consume my emotional energy; rather than support, rather than nurture.
They become quite easy to dismiss (along with their ignorance-fueled insults) when I can stop and remember this.

As for cyclists who say these kinds of things to other cyclists... I've never figured out why a cyclist would fundamentally seem to believe *ALL* other cyclists in the world have to be on their bikes for EXACTLY the same reasons he/she is; all other cyclists have to be seeking EXACTLY the same objectives from biking as he/she is.
Yet very likely, nowhere else in the insulter's life would they tolerate being judged for "not matching XYZ expectations" of another person, let alone a total stranger, especially for something as mundane as their personal recreational choices... Yet they dish out this malice without even a second thought.
A really sad reflection of, presumably, a rather sad and small individual.
 

Marci jo

Active Member
Great video ? !! That was so true. And now look how popular snow boarding has become.
For the most part I have received considerably more questions about the ebike compared to only a few bike shaming comments. Many people are asking in regard to a spouse, family member, or friend. And I always give them info that includes both pros and cons. Of course there’s way more pros than cons!!
 

DouglasB

Active Member
You were riding with the wrong group. It would be like, if you were a Vespa rider and decided to join a Harley group. Bicyclist, although related to eBikers are a completely different animal. I ride both types of bikes myself and wouldn't mind if someone tagged along on an eBike but I can see why they would be a little confused. There was no reason for them to be rude and I'm sorry for that. I would be looking for a group of eBikers, the're a lot friendlier.
 
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Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
HAH, reminds me of when the GLM method of ski training blossomed and all those damn short skies carved score more moguls. Skiing downhill at crazy speeds on 215mm-230mm long boards ended forever. We got the boot in Sun Valley in 1979 for showing up with 215MM skinny skies. Plankers, at least old school powder plankers are pretty much gone. <OOPS I haven't seen a resort in 12 years so...maybe...??)
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately we live in a time when ignorant people are celebrated for shooting their mouths off without thinking, making insulting comments to strangers and calling people names. Not only are they celebrated, but they are also elected to high office. It should come as no surprise in this toxic time that strangers are insulting other strangers, calling them names, etc because of petty differences and personal choices.

As a community of e-bike riders our demographic puts us in a group that remembers a more civil time when manners and decency mattered. We can only hope those standards will be restored and restored soon.

Till then we have to remain true to our principals, continue to be kind and do our best to let the hurtful comments of the uncouth and impolite roll off our backs. As I have tried to impress on my three sons, the only opinions of others that should matter to you at all are the opinions of those for whom you have respect.

View attachment 30283

A sterling post from a golden fellow! THANKS!! Handsome lot, well done!
 

Credible Hulk

Active Member
I live in an entire city run by jerks who hate ebikes and their riders, so I know what it's like to put up with being ebike shamed.

I'm in Toronto, Canada. It's a city that's ruled by a spandexer club called CycleTO. I say "ruled" literally, because three city councillors belong to CycleTO. Since the spandexer club hates ebikes and their riders, so does the city government. They also have all of the local news media under their spell, so every year (usually just as the weather starts to warm up) there are the obligatory series of articles demonizing ebikes and everything about them. Every one of these articles always contains a lengthy quote from the president of CycleTO, all about why those dastardly ebikes should be kept off of THEIR bike infrastructure. There's an ebike club in the city but nobody ever asks their opinion. Ebike riders are portrayed as drunks who lost their drivers' licenses and ride their ebikes reckless and drunk, or scruffy mentally ill bums, and their ebikes are painted as high speed weapons of death on wheels.

What CycleTO demands, CycleTO gets. They're downtowners, so millions of dollars per year are poured into fancy downtown divided bike lanes, separated bike lanes, bike lanes protected by concrete barriers, bike lanes with their very own sets of traffic lights, bike lanes with pretty paving stones in different colours. Every single downtown street and laneway has bike lanes. Some streets are covered in so many bike lanes the drivers get confused and run into each other. Of course, ebikes aren't allowed anywhere near these wonderful bike lanes. Outside of the downtown, bike lanes are few and far between and consist of a painted line with a few bike icons a foot from the edge of the roads, only on a few major streets. These bike lanes are never maintained, so they're full of cracks and potholes while the area used by drivers is kept smooth as glass. They also aren't enforced, so they're often used as parking lots. They maganimously allow ebikers to use those, although every year there are calls for "dangerous" ebikes to be denied access to these lanes as well. These lanes are so bad that when I used to ride my e-scooter, I was constantly being thrown out of my seat and nearly off the scooter.

We have paved park trails, but they only grudgingly allow ebikes. The rule is that if you want to use the park trails, you have to shut your motor off or at least use a low level pedelec. Scooters are strictly verboten. However, cops routinely harass ebikers in parks and try to tell them that because their bike has a motor, even if it's shut off, they're breaking the law.

Our buses all have bike racks on the front, and bikes are allowed on the subway. "Dangerous" ebikes need not apply.

The constant barrage of negative propaganda and restrictive laws against ebikes has created a menace for ebikers here. First of all, we get harassed by cops, who aren't trained properly on the laws governing ebikes. They pull people over and impound their ebikes because they're not wearing a full DOT motorcycle helmet, despite the fact that by law we only have to wear bicycle helmets. They pull riders over just to harass them, accusing them of doing something they didn't do, or giving them the third degree about "where did you come from, where are you going, what's your address and phone number?" One guy from the local ebike club was hassled for two hours by a pair of cops. They even forced him to do a roadside sobriety test. At the end they took his ebike anyway without giving a reason. It costs hundreds of dollars to retrieve an impounded vehicle whether or not you did anything wrong.

Then there are the drivers who've read all of those media articles and taken them to heart. They tailgate while leaning on horns, they follow alongside an ebike for several blocks giving the rider the finger and shouting obscenities, they cut across the rider's path to make a right turn while flipping the rider off. I even had one come up behind my scooter and start pushing it down the road with his bumper. I could have been killed. Cyclists are just as bad, especially the spandexers. They also shout obscenities, flip off, and if they know an ebike is coming up behind them they'll slow down or tap their brakes to force the ebiker to slow down behind them. If there's no traffic I just pull out to their and blow past them at full speed, which drives them nuts.

To add to the fun, all of the municipalities around here have different laws about ebikes. So, any time I have to pass through another municipality I have to look up and memorize their rules first. The good news is that those cities have a much saner attitude towards ebikes.

It sounds really bad, and it is, but in the 3 years I've been riding ebikes around Toronto I've gotten used to it. I find that scrupulously following the rules of the road, staying off the busiest streets, wearing a visibility vest and having reflective tape everywhere, and being polite even when others are rude all help reduce confrontations. I live far from downtown anyway. I also get a fair number of people who are nice and ask questions, and I find that makes up for all the jerks out there.
 

LimboJim

Well-Known Member
I've got hundreds of hours and thousands of miles on the numerous trails in my 3000+ acre state park back yard over the past few years.

I've encountered dozens upon dozens of other trail users (hikers, MTBers, equestrians, snowmobilers etc. - never other e-MTBers, though, except those riding with me already).

Time and circumstances permitting, I stop to chat with at least half of them, depending mostly upon whether they smile back (I'm pretty much always smiling when I ride my eMTBs).

At least 80% of those I talk to have little understanding about pedal assist; most who've actually heard about ebikes assume pedaling isn't central to their function. I'm always keen to explain describe the pedelec difference!

MTBers are the exception - pretty much all of them have heard about ebikes; most express indifference to me riding the trails on one, a few offer words of support ("if it keeps you riding..."), and once in a rare while, one will scoff and call it a motorbike.

I'll admit, though, no one's ever shamed ME~ and calling my ebike derogatory names certainly won't hurt its feelings!
 
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Timpo

Well-Known Member
I live in an entire city run by jerks who hate ebikes and their riders, so I know what it's like to put up with being ebike shamed.

I'm in Toronto, Canada. It's a city that's ruled by a spandexer club called CycleTO. I say "ruled" literally, because three city councillors belong to CycleTO. Since the spandexer club hates ebikes and their riders, so does the city government. They also have all of the local news media under their spell, so every year (usually just as the weather starts to warm up) there are the obligatory series of articles demonizing ebikes and everything about them. Every one of these articles always contains a lengthy quote from the president of CycleTO, all about why those dastardly ebikes should be kept off of THEIR bike infrastructure. There's an ebike club in the city but nobody ever asks their opinion. Ebike riders are portrayed as drunks who lost their drivers' licenses and ride their ebikes reckless and drunk, or scruffy mentally ill bums, and their ebikes are painted as high speed weapons of death on wheels.

What CycleTO demands, CycleTO gets. They're downtowners, so millions of dollars per year are poured into fancy downtown divided bike lanes, separated bike lanes, bike lanes protected by concrete barriers, bike lanes with their very own sets of traffic lights, bike lanes with pretty paving stones in different colours. Every single downtown street and laneway has bike lanes. Some streets are covered in so many bike lanes the drivers get confused and run into each other. Of course, ebikes aren't allowed anywhere near these wonderful bike lanes. Outside of the downtown, bike lanes are few and far between and consist of a painted line with a few bike icons a foot from the edge of the roads, only on a few major streets. These bike lanes are never maintained, so they're full of cracks and potholes while the area used by drivers is kept smooth as glass. They also aren't enforced, so they're often used as parking lots. They maganimously allow ebikers to use those, although every year there are calls for "dangerous" ebikes to be denied access to these lanes as well. These lanes are so bad that when I used to ride my e-scooter, I was constantly being thrown out of my seat and nearly off the scooter.

We have paved park trails, but they only grudgingly allow ebikes. The rule is that if you want to use the park trails, you have to shut your motor off or at least use a low level pedelec. Scooters are strictly verboten. However, cops routinely harass ebikers in parks and try to tell them that because their bike has a motor, even if it's shut off, they're breaking the law.

Our buses all have bike racks on the front, and bikes are allowed on the subway. "Dangerous" ebikes need not apply.

The constant barrage of negative propaganda and restrictive laws against ebikes has created a menace for ebikers here. First of all, we get harassed by cops, who aren't trained properly on the laws governing ebikes. They pull people over and impound their ebikes because they're not wearing a full DOT motorcycle helmet, despite the fact that by law we only have to wear bicycle helmets. They pull riders over just to harass them, accusing them of doing something they didn't do, or giving them the third degree about "where did you come from, where are you going, what's your address and phone number?" One guy from the local ebike club was hassled for two hours by a pair of cops. They even forced him to do a roadside sobriety test. At the end they took his ebike anyway without giving a reason. It costs hundreds of dollars to retrieve an impounded vehicle whether or not you did anything wrong.

Then there are the drivers who've read all of those media articles and taken them to heart. They tailgate while leaning on horns, they follow alongside an ebike for several blocks giving the rider the finger and shouting obscenities, they cut across the rider's path to make a right turn while flipping the rider off. I even had one come up behind my scooter and start pushing it down the road with his bumper. I could have been killed. Cyclists are just as bad, especially the spandexers. They also shout obscenities, flip off, and if they know an ebike is coming up behind them they'll slow down or tap their brakes to force the ebiker to slow down behind them. If there's no traffic I just pull out to their and blow past them at full speed, which drives them nuts.

To add to the fun, all of the municipalities around here have different laws about ebikes. So, any time I have to pass through another municipality I have to look up and memorize their rules first. The good news is that those cities have a much saner attitude towards ebikes.

It sounds really bad, and it is, but in the 3 years I've been riding ebikes around Toronto I've gotten used to it. I find that scrupulously following the rules of the road, staying off the busiest streets, wearing a visibility vest and having reflective tape everywhere, and being polite even when others are rude all help reduce confrontations. I live far from downtown anyway. I also get a fair number of people who are nice and ask questions, and I find that makes up for all the jerks out there.
Oh man sounds like spandex warriors have huge ego or something.

They sound like they think they own the road.

What's so hard for them to understand? Ebikes give people more opportunity or reason to get out on two wheels.

Do they really want to encourage people to pollute air and drive cars instead of riding ebikes?
 

erider_61

Active Member
I'm in Toronto, Canada.
What CycleTO demands, CycleTO gets. They're downtowners, so millions of dollars per year are poured into fancy downtown divided bike lanes, separated bike lanes, bike lanes protected by concrete barriers, bike lanes with their very own sets of traffic lights, bike lanes with pretty paving stones in different colours. Every single downtown street and laneway has bike lanes.that because their bike has a motor, even if it's shut off, they're breaking the law.
Not sure where you are getting your info but ebikes are allowed on ALL bike lanes in Downtown Toronto, and have been since 2014. I'm including the link to Toronto By-Laws regarding Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 886, Footpaths, Pedestrian Ways, Bicycle Paths, Bicycle Lanes & Cycle Tracks. I would suggest carrying a printed copy to show police next time you are being hassled.

https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_886.pdf
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Typically what you find is that the spandexters are threatened by ebikers because you don't have to dress silly on rides. All ebikers know you can get as much exercise as you want on an ebike and any ride is just plain funner on an ebike.
 

Marci jo

Active Member
I live in an entire city run by jerks who hate ebikes and their riders, so I know what it's like to put up with being ebike shamed.

I'm in Toronto, Canada. It's a city that's ruled by a spandexer club called CycleTO. I say "ruled" literally, because three city councillors belong to CycleTO. Since the spandexer club hates ebikes and their riders, so does the city government. They also have all of the local news media under their spell, so every year (usually just as the weather starts to warm up) there are the obligatory series of articles demonizing ebikes and everything about them. Every one of these articles always contains a lengthy quote from the president of CycleTO, all about why those dastardly ebikes should be kept off of THEIR bike infrastructure. There's an ebike club in the city but nobody ever asks their opinion. Ebike riders are portrayed as drunks who lost their drivers' licenses and ride their ebikes reckless and drunk, or scruffy mentally ill bums, and their ebikes are painted as high speed weapons of death on wheels.

What CycleTO demands, CycleTO gets. They're downtowners, so millions of dollars per year are poured into fancy downtown divided bike lanes, separated bike lanes, bike lanes protected by concrete barriers, bike lanes with their very own sets of traffic lights, bike lanes with pretty paving stones in different colours. Every single downtown street and laneway has bike lanes. Some streets are covered in so many bike lanes the drivers get confused and run into each other. Of course, ebikes aren't allowed anywhere near these wonderful bike lanes. Outside of the downtown, bike lanes are few and far between and consist of a painted line with a few bike icons a foot from the edge of the roads, only on a few major streets. These bike lanes are never maintained, so they're full of cracks and potholes while the area used by drivers is kept smooth as glass. They also aren't enforced, so they're often used as parking lots. They maganimously allow ebikers to use those, although every year there are calls for "dangerous" ebikes to be denied access to these lanes as well. These lanes are so bad that when I used to ride my e-scooter, I was constantly being thrown out of my seat and nearly off the scooter.

We have paved park trails, but they only grudgingly allow ebikes. The rule is that if you want to use the park trails, you have to shut your motor off or at least use a low level pedelec. Scooters are strictly verboten. However, cops routinely harass ebikers in parks and try to tell them that because their bike has a motor, even if it's shut off, they're breaking the law.

Our buses all have bike racks on the front, and bikes are allowed on the subway. "Dangerous" ebikes need not apply.

The constant barrage of negative propaganda and restrictive laws against ebikes has created a menace for ebikers here. First of all, we get harassed by cops, who aren't trained properly on the laws governing ebikes. They pull people over and impound their ebikes because they're not wearing a full DOT motorcycle helmet, despite the fact that by law we only have to wear bicycle helmets. They pull riders over just to harass them, accusing them of doing something they didn't do, or giving them the third degree about "where did you come from, where are you going, what's your address and phone number?" One guy from the local ebike club was hassled for two hours by a pair of cops. They even forced him to do a roadside sobriety test. At the end they took his ebike anyway without giving a reason. It costs hundreds of dollars to retrieve an impounded vehicle whether or not you did anything wrong.

Then there are the drivers who've read all of those media articles and taken them to heart. They tailgate while leaning on horns, they follow alongside an ebike for several blocks giving the rider the finger and shouting obscenities, they cut across the rider's path to make a right turn while flipping the rider off. I even had one come up behind my scooter and start pushing it down the road with his bumper. I could have been killed. Cyclists are just as bad, especially the spandexers. They also shout obscenities, flip off, and if they know an ebike is coming up behind them they'll slow down or tap their brakes to force the ebiker to slow down behind them. If there's no traffic I just pull out to their and blow past them at full speed, which drives them nuts.

To add to the fun, all of the municipalities around here have different laws about ebikes. So, any time I have to pass through another municipality I have to look up and memorize their rules first. The good news is that those cities have a much saner attitude towards ebikes.

It sounds really bad, and it is, but in the 3 years I've been riding ebikes around Toronto I've gotten used to it. I find that scrupulously following the rules of the road, staying off the busiest streets, wearing a visibility vest and having reflective tape everywhere, and being polite even when others are rude all help reduce confrontations. I live far from downtown anyway. I also get a fair number of people who are nice and ask questions, and I find that makes up for all the jerks out there.
Wow that sounds like such a hassle. I believe we just need to hang in and be polite even though it sometimes stings.

I have no doubt that ebikes are here to stay. As technology changes and motors and batteries get smaller, determining ebike from non-ebike will become more difficult. Check out this battery-motor combo from Fazua.

Keep in mind that the world is trying to wean itself off oil. That means it’s an electric machine world. I have a feeling we are about to see all sorts of interesting electric transportation “vehicles “. In other words “You ain’t seen nuthin yet!”
 

erider_61

Active Member
Wow talk about opposite information. Which is true. Regulations do not reveal ow police and public behave....???? Toronto?
I believe Incredible Hulks issues relate to him having a e-scooter in the past and not related to what we all refer to as an electric bicycle. From the Toronto Municipal Code (TMC) under definition of bicycles...

"Includes a bicycle, tricycle, unicycle, and a power-assisted bicycle which weighs less than 40 kg and requires pedalling for propulsion (pedelec), or other similar vehicle, but does not include any vehicle or bicycle capable of being propelled or driven solely by any power other than muscular power. [Amended 2014-02-20 by By-law 121-2014]"


Some cops interpret this to mean ebikes & scooters being used by throttle even if they have pedals. The code as written is confusing at best, and needs to be clearer. My friends who ride there say for the most part cops do not bother with enforcement.
 

Credible Hulk

Active Member
Oh man sounds like spandex warriors have huge ego or something.

They sound like they think they own the road.

What's so hard for them to understand? Ebikes give people more opportunity or reason to get out on two wheels.

Do they really want to encourage people to pollute air and drive cars instead of riding ebikes?
Decades ago I was once a spandexer, so I know a bit about the mentality. They're not riding bikes to save the planet. They're not riding to get from A to B. There are two facets to the spandex hobby: competitive exercise and being 'pumped up' (they believe riding a fancy racing bike makes you more of a powerhouse than any other form of exercise) and status. Most spandexers are wealthy and spend tens of thousands of dollars on their bikes, their suits, their special shoes, helmets etc. It's all about conspicuous consumption, and there's an exclusivity about it due to the cost. The only reason I could afford it at the time (teens and twenties) was that I went to school with the daughter of the man who built custom racing bikes for the Canadian olympic team, and I was the right size to test his designs before he'd finalize them and give them to the athletes. It's not that they're not nice people, but a certain segment are pretty arrogant and they do believe that they should have exclusive access to bike infrastructure. They view cycling through tunnel vision and see their sport as the only "legitimate" use for a bicycle. Everyone else is just playing with toys and not worthy of their own special infrastructure.

But here's a big exception - when I was in my town's cycling club in the late seventies about half of the members were elderly European gentlemen in their seventies and eighties. I was about 13 when I joined. We used to ride the hilly country around my home town. Whenever we were riding up a steep hill, one of the older men would come up alongside me and grab the back of my saddle, and push me up the hill. If they heard me breathing heavily they would admonish me to gear down. I found out later that every one of them had ridden in the Tour de France during the 1920's and 30's, and a couple were still riding the bikes they used back then. But it just goes to show that not all of the spandex/racing crowd are elitists or jerks.
 

Credible Hulk

Active Member
The problem is that Toronto publishes ebike laws in a disorganized, haphazard and confusing manner. I did look up the laws before I posted in case there had been any changes. I probably misinterpreted them since I've owned both a scooter and a bicycle style ebike and had to figure out the laws for each separately. Here's one example from the City of Toronto's website which shows what a dog's breakfast their laws are:

"
Types of e-bikes
Pedelecs
E-bikes, which are similar to bicycles (“Pedelecs”) are considered to be bicycles by the municipality of Toronto, and may be used on all types of cycling infrastructure: painted bike lanes, Cycle Tracks (separated bicycle lanes) and multi-use trails. By it’s definition in the Toronto Municipal Code, a “pedelec” must weigh less than 40kg and requires pedaling for propulsion.

E-Scooters
“E-scooters” may not be used on multi-use trails or Cycle Tracks (separated bike lanes). E-scooters are vehicles which meet the provincial definition of an e-bike, but not the City’s of Toronto’s definition of a Pedelec.

The Province stipulates that e-bike riders must be 16+.

For more information please visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation page.

Toronto City Council adopted 2014 Decision on electric bikes

Motorized vehicles (including e-bikes) may not be used on park multi-use paths. If a motorized vehicle is used on a park path, the rider/driver may be fined $305.00 by bylaw enforcement officers."

So first they say pedelec e-bikes can be used on all cycling infrastructure including multi use paths. Then they say all e-bikes are "motorized vehicles" and cannot be used on multi use paths. And we're juggling two definitions of ebike here, one provincial and one municipal.

Is it any wonder that cops pull people over and impound their ebikes based on misinterpretations of the laws? Or that people ride where they're not supposed to because they're confused about where they can ride?