Assisted Living? Assisted Living!!!

J.R.

Well-Known Member
(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
Just a typical "Old Guy"

It’s easy to draw a line in the sand, to see the e-bike issue in black and white. Too easy, really, to put the e-bike, which has a small electric motor, in the ‘motorized’ category, ban it from trails and bike lanes and paved paths, and call it a day.

But the issue is not black and white.

The debate over the e-bike’s place in the clan of cycling comes down to definitions. Define trail. Define equality. Define assist. Define safety. Define bicycle. Define cyclist.

Does the bike embody minimalism, or technology? Is complete reliance on human power irrefutably essential to the experience, or are two wheels and a set of pedals enough? Do electric-assist bikes belong on singletrack? What about bike paths? Rails-to-trails? Bike lanes?

Define the definitions until you have something definitive. Define them until you can answer one very simple question: Do e-bikes belong? Read more...

A good, thought provoking article in Velo News here!
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Thanks @J.R. for a very solid summary of the issues. The basic access issues and the basic bike vs. ebike issues are horribly clouded by the simple fact that a high power ebike is becoming dirt cheap. Batteries are getting cheap, motors are already so cheap it barely matters. Give people a minimal amount of information about peak amps, which applies to battery packs, controllers, and motors, and anyone can brew a Frankenstein 3 kw bike, apparently.

I agree with Mr. Pizzi:

E-bikes are a way to bring the non-athlete, or the former athlete, or the aging athlete, or the disabled athlete, onto two wheels. The technology’s foundations lie in a desire to ease the daily commute, not take Strava KOMs or blast singletrack.

“The reality is that most of the people who are interested in this category are just interested in having a nice leisurely ride in a natural setting,” said Larry Pizzi, president of Currie Technologies, a leading e-bike brand. Pizzi has founded the e-bike group within the BPSA that is behind the legislative lobbying in New York and California. His group represents 99 percent of the cycling industry, he claims. The industry sees the potential to bring new customers to cycling.

This is an important distinction: E-bikes aren’t for the avid cyclist; they’re for the casual one, or the potential cyclist that currently doesn’t ride at all. Perhaps e-bikes can begin to turn those non-riders into us. At the very least, Pizzi said, “more folks on e-bikes means more drivers with a bit of empathy for those on two wheels.”

But as the industry embraces the speed pedelec, I'm not sure if he really believes this. I'm hoping the speed people shift into e-motorcyles, which will be driven by much cheaper batteries over time.

I run into very fit road bikers on my daily travels. They know I have a motor. The "c" word has come up. I try not to be threatening in any way. If a guy can pass me, on the flat, he is in very good shape. At some point I think it comes down to "I wish I was as fit as you, but it isn't going to happen. I'm legal, you're legal, lets work together".
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I'm legal
I personally think that's key! What ever is done with the law and regulations I need that for myself, I don't want a moving violation on my drivers license. In PA our law states 25 mph top speed and 750 watts max (1 HP) from e-assist and I have no problem sticking to that. I'm currently looking at purchasing an Easy Motion bike, which some reports say can reach close to that 25 mph.

My one way commute is 17 miles and if I push hard I can accomplish that in about 40 minutes, normally 50 minutes and on my non ebike 50 to 60 minutes. I'm good with that, it's far better then when I lived an hour and a half by car from work. I sometimes wonder if there were no speed metric available and we could only gage time for distance if anyone would think their travel was slow?

I do understand peoples need to reduce travel time due to busy lives, so I'm not sure what can be done other than 20 mph path and trail and all faster bikes must stay on the roads. There is a big downside to road travel as they aren't generally as direct as many bike paths and are littered with stop lights and signs. In my case 28 mph by road would take much longer! It would add about 3 miles each way and there are many stops along the way. Add to that more danger and I'll take the 20 "off-road" with all that country scenery.