Can we change the culture?

Banzai

Active Member
As shown, wearing an action cam provides excellent security when nobody is around to see what is going on, or worse, see it and slither away. I'm always wearing one when I'm running or riding a bike since they mount easily to a helmet or a chest harness. They are not in the way, yet it is amazing how some drivers make a bigger effort to observe the speed limits and stop signs when they see it.
I live in an area quite the opposite of the problems of high population, but the chances of hit and run are more likely. So I also have a camera that faces rearward on my bike and all bases are covered as much as possible until I can find a gps app so somebody can keep track of my whereabouts while out on the local trails.
 

Bruce Arnold

Well-Known Member
They can't very well get angry at someone who, say, has a heart condition, or had knee or hip surgery.
You're not accounting for the sheer power of irrationality in the kind of behavior the OP described. There's nothing in that story to suggest that guy would suddenly become reasonable, no matter how sensible your reply. Most of the time your suggestion would be right on the money. I tell people about my COPD and get the kind of reaction you describe. Maybe not with this kind of road rage.
 
If it is any consolation, I live in Southwest Virginia. Culture is somewhat different here. I drive either a minivan, Prius, Suzuki Burgman, or bike/ebike. I am actively disrespected whatever I'm driving!
 
I'm very new to this ebike thing. I rode my new ebike to work over the last 3 days. Every time I've looked out to the bike rack at work there has been someone jealously drooling over my Voltbike 750 Ltd. Most cyclists have been very complimentary about my monster. One person told me that I was cheating. I just said "I would like to ride an analogue bike (they hate it when you call it an analogue bike) but I hate riding up hills so I figured out a way to ride downhill to and from work". He just smiled and walked away. Next week I'll let him test ride my new bike.
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Fortunately no one's called me a "cheater" yet. My face gets pretty red, I'm sweating, I'm working those pedals, and the lycra lizards are still faster than me. I'm ready just in case, with a couple different comebacks, but mostly I get asked, "Is that an ebike?" "yes." "hmmm..." and usually they'll either ask another question or tell me they got to rent one when on vacation somewhere.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
There’s a mega thread on my local (DC) cyclist forum full of anecdotes about speeding ebikes and general negativity, a minority are actually prepared to listen, but at best there is a grudging acceptance of class 1 ebikes, and complaining born of profound ignorance of both the technology (changing slowly as more people try dockless ebikeshare) and how we ride - throttles are ‘wrong’ but PAS gets a pass despite cadence driven PAS being essentially a pedal operated stepped throttle and there is no appreciation for how throttles are useful to get going or in low speed manouvering, instead it is telling that pro throttle arguments for disabled and utility cyclists are dismissed by frustrated men outraged about being overtaken and how ebikes somehow ignore trail etiquette when they overtake so all ebikes must remain banned because they are Electric motorcycles, etc. Me and a few other ebike riders try to inject some reflection of actual reality to the conversation because we feel it is important that we engage with local pedal cyclists, but although some of the pedal cyclist contributors who are active in the local government cycling advisory groups make sympathetic noises recognizing that ebikes and pedal bikes are not currently treated equally under DC law, they don’t want to talk about changing the situation citing ‘more important’ legislative priorities (for pedal cyclists), so apart from the cycling infrastructure we are legally allowed to share, impactful change to introduce equity between ebike and pedal bicycle regulations when it comes will not be led by pedal cyclists but because of lobbying done by the industry financed People for Bikes, the dockless ebikeshare companies, and local Ebike dealers.
 
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J Miller

Member
Yet another reason to add an unlocker to your bike to uncork its top speed to 28+ !! I am trying to put off doing this, and so far I am fine with 20. But when asked me why I needed a higher top speed, I shall refer to this thread and say 'To outrun that crazy biker who was yelling at me to slow down so he could accost me, threaten me and tell me what a punk I was for using a battery on my bike'. I'd just make sure I could run him ragged til he gave up :p
I'm really glad I have the ability to hit 30mph on my DIY bike, even though 95% of the time I'm staying right at 20mph. You never know when you really want that burst of speed, usually due to someone else being stupid (be it biker, car, or pedestrian).
 

Yossi Geretz

New Member
So it's a year and a half later, just came across this old post of mine. Since then, I've mounted a GoPro 360 and I've delimited the motor. :)

I actually passed the same guy in the local state park (mountainous) this past summer, but he gave me no problem. If he had any comment he was too far back for me to hear it! :)
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
I have ridden over 10,000 km's on ebikes over the years and I've never had an experience like that. I have had two comments. Once I was riding up a hill and the guy I passed said "cheater", I turned and said "I'm just riding home". He just chuckled.

The other time some guy jokingly said no fair as my friend and I, both on ebikes rode by him, but you could tell he was jovial and it was a good natured comment.

Never encountered hostility and hopefully never will.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
I had the urge to rage against another cyclist the other day. A guy passed me (I was riding my RidgeRider e-mountain bike along a gravel pathway) on his bicycle, which was powered by a noisy, smoke belching 2 stroke engine.
I know it wasn't right, but I had the urge to catch up to him and kick him into the ditch. 😜
 

ElevenAD

Active Member
that would have ended in bloodshed with me, probably mine but yeah, running me down and off the side of the road
then making the mistake to stop and threaten me would have resulted in a violent confrontation.
Even when im riding 5mph on a path with my cruiser i still get dirty looks or ill say hi to other riders and they wont even acknowledge me, the only actual comment anyone has made was one guy called my Fatbike a "Moped" as i road by lol.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Luckily, I had no bad encounter with another brother cyclist. Typically, meeting an active cyclist on the opposite side of the road, we both exchange a greeting by raising a hand. It happened to me to talk to other cyclists at the rests and they were typically in awe and jealous.

Yet, something funny happened two days ago. I was passing a village at some 30 km/h and an ancient woman riding her bicycle on the opposite started shouting something I could not hear because of the wind. I immediately slowed down and asked "What gets?" She became stone-silent :D Perhaps she thought she saw some Beelzebub or was not right in her head. Couple minutes before, a car driver on the opposite was honking at me. I started wondering perhaps I was on fire or had nosebleed I hadn't noticed?! 🤣

What I don't do is I'm never overtaking an active cyclist riding at good speed. Not competing. Not in hurry. It is not my virtue my bike has a motor. I did it three times after I bought my first e-bike but grew up mentally since.

P.S. The fastest village dogs cannot run faster than 30 km/h but they can run long 😀 A U.S. Class 1 e-bike is good enough and the Class 3 will outrun most of dogs.
 
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Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
What I don't do is I'm never overtaking an active cyclist riding at good speed. Not competing. Not in hurry. It is not my virtue my bike has a motor. I did it three times after I bought my first e-bike but then grew up mentally.
That is a very good rule. If you are patient they will inevitably stop and it is much less threatening if you pass them while they are taking a break.

Where I live there are an insane number of super athletes so chances are they will be going faster on the flats on an acoustic bike than I ever can manage on my e-bike. Usually my sweet spot for pacing (and efficiency) on level terrain is 20-25kph, and lots of cyclists here are going quite a bit faster. On long uphills I usually am managing 12-15kph, which at that point can be easily twice as fast as someone grinding on an overgeared acoustic bike. But they won't have the spare breath on an uphill to yell at me so all is peaceful.

One day touring I ended up in the company of about a half-dozen other bike tourists on trad bikes. Over the course of the day we passed each other perhaps a dozen times, as either I would take a side trip or one or the other of us would stop for a break. It really wasn't any problem and they were all very friendly.

Again, I should emphasize that I've never had an encounter with other cyclists where there was any hostility at all. The closest I came to that were two incidents with non-cyclists who seemed hell-bent on criticizing my choice of ride. I'm not responsible for the opinions of other people so it didn't really bother me.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
On the other hand... My friend Jerzy who is in his 70's is a very active cyclist. He did 7000-8000 km on his traditional bike in the warm season of 2019. He swears he would ride on his own leg power as long as he is able to do it. (In the background, he must be somewhat jealous he couldn't afford a good e-bike for himself). There is pride in it. But Jerzy was the eye-witness of the very day arteriosclerosis knocked me off the saddle. He can see how active I have become with an e-bike now, riding in the winter while he cannot do it. Still, he rejected my offer to lend him one of my e-bikes. Too proud!

The phrase: "It's you, only faster" does not convince him.
 

Oberst

Active Member
Just caught this thread. Crazy people! So far I have only had good conversations with folks about e bikes and the occasional encounter with the sausage casing clothes crowd smugly whizzing by me. If people want to feel superior and keep it to themselves, no problem. If someone threatens me I will calmly ask them how much cycling they will get done in a prison cell.
 

ruffruff

Active Member
My second time out ever on a tar trail with friends a guy rode by yelling obscenities!
I don't think his mother breast fed him long enough????😁😁

Now I'm going to make a big wide generalization.....I think it's a certain crowd...you know who they are.

I've been fat tiring low and slow all winter.
The first time out there was a race going on, they didn't care, they just asked that I pull over for faster riders. A large portion were interested in the bike and asked questions and they all said the same thing, "Thanks for being out riding, enjoying the day and supporting the trails."

They were having an after race party and I even went over and commented to the organizer how nice the group was and how this crowd is different from some past experiences with an ebike. He said the exact same thing....who cares you're out riding!

Last Saturday same thing, Nice weather and the trails were crowded, a group just said ride with us! So I did.
 

erider_61

Active Member
Not really had any bad experiences with other cyclists but have had a few encounters on a trail through the woods with people who have dogs off leash.

Usually the dogs chase after me and I can outrun them. One time however a couple blocked the trail forcing me to stop. They then proceeded to berate me about NO MOTORIZED vehicles on the trail.

I explained to them that on the trail I ride in PAS level 0 and use my throttle when I need a boost up the hills. This seemed to enrage the gentleman who pushed me off my ebike. I may be 58 but also have a red belt in taekwondo. I believe this 30ish young man learned a very valuable lesson that day about assaulting strangers....