Can we change the culture?

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I think many here in the US, and perhaps overseas as well, somehow feel uncomfortable about being passed. Perhaps they feel their masculinity is being threatened, I'm not sure. I've noticed this phenomenon with joggers passing walkers and cars on the highway as well.

I'm with Stefan here and make it a point to never pass anyone if it can be avoided. If overtaking a fellow rider at a reasonable pace, I'll slow down to match their speed and enjoy the scenery. If the speed is too slow, I'll stop for a sip of water or even a snack as they continue on. Most of the time, I don't see them again or pass while they are stopped. When I'm forced to pass, I do so at walking speed with plenty of polite warning. Even though I'm often annoyed at people unnecessarily blocking the trail with no regard for others, I'm always as courteous as possible and say "thank you" as I pass.

If I see someone overtaking me, I'll speed up to maintain a reasonable distance between us. If the pace becomes too fast for my comfort, I'll pull over and let them pass.

Being retired gives me the necessary mindset to use this approach since I'm rarely in a hurry anymore and simply out to enjoy myself. I understand this philosophy doesn't set well with younger, more speed oriented riders who are out for vigorous exercise and to rack up the miles though.

With over 4K trail miles on my ebike so far using this approach, I have yet to have any significant negative encounters. My age and relatively stealthy ebike may also be a factor however.

The only relatively minor unpleasantness I've had is with a group of younger spandex clad riders at a trailside picnic area. I was eating lunch at a table with my bike in a rack a few yards away when the group noticed the ebike. Not realizing I was the owner, they began making disparaging remarks. When one of them said "These things are tearing up the trail by spinning wheels and doing wheel stands!" I started laughing. I walked over and explained the 500 watt motor was no more capable of such a thing than my grandmother on a tricycle. They laughed a bit and the mood lightened when they realized it was an ancient old guy who owned the bike. I doubt the encounter did much to change their opinion of ebikes though.
 

Daffyh

Member
Since being diagnosed with 2 disorders a lot of my attitudes, beliefs and opinions have changed on many levels and topics.
As they say 'dont judge someone until you've done a mile in their shoes'.
2 things happen to me if i get triggered, severely exacerbated fight or flight so far flight has over ridden fight (wife has gotten me out of a few sticky situations).I can only influence it if I'm aware its happening, i cant if i get triggered.
I dont like public encounters of any kind at all knowing what will happen but i NEED my ebike to get around and for what exercise i can get. i have 24/7 burning pain in my legs and they often malfunction and i cant walk properly so its electric bike or scooter.
As stupid as it sounds (but very real for me) i may as well die if i fight because being locked up I would end up dead anyway or in a mental lockup.
 

Daffyh

Member
I think many here in the US, and perhaps overseas as well, somehow feel uncomfortable about being passed. Perhaps they feel their masculinity is being threatened, I'm not sure. I've noticed this phenomenon with joggers passing walkers and cars on the highway as well.

I'm with Stefan here and make it a point to never pass anyone if it can be avoided. If overtaking a fellow rider at a reasonable pace, I'll slow down to match their speed and enjoy the scenery. If the speed is too slow, I'll stop for a sip of water or even a snack as they continue on. Most of the time, I don't see them again or pass while they are stopped. When I'm forced to pass, I do so at walking speed with plenty of polite warning. Even though I'm often annoyed at people unnecessarily blocking the trail with no regard for others, I'm always as courteous as possible and say "thank you" as I pass.

If I see someone overtaking me, I'll speed up to maintain a reasonable distance between us. If the pace becomes too fast for my comfort, I'll pull over and let them pass.

Being retired gives me the necessary mindset to use this approach since I'm rarely in a hurry anymore and simply out to enjoy myself. I understand this philosophy doesn't set well with younger, more speed oriented riders who are out for vigorous exercise and to rack up the miles though.

With over 4K trail miles on my ebike so far using this approach, I have yet to have any significant negative encounters. My age and relatively stealthy ebike may also be a factor however.

The only relatively minor unpleasantness I've had is with a group of younger spandex clad riders at a trailside picnic area. I was eating lunch at a table with my bike in a rack a few yards away when the group noticed the ebike. Not realizing I was the owner, they began making disparaging remarks. When one of them said "These things are tearing up the trail by spinning wheels and doing wheel stands!" I started laughing. I walked over and explained the 500 watt motor was no more capable of such a thing than my grandmother on a tricycle. They laughed a bit and the mood lightened when they realized it was an ancient old guy who owned the bike. I doubt the encounter did much to change their opinion of ebikes though.
Fairly accurate response I would dare say here in Australia as well
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I will say something that may make me very unpopular among the American community here. I'll take the risk:

Can you change the cycling culture in the United States? Change your mentality:
  1. Understand the throttle is the vice. The cycling means pedalling (seriously disabled people are absolved from the guilt).
  2. Understand the bicycles are not motorbikes. Give up motors > 1 h.p.
The Europeans understand it perfectly, use no throttles and ride e-bikes with 250 W nominal motors. There are four million e-bikes in Germany alone. But we also prefer manual gearboxes here :)

I must remark I will ignore the inevitable wave of hate.
 
I will say something that may make me very unpopular among the American community here. I'll take the risk:

Can you change the cycling culture in the United States? Change your mentality:
  1. Understand the throttle is the vice. The cycling means pedalling (seriously disabled people are absolved from the guilt).
  2. Understand the bicycles are not motorbikes. Give up motors > 1 h.p.
The Europeans understand it perfectly, use no throttles and ride e-bikes with 250 W nominal motors. There are four million e-bikes in Germany alone. But we also prefer manual gearboxes here :)

I must remark I will ignore the inevitable wave of hate.
It will take more than that to make me hate you. I must say though, I'm keeping my 1.1hp motor.
 

erider_61

Active Member
I will say something that may make me very unpopular among the American community here. I'll take the risk:

Can you change the cycling culture in the United States? Change your mentality:
  1. Understand the throttle is the vice. The cycling means pedalling (seriously disabled people are absolved from the guilt).
I am not seriously disabled and certainly feel no guilt when using my throttle. I ride all year. Sometimes I am tired or my knee is bothering me so I use the throttle. Ridding in heavy snow and freezing conditions I use my feet as outriggers or skis and use the throttle.

I have had a pedal fall off and the crank was stripped. Used the throttle to get home. Sometimes I hit a stoplight and haven't geared down. Again use my throttle to take off.

And sometimes I just use the throttle because I can. The throttle is not a the problem for cyclists who want them. The problem is the mindset of those who don't like them and think Ebiking would be a better place without them.

And I am Canadian and deal with only being allowed 500Watt motors compared to the US 750Watt rating.


You like apples, I like oranges....deal with it.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Excuses to be lazy, in my opinion.
If your knees hurt, downshift.
Many points of view on this as discussed in earlier threads. Sure, I agree with you, over use of a throttle is a sign of laziness. If you lack the self control to not use it frequently, you have bigger problems than just being lazy.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I only wonder why people insist on riding a bicycle when they are not able to. Call it e-motorbike. Not e-bike.
I wrote before that the seriously disabled are excused. Only don't call it e-bike.
 

erider_61

Active Member
The laws and regulations here in Canada do say what I am riding is an Ebike. I'll let my elected officials and lawmakers decide on the legal issues in regards to my Ebike.

I don't believe anyone in North America would advocate for a 250Watt limit like Europe either.
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
Folks you all are going nuts here, why does anyone care what someone else likes - different strokes for different folks. My personal belief is that anyone that is 6'2" or so should weigh no more than 175 pounds or they're overweight, but that's my own feelings, it's up to you to weigh what you want... Unless you're sitting next to me on a flight and invading my space. 😁
 

dodahman

Member
I only wonder why people insist on riding a bicycle when they are not able to. Call it e-motorbike. Not e-bike.
I wrote before that the seriously disabled are excused. Only don't call it e-bike.
I can't walk. I bought and ride an ebike. I am not calling it something else, since no one else does. I don't need to be excused by you or anyone. thanks though....
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
How much pain is required to be seriously disabled? I ride for up to 8 hours at a time couldn’t do that without help , I am not considered disabled , older and not a natural athlete with some sore body parts

i am not lazy but I am not an energetic person. I have to push myself to do things so I do. i f there weren’t ebikes I would still be riding but no where near the amount I ride .i would have to walk and push my bike too often. I see no reason once I have an ebike that I can’t keep up with anyone on a acoustic and commuters maybe even more
 

Rick53

Active Member
What is it about eBiking that enrages some of the less rational, less mature cyclists? I've been eCycling for about a year now and this past Sunday I received my first negative reaction but boy was it a doozy. It's all well and good to talk about just passively cycling past and ignoring comments, but this guy chased me down (sure, with my max assist of 20mph combined with 50lbs of bicycle, many cyclists can outride me on a moderate upgrade) ran me off the shoulder and threatened me with violence. If not for the fact that I had video rolling and I kept telling the guy that he was being video'ed, he might very well have followed through.

How do we get cyclists to understand that we're not competing, we're not comparing, and no - we're not uploading our stats onto the leaderboards. (I'm not and I would hope no eCyclist is!) We're just doing our thing which is similar but different than conventional cycling and why can't we just all get along? After all, I don't know of any cyclist who flies into a rage simply because a motorcyclist passes them by.

What is it about eBiking that enrages some of the less rational, less mature cyclists? I've been eCycling for about a year now and this past Sunday I received my first negative reaction but boy was it a doozy. It's all well and good to talk about just passively cycling past and ignoring comments, but this guy chased me down (sure, with my max assist of 20mph combined with 50lbs of bicycle, many cyclists can outride me on a moderate upgrade) ran me off the shoulder and threatened me with violence. If not for the fact that I had video rolling and I kept telling the guy that he was being video'ed, he might very well have followed through.

How do we get cyclists to understand that we're not competing, we're not comparing, and no - we're not uploading our stats onto the leaderboards. (I'm not and I would hope no eCyclist is!) We're just doing our thing which is similar but different than conventional cycling and why can't we just all get along? After all, I don't know of any cyclist who flies into a rage simply because a motorcyclist passes them by.

View attachment 22694

Is there some way we can change this culture for the better?
It had nothing to do with Your E-Bike : That was His excuse : Next time that happens :Just say you seem to be having a bad day : Can I pray for you : If he gets violent after that Shoot out one of his knees :)
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
There are many types of riders here at EBR ranging from the young & physically fit to those who are older and infirm. It's only natural that there are differing opinions on throttle use and why it is such a controversial issue.

For the younger and physically fit riders I ask this: What would happen if you suddenly became disabled or aged to the point where you could no longer ride your beloved bike? Would you give up the sport completely or resort to occasional throttle use to compensate for your infirmities? Despite what you may say now, my bet is you will change your mind when, heaven forbid, you loose your ability to pedal effectively,

For us older folk, we have to think back to the days when we complained about the old duffers getting in the way and obstructing the trails. I remember back then feeling sorry for the people I saw using walkers and riding electric wheelchairs but wishing they would go somewhere else. An older or less able rider is no threat to one who is physically fit.

Whether we like it or not, e-bikes are recreational vehicles for many but mobility devices for others. I see very few riders tooling along a trail in throttle only mode and don't see this as an issue. Categorizing a throttled class 2 or 3 bike as something other than an e-bike would open up a whole new regulatory arena which would benefit no one.

If you don't like throttles, buy a bike without one. If a throttle gives you the ability to resume the sport you love, go for it. This forum is certainly the place to voice your opinion but there is no reason for criticism. Consider all points of view before posting.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I can't walk.
Me either. I suffer from intermittent claudication. I bought e-bike to improve the blood circulation in my legs by pedalling.

Can't that same opinion be applied to any type of assist, throttle or not?
You do effort by pedalling. My leg power is puny, some 80 W. Yet I input these 80 watts in the pedals and call it cycling. How much effort is input by operating the throttle?

Maybe the answer is ban any type of assist?
Throttle is not allowed in the European Union, the largest e-bike market outside China.

How much pain is required to be seriously disabled? I ride for up to 8 hours at a time couldn’t do that without help , I am not considered disabled , older and not a natural athlete with some sore body parts

i am not lazy but I am not an energetic person. I have to push myself to do things so I do. i f there weren’t ebikes I would still be riding but no where near the amount I ride .i would have to walk and push my bike too often. I see no reason once I have an ebike that I can’t keep up with anyone on a acoustic and commuters maybe even more
These are wise words. I suffer from arteriosclerosis (can't really walk), diabetes and hypertension. Yet I ride e-bikes because I cannot walk, am too weak for a traditional bike, and the e-bike allows me pedalling for more than 3 hours a day; I often stay outside for 6 hours, now, during the wintertime. If I could not pedal, I would buy an electric wheelchair...

Is a bicycle -- even motorized -- a motorbike? Certainly not, as long as it requires pedalling.

You asked the question: "Can we change the culture?" The answer is: Start changing the culture from your selves.
.
I have said enough.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
My cheap Bafang BBS01 kit motor has a basic cadence sensor, so I find it helpful to just blip the throttle to get going from stationary, particularly when riding up hill or when towing a trailer or when riding slowly filtering curbside beside stopped traffic and I don’t want to risk striking the curb with my pedal. If I had a torque sensor I suppose I wouldn’t miss the throttle, but I like that I have the choice. My locality just approved ebikes on bike paths and the state is giving them the power to regulate as they see fit so if in future they decide to ban throttles I can just remove it, change the class sticker/decal, and go back to riding with just the cadence sensor. Point being I find a throttle useful for transportation riding, and I like having the choice whether or not to fit it.