Thoughts on joining local bike club organized rides

TenBlinkers

Member
We have a large, active bike club in my city, and they organize quite a few great rides. What are your thoughts about being a part of something like that on an ebike?

Do you think they'd be accepting? Hostile? Some of both? Would you join an organized ride in your city? Have you?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
We have a large, active bike club in my city, and they organize quite a few great rides. What are your thoughts about being a part of something like that on an ebike?

Do you think they'd be accepting? Hostile? Some of both? Would you join an organized ride in your city? Have you?
I would suggest you go to the ride meeting place early and feel it out. I wouldn't show up to a road bike event with a fat bike, cargo bike, or for that matter even a MTB. It's got little to do with you or your bike. I'm sure the events in your area are much like everywhere and typically there is an online listing of the event with speed/pace class listing. I would look for: fun runs, recreational rides and scrambles.

Here is one of the many meet up sites in my county:

http://www.meetup.com/York-Bicycling/

These are typical of speed/pace classifications:

http://www.btcnj.com/ridecategories.php

http://verocyclingclub.org/pages/pace-group-definitions

http://www.potomacpedalers.org/?page=rideclasstable

A real ice breaker at these recreational rides is our ability to pack a little extra weight. If you listen close enough you'll hear someone say to somebody else: can you carry... In addition, because you can carry extra stuff, someone will eventually need your patch kit, pump or multi-tool. Most important is if you're fun to ride with, people will want to have fun.

Last but not least, I don't show up to ride with friends, or new friends looking like this:



Let them find out on their own, they will!
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@TenBlinkers, you should have a great time at one of those rides! Bring a cargo bike to most local rides and finishing the ride with a smile will win you a lot of acceptance :) I do agree with J.R. that the skinny road tire folks or off road mountain bike riders might wonder why you were there (their loss, not yours). Around Austin, TX there's an opportunity for almost all kinds of riding every weekend and generally a couple of other days each week; your community probably has a lot of similar ride groups, too. Smaller local shops sponsor or post regular rides are a good way to meet and ride with other people and they usually mention the type or pace of ride so you can connect with an appropriate group. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures!
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
I sure it hope it goes well for you! Personally, I find many (most?) club rides to be all about preserving their little idea of what biking is all about. Recumbents? E bikes? FORGET about being accepted by the great hordes. Maybe 1 or 2 "those look cool" muttered under their breath so others can't hear it.
Hope not, but that was my experience.
Whenever you get a group of people with a specific interest like this, they are very often pretty closed minded to ANY other alternative form of biking (this cse)
 

Tara D.

Active Member
Cant wait to hear how it goes for you @TenBlinkers ! I hear a lot of stuff like what MLB mentioned, that its not always the best experience... I hope to start hearing more of the opposite!
 

TenBlinkers

Member
I'm hoping with a family-friendly ride of 1,000 bikers, they'll be receptive and/or not concerned. Unfortunately I may have a conflict now and not sure I'll be able to go, but there will be others... Will keep you posted.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I would only show up with an ebike on Recreational rides like Critical Mass and Bike Emerge.

If it is any kind of paced ride or workout ride or single trail ride do NOT SHOW UP WITH AN EBIKE. lol

We had an elderly man show up with an ebike and he was worried. A few of us told him we would ride with him. The rest of the group followed suit. The poor guy said he loved to ride but couldn't keep up any more.
 

Donny

Active Member
This sort of reminds me of my motorcycling days where certain groups/clubs would shun anyone who didn't own a Harley. What difference does it make what you're riding? If it was a race, I would totally understand. But if it is just a casual ride or fundraiser or something like that, who cares? Me personally, I had enough issues in the motorcycling world that I would never consider doing a group ride or joining a group again - bicycle or otherwise. All of the elitist nonsense or holier than thou nonsense because you don't show up wearing the "right" clothes or the "right" bike, etc. - get over it you know? As it is, even around here when I'm out on my bike, I get weird looks because I'm not wearing brightly colored spandex biking pants with matching jersey that all of the yuppies out here like to wear ;)
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I find most other bicycle riders are indifferent about the bike I'm riding at the moment. A year ago I had a group of older fellas call me a cheater, but none since. Hindsight tells me it was done in jest, insecurity or just pure ignorance of the subject. As a matter of fact, this year I've ridden more than ever with non-e riders and I find 99% of them fall into one of three categories; indifference, curious or enthusiastic. The attitude that 'they all hate us', is just not productive in my estimation. Had it not been for the support and activism on the part of cycling groups in Pennsylvania, ebikes would still be illegal, as they were prior to 2014. I would bet that's true for most of the world. Last, but not least, as a lifelong Harley rider, I can say with certainty the vast majority of riders are spending ZERO time on the subject.


P.S. I like the phrase "Cheater", great way to meet other ebikers:)
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
I'm hoping with a family-friendly ride of 1,000 bikers, they'll be receptive and/or not concerned. Unfortunately I may have a conflict now and not sure I'll be able to go, but there will be others... Will keep you posted.
Ohhh, big group fun rides are GREAT. And lots of open minded people that don't ride much. They'll love it!
It's the group of hard core bike club members on the 20mph Tue night ride that will make you wish you'd skipped it.
Seems like when you get "into it" enough and spend too many hours with a wedgie seat up your butt you get really closed minded and "exclusive" to "bikng purity". If it makes it more comfortable or faster it's not right! ;)
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
I find most other bicycle riders are indifferent about the bike I'm riding at the moment. A year ago I had a group of older fellas call me a cheater, but none since. Hindsight tells me it was done in jest, insecurity or just pure ignorance of the subject. As a matter of fact, this year I've ridden more than ever with non-e riders and I find 99% of them fall into one of three categories; indifference, curious or enthusiastic. The attitude that 'they all hate us', is just not productive in my estimation. Had it not been for the support and activism on the part of cycling groups in Pennsylvania, ebikes would still be illegal, as they were prior to 2014. I would bet that's true for most of the world. Last, but not least, as a lifelong Harley rider, I can say with certainty the vast majority of riders are spending ZERO time on the subject.


P.S. I like the phrase "Cheater", great way to meet other ebikers:)

Well said. Good attitude.