psmiffy wrote:I'm depressed by people being depressed by people on e bikes - last couple of years that I have toured in Holland and Germany in the summer being overtaken by hordes of "older people" on e bikes having fun - whats not to like
I think it comes down to context (and people always seem to raise specific contexts when discussing whether e-bikes are a good thing or not).
What prompted me to start this thread was the thought (however fleeting) that the Derby scheme had removed (to a degree) one element of the cycling experience - that of the need for hard physical effort in some circumstances (whether that's distance or hills or speed, and for most people it means hills). Normally a cyclist will accept the need for physical effort both as a permanent feature of cycling and as something to reduce through practice. The pay off is fitness but was
also cost effectiveness and other advantages that accrue through cycling. E-bikes have allowed us to obtain the other benefits with less physical effort. We now have a choice where previously it would have meant a car or motorcycle. That original lack of choice was a hard task master - it was bike or car. But we thanked him for it. I had to get to the fourth floor of a block of flats the other day without a lift - I ran up without a second thought or having to stop to take breath and I'm 64.
Yes, for an eighty-five year old person with one leg and half a lung in a car-choked city needing to commute 20 miles up a steep hill to work and wanting to enjoy fresh air an e-bike would be an ideal alternative to car. For 16 year old overweight able-bodied youth needing to get to his local KFC, it might not be. But the bike hire scheme won't distinguish betwen the two.
That outlook takes the choice out of car or bike,we already know the answer,for the fat lad just like the the owd codger it'd be car,the same as it is now.
What the e-bike offers is the possibility of more bikes and less cars,generally people will be pulled to the least line of resistance to move their body about the place,in the present situation the car's the answer.
Like it was said of Sir Christopher Wren,if you wish to seek his legacy look around you.
People generally wish to move themselves and their kelter about conveniently,the bike isn't convenient in the UK for a couple of reasons,firstly a general lack of any meaningful,quality and safe infrastruture whether perceived or actual,and secondly cycling is seen as a purgatory that most people shy away from,especially after a day at work.
When you solve both,cycling will boom like never before and riding(sorry)on that wave will be those who don't see cycling as hard work but as good honest excercise to be enjoyed.
And here's the seekrit,the e-bike will drive(sorry again)the need for that safe and convenient infrastructure as it finds popularity and as the car is gradually outlawed as town and city transport,so everyone benefits!
So as a cyclist,look on the e-bike as a blessing not a curse to wring your hands about in frustration
Edited for typos