horizon wrote:What I'm saying is that cycling involves a lot of the time a sweaty, unpleasant physical challenge, at least at first.
Maybe for some people, but it ain't necessarily so. If the going's too hard, non-masochists go slower and/or change down a gear. If we run out of gears, we walk. This insistence by some experienced cyclists who like to make themselves sweat puts people off IMO.
horizon wrote:On a short ride on a level road it won't, so people hopefully don't use e-bikes for such a trip.
Why not? It lets them go further for the same effort. That seems like it could be useful and hopefully switch some from driving to cycling for such journeys.
horizon wrote:It is the physical difficulty that people object to (not the members of this forum I hasten to add). So they believe that using an e-bike will iron out the hills, shorten the distance and reduce the sweat - which it does. But the very physical experience that a bike demands if you are to ride up hills, down dales and longer distances is what gives us the positive health effects.
Again, this isn't true in my experience. As readers may recall, I'm chronically ill (which means I'm not keen on deliberately straining my heart or lungs, or sweating for that matter but that's for less serious reasons) and periodically tested in various ways. I still get measurable positive health effects from when I'm cycling in my usual relaxed manner, based on comparing to tests taken when I stopped most cycling for an icy month or so in a winter between me getting bored of sliding down roads and fitting ice tyres. During that month, I was walking to get places and it just didn't seem to do as much... sadly, I wasn't tracking my walking, so I don't know how the time spent walking compares to the time spend cycling. I suspect it was less because I find walking rather tedious after decades spent travelling at cycling speeds.
horizon wrote:Of course people then say that an e-bike is in fact hard work, that you have to pedal as much, that it gets you out and onto ordinary bikes and that at the end of the day you've had more exercise than you would have had than sitting on the sofa or driving a car. Well, that may be true. But if the idea of the e-bike is to neutralise the hard physical effort then either it does or people will be back in their cars if their hopes are disappointed.
I think the idea is to get and keep people cycling when an unassisted cycle would be beyond them for their journey, whether because it's too far, the routes they want to use are too hard for them at that time, possibly because they have some health problem making it so. I know people who were told to cut back their cycling for medical reasons but got e-bikes so they could keep making day trips (which their doctors were OK with).
horizon wrote:I reckon a lot of the support for e-bikes on this forum is from people who have really experienced the hard work of cycling and who therefore realise what a breeze it is to have the motor. For lots of other people, that won't be the case and the chance they have of getting really fit (while still young) is diminished.
I support them but I don't think I've ridden an e-bike yet. I should ask a friend if I can try theirs, or go some place where they hire them out... maybe Derby?