My new Electric bike from Pete's bike in Boulder
Yes I did it, some will say I turned to the dark side but I like to think of it as the green side, I got an e-bike - an Electric Assist Bike. It's a full on commuter style rig probably coming in around 40 lbs, 8 speed internal hub, lights that run off a generator, fenders and other commuter equipped items. While I've only had it a few weeks I'm already loving it, it has changed commuting by bike for me.
Why? Why get an ebike? As someone pointed out on Facebook, "What's wrong with a pedal bike?" Well, nothing is wrong with a pedal bike, I'm just looking for a faster, easier way to get to work which is about 19 miles round trip without having to get sweaty. I still love to pedal, as lunch time is when I'm able to get out for my training rides but commuting for me is not and will never be training... just transportation. I could use my old commuter bike to ride to work... but with it I rode at best once a week and when I didn't ride I drove my very old V8 redneck truck that was far from green or cost effective way.
In just a few weeks of owning it I'm using it all the time (when the weather permits). In short it is changing the way I use a bike for transportation as it it making it much more convenient to go by bike But I know I still have a bit to learn with owning an ebike and so does society. What does it mean to have ebikes share a common cycling infrastructure in a city? New York is putting the breaks on ebikes as they say "E-bikes are unlicensed, unsafe and unwelcome in our city."
I'm sure there are abusers amongst the early adopters of this technology, just like there are plenty of abusers such as pathletes already on the infrastructure causing problems. The core problem is the speed of the two wheeled device on the path, not the device itself right?
Notice her love for her electric cargo bike
Problems can and will come up I imagine as more and more electric assist commuter, road or mountain bikes start hitting the trails/roads/paths tensions will rise.
Before you start slamming the ebike remember these bikes IMO are vehicles of transportation, not for sport. Commuting by bike has it's challenges but ebikes take away some of those barriers and gets more people on bikes and out of their cars. Just from a saving-the-planet point of view this is a good thing. Then let's add on cargo bikes, those bikes are awesome... and impractical at the same time as you try to haul a 60lb bike with 40 lbs of groceries 2-3 miles over non-flat terrain and a child on the back. That would take a hour to complete!
I know I have a rough road cut out for me to win others over on the ebike... and who knows, maybe in 6 months I'll hate it and want to got back to sweating and showering 3x a day or back to driving my V8. But regardless of me, ebikes are becoming part of the cycling landscape and it could be what gets a large percentage of people out of their cars in onto a bike... and supporting more bike paths, bike boxes, bike parking, and simply more bike love.