Do you know that feeling when you’re pushing hard on your new carbon-frame road bike and an older overweight guy in basketball shorts whizzes past you on an electric mountain bike like it’s nothing? That guy is not a cyclist! He doesn’t appreciate how hard it is to maintain that tempo without an electric motor! He has no idea what it means to be devoted to this sport! Even though these are probably all true statements, the fact that this guy is riding a bike at all is still a good thing for all cyclists, including you. Here are 4 reasons why.
E-bikes help more people stay active
E-bikes will allow new people to take up cycling. Whether it’s people who don’t really consider themselves sporty, who think they are too old for cycling or not fit enough, they will have no easy way to get started. That’s because e-bikes solve several common fears non-cyclists have.
• E-bikes remove the fear of hills. Everyone can make it to the top now.
• E-bikes make longer routes more appealing. Cycling is more fun when you can ride far and explore new places without being afraid of the bonk.
• E-bikes make commuting more realistic. Less sweating, less need for a change of clothes.
What does that mean for the rest of us that already use a regular bike? E-bikes are still exercise. They help people be more active and stay healthier and happier too. We can always use more of those people.
E-bikes can save your favourite bike shop
E-bikes are the only segment in cycling that is seeing a dramatic increase in sales. This is another benefit that stems from the first point mentioned. You might not like that your favourite bike shop is giving more floor space to electric bikes at the expense of road bikes but selling and servicing e-bikes could be the thing that saves your local shop from going bankrupt.
E-bikes increase safety for all cyclists
New people that take up cycling because of e-bikes means that there will be more cyclists overall. This fact alone makes cyclists more visible because car drivers will encounter them more often. If the theory of “safety in numbers” is correct then higher visibility of cyclists on roads should lead to improved safety for all cyclists.
E-bikes make cycling infrastructure a priority
More cyclists on the road might have another potential long-term benefit. It increases the number of people that could benefit from better cycling infrastructure. A higher number of cyclists also increases the chances that the right politician or city planner will have a personal experience with how bad it is on the streets without proper signs and cycling lanes.
There are pretty much no downsides to getting more people in the saddle. It’s good for the new people riding, it helps the environment if some of them commute via bike instead of a car, it is a much-needed boost for the cycling industry and, in the end, it’s good for devoted cycling enthusiasts too.