Are Electric Bikes Cheating?

If you dear reader have ever wondered about this or been called a cheater because you’re riding on your e-bike, know that’s preposterous.

If I’m at the race line on an electric-assisted bike against my competitor who is 100% human powered, and somehow manage to sneak my motor past them without them knowing, then sure, it’s cheating. But when does that scenario ever happen in real life? Instead people say I want to keep up with my kids, or I don’t want my friends to have to wait on me.

“I bought my bike in 2018 because we couldn’t afford a second car. Now that we can afford another car I just prefer riding my e-bike.” This is from one of our customers. They own a cargo bike to haul kids and groceries. In a town the size of ours, e-bikes are a great way to get around without the monthly car payment, insurance and the regular costly fill-ups at the pump. So, if this person is partially powering his grocery haul, is this e-bike rider cheating? Or is it the guy who drove to the store for milk in his truck?

Recently, I was heading out for a test ride with a gentleman who could no longer make it up his long steep hill, and didn’t want to hassle with loading the bike up to drive down the hill so he could ride around town, load up and drive back up. He was getting ready to celebrate his 80th birthday for context. As we started to head south towards his road up above the college a younger rider rode by and called us cheaters. It’s not cheating, it’s called adapting. When we get older and our muscles don’t perform the way they used to, we adapt. Nobody looks at the little old man or lady using a walker and yells CHEATER! So why are we doing this to older people on e-bikes?

We have a health crisis, a climate crisis, a crisis of loneliness, anxiety and depression. Many people are struggling to get by. Electric bikes have the ability to be part of solving all these ills. If you’re aging and want to stay active to maintain a higher quality of life, e-bikes are a great way to get low impact exercise. E-bikes, like other forms of exercise, help your body boost serotonin levels which help us feel better. Lonely? There are several bike communities around the valley to meet new friends.

We all have challenges we face. The stigma of ‘cheating’ because you ride an e-bike shouldn’t be one of them. So get out there, give one a try for yourself and Experience the Fun Again!

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