An ebike someday? Why not now?
If you’re an ebike afficionado, you’ve had this conversation before:
Them: Maybe someday I’ll get an ebike.
You: Why not now?
Them: I will when I’m older.
I like to ride a “real” bike.
Maybe when I’m injured.
Excuses ad nauseum…
And ya know, I believe in different strokes for different strokes.
That’s why there are many different bike manufacturers making many different models in many different colorways. One size doesn’t fit all.
The frustration arises from when the reasons given are based solely on how they believe other people will perceive them. Or, worse yet, how they might perceive themselves on an ebike.
Riding an ebike is not an admission of failure. It doesn’t mean you lack talent, or skill, or strength, or experience.
Riding an ebike doesn’t mean you suck.
And why is that? What can it mean?
It could mean you don’t want to arrive at work soaked in sweat, but want a more challenging ride on the way home. eBikes have adjustable assist levels. You could cruise into work on level 4, then ride home on level 1, or turn off the assist completely. Most ebikes have gears (I’ve seen a few single speeds but most are 1x’s these days), so turn off the assist and you’re riding a “regular” bike again.
It could also mean that you want the option of having the assist when you want it. There’s that ONE HILL on your ride that you’d rather ride up than walk up, so that’s when you pump up your assist and cruise up that monster rather than having to dismount.
You could have a good friend who’s a Cat 3 and there’s no way you could ever keep up with them on their 50 miler, but with a little extra help you can have a pleasant afternoon ride that ends in some adult refreshments. There’s no shame in being a Cat 6.
Or maybe you’d rather concentrate on the wonders of exploring by bike than whether or not you’ve gone too far and can make it back to home base under your own power. I did that recently after losing my phone on the trail and putting in a bunch of extra miles I hadn’t planned on. Having the motor was a lifesaver.
There are many more situations in which an ebike can be helpful, none of which have to do with:
- Your age
- Your ability to ride
- Your strength
- How cool you look
- How other people judge you
- Your relative hormone levels
So the next time you, or someone you know, says “Maybe I’ll get an ebike later…” think of what you’re really saying. Think of whether the reason is that you haven’t been able to find the right one with the right features at the right price point, or if it’s because you’re worried about how others will perceive you, or how you might perceive yourself.