Monday, 21 July 2014

Electric Bike Shaming

So this happens to me, about every 10th person I talk to.  They see that I'm stopped and come over and ask me few of the typical questions.
First Question: "What is that?" I normally go on about the fat bikes, history of them, where they came from, etc.. Basically spilling out stuff I came across on Google.  Am I historically correct? No idea. But I am surprised, since fat bikes have been around for a little while but I guess with mine being all black, it gets a bit more attention. *shug* Then they ask the typical second question.

Second Question: "Isn't it hard to pedal?" 
Second Answer: "Yes, on take off it's a bit harder to pedal.  I have to make a conscious effort to stop in a low gear to make the next take off a little easier.  This is an electric bike.."

Then I wait for the reaction, it can either be four reaction:

1. The Awe look: When someone looks overly surprised because they never heard of an electric bike, ever. They look at me as if I invented it... which I obviously didn't.  They ask if I built the bike and I always respond with "I put it together and put some custom tweaks in it, beyond what the supplier gave me."

2. The Duh look: When someone looks at you, like you have two heads. Obviously it's electric.  These people have normally have been exposed to electric bikes but I'm guessing the 250 watt, cheap quality battery kind.. which can leave a bad taste in anyone's mind.

3. The Intrigued look: When someone genuinely seem interested and is thinking this might be for them.  These are my favorite, as I might be able to convince them to start riding a bike again. Electric or not, it's good all the same.

4. The Disgusted look: When someone ends the conversation with "Oh, your a cheater!" or "Oh, your a lazy rider".  These people I have no patience for, they are typically riders of super carbon fiber bikes, spent a mini-fortune on gear, are in perfect shape and are ideal for super thin tires. 

I'm not knocking the Uber bikers here, they aren't all like that by far. Just they are the ones who want me to feel Ashamed for riding ebike.  Due to this shaming, I've tried to put a group of electric bike riders together in my area.  Which is far and few between and none of them are interested.

I did come across a older couple, I'm guessing in there mid 50's who had a pair of electric bikes.. and they were biking together.  Which was cool.  Which then got me thinking of my wife and how I could pair my old two ebikes together to make one "good" one for her.  But I'll leave that for tomorrow...

Lessons Learned:

  • Don't care what haters think, I'm getting a work out and I know it.  I feel it.
  • Not everyone is going to like what your doing.
  • Haters are going to hate.  Find the people that support you and keep them near.


  1. That's the other end of the spectrum compared to what I often get when I'm out on my fatbike: "Dude, where's the motor? Har Har."

    Keep on rolling. You're already winning.

    1. I can see that side too. Guess when it's something new, people don't know how to react.

      One thing I have noticed, a few times.. at random moments, are random people who see me going by and smile. Give me a thumbs up. I'm not sure how to react to those.. but I normally respond with a simple nod.