February 23, 2021
Take the high road
Just because we ride an ebike doesn't mean we all go full throttle 100% of the time. Once on a leisurely ride on a bike trail, we had some traditional road bikers yell at us to get out of the way. Their tone seemed a bit disgusted. Not because we were going slow, but because we on ebikes.
Maybe you have been there before yourself. Someone scoffs or calls you a cheater. They ride by shaking their heads or give you a quick up and down look with a frown.
Whether we like it or not, all eyes are on us as ebike riders. As the new way to cycle, those resistant to change or even those perfectly happy with their current ride will naturally not understand us.
Now, I'm not going to get in the cheating argument, we already covered that topic in a full blog post that you can see here:
But I am going to go over the tone and example we should set as we share the space with fellow conventional bike riders. We have an obligation to share the joy of ebikes in a very special way, and I will tell you why.
One of my friends was an avid mountain biker. He loved his all mountain bike. He spent good money and a good amount of his formative years on it. However, one day a pain became apparent in his knees. At the doctor's office, he learned he would need surgery in both knees and that his recovery and new way of living would effect his performance and he would likely never ride the same again. He was devastated. One day a year later, he asked me timidly about my ebike. Eventually, he hopped on it and took it for a spin.
You could see the wheels turning on the bike and in his head. Instead of being timid and hesitant, his smile grew and grew, just as his loving acceptance for his eventual new ebike. Something changed in him for the better. Now that he was reunited with his passion, he understood the natural rationalizations that needed to take him there. He was still getting quite the work out, he was still powering the bicycle, he was still wooshing past bumps, hills, and trees. He was still getting mud on his outfit and sun on his face. Only two things really changed. His perspective and now this new added blessing of being pain free.
He understood it all now and continued with almost a third eye of biking wisdom. So when he was loading his ebike up on his car rack, he was calm and rational when two conventional mountain bikers walked passed him and made a disparaging remark.
"Hey," he smiled, "be nice to us. One day you will need our help" he said with a sincere and kind tone.
We all know that ebikes are the future and that age isn't always a factor in purchasing them. Many young people enjoy them too. That being said, you may be surprised to find out the friend in this story was only in his 30's.
The moral I learned from this story is don't judge, don't get discouraged, and don't take the low road. Rather, like my friend, let's set the example and ride on the high road.