1. I think the answer is obvious.
    Spandex clad bikers constitute a lifestyle, not a transportation, choice (with or without the 8 day beard as shown).
    Entry into this sub culture precludes any prosthetic assists, hills be damned.
    Many people have neither the ability nor the desire for this level of commitment.
    This represents a barrier to bike use. The political consequences of this division are obvious. The sense of exclusion rightly or wrongly felt by non bikers leads to anger that can be easily accessed in the comments section of any article about bike lanes.
    Oddly you see nary a shred of spandex (or even helmets, but thats another story) in China, Holland, or Denmark – places where bikes are a fact not a lifestyle choice.
    How did this happen? And what can we do.

    1. I’m an urban vehicular cyclist doing 1,000 miles a month, mostly on city streets. Never been in a race or ridden in a group. I’ve put 4,000 miles on my car so far this year and 9,000 on my bike, so it’s definitely a lifestyle choice and I’m not a sporting cyclist. And I’d be embarrassed AF to be seen on an electric moped. The only way I’d ride one would be to see if I could charge it up pedaling, then I’d give it to someone who really needs it.

  2. It’s because it’s an advertisement of the user being lazy, out of shape, or generally too poor for a motorcycle. It’s pretty much the same for a scooter, but an ebike is less capable.
    Practicality aside, riding an electric bike is either on par or less cool than riding the bus.

  3. An electric bike is an electric wheelchair, with just two wheels, one in front of the other. (I have one myself, and love it. But I think they can be perceived as being just for the elderly and infirm.)

  4. What is wrong with electric bikes that don’t look like bikes is often that they aren’t actually bikes, but rather electric scooters posing as bikes, with a non or low functioning set of fold away pedals that allows them to legally use the bike lanes, other than in parks. Given the mass of many of these vehicles, and the ability of users to easily defeat the speed governors, they are far too often a danger to others.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a bicycle with pedals as a means of propulsion, and with an electric assist that functions only when the user is pedalling, These bikes expand cycling to more people.
    Hopefully the provincial law that allows electric scooters with throttles to pose as bicycles will soon be changed, and the electric scooters can return to the road. The electric assist bikes will hopefully grow in number, and coincidentally they tend to look like bikes because they can actually be pedalled.
    It has nothing to do with spandex. Those who attempt to divide the world like this do not understand that some people use street clothes with their transportation bikes, and Lycra with their sport bikes, because that is what works best. The same users occupy both “subcultures”. How do critics judge the presumed lifestyles of others in these circumstances? Must be hard.

    1. They’re allowed on the road just like a normal bike under the current laws.
      The advantage that ebikes have currently is that they don’t require insurance as a low speed vehicle, and they can use bike infrastructure. That’s why they have a reputation for being for cheap people, because they’re much cheaper than a real motorcycle.
      You can buy electric motorcycles. They can do well over 150km/h. They’re just more expensive (like a real motorcycle), require insurance (like a real motorcycle) and require a motorcycle license (like a real motorcycle). The limit between an ebike and an electric motorcycle is power. Ebikes are capped at 700 watts or so, which is a rather pathetic amount of power. There is also a top speed of 32km/h.
      There’s a company called Zero Motorcycles out of California. They make beautiful bikes, which can cost upwards of $20K. I’d definitely consider them when my Suzuki decides to quit. They don’t really replace the current usage patterns for recreational motorcycles though. Soon though, they probably will.

      1. There are products being sold now in town as ebikes, with 500w nominal, 1900w peak, fold away pedals “to qualify as a bike and use bike lanes”, and governed as per regs to 32 km/hr. One rep at a show explained to me that he rode one at 80 km/hr, and on line ads not from the dealer offer 45/55/75 km/hr upgrades. No insurance or license required for the original product. The modified product is not a legal ebike. If you are gong to keep to 32 km/hr, though, why do you need 1.9 kw of power in the original product?

        1. The current ebike regs are very poorly formulated, apparently without any knowledge of electrical engineering, and they’re full of gaping loopholes. For example, the “rated” power of a motor is a pretty meaningless number. You can get a lot more than the “rated” power, for example by running the motor at higher than the rated voltage. Whoever wrote the rules seemed just to modify existing rules for gas-powered scooters. It wouldn’t be hard to write proper regs though.

          1. We can’t formulate road rules strong enough to keep race ready automobiles off our streets. And those things are killers.

            I put it to you that writing laws might be a bit harder than it looks at first glance. To wit:

            Will you outlaw throttles entirely? As an ebike user, I find a throttle quite useful in some circumstances. For those riding e-MTBs they are also quite helpful. That’s the biggest market for ebikes and outlawing throttles would require Canada-specific products. Most mfrs would probably just exit the market or issue a disclaimer that the bike is for off-road use only (which everyone would just ignore).

            Will you limit power? And then make a zillion exceptions so that e-delivery trikes etc can still operate?

            Two issues that should be addressed in any new regulations. Both of which would fail under mfr pressure IMO.

    2. Excellent observations about electric mopeds. Funny how the marketing trend now is to hide the fact that they’re motor vehicles.

  5. “An electric bike is an electric wheelchair”
    I’ve never seen an electric wheelchair that the seller advertises can go over 30 km/hr.

  6. Today I saw a poor woman struggling to push an electric scooter style e-bike with a trailer and 2 kids on the back. Breakdown or out of power? In any case, she was in a pickle since the thing was obviously not rideable.

  7. I have an e-bike, and from my perspective the problem with e-bikes is that most of them are ugly. Maybe that’s what the ad is referring to.

  8. Three demographics in play here:

    People who would benefit from usable, commuter/transportation ebikes (anyone taking a kid to preschool in a trailer for example, or with a commute of more than 10k)

    Lycra louts (of every gender) who are emasculated when a granny roars past at 32 km/h uphill, but don’t consider buying lighter parts ‘cheating’ for some reason.

    Mountain bikers who can afford the $6k-$10k needed to buy a new e-MTB and keep bike mfrs with small margins afloat by purchasing yet another bike.

    Number three is the only one that counts for the big names in bikes. Hence the advertising.

    As an aside, all three cohorts kind of hate each other. Balkanization is the bete noire of bicycling. Substantive support from the competitive and recreational cycling circles could make a huge difference for the normalization of cycling as transportation. But it ruins the ‘aren’t we special and awesome’ cloak that all three groups love to wear. Also, alliteration is awful.

    1. Though I have no interest in road-race type cycling, I really appreciate their presence. Once you leave the urban core and head out to ferry terminals or other more car-dependent places the sense that the lycra crowd has preceded you is noticeable. Marine Drive in West Vancouver, for example, would be a much scarier place to ride if you thought local motorists and bus drivers were unfamiliar with cyclists. I might only ride there once a year or so. But the lycra crowd is out in numbers daily.

      The more cyclists there are, no matter what style of riding they are involved in, the more clout we have together for better facilities. I don’t think much of the big-ticket cycling infrastructure around our major MV projects would have had enough support without them.

      1. What support? BC Cycling’s website has no mention of transportational cycling in their mandate.

        “Cycling BC is the provincial governing body for the sport of cycling in British Columbia, representing the full range of disciplines including Road, Track, Cyclo-cross, Mountain Biking, BMX and Para-cycling.”

        It is an afterthought in the consumer interest magazines and non-existent beyond the barest mention in industry marketing materials.

        The presence of sporty cyclists may help with visibility and tangentially with advocacy, but it’s just like product stewardship recycling — to wit: individual actions are fine and dandy, but real, substantive change comes with a big bill that the cycling industry is unwilling to foot, for a ton or reasons, but one of them is that transportational cycling adherents are not their market. A small group of customers who buy a new bike every ten years or so are not enough to support the a thriving market in quality transportational bicycles. Canadian Tire et al have captured the cheap bike market. And here we are. Not very far down the road at all, if we are to be honest about the uptake of pedal-powered two wheeling in North America.

        1. It doesn’t appear that you are trying to promote harmony among different cycling groups.

          All I’m saying is there is serious cycling infrastructure being built alongside major road projects in places that are not at all cycling friendly otherwise. That wouldn’t be happening without a lot of bikes on the road and a lot of cyclists (any kind) considering it in who they vote for.

          I’m not saying it’s enough. But imagine these big projects going ahead without it.

          1. Virtue signalling at worst. At best, political support comes from officials who self identify as ‘cyclists’. Realistically, cycling is not a vote-getting factor worth worrying about for provincial or federal elected officials. It IS a factor in a few major cities in the province and may influence some municipal candidates.

            Beyond the 604 area code cycling is viewed as a recreational activity for kids and enthusiasts. Recognizing that reality is useful IMO.

  9. “It doesn’t appear that you are trying to promote harmony among different cycling groups.”

    I’m not. I’m stating the facts as I see them.

  10. Cycling BC’s executive director gladly confirms the majority of Vancouver cyclists would prefer a painted bike lane on the road over a path through the park! Completely wrong of course. But for the average person, Cycling BC sounds like the de facto group representing bicycling in the province, and confusion ensues. That was 2013. Have you seen or heard the bike racing umbrella group align itself with transportational riders since? I certainly haven’t. In fact, that one letter probably put the whole effort back a little bit. Cycling BC please stop ‘helping’!

    1. Cycling BC has different leadership now than it did 7 years ago.

      With the implementation of the temporary protected lane in Stanley Park, discussions were held with Cycling BC on reaching out to the sport cyclists that they represent, and promoting safe riding through the park for people of different abilities/riding speeds. It was a much different conversation than in 2013.

      Groups representing various types of cycling are actively working together. That is progress.

      1. You are diplomatic and that’s great Jeff. I’m happy to hear they are finally showing up to the party even if it took a global pandemic to make it happen. But one can be forgiven for thinking that transportational cycling has not place under Cycling BC’s umbrella, simply because one can’t find any mention or picture of it on their website.

        Their mandate is clearly to support and exalt competitive cycling first, recreational riding second, and that’s really the extent of it according to my semi-cursory pass through their site. That mandate is not in alignment with transportational cycling and it’s ‘anyone can do it without training or special equipment’ philosophy.

        The reality is that even to an interested observer, the support from the recreational cycling powerhouses in terms of funding and reach is largely non-existent. Pinkbike — huge website with global reach. Strictly MTB and you better have a Toyota Tacoma or better to get to the trailhead or you don’t count. Cycling BC I have already outlined.

        I probably sound like an iconoclast or apostate. So be it. I paint what I see.

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