Did anybody see an electric bike in the Gong Ride this year? Official advice was that they weren't permitted to
participate. I had an interesting chat with an organiser about some of
the reasons why, which ranged from generally misguided ("e-bikes will
have different acceleration and speed profiles that might be disruptive
amongst crowds of cyclists") to the completely understandable and
challenging ("we do mobile bike maintenance for people with bikes that
aren't up to the ride. We don't know how to handle that if people bring
e-bikes that aren't up to the ride").
Generally though, I'm keen
to see them as part of the ride for 2011. Not just because it will be
good for the electric bike industry which I'm a part of but I think it
will be good for cycling in general - a bit less emphasis on cycling
being about toughness and sweat and lycra - and will be good for the
ride - greater range of participants = better spreading of the word
about MS and of course fundraising from all sorts of people who may not
have been involved otherwise and a more fun and inclusive event.
do others think? Think they should be a part? Think they shouldn't? Who
here would consider entering with an e-bike? And would you enter
without one anyway? I don't imagine there are too many e-bikes out there
that would make it on one battery. Is running out of battery a
'break-down' on this ride and what would be a reasonable way to help
someone who goes on the ride for this to happen? Any practical ways to
make sure people don't enter unless they have reason to be confident
that their battery won't run out or that they'll be able to finish the
ride in any case?
I've put more detail about this on our shop's blog as well for reference.