I've pasted this forum thread from Australian Cycling Forums over to here, so sorry for people who read both. It's interesting to see the kind of crowd that reads and replies to each forum. I have to say that the community on Sydney Cyclist is much friendlier, amongst other good qualities. Here goes:

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.

What 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.

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The Gong ride can be quite dangerous, in fact the last time I did it there were record numbers and it was bedlam - I almost came a cropper due to some inexperienced riders and vowed not to do it again. I was asked to do it again yesterday and found that capping the ride at 10,000 alleviated much of the dangerous crowding I previously experienced.

However, yesterday I saw a young bloke riding a kid's bike in the Gong ride - whilst a humorous novelty, it is also very dangerous but deemed "ok" by the organisers one assumes.

I'm with LateStarter on this one...up to a point...I think ebikes are fantastic for getting people into active modes of transport and should be encouraged. Ebikers are no more or no less cyclists than anyone else. The popularity of the Syd to Gong and the Spring Cycle suggests to me that people are yearning for safe cycling events. This tells me that Sydney needs events like those that take place in Columbia (see other thread here).

Lastly, as a former recumbenteer, I can't believe BB was refused entry in Fruitloops ride for being more practical than everyone else!
All fair points Des. I guess my experience of eBikes to date is healthy-looking young riders whizzing about at fast speeds which make them appear to me to be more like a rudimentary motorbike than a bicycle. But you make very valid points and in such cases I agree that there should be a space for you in the Gong Ride. Thanks for the enlightenment!
I appreciate you taking the time to respond. The eBike world is not all alike and I often meet eBike riders who use the motors for speed. Others like the flexibility for cargo. I know with my extra power and a well made bike I can do supermarket shopping filling two bags with some loads of stuff.
Its my fitness tool - no gyms or mindless fitness classes needed.
I love the freedom and the great people who I meet on the road.
My dog loves it too. She fits neatly into a pannier for a short trip to the dog park and cycle track.
I should add that I'm not quite using a walking frame to get to and from my bike either.
My fitness levels are good and now I'm a regular cyclist. I use the motor to help with hills and load carrying. On moderate hills I use the challenge to use the motor less. Its a great assistance tool.
One last thing on gear.
I have no trouble with flat tyres. I learnt early that puncture resistant tyres are a good purchase. My bike has strong wheels and spokes - another essential for any eBike.
I keep it serviced regularly.
The image of a trashy electric bike doesn't fit my gear.
I think it's a shame that eBikes get some bad stick from the poor items on eBay and image of the petrol drive bikes that are illegal. (BTW not all petrol bikes are bad news either - just not my style).
These bikes are really worth a look because they are a great cycling solution for lots of riders.

i did the gongride with a friend who was a first timer.

well organised and beaut weather

i am a fan of the gongride because generally speaking you couldn't ride the route safely without the closures.

also, it is fun to ride with a whole bunch of other rides of various abilities

ebikes? well they are legal. I don't see the problem. we don't try to ban superfit riders?

personally, i am not a fan of ebikes.

if you can ride a regular bike or build up to it, then the ebike is just too heavy and compllcated... changing tyres is a pain, luging is a nightmare...

on the way to the ride i had 2 flats.. would've been a serious pain with a ebike...


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