Reply To: E-Bikers, A Few Etiquette Improvements

Iowa_Born Eastern_River, January 19, 2020 at 10:01 am

[quote quote=1314441]
Plus there are 2 camps here basically. 1) Those that ride self powered bikes and that is there passion, RAGBRAI is just a bicycle event they do. 2) Those that love doing RAGBRAI by whatever means needed. Those of us in camp 1 would quit RAGBRAI if the day comes they cannot do it self powered. Those in camp 2 get ebikes to continue doing RAGBRAI.

This is the sticking point for me personally — RAGBRAI is about a celebrating a tradition of cycling across Iowa. There is a personal challenge to doing that, and one that is nearly achievable by everyone (out of shape first-timers and 80-year-old veterans). That challenge — and accomplishment — is lost when you start using a motorized-cycle.

I believe this divide will only worsen as e-bikes gain market share. Organizers (not just RAGBRAI) will have to begin deciding whether they want a “human-power” event, or an open road tour “by any means necessary”. When the divide does become increasingly transparent, I’ll be happy to follow the “human-power only” camp.

The e-cyclists don’t see the concerns of riding alongside traditional cyclists, but I wonder how they would feel if they were told to get along in a field suddenly opened to Vespas and Groms?

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