Electric assist bikes?

OK, here is something to perk up the forum. We have seen a huge increase in electric assist bikes around here, and I imagine we will be seeing an increase of said bikes on RAGBRAI this July. I have an opinion concerning this, but I am more interested in what the forum community has to say. Is this the beginning of the end? Will this allow folks who would otherwise not be able to ride to make it happen? Or does the answer lie somewhere in between? Are there any “rules” regarding their use on RAGBRAI? What are your thoughts?

396 Replies

Bob Amlie, January 14, 2019 at 7:58 pm

Like, Wow, Dude. Thanks for the pop-psychology analysis. You too, are Tee-Vee Educated, apparently. But, never have I seen Oprah or Dr Phil on RAGBRAI. Ha. What you should do is “chill”, instead of “buggin’ out” at “stuff I say”, and maybe get some more miles in. That way, you won’t “need” an Equality Bike, to go on RAGBRAI. Now, do you see?

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Jason Stoller, January 14, 2019 at 8:54 pm

Like, Wow, Dude. Thanks for the pop-psychology analysis. You too, are Tee-Vee Educated, apparently. But, never have I seen Oprah or Dr Phil on RAGBRAI. Ha. What you should do is “chill”, instead of “buggin’ out” at “stuff I say”, and maybe get some more miles in. That way, you won’t “need” an Equality Bike, to go on RAGBRAI. Now, do you see?

Looks like Bob needs some anger management classes. Maybe he should work with some wounded warriors and other disabled veterans so he can explain to us why we should not be able to use e-assist or any other person who participates in Ragbrai. Next Bob will have us all riding the same bikes, using the same gears, wearing the same shoes, and even the same underwear. Bob is clearly a man that is choosing to be argumentative with no real validity behind his argument. I doubt seriously whether Bob could even explain the different types of e bikes or how they work. Hey Bob do you know what Torque asst is and where it’s located? Can you share with the forum how it works?

Jason

This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Jason Stoller. Reason: To correct grammar

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Bob Amlie, January 14, 2019 at 10:30 pm

Uh Huh..Like, I mean–chill, Dude.

This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Bob Amlie.

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Jason Stoller, January 15, 2019 at 12:03 am

Uh Huh..Like, I mean–chill, Dude.

Just as I thought, you really have no clue!

I hope the person who is responsible for monitoring this forum finally reads some of your posts in regard to this subject.

Jason

#1298106

Bob Amlie, January 15, 2019 at 12:38 am

And so the Doctrine goes, dude: Equality, Inclusivity, and Curtailment of Free Speech. So, where did you get your Degree in Political Science? Pyong Yang? Give us a break, dude.

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Jboz, January 15, 2019 at 6:04 am

Per Sheldon Brown:

“A tandem allows two cyclists of differing strength and ability to ride together, pleasurably. The faster rider doesn’t need to wait for the slower one; the slower rider doesn’t need to struggle to try to keep up with the faster rider.
A tandem turns the basically solitary, individualistic activity of cycling into an mutual experience that may be shared by a couple.
A tandem allows handicapped people who couldn’t otherwise ride a bicycle to share in the joy of cycling.
A tandem can allow a parent to share cycling at an adult level of speed and distance with a child.”

I guess in Bob’s world, tandems should be forbidden from participating in RAGBRAI because it has an equalizing effect and they can be used to help a person with a disability enjoy the sport.

Side note: On RAGBRAI 2014 I had the privilege of riding alongside two gents on a tandem recumbent trike. Ken was the captain and Rudy was the stoker. Rudy was blind, and had purchased this machine for the express purpose of riding RAGBRAI. Ken was a more experienced rider and jumped at the opportunity to help Rudy experience this once in a lifetime ride. They were slow because of physical limitations and the enormous weight of the trike, but I rode beside them and talked for miles. I got to know them in that unique and fleeting way that you do on RAGBRAI. It never once occurred to me that Rudy should have been denied this pleasure because he wasn’t doing it “on his own”.

When experiencing RAGBRAI, we will each encounter all kinds of different people riding a wide spectrum of bikes. We can either judge them and ride by, or pull alongside them for a few miles and talk. The choice is our own for each of us to make. I prefer to get to know people. That is what makes RAGBRAI so special for me. Not the beer, not the tire dip, not the pork chops, not even the pie. It’s the rich tapestry of people I get to know along the way.

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Ken Reed, January 15, 2019 at 9:15 am

I was attempting to inject some much needed levity into this thread. I guess not.

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KenH, January 15, 2019 at 9:56 am

For the record, I thought it was funny. But it also gives us something to consider. Lithium batteries have a long history of bursting into flame and exploding. The thing that makes them so useful also makes them potentially dangerous. They are safe and reliable when designed properly, built correctly, and used with the appropriate charging devices. But when any of those requirements are not met they go boom! I wonder how dangerous CO2 cartridges are when “cooked off” like that? If you have an e-Bike or a big lithium powered sound system, etc on your bike you might want to carry a pump instead of CO2….

We have lunch with a couple we know on most Saturdays during the year. This last Saturday he mentioned that his sister had just had a house fire. No one was hurt and other than the garage the rest of the house had only smoke damage. Something had gone wrong as they were charging their Tesla overnight in the garage. Teslas are extremely well engineered and manufactured but even they go boom once in a while.

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jelly0317, January 15, 2019 at 10:19 am

Bob Lamie is probably the only person who feels the need to modify a seven-word post (and that’s including “uh” and “huh”).

#1298116

Nico ZZZ, January 15, 2019 at 11:48 am

Thanks Jelly! You deserve all the stars today.

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Jason Stoller, January 15, 2019 at 11:55 am

For the record, I thought it was funny. But it also gives us something to consider. Lithium batteries have a long history of bursting into flame and exploding. The thing that makes them so useful also makes them potentially dangerous. They are safe and reliable when designed properly, built correctly, and used with the appropriate charging devices. But when any of those requirements are not met they go boom! I wonder how dangerous CO2 cartridges are when “cooked off” like that? If you have an e-Bike or a big lithium powered sound system, etc on your bike you might want to carry a pump instead of CO2….

We have lunch with a couple we know on most Saturdays during the year. This last Saturday he mentioned that his sister had just had a house fire. No one was hurt and other than the garage the rest of the house had only smoke damage. Something had gone wrong as they were charging their Tesla overnight in the garage. Teslas are extremely well engineered and manufactured but even they go boom once in a while.

For the record, I thought it was funny. But it also gives us something to consider. Lithium batteries have a long history of bursting into flame and exploding. The thing that makes them so useful also makes them potentially dangerous. They are safe and reliable when designed properly, built correctly, and used with the appropriate charging devices. But when any of those requirements are not met they go boom! I wonder how dangerous CO2 cartridges are when “cooked off” like that? If you have an e-Bike or a big lithium powered sound system, etc on your bike you might want to carry a pump instead of CO2….

We have lunch with a couple we know on most Saturdays during the year. This last Saturday he mentioned that his sister had just had a house fire. No one was hurt and other than the garage the rest of the house had only smoke damage. Something had gone wrong as they were charging their Tesla overnight in the garage. Teslas are extremely well engineered and manufactured but even they go boom once in a while.

Ken you raise a good point. Just for the record there are many different types of battery chemistries out there. One of them is Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries LiFePO4 which are much less dangerous.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_iron_phosphate_battery

If people would take the time to learn about the different battery chemistries instead of always looking for the cheapest price or best deals they would save themselves a lot of problems. There are lots of people who have little knowledge that post about fires and danger because they read an article here or there but as you know a little knowledge misleads others as well as the person posting and makes them very dangerous. There is a site called battery university anyone can go to. You might be surprised what batteries people were carrying around in their pockets years ago that were exploding. Battery Chemistry and safety is everything.

Jason

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Bob Amlie, January 15, 2019 at 12:37 pm

Congratulate yourself, Nico. Jelly, is a Troll. Jason is also a Troll. The only thing they do is is attack Me personally, or the other posters who oppose the use of EBikes on RAGBRAI. I would guess that none of the Trolls on this thread even OWN an EBike, much less ride one on RAGBRAI. So, what are they doing here? Being a Troll. Ignore the Trolls from now on, and they will lose interest in this thread, and go to another topic, to annoy people.

This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Bob Amlie.

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David C., January 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm

I actually like Bob’s replies. He’s a one man movement. And others have chimed in to support him when he appears beleaguered by critics. I don’t think the law agrees with him, but I deleted my original replies to you, Bob, because I didn’t want to appear to chastise or condescend to you. You are entitled to your opinion but in the end, I believe the law is clear. Electric bicycles and trikes limited to 1 hp/750W and 20 mph unassisted on flat ground are legally bikes in Iowa. I don’t think RAGBRAI can or wants to limit registrants to strictly human powered bicycles and further can’t stop non registrants— even you with your Honda, from public roads. Plenty of unregistered riders tag along as do annoyed clueless motorized drivers who find themselves “somehow” trapped by the throngs of cyclists riding eastward in both lanes of traffic. In the end, RAGBRAI is different things to different people. It’s not a monolith. I was just listening to an IPR tribute to Donald Kaul and Kyle Munson even suggested Kaul believed RAGBRAI had become a Frankenstein monster that took on a life of its own beyond Kaul’s imaginings. Kaul apparently made peace with it and greeted cyclists in a prerecorded video in 2015. Bob, if you were on the side of the road and on a cycle of some kind, I would stop to help you. I might have the right tools but more likely would have all the heaviest, wrong ones. I don’t think, however, that exploding ebikes are any more or less funny than collapsing carbon forks and permanent nerve damage. I also don’t think ebikes are any more or less dangerous than their human powered counterparts— the point I believed the link was intended to support. My apologies if it was merely intended to evoke joy and laughter. Where’s my sense of humor anyway?

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