This might be read as an axiom: “The future, also the biking one, might become very, very electric. This does not mean the end of classical biking, but its upgrading and development. One will always have to paddle”!
If a biker writes about electric bikes, is he or she a biker at all? Or even better; if a biker buys an electric bike, is he or she still a biker?
Electric bikes are a wonderful accessory for all those people who say that a bike is a mere means of transport that takes them from one point to another and nothing more.
Also sellers have their own points of view about electric bikes. Most of them say that electric bikes have saved their business. Funnily, some of them had scowled at these wonders, then they nagged loudly, that they were not going to sell these wonders to anybody but weirdos, today they are hinting about the future which may be (completely) electric. They say that in the developed European biking countries it is already difficult to sell an ordinary city or mountain bike.
Why is this the case? When you pedal around the city, it is good to have an assistant because you shouldn't come to work all sweaty, because it is easy to bring the groceries from the shop, because there is a steep slope to get to your boyfriend, because there is a slope all the way up to get to your girlfriend, because driving off at all traffic lights with an ordinary bike is torture and … if I don't do serious sport then an electric bike can be my new hobby and because a bike is a bike, why not have an assistant? And that is why sellers now claim that these technological wonders may improve their business a great deal. It is not only the sale, but also the repair. Not because these bikes would break down more or more often than ordinary bikes, but one can repair by themselves few things, so the maintenance men have been educating themselves in this field rapidly.
It is not easy for them, they are not used to electricity, but they get comfort from their car maintenance colleagues who are already electronic engineers if not electricians and mechanics.
Slovenian electric bikes market has fully come to life and it is no longer possible to find a serious bike equipment provider who doesn't have at least a few pieces in their programme. And what is very important news: there are biking tours organized for electric bikers exclusively! And what is even more interesting? Such biking trips have become so popular that they will soon get ahead of those ordinary, classical ones!
An electric bike is for weaklings only, for those who cannot manage a decent biking tour. A prejudice, yes.
What is more beautiful as if you are capable on your own, even if you are not an athlete, to reach a mountain pass in the Dolomites or the Alps, a nearby hill, which you strain to reach on foot, breathing heavily, a pass where you have only driven across by car? Maybe the purist bikers are a little narrow-minded – if we say that being on fresh air and moving around is most important, then an electric bike does not deny that. Riding an electric bike we are on the fresh air, we paddle as much as we can; if it doesn't go, an engine helps us.
Do the physically less prepared, the older, the injured … not have the right to this wonderful world in which we, the bikers, like to submerge? Maybe even more, because they have hard time to reach it, for some it is even impossible.
An electric mountain bike is not a motor bike or a moped, because it needs to be paddled to get moving and electricity helps us with that. This is an electric mountain bike. Nothing else, even though it bothers us a lot. Something new has entered our purist biking world and we should accept it.
“Some time ago on the island of Hvar, when I was going down from Vidikovac, I noticed two bikes coming with great speed along the road, down in the valley, a few turns lower. When we met, I saw two older bikers who were, with incredible blissfulness on their faces, paddling on electricity up the hill, where the view was so beautiful. Their delight was contagious”. The newest models of electric bikes are really interesting, they have preserved the real genetic transcription of orthodox mountain bikes and one can ride them like that as well. Riding those bikes is “a real challenge and pleasure” as Primož Kališnik has recently written. His article with the title On Electric seat caused a real hurricane among bikers. You can read the article on the web site Polet.si.
Or as Primož beautifully wrote: “According to me, there are two philosophies arising, only the roads will be shared”. It is not necessary that you face a steep slope to use the electricity. It can easily be a day when you are too tired because of your work and life and you just want to take a ride for pleasure. Or maybe you would like to paddle with your wife, older friends, parents, young children. You cannot do it on ordinary bikes, with electric ones it is easier. Hanging out with people is everything. So, if anybody asks me: electricity yes or no: definitely, yes! If you fancy riding a bike, but ordinary cycling is too hard for you because you cannot ride far.
You know, there are people, bikers, who retired and bought themselves an electric bike. They do more than a hundred kilometres a day, they discovered beautiful parts of their homeland where they had never been before. With classical bikes they could do 40 kilometres. What is the best: you can start riding electric bikes when you reach mature age. And even if a part of your body does not function anymore as it used to. Well, we do have our hearts checked often, don't we, no matter the age?