So, who rides an electric bike?
Since working at the bike shop the last 8 months I have noticed some snobbery from traditional cyclists aimed at those who choose to have a motor helping them. Obviously if you turn up on an electric bike for a club ride then you deserve the lambasting that you are going to get but in reality there are many reasons why someone may want to ride an electric bike.
1. Disability or impaired physical condition.
Dodgy knees, fused joints, asthma and COPD ( lung issues ) are just some of the many impairments that make normal cycling extremely uncomfortable. In this case, having a motor may be the difference in being able to get out and about on a bike or not - and cycling is great for rehabilitation too.
I'm not generalising in any way but it can be hard as you grow older to cycle a normal bike for any distance. A motor will enable you to cover those miles and get to those place that may normally be out of reach.
3. Car substitution / Commuting
Cars are expensive to buy and expensive to run. If you live in or near a town or city an electric bike is an ideal way to get you to work in good time without arriving in a smelly snotty mess. With a decent pannier or basket you can carry enough stuff to be useful whether that's items for work or just the weekly shop.
4. Dual riding
Your partner may be a great cyclist and he or she may want you to join them but you hate cycling, you can't be doing with that horrible thigh pain when the road starts to rise.
On an electric bike you can easily keep up with your other half and start enjoying bike riding together, but you had best take a book, something to read at the top of hills whilst you wait for your partner to arrive!
Finally, don't forget the fun factor in riding an electric bike, most people who try them love them.