Campbell River Mirror editor Alistair Taylor poses for a picture at the 50th Parallel in Campbell River. Photo by a kindly passerby

I’m’ riding the e-bike wave in all it’s pedal-assisted glory

E-bikes are a popular item these days and Alistair Taylor is quick to jump on the trend

I’ve always been a bit late to any of the technological parties.

It took me a while before I offloaded my vinyl records and started replacing them with CDs. I remember when somebody wanted to give me a CD and I said I don’t have a player and he burst out “Get with the 90’s for God’s sake!”

The point being, I tend to wait it out when it comes to technological trends. I support them, it just takes me a while to bite the bullet and pay for it in the new way.

Well, I’m happy to say, I have managed to jump on one technological trend relatively early (for me). A few weeks back I bought an e-bike. Yes, I know e-bikes are not new but they have really taken off in the pandemic, the last couple of years.

They’re everywhere! And they’re being driven (get it, driven?) by “older” people. Not exclusively but definitely noticeably. And being an “older” person myself, I fit right in with the trend. For once. I didn’t really know how e-bikes worked even as recently as two years ago. A year-and-a-half ago, even. But I’ve been eyeing buying a motorcycle for a fair while now. I wanted something that could get me out to the many logging roads around Campbell River hoping to do a lot of exploring. I didn’t want another four-wheeled vehicle and decided a smaller-cc dual-sport or adventure motorcycle would suit my needs. All I needed was the money, which was taking a while to accumulate.

Well, things happen, beginning with my wife saying “why don’t you get an e-bike instead?” around about the time I was actually starting to read up on just what these e-bike things were. How did they work? Well, they were pretty interesting. Also about that time came a realization that it would be to my benefit to do something a little more physical than riding around on a gasoline engine. Not that off-road motorcycling is without a physical component. But I knew pedalling would do me more good and so I was more open to an e-bike and did more thorough research.

It was less expensive to get into an e-bike than a motorcycle (but don’t be fooled into thinking e-bikes can’t get uber-expensive because they can). And they could get me into the backroads a bit – increased range is a big benefit of the electric motor.

But I know what you’re thinking, “An e-bike can provide you with exercise?” Well, yes it can, you can still pedal the bike. Your feet still push the pedals ‘round and ‘round. There are e-bikers who do just use the throttle. I don’t. I take to heart the notion that the electric motor assists your pedaling, it doesn’t replace it.

So, there I am buzzing around on a fat tire e-bike. The buzzing is actually caused by the grippy tread of the tires on the pavement and not the engine. I once joked when fat tire mountain bikes first came out: “A fat bike! That’s for me!” I was thinking it described the fat rider, not the fat tires.

Anyway, my e-bike’s a behemouth. It’s big, got four-inch tires and is great for all-terrain cruising. But it’s also nice for a road ride too. The buzzing is actually caused by the grippy tread of the tires on the pavement and not the engine. I once joked when fat tire mountain bikes first came out: “A fat bike! That’s for me!” I was thinking it described the fat rider, not the fat tires.

Anyway, my e-bike’s a behemouth. It’s big, got four-inch tires and is great for all-terrain cruising. But it’s also nice for a road ride too.

I still feel like a bit of a cheater but for once I’m riding the crest of the e-bike wave not sitting in the backwash after the surge has rolled by.

Campbell RiverCycling

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