Tuesday, February 21

Sports E-nthusiast

I may or may not have helped sponsor an e-bike at this past weekend's Winter Short Track Race.

For those that don't understand the difference between a regular bike and an e-bike other than the letter "e," here you go:

Sometimes the difference is not terribly subtle.  Sometimes it is.

Now that we're all on the same page...

The bike was there and the rider was willing and the rules... well,  there aren't any against racing on an e-bike.

We, the benevolent sponsors, only asked that he start at the back of the Super Sport field, not really influence the race, and if called out, continue on as long as he felt comfortable... oh, and try not to win.  No matter what, his "results" would surely get stricken one way or the other.

It only lasted a few laps.  He was noticed about ten minutes in, called out, asked to stop... went one more lap and then returned to rejoice in the fact that he went from a regular old beginner class rider to getting one step away from a podium in the Super Sport class with plenty of time left on the clock to keep moving up.

A decision partly fueled by a few beers but mostly because there's just not any rules that say it can't be done.  Because... e-bikes.  They're coming at us pretty fast right now.  Quicker than we can decide who gets to ride them and where.  These things are made by bike manufacturers and sold in bike shops, and they aren't necessarily that much more expensive compared to other higher end bikes... that won't go as fast or far with the same effort.  To the regular Joe-guy buying a bike with $7,000 to $10,000 burning a hole in his pocket... you want this one with Turbo or this one without?  I guess we can pretend "that guy" doesn't exist.

I know exactly how Dr Ian Malcolm feels about that.

If I get into my later years and this is the only "how" that I can get around in the woods still... sure.  Or maybe if some other health condition sets in that limits my abilities to do the one thing that floats my boat or finds my lost remote... dunno.

But what is interesting is that everything I've heard about local encounters with e-bikes (outside of interfering in a certain bike race) has been nothing less than positive.  No tales of e-bikers tearing up trails or bombing single track and barreling other users over.  Nobody looking to terrorize STRAVA (not that I  would care if they did).  Just people having a good time in the woods instead of watching TV or playing fantasy sports balls.

Such a gray area, this whole e-bike thing.  I don't even know where I stand or if I even need to... or who even does?

Except mebbe racing.  I'd like to see some rules there... because some might say that common sense should keep the e-bikes out, but we all know there's nothing common about common sense.


Anonymous said...

Nothing turns a friendly hippie into an uptight asshat faster than an ebike. Its too bad, as they do nothing but good for the sport.

Anonymous said...

Guess I can just bring my 250cc to the race next year and it'll be all"grey area" and shit.

Anonymous said...

I'm the worst kind of Strava terrorist. The type that forgets to shut it off after an easy MTB ride, and gets the KOM for all the road segments on the way home, in the car. Thank goodness for the crop feature, otherwise I'm sure I'd get banned. It's like Strava is ready for the ebike crowd, they're totally willing to believe that you averaged 40mph biking uphill on Woodlawn.

Anonymous said...

In Strava there is an option to log your ride as an "E-bike ride" which doesn't count your segment times on leaderboards. So if the E-bikers tag their ride properly they won't piss off the people who earned those Koms.

Anonymous said...

We've added no e-assist into the rules after having both hidden and not so hidden motors used in races locally