I'm pretty sure nobody will notice or care about the presence of a battery and motor on her bike if she's careful and courteous. I wouldn't.
I do have some concern about anyone who rides at high speed on a multi-use path. The assumption most people make is that cyclists capable of propelling themselves at high speed are typically experienced riders, and so have some ability to avoid collisions. OTOH, e-bikes enable complete newbies to go faster than is safe for themselves and other path users. Therefore, e-bike riders may, in theory, be more of a threat to safety than other fast riders. But in practice, why would anyone care what kind of bike you're riding if you're not creating a problem?
+1 If she rides in a safe, reasonable way and co-exists peacefully with other people on the path, there shouldn't be any issue about whether it's an e-bike or a pedal bike.
I think your wife will be fine and most people are very accepting and understanding. I believe most cyclists have difficulty with the lawn mower engine DIY bikes out on the paths because they are fast, pollute, and make a horrible noise. Here's a thread that discusses eBikes in a different light:
Also, we reviewed an eBike a little over a year ago. Really fun bike to ride and very stylish:
The Faraday created a lot of buzz at the industry bike show I went to.
I wish you and your wife the best. I think eBikes are an excellent opportunity for people that need the extra help to enjoy being on a bike.
I agree. I hope that your wife finds a ride that's suitable for her.
I know people who used to be strong riders but now use e-bikes or electric assist due to health issues. It's great to have options that allow for enjoying the outdoors.
I got a Dahon Mariner 7 built up as an ebike at Kozy's 3255 N Milwakee. Ridden it for a couple of years. Wheels fit Springfield IL bus racks.
Brian, I ride an e-assisted cargo bike, and haven't ever had anyone give me trouble on paths or bike lanes. I don't think most people even notice the electric assist (but they do notice the loud, nasty gas-powered ones that give the rest of us a bad rap).
I have, however, had several experiences with lycra-clad dudes at stop lights. While we're stopped, they notice my Bosch mid-drive assist on my Urban Arrow, and then have the gall to tell me I'm "cheating" ... while my 100 lb bike is loaded with 100 lbs of kids, groceries from Costco, two bags of library books, etc. I'm a petite woman who is not a competitive or long-distance-riding cyclist. But the cargo bike + e-assist combo has enabled me to live car-free with two kids and ride year round here. I like to offer for them to switch bikes with me, and see how they like pedaling 250+ pounds of kids & cargo ... then we can talk about "cheating". No one has ever taken me up on it, oddly enough :)
Elsbeth, That's so awesome! I'd love to see some pics of you with groceries and kids out there riding.
There are also people that do long distance commutes that find an eBike option to be a good fit for them. I think any time we are eliminating having a car on the road, it's a good thing.
I put lots of our bike adventures up on instagram, and we've been enjoying the 30 Days of Biking fun.
What a great Instagram. Thanks for sharing. So good to see the kids so happy and outside with you. Yeah, I seem to get happier as I get further into the 30 days and there are more nice days than bad.