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I'm strongly considering an eBike for my wife. The main reason is because she would be allowed by law to use it in bike lanes and paths. This would present her with a much safer way of commuting between CTA or Metra stops than an underpowered motorcycle (< 50cc ).

I just read another post which showed an incredible amount of disdain for eBikes. Why does everyone seem to assume that eBikers are merely being lazy?

My wife is 63 years old and suffers from fibromyalgia, scoliosis, arthritis, nystagmus and positional vertigo. Surprisingly the vertigo isn't triggered by cycling since all g-forces are more mild than driving a car. If she ever does get dizzy (it's never happened on a bike) she can simply put her feet down.

Cycling is a perfect exercise due to its low impact but often the intensity is too high, especially on windy days or when riding across the overpasses on the LFP. An eBike would give her back her mobility, and may even allow her to join me on my training rides.

We all know cyclists, with all sorts of bikes, who don't exhibit proper behavior. That doesn't mean that everyone who owns a particular type of bike deserves to be ostracized by the cycling community.

But I'm worried about how Brenda will be treated on our trails if I do buy her an eBike. Why can't we at least be civil to one another?

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Amen Brian ! I'm right there with you on this ! Check out the link above and do some searching online of E-bike info and prices. I'm also considering acquiring one in the future. I know It can be a costly but worthwhile investment, especially for the mature type rider. I would prefer to find a shop in the city or nearby, with reliable product and service. I'll try to check back in the future with any useful information I might find. Good luck in finding a good E-bike for Brenda! And just keep riding. Don't let any other misinformed opinionionated detractor deter you. And ride safely and reasonably.

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 agree that there's disdain against ebikes held by certain members of this forum (who lump all E bikes together along with the gas powered lawn mower ones, for no real good reason). But I'm not one of them (I've also seen other forumers here mellow their tone or even turn around and become in favor of E bikes as they learned more about them. I think some of the disdain stemmed from ignorance). I recommend the Electra Townie Go. Its a cruiser style electric bike with a very comfortable posture.

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.

"It is possible to change people's minds and perceptions, even one's own. It just has to be done in tbe right way." Sarah Imm, Vélo-à-porter.

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. 



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