No, no need to fear Dear Reader, this post will not be about saddle sores, sit bones in rebellion or stories about those fragile humans’ “sensitive bits”. No, this is about more bikes out on the road.
Last October, the humans took us on a road trip to Colorado. We took the train to Denver so Edwin and I got to ride assembled (no crampy, little boxes…ahh, the luxury). From Denver, we rode to Colorado Springs. While there, the humans took a course on the care and feeding of bicycles from the most awesome KB and her entertaining sidekick Mike at Barnett Bicycle Institute. One of the topics was electric bikes.
Now, you might assume that as a fine, beautiful steel bike with no intention of ever allowing a non-human motor that I would bemoan the introduction of electric bikes. But, you’d be wrong. After all, it is all about “butts on bikes.” If electric assist gets more people riding bikes, seeing the countryside and out of the steel isolation chambers they call cars, I’m all for it. Getting outdoors and exercising is good and the electric-assist just makes it more accessible.
In the city we’re seeing a lot more electric utility bikes, but this is the first time we’ve seen multiple electrics on a PAC Tour. A few years ago one of our favorite PAC Tour riders came on a electric as a way to ride while recuperating from some hefty surgery. This year, however, we have 4 riders on electrics and they’re having fun. So far the bikes are holding up to the roads and the batteries sufficient.
Hotel Week for PAC Tour is the easy week daily distances around 50 miles and overall time limits set at 10 mph (which equates to about 12mph moving average) so the Townie-style electric assists are doing fine. But those are heavy bikes and many will admit a little worry about what will happen if the batteries don’t make it to the end of the day. That said, bike manufacturers are now making electric assist road bikes that aren’t quite so heavy with tiny, but powerful batteries. The bikes are designed so that they would ride well if the battery died. Makes you wonder if we won’t be seeing more electric assist road bikes as the years progress, even on PAC Tour.
But, fear not, Dear Reader, my human may be slow and out of shape, but while I’ll welcome the new-fangled electric-assists, I will be staying fully mechanical, for now.