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Yamaha Power Assist Electric Bicycles Are Coming to the U.S.

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Yamaha Power Assist Electric Bicycles Are Coming to the U.S.

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Old 09-24-17, 11:34 AM
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Yamaha Power Assist Electric Bicycles Are Coming to the U.S.

.
...stay tuned. Some advantages and some obvious disadvantages, but it looks like this is happening regardless.

Yamaha Power Assist electric bicycles have been a hit in Japan for some time now, with more than 2 million of them being sold in the brand’s home region since 1993. The bikes are popular for urban transportation, providing the obvious benefit of giving the rider a break from pedaling. Now Yamaha is bringing a line of electric bicycles to the U.S. as an approachable entry into the brand in an under-served market.
Yamaha Power Assist Electric Bicycles Are Coming to the U.S. - The Drive
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Old 09-24-17, 12:31 PM
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Every major bike brand is putting electric motors on a sector of bikes they sell . Bosch is already well accepted.

Note: go mid drive for hills, hub drive for no hills .
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Old 09-24-17, 06:24 PM
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The Yamaha power-assist bike is the VW Bug of Japan, you will see them parked in front of every market, every kindergarten, and every park in the country. They come with a large number of accessories, and can be used for hauling groceries, and either one or two children (few families in Japan have more than two children nowadays). The child seats have waterproof enclosures available for when it rains.

I have a Panasonic power-assist bike. It is a durable, full-size bike, but with 20" wheels and large all-terrain tires. The smaller wheels make it easier for my daughter to get in and out of the seat. The battery lasts for about a week of commutes. But you don't want to try riding one of these bikes when the battery is dead, they are quite heavy. My Panasonic cost about $1300. A replacement battery is about $300.

Another problem is size. The most popular bike frame size in Japan averages about 53cm. Japanese bikes are primarily designed for Japanese people, who are shorter that Americans and Europeans. I needed a longer seat post for my Panasonic, and my knees come somewhat close to the handlebars when riding. The stem cannot easily be changed, the stem is fitted to a locking mechanism which prevents the bar from turning when the kickstand is down. I use the bike only for taking my daughter to school, otherwise I used a regular bike. I hope the export versions are larger.
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Old 09-24-17, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
I hope the export versions are larger.
...I don't think they'll sell as many if they don't upsize them a tad.
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Old 09-24-17, 07:51 PM
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The only word I need to know YAMAHA!
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Old 09-24-17, 07:54 PM
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I live in a Mississippi River valley city and although it is surrounded by bluffs the city itself is fairly flat with the biggest hills being railroad overpasses. I once considered electric assist but decided I really didn't need it even when hauling a couple of hundred pounds in my cargo trailer.
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Old 09-27-17, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...stay tuned. Some advantages and some obvious disadvantages, but it looks like this is happening regardless.



Yamaha Power Assist Electric Bicycles Are Coming to the U.S. - The Drive
Here's the problem with the Yamaha and other electric bikes:

1. Not for apartments without elevators - If you live in an apartment, don't even think you're going to carry this heavy 60 lb bike up 2 or 4 flight of stairs. You better own a home with a garage (on ground level) where you can store the bike without having to lift it up stairs.

2. Costs - I couldn't find the price after 20 minutes of searching. Do you know why? It probably cost about as much or more than their motocycles.

3. Repairs - I'm sure Yamaha has their dealers who can fix the bikes which is plus. I would be very Leary buying an electric bike unless you know have to fix one. It really requires support from the dealer.

4. Public Transit - Trying to board a train would be exhausting carrying the bike up and down stairs. Don't even think about putting it on a bus bike rack.

I like electric bikes and may even get a hill topper electric front wheel. But until prices come down, don't expect to see many on the streets.
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Old 09-27-17, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Here's the problem with the Yamaha and other electric bikes:

1. Not for apartments without elevators - If you live in an apartment, don't even think you're going to carry this heavy 60 lb bike up 2 or 4 flight of stairs. You better own a home with a garage (on ground level) where you can store the bike without having to lift it up stairs.

In my state if you have more than three floors you have to have an elevator. ADA takes effect.

2. Costs - I couldn't find the price after 20 minutes of searching. Do you know why? It probably cost about as much or more than their motocycles.

If they are like the competition they should be between $1500.00 to $3000.00. Not as much as a good CF road bike.

3. Repairs - I'm sure Yamaha has their dealers who can fix the bikes which is plus. I would be very Leary buying an electric bike unless you know have to fix one. It really requires support from the dealer.

My LBS already can repair E-bikes even if it might take a bit longer than a non e-bikes. It isn't rocket science it is a bicycle with a e-drive.

4. Public Transit - Trying to board a train would be exhausting carrying the bike up and down stairs. Don't even think about putting it on a bus bike rack.
Not sure with a 40 mile range why you need to put it on a train but here most trains take full sized bikes in a special car that you would roll the bike on or off. But if it were me I would get a E-bike to avoid mass transit. A bus will never beat an E-bike across town. And in the exburbs and suburbs the bus isn't much f an option anyway.
I like electric bikes and may even get a hill topper electric front wheel. But until prices come down, don't expect to see many on the streets.

On your last point there are several bike shops in Huntington Beach that only sell and work on E-bikes. They are on their way. Giant, Raliegh and several others are offering them as well. You can ever get them at Wally World.

Take a look at what the international business market seems to think about the idea. Hong Kong electric bike start up eyes China, US market | South China Morning Post
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Old 09-27-17, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
... But until prices come down, don't expect to see many on the streets.
...there are at least two shops that are dedicated to their sales and service already here in Sacramento, and this is before the entry of the Yamaha e-bikes. There are enough of them on the street here currently that they are already a little problematic in terms of the users riding them at 20-23 mph in the narrow on street bike lanes here.

I have no idea of the situation where you live.


The problem I foresee already is that they allow people with little bicycle handling skill or experience in city traffic to take to the road and instantly go pretty fast...less time to react, and the inability to see problems developing in advance will inevitably lead to an increase in injuries.


OTOH, they will make bicycle commuting a more realistic option for people in the far suburbs and exurbs here.
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Old 09-27-17, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...there are at least two shops that are dedicated to their sales and service already here in Sacramento, and this is before the entry of the Yamaha e-bikes. There are enough of them on the street here currently that they are already a little problematic in terms of the users riding them at 20-23 mph in the narrow on street bike lanes here.

I have no idea of the situation where you live.


The problem I foresee already is that they allow people with little bicycle handling skill or experience in city traffic to take to the road and instantly go pretty fast...less time to react, and the inability to see problems developing in advance will inevitably lead to an increase in injuries.


OTOH, they will make bicycle commuting a more realistic option for people in the far suburbs and exurbs here.

What I like about the idea is it will make it possible for more people to get involved with cycling. I have two pure road bikes, a old steel Peugeot and a MTB. Thought I had all the bases covered. Then I tore a tendon in my foot and it hurt to ride. Had to get inserts for my shoes and take it easy for months. If I would have had a E-bike with assist I would have stayed with my friends and done a lot more miles by bike than I did. The flats aren't what bothered me it was long hills. Can't be done without serious pushing and that would have stretched my tendon. I have been looking at a Raleigh E-assist with a 40+ mie range depending on how much pedaling I do. Like I said they can only get better with more people getting involved. I think I would love a fat wheeled MTB with e-assist.
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Old 09-28-17, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
But until prices come down, don't expect to see many on the streets.
Even in Eugene, the city of disappearing bicycles (both due to theft and our infamous loss of 43% of our cyclists since 2009), we have one shop that sells only electric bikes and several others that sell them in addition to their non-motorized bikes. Prices start around $800, about where prices for non e-bikes that are decent start. I've seen many of them on the main bike path, a likely place since the e-bike store is located along the bike path, and a few out on the road. They always bring a smile to my face. About half the riders are older folks and most of the remainder seem to be women with children. Today the only rider on an e-bike that I saw was a man in his early thirties on what was clearly a very new bike. (I only saw four people on bikes, so seeing only one e-bike doesn't mean much.)

E-bikes are here and they are being purchased and ridden, which is more than I can say for non-motorized bikes. I for one am quite pleased to see this trend. The more people ride, the better. Also, since people on e-bikes tend to ride at faster speeds than people under their own power, it will encourage better engineering of bike facilities.
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Old 10-01-17, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post

The problem I foresee already is that they allow people with little bicycle handling skill or experience in city traffic to take to the road and instantly go pretty fast...less time to react, and the inability to see problems developing in advance will inevitably lead to an increase in injuries.
I'm not seeing any e-bikes in my area. But we have a huge number of underpowered motorscooters, which creates somewhat the same problem. I would intuitively think these riders would be safer on e-bikes due to the larger wheels, but I don't know if that's true. And I don't know what the accident rates are for the scooters, but the manner in which many are ridden makes them appear dangerous.
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Old 10-02-17, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...
The problem I foresee already is that they allow people with little bicycle handling skill or experience in city traffic to take to the road and instantly go pretty fast...less time to react, and the inability to see problems developing in advance will inevitably lead to an increase in injuries.
As a frequent pedestrian, I also see a problem with e-bikes on trails and sidewalks. The gas-powered bicycles are already pretty hazardous, but at least they're loud enough to give walkers a heads up before mowing them down. I think owners should throw a little respect and restraint or they might end up being regulated off the trails and sidewalks.
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Old 10-02-17, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
As a frequent pedestrian, I also see a problem with e-bikes on trails and sidewalks. The gas-powered bicycles are already pretty hazardous, but at least they're loud enough to give walkers a heads up before mowing them down. I think owners should throw a little respect and restraint or they might end up being regulated off the trails and sidewalks.
The province of Ontario allows electric bikes and scooters on roads, shared by cars, if you are 16. You can't ride them on the sidewalk. Children are allowed to cycle on the sidewalk up to age 14, but cannot use motor powered bikes or scooters in that situation.

On-street bike lanes and multi-use trails (park paths) are governed by the city. They have determined that only electric assist bikes can be allowed there, so you actually have to be pedalling part of the time, to be in a bike lane or on a trail, and your bike has to be under 40 kg (about 88 lb.) Just the fact that your scooter has crappy, not-really functional, pedals sticking out somewhere at an odd angle, does not qualify you to motor along on a park path or even a bike lane. Nevertheless, you see a lot of people doing it. Also you are supposed to drive below 20 km/h (about 13 mph) on park trails, and a lot of motorized folk (and some non-motorized yahoos) ignore that.

There are probably separate exemptions for disabled person's scooters.

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Old 10-07-17, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
The province of Ontario allows electric bikes and scooters on roads, shared by cars, if you are 16. You can't ride them on the sidewalk. Children are allowed to cycle on the sidewalk up to age 14, but cannot use motor powered bikes or scooters in that situation.

On-street bike lanes and multi-use trails (park paths) are governed by the city. They have determined that only electric assist bikes can be allowed there, so you actually have to be pedalling part of the time, to be in a bike lane or on a trail, and your bike has to be under 40 kg (about 88 lb.) Just the fact that your scooter has crappy, not-really functional, pedals sticking out somewhere at an odd angle, does not qualify you to motor along on a park path or even a bike lane. Nevertheless, you see a lot of people doing it. Also you are supposed to drive below 20 km/h (about 13 mph) on park trails, and a lot of motorized folk (and some non-motorized yahoos) ignore that.

There are probably separate exemptions for disabled person's scooters.
That's interesting. AFAIK, our city hasn't yet addressed the issue of motorized bicycles on trails and sidewalks. The signs do say "No Motor Vehicles" but most people son't seem to be applying that to electric bikes. Pedestrian advocates seem to be getting more vocal, so the issue will probably come up for discussion at some point.
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Old 10-08-17, 09:51 AM
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There are actually quite a few different "types" of E-Bikes as to how it's controlled, and how much power is applied...

1; A true pedal assist, where you have to pedal or go nowhere, and the motor puts/adds in a measured % amount of power on top of your pedaling effort arrived from pressure sensor data from the axel.

2; A pedal assist, where a rotation sensor on the crank is used, thus you can actually be pedaling normally or "pretend pedal" and get a set amount of assist...

3; A combination of 1 or 2 with a throttle...

4; A throttle only set up, no need to turn the pedals, at all...

In Europe the max legal power allowed is 250 or 350 watts and no throttle.

In the USA it is up to 750 watts and a throttle is allowed most places... and the E-Bike is, still legally considered to be a bicycle...

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Old 10-13-17, 10:26 PM
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In terms of being carfree, the e-bike is another tool. If I were living in a transit poor city with little or not bus and rail service, an e-bike would be a necessity. We often look down on motorized bikes but they are clearly an option that needs to be looked at.
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Old 10-14-17, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
We often look down on...
Looking down on...yes, you can read more than a little bit of that on these forums with a sense of elitism if you don't ride far and fast and climb, if you don't ride it traffic and take the lane and engage with motor vehicles, or if you're not out on the hills stump jumping and otherwise devoting yourself to bike riding. But these are the "Bike Forums" where nobody has the right to look down on anyone else regarding how or how often they ride their bikes so if you pedal, no matter how you pedal, then you are a "cyclist". So those who ride motorized bikes are cyclists as well as those who only ride their bikes once in awhile and in the biking society with no cast system we all get to be...cyclists. At least that's how it should be.
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Old 10-14-17, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
They have determined that only electric assist bikes can be allowed there, so you actually have to be pedalling part of the time, to be in a bike lane or on a trail, and your bike has to be under 40 kg (about 88 lb.) Just the fact that your scooter has crappy, not-really functional, pedals sticking out somewhere at an odd angle, does not qualify you to motor along on a park path or even a bike lane. Nevertheless, you see a lot of people doing it. Also you are supposed to drive below 20 km/h (about 13 mph) on park trails, and a lot of motorized folk (and some non-motorized yahoos) ignore that.
Once upon a time, I thought there would be convergence between cars and bicycles as a result of technological progress and efficiency. So I thought passenger cars would essentially be motorized velomobiles at some future point, but I wasn't thinking in terms of bicycles evolving away from the 100% human-powered paradigm, except insofar as some people would ride ebikes for the sake of speed or because they didn't want to pedal for some reason.

Now it seems there are a number of regulatory and other cultural hurdles to cars evolving smaller and lighter, but I still see motorized bicycles as super-efficient automobiles, similar to the way I see bicycles as super-efficient human-powered automobiles, i.e. because they facilitate autonomous mobility - but that is different than thinking of them in terms of the normative assumptions about what cars are like.

Originally Posted by elocs View Post
Looking down on...yes, you can read more than a little bit of that on these forums with a sense of elitism if you don't ride far and fast and climb, if you don't ride it traffic and take the lane and engage with motor vehicles, or if you're not out on the hills stump jumping and otherwise devoting yourself to bike riding. But these are the "Bike Forums" where nobody has the right to look down on anyone else regarding how or how often they ride their bikes so if you pedal, no matter how you pedal, then you are a "cyclist". So those who ride motorized bikes are cyclists as well as those who only ride their bikes once in awhile and in the biking society with no cast system we all get to be...cyclists. At least that's how it should be.
I respect anyone who puts any effort into pedaling, but I don't think it's really a question of elitism to favor non-motorized bikes over motorized or motor-assist bikes. The reason I say this is that, as Stadjer sometimes notes, bicycling has always been just walking/running with a mechanical advantage. 'Velocipede' literally means "speed walker" so pedaling is really the essence of the bicycle, imo, though you could argue that essences are imaginary and every machine really just boils down to a certain configuration of component mechanisms.
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Old 10-14-17, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
In terms of being carfree, the e-bike is another tool. If I were living in a transit poor city with little or not bus and rail service, an e-bike would be a necessity. We often look down on motorized bikes but they are clearly an option that needs to be looked at.
100% true... But I fear what is going to happen to E-Bikes is going to be like what happened to mopeds, mostly ignored until they explode in popularity... Then comes the licencing, the registering, the insuring, and not allowed to be used where bicycles are normally used... Where IMO all that "could" be avoided, by keeping the power down, under 500 watts, even 350 watts works well in my experience in riding my E-Assist bicycle for the last 4+ years, and must be pedalled or go nowhere, preferably with a torque sensor, not just a cadence sensor... and definitely no throttle.
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Old 10-14-17, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
I respect anyone who puts any effort into pedaling, but I don't think it's really a question of elitism to favor non-motorized bikes over motorized or motor-assist bikes.
Except that my comment was about much more than motorized or motor-assist bikes, but looking down on those who do not ride their bikes as "we" do--who do not get out there and push themselves to see how fast and far they can go, those who won't ride in traffic and take the lane. My point is that no matter how we bike, no matter how often we bike, no matter what kind of bike we ride we are all "cyclists", riders of bikes.
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Old 10-14-17, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by elocs View Post
Except that my comment was about much more than motorized or motor-assist bikes, but looking down on those who do not ride their bikes as "we" do--who do not get out there and push themselves to see how fast and far they can go, those who won't ride in traffic and take the lane. My point is that no matter how we bike, no matter how often we bike, no matter what kind of bike we ride we are all "cyclists", riders of bikes.
I appreciate all living things, including those that don't ride any kind of bicycle.
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Old 10-15-17, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by elocs View Post
Except that my comment was about much more than motorized or motor-assist bikes, but looking down on those who do not ride their bikes as "we" do--who do not get out there and push themselves to see how fast and far they can go, those who won't ride in traffic and take the lane. My point is that no matter how we bike, no matter how often we bike, no matter what kind of bike we ride we are all "cyclists", riders of bikes.
Good point, but maybe lighten up a little. It's normal for people to feel a little smug about their own approach to cycling, but that doesn't mean they look down on those who approach it differently. Just because somebody celebrates themselves a little doesn't mean they're putting you down.
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Old 10-15-17, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Good point, but maybe lighten up a little. It's normal for people to feel a little smug about their own approach to cycling, but that doesn't mean they look down on those who approach it differently. Just because somebody celebrates themselves a little doesn't mean they're putting you down.
If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, walks like a duck then from my point of view it's a duck.
Perception is reality.
Again, my point is that we should at least have a more inclusive attitude and realize that we who ride our bike frequently or even everyday are the minority of those who ride bikes maybe once in awhile or just to pick up something at the store because they are cyclists just as much as any of us here are.
The thought behind my comment was provoked by one made by Dahon, Steve: "We often look down on motorized bikes but they are clearly an option that needs to be looked at." It seemed to me that there are things other than motorized bikes that get looked down on. But concerning motorized bikes, to bring this back more closely on topic, there are valid reasons other than just not wanting to pedal so much for using them. Perhaps you have ridden for decades or have a disability where a motorized bike will help you to keep riding. Perhaps you pull a heavily loaded cargo trailer and need a little umph in getting up some hills. But we are all riders of bikes and that should be celebrated by everyone.
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Old 10-16-17, 12:56 AM
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Roody
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Originally Posted by elocs View Post
If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, walks like a duck then from my point of view it's a duck.
Perception is reality.
Again, my point is that we should at least have a more inclusive attitude and realize that we who ride our bike frequently or even everyday are the minority of those who ride bikes maybe once in awhile or just to pick up something at the store because they are cyclists just as much as any of us here are.
The thought behind my comment was provoked by one made by Dahon, Steve: "We often look down on motorized bikes but they are clearly an option that needs to be looked at." It seemed to me that there are things other than motorized bikes that get looked down on. But concerning motorized bikes, to bring this back more closely on topic, there are valid reasons other than just not wanting to pedal so much for using them. Perhaps you have ridden for decades or have a disability where a motorized bike will help you to keep riding. Perhaps you pull a heavily loaded cargo trailer and need a little umph in getting up some hills. But we are all riders of bikes and that should be celebrated by everyone.
I guess you thought I was disagreeing with you but I wasn't. I have no problem with e-bikes, as long as the riders are courteous and safe, as I mentioned earlier.

Your opinions are thoughtful and well expressed, although I really think you're preaching to the choir here. Most LCF riders are totally supportive of your opinions, whereas you might find disagreement from some recreational cyclists on the other subforums.
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