Health

Why you should consider a power-assisted bike

I love my bike. I love going for long rides and zooming fast down curvy paths and scaring myself a little. One thing I’m not a big fan of is going uphill. Uphill sucks.

Two women on an electric bicycle

Masterfile

I love my bike. I love going for long rides and zooming fast down curvy paths and scaring myself a little. One thing I’m not a big fan of is going uphill. Uphill sucks.

But I’m young and fit and can handle it. Some other people can’t.

In the last couple of years I’ve seen more and more motorized bicycles on the path. I used to scoff, feeling all high and mighty about never needing a motor, but then I gained some perspective.

We live in a time with shockingly low physical activity rates. People just don’t want to do it. I talked with my wife who has patients with these power-assisted bikes and they love them because they simply don’t have the physical ability to go uphill. With the bikes they can pedal on the flats and down hills, but if they get tired or need some help getting up a hill, the motor from the bike can do some or all of the work for them.

Seem like cheating? Maybe, but who cares? If you insist on them being non-motorized purists then the option for them may be not cycling at all. In truth, if such power-assisted bicycles get people out the door and pedaling then I’m all for them.

However, there is one caveat.

Lately I’ve been seeing gasoline-powered bicycles on the path. They’re noisy and belch exhaust, which I don’t appreciate when I’m running or cycling. What’s more, riding these gas-powered bikes on a path is against the law. I checked.

So don’t get one that takes gas. Buy an electric-powered one, although check with your province to make sure they’re legal to operate on paths. In most cases, they are. It’s more environmentally friendly, quieter, and the paths should be open to you.

If you are physically incapable of handling tough hills – or just don’t want to – and this is keeping you from cycling, you may find power-assisted to be an attractive option. If it gets you moving more, I say go for it.

Would you ever consider an electric bike?

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