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What can the E-assist option bring for bicycle touring.

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What can the E-assist option bring for bicycle touring.

Old 07-22-16, 07:42 AM
  #276  
Rob_E
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
A disclaimer stating along the lines that the subforum is for discussions about touring issues using an e bike and not about e bike questions specifically. Those questions can be asked in the e bike section. Simple, open to participation yet limiting in scope, and on target with the general nature of the touring forum while acknowledging the difference.

The only concern I would have is that a touring section in the e bike forum might not garner the same experience about touring specific questions and would be continually referred here.
Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
EXAXTLY... Thus, my first thought was the touring forum would be the best place for asking E-BIke touring questions...

But then I thought about what questions would be asked by E-Bike touring people? Well now, I suspect it would go something like this... How far can my battery take me? How much assistance is too much? How do I charge My battery? So, I decided that most of those questions could be better answered in the E-Bike community... Thus a Touring E-Bike section would work better there, seeing as the E-Bike are just starting to get popular, here in N America, and also the slippery slope... It does present a problem for the touring community in general. Even for me, and I am 100% behind E-Touring.
It really seems like a subforum creates issues while addressing a non-existent problem. E-bikes have actually been around a while. They have their own section in the forums. How often does the touring section get "polluted" with ebike talk? If you ignore this thread where we all seem to be talking about talking about ebikes, rather than actually talking about e-bikes, the last one I remember was a thread started by someone who wanted to rant against the e-bikes. Not an actual e-bike rider asking for e-bike-specific advice, but one of the people arguing that e-bikes have no place in the touring forums (except, presumably, to mock them).

This is a non-issue. If you want to know how to get the longest life out of your battery or talk recharging strategies, of course you're going to be asking that in the e-bike forums. If you ask that here, you won't get many helpful responses, but you may get someone pointing out that there's a better place to ask the question. Just like in the many, many, many, many threads on airline travel (talk about a vehicle that fails in every way to meet the definition of "bicycle" and yet gets discussed all the time here), someone will point out that a folding bike can be employed to simplify air travel. But if you want to get to the specifics of what folding bikes work well for that, what bikes are compatible with which equipment, which bikes are most reliable, etc., you're going to end up in the Folding Bike section. And there may be more than a few threads about keeping your gadgets charged on tour, and after all the "purists" have chimed in with "helpful" comments about how they never deal with that issue because touring is about not having gadgets, some other people will chime in with actual experience and mention that if you want to dig deep on this topic, you should check out the Electronics and Lighting section. It's not that you're not allowed to discuss folding bikes or dynamo hubs in the touring section. It's just that there's better information elsewhere. But there's enough overlap that those issues can appear in multiple places. We don't need a Touring With a Folding Bike section or a Touring with Gadgets section because it simply creates a third, unnecessary place to ask your question. There's no reason that it wouldn't work the same with e-bikes. And I'd say that it does work the same, because even though we don't seem to be drowning in e-bike-specific topics, a number of forum users have mentioned in the course of this discussion that they use them. We haven't descended into chaos. Until this thread, anyway.
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Old 07-22-16, 07:46 AM
  #277  
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
Definitions:
Irish railways have always 'defined' bicycles as 'dogs' and even in the day of touchscreen displays still issue a ticket to cover both.

My touring bicycle has occasionally bitten me on the calf but as yet all my attempts to enter it in dog shows have been rebuffed.
Odd, I don't see that anywhere on their site: Bicycle Information

I don't doubt that they may offer a supplement ticket that covers both (and probably other things like luggage as well, if it is like any of the other Euro trains I have been on), but I don't see how that logically jumps to meaning bikes are defined as dogs.
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Old 07-22-16, 08:11 AM
  #278  
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
It really seems like a subforum creates issues while addressing a non-existent problem. E-bikes have actually been around a while. They have their own section in the forums. How often does the touring section get "polluted" with ebike talk? If you ignore this thread where we all seem to be talking about talking about ebikes, rather than actually talking about e-bikes, the last one I remember was a thread started by someone who wanted to rant against the e-bikes. Not an actual e-bike rider asking for e-bike-specific advice, but one of the people arguing that e-bikes have no place in the touring forums (except, presumably, to mock them).

This is a non-issue. If you want to know how to get the longest life out of your battery or talk recharging strategies, of course you're going to be asking that in the e-bike forums. If you ask that here, you won't get many helpful responses, but you may get someone pointing out that there's a better place to ask the question. Just like in the many, many, many, many threads on airline travel (talk about a vehicle that fails in every way to meet the definition of "bicycle" and yet gets discussed all the time here), someone will point out that a folding bike can be employed to simplify air travel. But if you want to get to the specifics of what folding bikes work well for that, what bikes are compatible with which equipment, which bikes are most reliable, etc., you're going to end up in the Folding Bike section. And there may be more than a few threads about keeping your gadgets charged on tour, and after all the "purists" have chimed in with "helpful" comments about how they never deal with that issue because touring is about not having gadgets, some other people will chime in with actual experience and mention that if you want to dig deep on this topic, you should check out the Electronics and Lighting section. It's not that you're not allowed to discuss folding bikes or dynamo hubs in the touring section. It's just that there's better information elsewhere. But there's enough overlap that those issues can appear in multiple places. We don't need a Touring With a Folding Bike section or a Touring with Gadgets section because it simply creates a third, unnecessary place to ask your question. There's no reason that it wouldn't work the same with e-bikes. And I'd say that it does work the same, because even though we don't seem to be drowning in e-bike-specific topics, a number of forum users have mentioned in the course of this discussion that they use them. We haven't descended into chaos. Until this thread, anyway.
I could agree with that too.

My position is similar (I think) in that I don't see the big deal and imagine that threads about e bike touring would live or die on their own merits if left to those who wanted to participate, like most threads do. If they could just be posted that would be fine. If they needed a sub forum so arguing about whether they are valid is necessary
then that would be fine too.

I read about a guy who toured on a unicycle. Imagine if he posted here. The thread would last a while and then it would be a long long time before another unicycle thread occurred. Unless it was argued endlessly that unicycles are not bicycles because they violate the primary defining characteristic (bi) two (cycle) wheels.

I guess the only position I'm opposed to is not allowing anyone who tours on an e bike to post any question about touring on the touring forum. That would seem to exclude some people from participating just because they may need assistive technology. Maybe I am a social justice warrior but, because of my work, I see people needing assistive technology all the time so the issue resonates with me. Whether they actually need assistance or are slackers is not a question I want, nor feel it is my right, to question. I'm not personally threatened by e bikes nor do I feel someone riding one invalidates any effort I make on my own bike, just as I don't feel trike riders are somehow cheating me on the keeping balance issue.

If you spend your time with able bodied people you may see leaving disabled people out of participation as the unfortunate but necessary collateral damage that occurs in pursuit of your activity. If you spend your time with people who have impairments you may see leaving them out of participation as a barrier. Some may argue that allowing unrestricted participation may dilute the essence of the activity but I don't see that happening and it presupposes the inability of members as a whole to determine what is important to them, just as triathlon runners felt allowing Rick and Dick Hoyt to participate did not dilute their experience of a race. They were adult enough to see the difference without officials enforcing arbitrary rules.

In most other threads, the members themselves seem to be pretty good about determining whether the content is appropriate or not. When they struggle, a mod occasionally comes along and makes a determination but usually just to enforce the TOS. I guess I would be ok to see the same with e bike questions, whether that's in one big forum or a sub forum to let people know the site agrees with their participation here.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 07-22-16 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 07-22-16, 10:33 AM
  #279  
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
It really seems like a subforum creates issues while addressing a non-existent problem. E-bikes have actually been around a while. They have their own section in the forums. How often does the touring section get "polluted" with ebike talk? If you ignore this thread where we all seem to be talking about talking about ebikes, rather than actually talking about e-bikes, the last one I remember was a thread started by someone who wanted to rant against the e-bikes. Not an actual e-bike rider asking for e-bike-specific advice, but one of the people arguing that e-bikes have no place in the touring forums (except, presumably, to mock them).

This is a non-issue. If you want to know how to get the longest life out of your battery or talk recharging strategies, of course you're going to be asking that in the e-bike forums. If you ask that here, you won't get many helpful responses, but you may get someone pointing out that there's a better place to ask the question. Just like in the many, many, many, many threads on airline travel (talk about a vehicle that fails in every way to meet the definition of "bicycle" and yet gets discussed all the time here), someone will point out that a folding bike can be employed to simplify air travel. But if you want to get to the specifics of what folding bikes work well for that, what bikes are compatible with which equipment, which bikes are most reliable, etc., you're going to end up in the Folding Bike section. And there may be more than a few threads about keeping your gadgets charged on tour, and after all the "purists" have chimed in with "helpful" comments about how they never deal with that issue because touring is about not having gadgets, some other people will chime in with actual experience and mention that if you want to dig deep on this topic, you should check out the Electronics and Lighting section. It's not that you're not allowed to discuss folding bikes or dynamo hubs in the touring section. It's just that there's better information elsewhere. But there's enough overlap that those issues can appear in multiple places. We don't need a Touring With a Folding Bike section or a Touring with Gadgets section because it simply creates a third, unnecessary place to ask your question. There's no reason that it wouldn't work the same with e-bikes. And I'd say that it does work the same, because even though we don't seem to be drowning in e-bike-specific topics, a number of forum users have mentioned in the course of this discussion that they use them. We haven't descended into chaos. Until this thread, anyway.
I would like to think you are right, but, I suspect that if I asked a question about gearing or brakes, or tenting, or how much food and so on but carelessly mention I was touring on an E-Bike, the thread would be cluttered up with statements like... You don't belong here go to the E-Bike forum, you are lazy, what you need is a cattle prod, you are cheating, you are a fail and not bicycle touring because you are riding a moped... But in a forum/sticky called E-Bike touring all that would be avoided, I think...

Last edited by 350htrr; 07-22-16 at 10:39 AM. Reason: add stuff
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Old 07-22-16, 10:47 AM
  #280  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
I would like to think you are right, but, I suspect that if I asked a question about gearing or brakes, or tenting, or how much food and so on but carelessly mention I was touring on an E-Bike, the thread would be cluttered up with statements like... You don't belong here go to the E-Bike forum, you are lazy, you are cheating, you are a fail and not bicycle touring because you are riding a moped... But in a forum/sticky called E-Bike touring all that would be avoided, I think...
What would also be avoided is all the actual, helpful responses from people who have experience with your particular issue but who don't ride an e-bike.

There's a lot of overlap in subject matter. If every overlap point becomes a new forum section, then eventually we'll all have our own, individualized subforums where we can shout our questions/comments into a vacuum.

If you need me, I'll be in the forum for People Who Commute on Touring Bikes But Also Sometimes Tour And Do Bike Camping And Have Dynamo Hubs For Lighting That Are Also Sometimes Used As A Phone Charger And The Bike Has an IGH And Also Sometimes Rides A Folding Bike And Sort Of Live Car Free. I share that subforum with two other people. It's very quiet. When I replace my trailer, I'll get to move into the sub-sub-sub forum that has a Utility component, and then I'll have the place to myself.
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Old 07-22-16, 10:56 AM
  #281  
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
What would also be avoided is all the actual, helpful responses from people who have experience with your particular issue but who don't ride an e-bike.

There's a lot of overlap in subject matter. If every overlap point becomes a new forum section, then eventually we'll all have our own, individualized subforums where we can shout our questions/comments into a vacuum.

If you need me, I'll be in the forum for People Who Commute on Touring Bikes But Also Sometimes Tour And Do Bike Camping And Have Dynamo Hubs For Lighting That Are Also Sometimes Used As A Phone Charger And The Bike Has an IGH And Also Sometimes Rides A Folding Bike And Sort Of Live Car Free. I share that subforum with two other people. It's very quiet. When I replace my trailer, I'll get to move into the sub-sub-sub forum that has a Utility component, and then I'll have the place to myself.

Good points,
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Old 07-22-16, 11:02 AM
  #282  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Odd, I don't see that anywhere on their site: Bicycle Information

I don't doubt that they may offer a supplement ticket that covers both (and probably other things like luggage as well, if it is like any of the other Euro trains I have been on), but I don't see how that logically jumps to meaning bikes are defined as dogs.
Hint.......neither do I.
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Old 07-22-16, 11:30 AM
  #283  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Neil... no one needs to hear your "hard" truths. We are not children and you are not the teacher. You are just one voice among many and your version of "truth" bears as much weight as anyone else's.
Wrong! I agree with Neil 100%. Now his voice counts twice as much as yours in this matter

BTW: I just returned from my bicycle tour which was 100% human-powered. DANG! It'll be sad if I'm gonna have qualify all my posts for now with human-powered.

Last edited by BigAura; 07-23-16 at 08:04 PM. Reason: tpyo
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Old 07-22-16, 12:03 PM
  #284  
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**Originally Posted by 350htrr But then I thought about what questions would be asked by E-Bike touring people? Well now, I suspect it would go something like this... How far can my battery take me? How much assistance is too much? How do I charge My battery? So, I decided that most of those questions could be better answered in the E-Bike community... Thus a Touring E-Bike section would work better there, seeing as the E-Bike are just starting to get popular, here in N America, and also the slippery slope... It does present a problem for the touring community in general. Even for me, and I am 100% behind E-Touring.**

I'm pretty sure all of us that ride a bicycle that has an electric assist option (PLEASE NOTE that I refer to it as an option since it is 100% up to the rider to determine if that electric assist is used or not - otherwise we're all out there in the same boat, peddling away) already know how far we can go with the current battery (or batteries) we have available. What level of assist we need is entirely up to us based on the terrain. Just like deciding to walk up a hill, or slug it out using the granny gear.

What we do want to know/share is - getting beyond our familiar mileage range - what are the options open to re-power batteries (if needed) while out on the road? Hmmm. Come to think of it, that is the same concern of anyone touring - how or where do I go to power up my cell/tablet/GPS/computer that I use for touring. I guess that means that I have already found - as they have - that stopping at any food related business to enjoy their services and products might include asking about powering up a battery or phone or tablet. All the times I've done this in my distance travels has always met with a smile and helping me locate a handy outlet while I enjoy my purchased lunch/dinner/snack. I'm more than happy to support a business buying their products, and they are more than happy to have me there buying their stuff. So a simply plug in for an hour is a non-issue. That always means having a dessert is a forgone conclusion! Campgrounds usually come with some electrical outlets somewhere. All B&B's and hotels offer electric. So it's not a huge deal to re-charge a used battery - for anything you are carrying while touring, unless you get into the really remote regions that just don't offer any services at all. I suppose if you want to do nothing but wild camp in Nowheresville, and pack a week's worth of food because you'll be hundreds of miles from civilization, well ....then have a blast. But leave your cell phone, your GPS, your tablet, your computer, and your e-bike with the power off. Enough said.

Otherwise, all other concerns remain exactly identical to any other touring cyclist. Eating, sleeping, best routes, worst routes, places not to be missed, public roads vs municipal pathways. We're all on a bike. Period. An electrically assisted bike might get you wherever you want to go a bit faster, and with shared effort, but in the whole scheme of things, it's still a bike. And you have to pedal it.

About this so called "slippery slope"? Really?? <major eyeroll> Give me a break. There is no such animal. Electric bikes have been around since Viscount Bury and G.Lacy Hiller wrote a whole freak'n chapter on this bike technology in 1887 (The Badminton Library - published in 1887), and even they said that cycling had only really begun 10 years prior (in Great Britain) and electrical assist bikes were already on the ground. <NOTE: I happen to be researching material at a highly regarded sporting library on a different subject matter (a certain woman British sporting artist active from 1910-1938), and happened to notice this 1887 tome entitled "Cycling" so had to have a look inside and ...lo and behold...there was the electric bicycle, among other interesting cycling apparatus. Some of those bikes (especially the three wheelers with the passenger seat up front) were really ingenious.> Sorry, I digress. Back to the subject at hand....

Long and short, the ONE and only problem they encountered with battery assisted bikes - ie: how and where to charge the battery when far from home - were what held this particular bike technology back - or rather kept it as a local usage and less apt for touring - for the last 130 years. They did not say it was impossible. Just cumbersome because back then a dynamo was needed, or a steam engine to produce the electricity. Surprise surprise, they already had a 20 mile battery - it's just that the thing weighed 70 lbs. And bikes back then weighed 50 lbs. That's a lot of weight to pedal along when your assistant isn't contributing. Carrying your own dynamo, or steam engine, for a tour was just not feasible (the authors concluded). Thus, begging the use of one or the other from a local farmer, or tradesmen, was the name of the game (they advised).

So lack of a charging station from 1887 upwards to 1940 (and super heavy batteries up until present day) kept the playing field open to only the gas or people powered cycles. History already tells us what branch the gas powered cycles took, and what branch the human powered machines took - but both took all the flak of the newly formed cycle hating public of the 1880's to 1930 to pass draconian laws against cycles because of the danger they posed to the predominate mode of transportation - horses. So for 120 years the electrically assisted bike just languished in the shadows, but....it didn't go away. It was just waiting for technology to catch up - which started to happen in the last decade.

It was a fascinating chapter, and I took snapshots of the pages so I could read it again at leisure when I'm not pressed for time to research something else higher on the priority list. I also have to look up the E.P.S. (Electric Power and Storage Company) as they were mentioned as the "best known and trusted form of [battery] storage".

Anyway, back to the OP's original intent for this thread: what options does an e-bike bring to touring. Hmmm. Well, I hazzard a guess that what the ever evolving electrically assisted option on a bicycle will do is possibly bring more women into riding longer distances, and thus into touring - something that 130 years of a simple bike machine has failed to do. Lately I've found a number of blogs by women who are enjoying touring on an ebike, and as word spreads I think there will be more husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, SOs, etc, that will find a wealth of fun in touring together on bikes when the bikes become more "user friendly" (to borrow a well worn out phrase). There is a very small number of cyclists (99% guys I'm guessing) that are willing to beat the crap out of themselves for whatever personal reason (I'm not judging) on the simple bicycle machine riding endless hard, mean, soul searching, hours of angst and pain, miles. Very very few women are willing to go that route. Maybe 1%? Personally speaking, we're just not into that sort of thing. We have other things we'd rather do.

But ...make the bike more of a partner and less of a brain-dead machine, and you'll find that the number of people who will join the cycling community will begin (slowly but surely) to increase. Will it be a boon for the itty bitty tiny microscopic segment of biking know as "touring"? I think so. Anywhere that you can plug your cell phone in to charge, you can plug your battery, and unlike 1887, where you had to find a dynamo or a steam engine, electricity is just about everywhere at the ready. And as technology for phones, electric cars, tablets, etc races forward in the power storage industry, the electrically assisted options for bicycles will, by default, benefit greatly.

The door is wide open to all of us now. Young, old, dedicated, or casual tourist. The bike has entered a new phase, no longer just being a lightweight machine component in a dominance contest. It now becomes a more universal tool to enjoy the great (and not so great sometimes) outdoors. As a commuting option it can't be beat...as long as the road infrastructure is there to support it. And maybe, just maybe, it will add growth and strength to the numbers of cycling advocates out there battling for better road safety, more MUP, more comprehensive cycling legislation, and most importantly garner the attention of various transportation authorities for increased consideration of this alternate transportation in the scheme of future planning.

In closing I don't even see a need for a subset of this forum just for those wishing to tour on a bike with an electrical assist option. The concerns, needs, advice, and outlook in regards to the main objectives of touring remain the same, no matter what type of bicycle you ride.

Last edited by momsonherbike; 07-22-16 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 07-22-16, 12:14 PM
  #285  
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Originally Posted by onbike 1939 View Post
Well I wouldn't wish to encumber you with yet another "sob story" as you have labelled my account of my experience with an e-assist bike, and as I may be "one of those people" as you charmingly put it, here's my experience of cycle-touring. For around forty years I've toured the UK and the continent and always cycle-camped in that time. Every year for that time I've spent over two months cycle-touring and usually cycling from Zeebrugge in Belgium to the south of France and criss-crossing from coast to coast on the way back. Now that I know is nothing much compared to some bike-travellers but it amounted to many thousands of miles and I think at the least it should allow me to comment on this topic without being described by you in derogatory terms.....and especially so since it's clear you see yourself as a champion of bike touring albeit in its purist form.

It does seem to me that your posts speak of much more than a mere disagreement about the definition of bike-touring. What you really appear to be championing is a way of seeing the world as you do and classifying those in it in terms of "us" and "them" and you justify this by seeing this as logical and approach unswayed by the arguments of these "social justice warriors".
I suspect that those of us who do ride e-bikes don't give a damn what you and others would label this activity and wonder why you are so exercised by the subject as to denigrate others that disagree with you.
I apologise for my snarky reply. It wasn't directed at you, but still, it was unwarranted and drew attention away from my main argument, which is this:

How much motor is "ok" here? I assume that most people would agree that full-on motorcycles are outside of the remit for this forum. And yet some seem to feel that e-bikes or e-assist or whatever you want to call it, are ok. So there is a line somewhere. I'm interested in where that line is.

Do we draw it in terms of watts? So e-bikes are ok as long as they only generate n watts, but anything above that would be regarded as a motorbike, and not appropriate for this forum? If so, then I posit that as the technology develops and gets better, that goal post will be constantly moving. If you say that n watts is ok, then there will always be someone who claims they need n+1 watts, due to a disability or medical issue. If "inclusiveness" is the mantra, then you will always have to allow people who are using more powerful e-bikes. And they will get better and better, trust me.

Or do you draw the line in terms of percentage of effort provided in the "assist"? So, say, a maximum of 30% provided by the bike, and then the rider must provide the rest? If so, then I posit that as the technology improves and the e-bikes become more capable, then there will always be people saying that they need more assist in order to participate. The world of disabilities is an infinite spectrum, after all, from mild all the way to almost complete inability to pedal a bike. So if you draw the line arbitrarily at x percent assist, then there will always be someone coming along who "needs" x+1 percent. As e-bikes improve, I'm pretty sure that eventually they will get to the point where they still largely "look" like bicycles, with pedals and all, but they are fully capable of providing most, if not all of the effort. Eventually, I think the pedaling part will become entirely optional (and possibly even only being included by the manufacturer for legal and marketing purposes). Which leads us to the inevitable logical conclusion, which is of "bicycle touring" being defined, for the purposes of this forum at least, as an activity which doesn't necessarily entail any actual effort. No different from motorcycle touring, in other words.

Or do you draw the line in terms of legal definitions of bicycles and e-bikes? In which case, I would point to the myriad of different jurisdictions, and ask which one we use here? That will be constantly changing too, as the technology develops.

I maintain that once you accept motorized bicycles as being an integral part of a "bicycle touring" forum, then the lines will become increasingly blurry as time progresses, until we are including what are effectively full-blown motorbikes. Not now, obviously, but as the technology improves, I think it's inevitable that these devices will improve to the point where even though they have pedals, that will be an entirely optional activity. I argue that this is an absurd conclusion, unless everybody is ok with "bicycle touring" being defined as a motorized activity where no effort is required at all.

This brings up another sensitive issue, which is "effort". I think it's true to say that many people consider the effort required to tour by bicycle to be an integral part of the activity. And yet I have seen comments here denigrating any mention of effort as a sign of being somehow overly competitive, or comparing yourself to others. This raises another interesting question: Is physical effort an integral part of bicycle touring? If not, then I think I should just go home, because obviously the definition of bicycle touring has shifted under my feet to such an extent that it is unrecognizable. But if effort is seen as integral, then this begs the questions I asked above, regarding where you draw the line in terms of motor power.

My stance is simply saying "bicycle touring, for the purposes of this forum, means no motor on the bicycle at all". This has no slippery slope, no blurry lines, and is easy to understand. It has nothing to do with number of gears, or number of wheels. Trikes and monocycles? Fine, why not, as long as you're doing the pedaling then who cares how many wheels you are using. See, things just get so much clearer when you simply say "no motors".

That said, I do acknowledge that there is a lot of overlap between "bicycle touring" and "e-bike touring". I think this overlap becomes clearer when you think about specific topics that people might raise, e.g. the best tent to use, or the best stove. These are general questions that do not require bringing up the type of bike you are using. I guess it could come up obliquely or in passing, as long as the discussion is not "about" the e-bike aspect, I don't see why it couldn't happen here. And if someone has a question that is specific to e-bikes, like batteries or charging or whatever, then that would reasonably be asked over on the specific e-bike forum. Even if you are asking about charging on the road during a tour, I'm sure that the e-bike forum would be the better place to ask about that. As we have seen here, some people get irritated when motors are brought into a "bicycle touring" forum, so any discussion that attempts to focus on the e-bike aspect will quickly be derailled by snark. Unfortunate, but a fact of life as we have seen. So I think that even though there is overlap there, the "bicycle touring" aspects can adequately be covered by this forum, and the "e-bike" aspects can adequately be covered by the existing e-bike forum. There's no reason why someone on an e-bike tour can't get insight here on all the other aspects of touring, as long as they don't try to make it primarily about the e-bike (in which case, it should probably have been asked on the other forum).

This seems like a reasonable approach, and one which I will probably try to adopt on my own websites. Crazyguyonabike will remain about non-motorized bicycle touring, and there will be an e-bike specific topic over on topicwise.com. People will be free to discuss whatever, as long as the main topic of the discussion is placed appropriately. If it's mainly a question about the e-bike side of things, then please put it on the e-bike topic, and if the question relates primarily to something related to bicycle touring in general (camping, cooking, panniers etc) then by all means have that discussion on crazyguyonabike. And where there are gray areas, I'll just play it by ear on a case by case basis. But I do think that having that "no motors" policy in place will help to clear up a lot of potential problems and confusion before they occur. And it completely ameliorates the "slippery slope" aspect of e-bikes getting better and better over time.

So in summary, I don't think a new "e-bike touring sub-forum" is really necessary here, since having the two existing separate forums is probably more than adequate. I don't think we need to ban all mention of e-bikes on the "bicycle touring" forum, that would be silly. I don't ban all talk of that on my website. I just tell people that e-bike journals belong over on topicwise.com (crazyguyonabike's sister website that works exactly the same, but covers topics outside of bicycle touring). Right now it's all on the general 'travel' topic, but I will certainly be creating an 'e-bike' topic so they can have their own space. If someone brings up e-bikes on crazyguyonabike then I don't ban them, I just gently try to point them to the right place, while clarifying that here is intended for discussion related to touring on bicycles without motors.

Just some more thoughts, fwiw.

Neil

Last edited by NeilGunton; 07-22-16 at 12:29 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-22-16, 01:35 PM
  #286  
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For those that want a real life example of how one COULD have helped? Here you go.

I did a tour of Belgium and the Netherlands this year. I get a week off at a time, not really any more. Good for those of you with unlimited time, its not in my cards. The sole purpose of my trip was not to HTFU, to see how much wattage I could put out, to brag about getting from point a to point b solely by my power (rather hard in a country that values ferries over bridges, BTW), but to see Europe in a new way, as planes, trains, buses, and cars had gotten boring over my past dozen trips.

I crashed in Leuven the night before my tour properly started. Cut my leg wide open on a beer bottle to the point I'm surprised I didn't need an ER, and destroyed a groin muscle in the process. Couldn't hardly get over my top tube, let alone comfortably pedal, the entire time. Had I been on a rented bike, not my own, I'd have willfully went back to the shop and swapped it out for an ebike in a heartbeat. I don't feel that shortening the trip and missing out on quite a bit I had been looking forward to just to say it was solely human powered would have been worth it at all, especially just to appease anonymous internet folks who would have told me I was doing it wrong.

I'm sure there are some purists who think I wasn't really touring because cycling wasn't my sole focus of my trip and it was CC supported. I don't care, beyond crashing and rerouting and missing a couple Trappist breweries my trip was centred around, it was a great time. Everyone has different goals in touring. If someone has a question you can answer, it really takes no effort to not be a DB because something else they are doing doesn't appeal to YOU. It also takes no effort to ignore the thread. I looked at one asking about bike racks today. I prefer roof racks, the poster wanted a rear, so instead of berating them on what I find to be a silly decision, I just left. Simple.

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Old 07-22-16, 02:34 PM
  #287  
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Originally Posted by momsonherbike View Post

About this so called "slippery slope"? Really?? <major eyeroll> Give me a break. There is no such animal. Electric bikes have been around since Viscount Bury and G.Lacy Hiller wrote a whole freak'n chapter on this bike technology in 1887 (The Badminton Library - published in 1887), and even they said that cycling had only really begun 10 years prior (in Great Britain) and electrical assist bikes were already on the ground. <NOTE: I happen to be researching material at a highly regarded sporting library on a different subject matter (a certain woman British sporting artist active from 1910-1938), and happened to notice this 1887 tome entitled "Cycling" so had to have a look inside and ...lo and behold...there was the electric bicycle, among other interesting cycling apparatus. Some of those bikes (especially the three wheelers with the passenger seat up front) were really ingenious.> Sorry, I digress. Back to the subject at hand....
I think you're slightly mistaken. I have a small library of antiquarian books on cycling (particularly on cycling in Ireland) but not this one, however I have found a download of it on line and it certainly doesn't have 'a whole freak'n chapter' on electric bikes. I've had a look through it and think I've found what caught your attention. There are about four pages in the introduction (p44-48)where the authors discuss the practicalities of using electricity but dismiss it.
https://www.forgottenbooks.com/en/re...ing_10036548#6
I do have a copy of R J McCready & A J Wilson's revised 1891 edition of 'The Art & Pastime of Cycling' which has a history of the bicycle with many illustrations and a chapter on bicycle touring but it doesn't make any reference to any type of machine other than 'human powered'.

Edit: There was undoubtedly interest in electricity as a possible source of power in the early days of 'proper cycling' as McCready referred to it. This is hardly surprising as the Victorians were nothing if not inventive.

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Old 07-22-16, 04:08 PM
  #288  
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The point of my comment was....the electric bicycle was on the ground back in 1887, and the only reason it languished as a touring machine was for lack of power storage technology that was portable. If we want to say the book contained a rather lengthy section on the electrical bicycle, and the practical problems it presented as far as going a distance beyond the rider's ability to supplement their used power, then it still spells out the same issues the modern electrical assist bicycle has suffered...up until now.

The fact that the 1891 edition of "The Art of Pastime of Cycling" didn't deign to comment on the then current electric bicycle doesn't surprise me. Information imparted in *any* book is at the whim of the author(s), and some are very selective of what they want to give to their readers. Heck, I had to look through a shelf of turn of the century historical books on British artists from 1900-1950 to find mention of the one artist I was researching, and only 3 out of the 15 books I researched had her. Two were barely footnotes. Yet she had exhibited in New York and in California in 1922 at well known galleries, was mentioned in a prominent art magazine as to the scope and beauty of her work, and when she went back to England she was lauded by several societies as one of their strongest women artists in sporting and country art. To top it off she eventually (at age 45) married a Viscount. Her work is still being sold by art dealers today....yet she fails to appear in many of the art books that supposedly index British artists. Go figure.

So a not-quite-viable idea for an electric touring bicycle wanted by a long distance rider doesn't mean it didn't exist. It did. It just wasn't going to work - for all the reasons Bury and Hiller put forth - for touring, without a substantial means of support for the technology at that time. Doesn't surprise me that it was ignored by other authors. For them it was a non-starter.

Today is different. And what makes this whole thing a non-issue is we really don't have to worry about what they had to worry about. Technology has advanced enough to make it practical, and within the scope of just about everyone. Anyone planning on touring with an ebike can now focus on the important things related to today's touring: How best to enjoy it.

If you carry a cell phone, or a GPS, or a computer you have exactly the same concerns as the person who has an electrical device for their bike. You're all in the same boat, folks.

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Old 07-22-16, 04:17 PM
  #289  
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OK, I carry a mobile/cell phone and tablet but neither power the bicycle, I do, totally. We're not in the 'same boat'.
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Old 07-22-16, 04:37 PM
  #290  
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
OK, I carry a mobile/cell phone and tablet but neither power the bicycle, I do, totally. We're not in the 'same boat'.
You are good at ignoring the real point of anyone not agreeing with you. You are just being obtuse/argumentative so you can put down anyone without answering or acknowledging their point... JMO
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Old 07-22-16, 05:02 PM
  #291  
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There is a very small number of cyclists (99% guys I'm guessing) that are willing to beat the crap out of themselves for whatever personal reason (I'm not judging) on the simple bicycles machine riding endless hard, mean, soul searching, hours of angst and pain, miles. Very very few women are willing to go that route. Maybe 1%? Personally speaking, we're just not into that sort .......
I feel extremely fortunate to be married to one of those 1%!
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Old 07-22-16, 05:02 PM
  #292  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
...
That said, I do acknowledge that there is a lot of overlap between "bicycle touring" and "e-bike touring". I think this overlap becomes clearer when you think about specific topics that people might raise, e.g. the best tent to use, or the best stove. These are general questions that do not require bringing up the type of bike you are using. I guess it could come up obliquely or in passing, as long as the discussion is not "about" the e-bike aspect, I don't see why it couldn't happen here. And if someone has a question that is specific to e-bikes, like batteries or charging or whatever, then that would reasonably be asked over on the specific e-bike forum. Even if you are asking about charging on the road during a tour, I'm sure that the e-bike forum would be the better place to ask about that. As we have seen here, some people get irritated when motors are brought into a "bicycle touring" forum, so any discussion that attempts to focus on the e-bike aspect will quickly be derailled by snark. Unfortunate, but a fact of life as we have seen. So I think that even though there is overlap there, the "bicycle touring" aspects can adequately be covered by this forum, and the "e-bike" aspects can adequately be covered by the existing e-bike forum. There's no reason why someone on an e-bike tour can't get insight here on all the other aspects of touring, as long as they don't try to make it primarily about the e-bike (in which case, it should probably have been asked on the other forum).

This seems like a reasonable approach, and one which I will probably try to adopt on my own websites. Crazyguyonabike will remain about non-motorized bicycle touring, and there will be an e-bike specific topic over on topicwise.com. People will be free to discuss whatever, as long as the main topic of the discussion is placed appropriately. If it's mainly a question about the e-bike side of things, then please put it on the e-bike topic, and if the question relates primarily to something related to bicycle touring in general (camping, cooking, panniers etc) then by all means have that discussion on crazyguyonabike. And where there are gray areas, I'll just play it by ear on a case by case basis. But I do think that having that "no motors" policy in place will help to clear up a lot of potential problems and confusion before they occur. And it completely ameliorates the "slippery slope" aspect of e-bikes getting better and better over time...

Just some more thoughts, fwiw.

Neil
I also think this is a reasoned approach that addresses concerns from both sides while not being overly restrictive or permissive either way. It preserves the original intent of the forum/site while allowing participation for those who's topics fall between the cracks, especially on BF where threads are often about particular aspects of a tour and not necessarily journals of an overall tour in itself.

We may not always agree on points but I respect the fact that you feel strongly enough about your concerns (as I do mine) to argue them well.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OTOH,

Hey welcome back BA! Missed ya big guy. Hope you had a great tour and look forward to reading about it soon
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Old 07-22-16, 05:27 PM
  #293  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I feel extremely fortunate to be married to one of those 1%!
Don't know where this 1% figure comes from, on my last tour I came across quite a few women touring, none on Ebikes. It's got nothing to do with gender, IMO.
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Old 07-22-16, 05:33 PM
  #294  
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
Don't know where this 1% figure comes from, on my last tour I came across quite a few women touring, none on Ebikes. It's got nothing to do with gender, IMO.
Yeah,

On our present tour we saw a total of about 20 loaded cyclists on the Trans Canada Highway. About 6 of them were women, and 2 of them were riding solo across the country.

I also know 5 other women, including my wife, that have ridden across the U.S.

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Old 07-22-16, 06:48 PM
  #295  
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
Don't know where this 1% figure comes from, on my last tour I came across quite a few women touring, none on Ebikes. It's got nothing to do with gender, IMO.
It's a made up number to "illustrate" the difference in male to female ratio, as the person who has seen the average people who do Bike tours, and stay at our warm showers invites, I agree, Now it might actually be 1% or 2% or 3%, or more, but Who Gives A F' it certainly isn't over 10% in my experience anyways ... Over all, it's males who do this kind or touring...:rolleyes' and if more females start to do it because of an E-Assist bike being available.. good for them, I say, and good for the bicycling touring crowd too...
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Old 07-22-16, 07:08 PM
  #296  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
It's a made up number to "illustrate" the difference in male to female ratio, as the person who has seen the average people who do Bike tours, and stay at our warm showers invites, I agree, Now it might actually be 1% or 2% or 3%, or more, but Who Gives A F' it certainly isn't over 10% in my experience anyways ... Over all, it's males who do this kind or touring...:rolleyes' and if more females start to do it because of an E-Assist bike being available.. good for them, I say, and good for the bicycling touring crowd too...
It really does not matter, but on a thread that has so much discussion about equality; stating that women are not doing hard tours, and that they have more important thing to do is demeaning.

In my experience, I would estimate that about 25% percent of touring cyclists are women. I don't know what klnds of bike they were riding, and do not really care. I just think that the paragraph that included the 1% comment was a inaccurate portrayal of a lot of women.
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Old 07-22-16, 07:26 PM
  #297  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
It really does not matter, but on a thread that has so much discussion about equality; stating that women are not doing hard tours, and that they have more important thing to do is demeaning.

In my experience, I would estimate that about 25% percent of touring cyclists are women. I don't know what klnds of bike they were riding, and do not really care. I just think that the paragraph that included the 1% comment was a inaccurate portrayal of a lot of women.
Well that's your experience... = about 25%, My experience is about = to 10%, Moms experience is about = to 1% Caretakers experience is = to "quite a few women" and none of them on E-Bikes... WTF does all that that mean? Well, less women do tours than men... It's that simple. Why? Well mom explained it quite well. woman/women have a different priority... It's that simple.

EDIT; Anyways E-Bikes can and certainly would bring more women into "Bicycle" touring |IMO Which is a good thing...

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Old 07-22-16, 07:46 PM
  #298  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
Well that's your experience... = about 25%, My experience is about = to 10%, Moms experience is about = to 1% Caretakers experience is = to "quite a few women" and none of them on E-Bikes... WTF does all that that mean? Well, less women do tours than men... It's that simple. Why? Well mom explained it quite well. woman/women have a different priority... It's that simple.
I think we just have to agree to disagree on this one. I really do not think it is that simple.

We have two daughter who are going on a tour with us early next month. I think both of them would also disagree.


I do not think mom can speak for all women, only herself, and the other women she knows.

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Old 07-22-16, 07:57 PM
  #299  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I think we just have to agree to disagree on this one. I really do not think it is that simple.

We have two daughter who are going on a tour with us early next month. I think both of them would also disagree.


I do not think mom can speak for all women, only herself, and the other women she knows.
Neither can you, ask your daughter's why they think there's less women touring than men... And whether E-bike touring would bring more women into the fold...
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Old 07-22-16, 08:03 PM
  #300  
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Well, all I know is that what ever that number is I'm pretty sure Machka can kick my butt any day of the week

Doug, that tour sounds great. I (in a good way) envy your family time on the road.

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