Rude remarks by non-ebikers


It might be fun, instructive and perhaps cathartic to post rude things non-ebikers have said to us ebikers. Clever retorts (usually conceived well after the incident) would also be welcome. (I hasten to add that most non-ebikers are polite, if not curious, if not downright envious.)

I'll start:

-On a recent group ride, where I was the only ebiker, one woman said to me on two occasions, "That's cheating. You're a cheater." I didn't respond or pursue the matter with her.

-Today a non-ebiker came whizzing past me on a mixed-use trail (speed limit: 15 mph) and said as he passed, "Nice moped!" I replied, "Dude, the speed limit is 15 here." He didn't slow.
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My response to “cheating” would be - Is it “cheating” to have a triple chain ring or 10,11 or 22 gears? The idea whether electric or multiple gears is to enjoy the ride.
You're Cheating....

Yes, you should try it! I/we (alone/with wife) LOVE it!
On a recent group ride, where I was the only ebiker, one woman said to me on two occasions, "That's cheating. You're a cheater." I didn't respond or pursue the matter with her.
First, wise move not to respond. But I also actually get this. I suspect a lot of people involved in "group rides" view them as communal exercise events (sharing your pain, or however you want to call it). If that is your POV then yeah riding an ebike there is like riding one in an ironman or whatever. Not saying I agree (especially that she had to say it a second time! Though maybe it wasn't meant as an insult, it could have been just banter, depends on tone etc) just that I understand: you may think these communal rides are all about enjoying the scenery and company & nothing else, but you can't expect everyone to agree with this perspective, everyone brings their own priorities and objectives.
My wife gets more comments compared to me we are riding alone. It is the usual "that's cheating", or co-workers saying you can't get exercise on an ebike. She is only 4'11"; while, I'm 6'3", +270 lbs, usually dressed in mostly black, and sit about 7 feet tall on my fat tire Radrover with my helmet and MTB trail light attached. I even scared a few horses and caused them to back up on the river trails when riding by.

I have to admit, we both have received about 15X-20X positive complements and had conversations starters about our ebikes compared to negative ones. I even had a guy follow me 2 miles off the interstate to the bike trails to ask me about my Radrover on my vehicle bike rack.
Surprisingly, no conventional bikes in recent memory have made any remarks, but if they did, I would tell them why I ride an e-bike - I don't enjoy driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic and don't want to take a shower at work. That simple. If a conventional cyclist keeps up with me or passes, I compliment them on their stamina for keeping up with my e-bike. And most importantly, I try not to flaunt the power or ride like a jerk.

All that said, I don't do recreational rides in a group with the e-bike. I'm sure if I did, there would be remarks. I used to be a road biker and was in a club. Road biking groups, in my experience, are notorious for snark. Thick skin not optional on a competitive road bike ride. Maybe lycra with advertising jerseys and clipless pedals bring out the worst in people?
Do you ride for yourself (exercise, stress relief, Point A to Point B, etc.) or do you ride to find out what others think of you?

Innovation is disruptive. You and your e-bike are at the forefront of a major disruptive event for bicycling. Betcha half the people making comments wish they could afford an e-bike. The other half will get an e-bike sooner or later.

The folks whose egos are a little too wrapped up in their bicycling? They'll criticize you for wearing white socks. Zealots of any stripe are best ignored.
Statements like these are completely beyond comprehension to me. :mad:
It is like someone who plays an acoustic guitar calls you a cheater because you play an electric one.
It was a big deal when Bob Dylan switched to electric guitar. The purists berated his art and called him a sellout.
We all have our reasons for ebiking and we needn't justify them to numbskulls on the street.
I've gotten a few "cheater" remarks from friends, but mostly as a joke though. I've passed a few road cyclists and talked to quite a few cyclists and coworkers, and so far those who did respond have responded positively or with curiosity. It was actually a road cyclist coworker who gave me the idea since he showed up to work one day on an ebike. I think it helps that I try to be as courteous as possible, ill ring the bell about 10 seconds before passing another cyclists, the yell "On your left/Right" right before passing them. I think being courteous and respectful to other cyclists goes a long way. I can see cyclists getting angry when someone on an ebike passes them at speed without any warning.
So far, the few comments I've heard have all been positive. Us older folk may be getting a pass on the snark though.

I agree we older folk may get a pass. I have heard a lot of "cheating" comments but they have all been in good humor. I was passing the Pelaton on a nasty hill the other day and they all ignored me except for one guy who yelled "how much for a tow?".

I have had my E-bike for 2 seasons and last year, I rarely saw another E-bike. This year, I have seen lots and I have been stopped many times by folks with tons of questions. Also, last year I saw very few in the local bike shops whereas this year, most of the shops have a greatly expanded inventory. I think I will be seeing a great deal more E-bikes over the next few years.

I can say that buying mine was the best money I ever spent.
Had a fun encounter with a couple on a tandem this morning. We were stopped at a light when the husband (captain0 jokingly said "Hey, you are cheating" and I don't know where this came from but I replied "No, my stoker is just way smaller than yours". We all cracked up and almost missed our green light.
Usually I don't come up with a good reply until hours later.
Pardon my ignorance, but KOM?