The master Antonio Olinto conceptualizes cycling as follows: “Cycling is nothing more than to make tourism using as a vehicle the bicycle or traveling by bicycle. My conception of cycling is deeply connected with my life experience and a three-and-a-half-year bike trip where I traveled 46,620 km in 34 countries on four continents. “
He further explains that a basic characteristic of cycling is to travel long distances, a registered mark of the cyclist is the load on the bicycle, and there is still a fundamental change in the conception of physical exercise, since the cycle tourist does not look for records or great speeds, but Recreation and knowledge.
Based on the above definitions, would it be possible to include the electric bike as compared to the conventional bicycle, without dis-characterizing the concept of cycling?
Every cyclist who praises himself will say that pedaling is a source of great pleasure for him. But not all people everywhere are able to travel on a bicycle, whether by physical condition or even by psychological factors, such as the feeling of incapacity, whether by natural causes, like many climbs or strong winds. According to wacostylish, would it be possible, with an electric bicycle, to give these people the opportunity to try cycling?
The discussion, in the end, is not about replacing the act of pedaling; Is about boosting the bike and extending the reach of the cycling tour experience.
In August 2013 (issue 31), we published as cover story the voyage of the Dutch researcher Gijs Stevers, who traveled 20,000 kilometers from the northern tip of Europe, in North Cape, Norway, to the southern tip of Africa, Cape of Good Hope, With an electric bicycle. Its purpose was to know renewable energy initiatives. Perfectly in tune with this theme, Gijs stated at the time: “I know that the electric bicycle is less sustainable than a normal bike, and that I could not just charge its battery using renewable energy throughout the trip. However, it is still much more sustainable than any other means of transport. It could have made the trip by motorcycle, car, public transportation, but these options would leave a greater footprint in the environment. ” To illustrate, he said that after the trip he installed 16 solar panels in the house of his relatives and in two weeks the installation produced the same amount of energy consumed by e-bike in the 10 months of travel. With the aid of electric, Gijs was able to carry a heavier baggage weighing about 70 kg, a real exaggeration for cyclists.
In the last edition (55-September/2015), Ruben Wanderley Filho, from the group Dinosaurs, said that in the 375 km crossing of the Scottish Higlands, some members rented mountain bikes with electric assistance, called E-MTBs. He says that “electric mountain bikes are now a fever in Europe, especially for those who have reached a certain age, as is the case with most of the group that went to the Higlands in their 60s.”Electric bicycles have become a trend, especially for couples and people of different ages, for enabling the equalization of the rhythm of the pedaling.
According to Ruben, it is an illusion to think that the adventure loses importance because it counts on the electric aid. In the Higlands, for example, the Ruben group faced many ditches formed by the melt flow with large loose stones, always requiring extra acceleration to overcome them. “The most important thing is to enjoy and have fun on the trails,” he says. For him, who was photographing the trip, E-MTB represented another advantage: since nobody likes to stop for photos, the electric aid allows a quick recovery to reach the others.
In this edition, in the article “TransAlp with children: A crossing of the Alps by bike”, Fabio tells how his experience of pedaling with the twin sons, Theo and Martim. His wife, Melissa, also participated in cycling using an electric bicycle. “At first, Melissa was only going through two of the five days scheduled for the adventure, even with the electric bike, because she does not have that much physical conditioning. But she felt confident, she was able to keep up with the five days and she rode the 500 km riding with me, “said Fabio.
If you screwed up trying to argue that electric bicycles are not bicycles, think about how Melissa, Ruben, Gijs, and so many others felt when traveling with their electric bicycles. Of course, they have attracted people’s curiosity, as is common to cyclists. They took advantage of the way in a way that would not be possible like any other means of transport. They have proved the introspection and self-knowledge that cycling offers. And they did it in a sustainable way.
Some of them would not have achieved without the electric aid, and this inclusive feature of e-bike is a complement to this magical vehicle that is called a bicycle.