Whilst the legacy of Lance still drives a hole through the heart of the cycling community, nothing seems to create a schism in the cycling world like the adoption of new tech [or old tech like mudguards maybe? Ed.]. And whilst the adoption of disc brakes in the pro-peloton was anything but friction free, the next highly charged debate looks certain to revolve around the use of e-bikes…although hopefully not at World Tour level. As we recently had the first instance of an e-bike on a club ride, we thought we should pen a few guidelines covering their use within organised group rides.
Firstly, and most importantly, as a point of principle, we are advocates for all forms of cycling and would always encourage participation among those for whom an e-bike is the most practical cycling option. In time it is likely that there will be sufficient e-bike users to run e-bike only group rides but, in the meantime, we would like e-bike users to stick to the following on mixed assist/non-assist rides:
If you wish to ride an e-bike on a group ride then it must comply with current UK law which as of January 2022 means it produces no more than 250W and cuts out at 15.5mph.
As e-bikes become visually less obvious, as a courtesy to other group members, please let them know that you are riding assisted to avoid Cancellara Flanders type accusations.
On certain sections e-bikes could be much faster than unassisted bikes so make sure that you are riding with consideration for those riding unassisted and not riding off the front or setting an unrealistic pace.
Make sure you have sufficient battery capacity to complete the planned route.
Additional systems present additional potential for mechanical failures and ones with which other groups members are unlikely to be able to offer assistance owing to a lack of experience. Make sure you have tools/expertise to deal with these.
Lastly, don’t be alarmed when everyone else wants to have a shot on your e-bike!
Apologies to anyone who has emailed to reserve a slot on the training camp next year and hasn’t heard back just yet. Tony is currently away on holiday wild camping in the rain so doesn’t have great access to technology to deal with the emails. All will be sorted once he gets back to civilisation at the weekend.