The strange business of sharing a bike ride with someone using an electric bike

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by randynewmanscat, 8 Jan 2019.

  1. randynewmanscat

    randynewmanscat Senior Member

    Rubbish title but the best I could manage. A friend brought his electric bike over at the end of last summer. There is no cut off for assistance and if I remember correctly the thing has a motor in excess of 400W so it is quite fast.
    So for the first time in my life I went out on a ride with my riding partner using an ebike, I doubt it is something I will repeat. I use a circuit of small lanes round and through the forest I live in, there is a descent to the river and a few undulations, about 180 metres total climb and 25km for the circuit.
    We set off the easy way saving the climb from the river until last and the first thing I noticed was the sound. His bike being a utility/mountain bike has fairly fat tyres and of course they make some noise, add to that the sound of the motor, it was noisy.
    He sat on my wheel for a while before he rode alongside when he realised there was no traffic, it is remote countryside here.
    About 5km in I began to feel irritated at the smug face and total lack of effort on his part which caused me to put some serious effort in from then on. It might have helped if he had at least pretended to pedal the thing. It took about a minute to realise that psychological warfare by half-wheeling was a useless tactic, he would just twist the throttle ever so slightly.
    My friend smokes and he could only have annoyed me more if he had lit up and puffed away on a cig in an affected manner while sat bolt upright alongside. I lost him on the descent to the river as he is a timid descender, I waited for him while sweating profusely from the heat and the effort.
    We set off again along the valley before turning for home up the long drag from the river and I thought to show him the inferiority of his transport. I shook him off on the steepest section but sure enough he was back with me when the gradient slackened, as though he had a rubber band attached to the carrier of my bike. We arrived at mine and he told me how much he enjoyed the ride as I dripped sweat and got my breathing under control. After that I sent him out to enjoy some of the forest tracks on his own and cycling for me was off the menu for the rest of his stay.
    When I ride with others I'm not combative, I used to be but all rides ended up as a race. However, riding with someone who has a motor brought out the worst in me.
    Have you been foolish enough to go on a ride with someone who is riding an ebike and if so did you enjoy the ride?
  2. confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    Take him further than his battery will permit next time, then watch him puff up hill on that bike from hell ;)
  3. Phaeton

    Phaeton Guru

    Oop North (ish)
    Sorry that you were upset, but I cannot see any reason or you to be, looks like you spoilt a nice ride for yourself.
    mjr and fossyant like this.
  4. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    It does look that way. No mention of the e-powered friend bating you into a race Randy?

    I'm capable of being quick on a good day and can climb ok for a largish bloke (without e-power assistance). If you were out for a ride with me would you still find it necessary to always be on the front and be first up every hill?

    I suppose I would find the motor noise annoying after only a short while, especially in what sounds like such a tranquil location. Even the sound of the noisy freehub on my latest bike gets on my nerves and as soon as the opportunity arises to replace the wheels I will be going for as near to silent freewheel as I can find (Shimano).
  5. Spiderweb

    Spiderweb Not So Special One

    North Yorkshire
    Just relish the fact you had a much better workout than he did.
    LeetleGreyCells, Banjo, gbb and 2 others like this.
  6. OP

    randynewmanscat Senior Member

    It is difficult to explain and I am not even sure what the irritation was caused by, it was like having some infernal machine along with me, some sort of cheating going on. When I was young and raced I would occasionally have a moped riding friend pace me on time trial routes, I had no problem with that (i should add that this was out of competition days!). I asked him to help out and somehow with an engine involved it was different.
    I thought about that for a return match but the battery is huge and he carries a spare, also I would have felt cruel and ended up riding home to get my car and pick him up.
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2019
  7. OP

    randynewmanscat Senior Member

    I did that, I use Memory-Map on my phone and that ride was the quickest time for last year of that circuit. ^_^
    LeetleGreyCells, raleighnut and colly like this.
  8. Phaeton

    Phaeton Guru

    Oop North (ish)
    Sorry but that's your problem, you also say you raced, you are competitive, some poor souls can't help it, best tell him you it's your football & if he wants to come out again he has to follow your rules. Then think how silly that sounds ;)
    FishFright likes this.
  9. OP

    randynewmanscat Senior Member

    No I gave up half-wheeling and other such intimidations a lifetime ago and just take my turn at the front when I am out with the local club veterans. From being annoyingly competitive as a young man to mister old and affable on the bike.
  10. OP

    randynewmanscat Senior Member

    If you have not tried it you should, it is just weird. If you rode with me you would not encounter half-wheeling or other tormenting nonsense, only on that day did I find myself feeling some edge of competition against some contraption, not against my friend. There is a scene in a film, it could be "Postmans Knock" where Spike Milligan takes on an automated mail sorter by hand sorting into the frames, that is the nearest I can think of to the irrational irritation it caused. Along with the zzz,zzz,zzz noise.
  11. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    I simply would not put myself in the position. It's the cycling equivalent of taking on the playground bully and his mates.
    randynewmanscat likes this.
  12. AyJay

    AyJay Senior Member

    Suffolk Coast
    I have been out with a friend on an ebike. I had no problem at all. Yes he was quicker uphill but on the flat was OK and downhill I was a lot quicker.
    He has a mountain bike style bike with the motor cutting out at 15mph. He was considerate of me uphill as I was with him downhill.
    I am happy to go out together in the future. Companionship not competition is our motto I guess.^_^
  13. Phaeton

    Phaeton Guru

    Oop North (ish)
    I don't understand that at all, but then again I only go out with family, on hills either up or down we make our own way up/down then we wait for each other if neccessary.
  14. Sea of vapours

    Sea of vapours Über Member

    I've been on rides with e-bike equipped people a few times. I think in all cases they'd not be there were it not for the motorised assistance so on that basis their having an e-bike was a 'win'. Leaving aside the noise - which I can see might be annoying, though I didn't find it so - I don't see why I would need to choose to be annoyed / irritated / negatively affected. Quite the reverse in fact: I remember drafting @Pale Rider for several kilometres of flattish road, directly into a headwind, on one of @ColinJ 's forum rides and that was a very positive thing indeed :-)

    So, yes, I've enjoyed rides which included e-bike users and imagine I shall again :-)
    mjr, Heckler, burntoutbanger and 4 others like this.
  15. Hopey

    Hopey Well-Known Member

    Similar experience, but mines was very positive. I used to ride to work with my wife until she got pregnant again - she was on an ebike.

    I was stuck behind her up most steep/long hills as she was able to effortlessly speed ahead, but her low gearing meant that I was steaming ahead on the straights and downhills.

    I didn't care what bike she was using, it was just so nice to ride with her. She sold it due to being pregnant, but I'd absolutely let her buy another if it got us riding together again.

    Besides; everyone knows that an ebike is the gateway drug into real riding.
    FishFright likes this.
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