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E-bikes, are they cheating?

Welcome to the May 2021 issue of MILES PEDDLED (MP). Our mission at MP is to provide our subscribers with valuable, informative and fun information regarding bikes and bike riding. The opinions expressed in MP are not influenced by bike companies, dealers or sponsors, but management at MP is willing to reconsider their position on this issue.


The main subject of the May 2021 issue will be: E-bikes, are they cheating?


Before we get to the issue at hand, the management at MP would like to welcome some new subscribers; to wit: the Storm Boys (now men). Unlike the charter subscribers to MP who were grandfathered or grandmothered into MP without a subscription fee, mostly because they are or soon will be Grandfathers or Grandmothers, the Storm Boys (SB) have to pay a subscription fee. Specifically, they must visit their Mom and Dad at least once per month. Management at MP submits this is a small price to pay for the wit and wisdom of this publication (some may call it a "blog.").


Here we go – E-bikes, are they cheating?


The short answer is – NO!


The use of an e-bike still provides exercise to the rider. In addition, it tends to encourage more frequent and longer use of the bike. Moreover, the use of the e-bike in many situations will replace the use of a car thereby lowering the carbon footprint of each MP subscriber.


· Science


I know many subscribers do not trust the management at MP. This author has his own reservations regarding management which will be shared in subsequent issues. Notwithstanding, there is real science behind the conclusion set forth above. MP has attached some of these scientific studies to this edition for your perusal.


A 2017 study by the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity compared the exercise intensity for an e-bike commuter with peddle only bike commuters and found that in terms of intensity, e-bike commuters were still engaging in moderate physical activity. The most important takeaway from this study was that in most instances the e-bike user was not swapping out the use of the e-bike for a peddle only bike, but rather, was substituting the e-bike for the use of his automobile. This provided a significant increase in the activity level of the rider.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5406898/


A 2018 study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found that at the end of a 4 week trial, the aerobic fitness of the e-bike riders actually increased more than the group of conventional bikers.


https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27299435/


A more recent study from Brigham Young University published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that the average heart rate of riders covering a loop on an e-bike was 93.6% of the heart rate of the riders using a conventional mountain bike on the same loop.


https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29095201/


The science establishes that the use of an e-bike is not cheating. Management at MP will always follow the science!


· Legislation


In February of 2021 representative Jim Panetta introduced into the U.S. House legislation entitled "Electric Bike Incentive Kickstart for the Environment Act" also known as "E-BIKE Act". (See H.R. 1019). The documentation supporting the legislation established that the use of an e-bike replaced the use of a car 47% to 76% of the time resulting in a 12% drop in carbon emissions. In short, the use of an e-bike is good for the environment. Management at MP will always support the environment!


The E-BIKE Act creates a consumer tax credit that would accomplish the following:


o Cover 30% of the cost of an electric bike, up to $1,500.00 credit.

o Applies to new electric bikes that cost less than $8,000.00.

o Is fully refundable, allowing lower income workers to claim the credit.


Please contact your representative and ask him to support or better yet co-sponsor the E-BIKE Act H.R. 1019.


https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1019/text?r=1&s=1


· Recommendations


As stated above, the opinions of management at MP, at least at the present time, are not influenced by bike manufacturers or dealers. We hope this changes in the future.


There are several good websites which thoroughly review e-bikes in all categories. I have found the best to be electricbikereview.com. Management at MP does not intend to compete with EBR, at least at the present time. We do, however, hope in the future to take some of their sponsors.


In an upcoming issue of MP, recommendations regarding specific e-bikes in the commuter/trail/light e-trekking category at various price points will be presented by MP to its subscribers. In the biz, we like to call this the "tease."


Until the next edition: RIDE, RELAX AND REJOICE!

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