5 Kinds of E-Bike Riders We All Know
Riding an electric bike is one of those guilty pleasures in life – something lots of people do but few like to admit to. With e-bike sales booming, we sat down and carried out our own super-scientific analysis to find out just who it is out there exploring Tirol's trails with an extra battery boost.
1 – The Couple
Buying two e-bikes – often in matching colours – is not the magic solution to the arguments The Couple used to have on normal bikes. Flat batteries, faulty brakes, painful backsides – e-bikes too have plenty of potential for relationship-wrecking issues as well. In the end, instead settling down for a meal at the hut, The Couple finds itself lost in a forest because he insisted on taking a shortcut which turned out to be a dead end.
2 – The Selfie Biker
No pain, no gain? Not for the Selfie Biker, thank you very much. After all, those Insta photos look so much better without all that nasty sweat. That's why the Selfie Biker got an e-bike in the first place – it is the quickest and easiest way to climb a mountain. Up at the top there is the obligatory photo of the Selfie Biker biting into an apple with the hashtag #Foodporn plus a snap of his "hotdog legs" clad in much-too-tight lycra. A quick detour to a nearby lake for another pic (#nofilter) and then it's time to zip back down into the valley to see how many likes the post gets. The only thing not to feature in the 15,000 or so photos taken by the Selfie Biker is his e-bike. After all, nobody needs to know about his dirty little secret.
3 – The Pedalling Pensioner
The Pedalling Pensioner drives an E-Class Mercedes, buys all those super-expensive premium products at the supermarket and has the art of giving a tip to the cloakroom staff at the opera dialled in like Don Draper in Mad Men. Even e-bike experts find it hard to tell the difference between his e-bike and one of those electric motorbikes. The dashboard computer is programmed with the voice of an English butler, while the frame has been customed made to include an integrated juicing machine so he can enjoy a freshly squeezed fruits-of-the-forest smoothie as he maks his way through the mountains.
4 – Mr Kamikaze
The last time Mr Kamikaze rode a bike was in the late 1970s. Back then, at the age of just 20 or so, riding a bike was as easy as, well, riding a bike. So riding a bike with an electric motor must be even easier, right? Things start well with a surprisingly easy and relaxing ride up to the top. The problems begin as soon as he points his weapon of choice downhill. With arms like jelly and an 18kg mountain bike to keep under control, things often don't end well for Mr Kamikaze. Ouch.
5 – Mrs Take It Easy
Cycling for cycling's sake is for masochists only, thinks Mrs Take It Easy. Her "map" is a dog-eared restaurant guide, while the repair toolkit under her saddle has given way to a shiny set of silver cutlery. For Mrs Take It Easy her e-bike is first and foremost a means to an end – an easy way of riding up into the mountains where she can enjoy the view and tuck into some cheese dumplings at the hut.
Illustrations: Patrick Bonato