Keep an open mind about e-bikes | AspenTimes.com

Keep an open mind about e-bikes

I am in favor of safety. I do not have an issue with a moratorium on e-bikes until the safety issues are addressed. This is similar to the marijuana dispensary issues discussed not too long ago. Lack of understanding is a major fear factor. While I am an enthusiast of e-bikes, I am certainly not an expert. So let's talk about cool.

My wife and I have been riding road bikes here and in Florida for well over 35 years. We just want to keep doing what we have been doing. Unfortunately, minor physical issues have been slowing us down. Now, imagine this. Just imagine! We order an e-bike conversion kit for each bike. We can enter our desired heart rate into our smartphone, wear a Bluetooth heart rate monitor and the system will give us just the right amount of assistance to keep our heart rate on target. Our cardiologist thinks this is great. We can also dial in a desired resistance that we want to maintain on our pedals. The resistance will be the same on the flats, up the hills and even down the hills. This resistance downhill actually regenerates our bike's battery.

We have the option of dialing in levels 1, 2, 3 or 4 assistance levels and the system provides more help. The software limits our assistance level to 20 miles per hour.

I know the way we would use our e-bikes would not be hazardous on any trail or road in our valley. E-bikes are classified as 1, 2 and 3 in Colorado. Our system would be categorized as 1.

It is interesting that some e-bike companies also make electric-assistant wheels for people in wheelchairs. Now individuals in wheelchairs can use these systems to easily go up a ramp or a hill that they were previously unable to negotiate.

There are medical needs for e-bikes so that we can stay healthy and stay on our bikes as long as possible. I hope that our state and counties will understand that it is safe for certain e-bikes to share the trails with non-e-bike riders.

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I will be attending the Interbike eBike Show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Sept. 20 to 22. Over 500 exhibitors will be on hand. I encourage our decision-makers to learn as much as they can about electric bikes. It is easy to regulate out of fear. Regulations will be needed to keep our trails and roads as safe as possible. I have always felt that our bike paths should have speed limits.

The e-bike industry is revolutionizing transportation and recreation in a very positive way. Please keep an open mind.

Jay Gottieb

Basalt

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