Will the CEO of a Bicycle Manufacturing Company be a future winner of the Nobel Peace Prize?
Or other globally renowned prize awarded for improving the world. Here’s how.
Bikes are starring at Tech Shows and Tech is starring at Bike Shows. In amongst the stampede of technological process stands the bicycle.
Because this is cycling don’t expect the path to technology being fully integrated into cycles not to be simple. Snobbery and suspicion of technology abound within cycling. Some are early adopters some are dig their-heals-in-stubborn when it comes to progress such as electronic gears or disc brakes (I hesitate to even type those two words). Nothing it seems, excites as much passionate polarising debate amongst cyclists as disc brakes on road bikes.
Nothing it seem excites as much humorous ridicule as Electric Bikes (E-Bikes), when nothing within the cycling has the potential to have such a widespread and positive effect. If we move on from jokes about grannies on E-Bikes on Alpe D’Huez or fear motorisation in the professional peloton and consider the wider picture:
Cheap transport: E-Bikes don’t have to be a Scott E-Spark 700 Plus Tuned at £6095. E-Bikes are available for around £500 (conversion kits are cheaper) and will surely decrease in price further making them more accessible and a feasible, cost effective mode of transport in both urban and rural environments, Developed World and Developing World.
Environmentally friendly transport: Electric-power is an increasingly clean fuel source. Plus, every car journey replaced by a trip to the shops on an E-Bike instead has even greater environmental benefit. Of course, the greening-effect is increased if the rider pedals.
Promoting an active lifestyle: E-Bikes stand a good chance of enticing those that wouldn’t otherwise get on a bike to give cycling a go. Knowing that they have some assistance in reserve when the road goes upwards may well overcome the usual barriers to adoption, i.e. a pathological fear of hills.
Change perception of cycling and cyclists: If E-Bikes can convert people to E-cycling and increase the numbers of people using cycling as a way of everyday life (Dutch-style) rather than purely a MAMIL leisure pursuit – the current Cyclists v Other Road Users War may subside as the numbers on two wheels increase.
The cycling CEO that sees the bigger picture and creates an accessible E-Bike for the masses, promoting mobility – enabling parents to fetch fresh water, provide access to medicine in remote locations, transport children to schools, via an environmentally responsible means surely warrants recognition.
Many leading cycling brands – Scott, Cube and Trek all powering forward with E-Bike additions to their traditional ranges. The question is whether cycling brands will move into mass-transport or whether the usual suspects amongst the mega tech-firms – the Apples and the Googles – push the aside, disrupt and seize the opportunity to revolutionise the bicycle taking it forward into the future – smart, connected and efficient? Just as the have with phones, music, television and are about to with self-driving cars.
The humble bicycle has always been an enabler, stop laughing at it and watch the E-Bike can achieve more.
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