Pedal assisted e-bikes are becoming more and more commonplace on roads and trails these days and the OCC has brought forth a new policy to deal with their use in Club rides. We are doing so to allow those who enjoy cycling to participate in group events, allow family members who are not as strong to keep up with other family members and allow riders coming back from injury or dealing with disabilities to enjoy group riding. E-bikes enable those who may require some assistance in riding certain distances and/or to climb hills and long grades.
We will define e-bikes for the purpose of our club as motorized bicycles that look like conventional bicycles, meet Government of Ontario e-bike requirements, have steerable handle bars, working pedals and an electric motor enabling speeds not to exceed 32 kilometres per hour. E-bike riders do not require a driver’s license but must be 16 and older and wear an approved bicycle helmet. No e-scooter configurations will be allowed on any club rides.
The following rules must be followed by e bike riders on club rides. An e-bike will only be allowed on club rides when it is used in the pedal assist mode. No other type of speed control such as handlebar throttles will be allowed. E-bikes with throttle controls on their handlebar should have them disconnected.
Those choosing to ride e-bikes on club rides should ensure they are fully self-sufficient with particular attention paid to the range of their battery and should not participate in long rides unless their battery power will allow them to complete the ride. The club will not be able to “rescue” riders whose batteries die out and they will have to make their own arrangements to be picked up. If possible, e-bike riders may wish to carry a second battery with them.
E-bike riders should also make sure they ride within their group riding skill level and at a pace level of the group they are in. It is imperative that the e-bike rider does not ride faster than the pace of the group and avoid riding off the front or being at the front of the group a disproportionate amount of time which could push the pace higher for the rest of the group. E-bike riders should also be aware that their speed going up hills may be faster than the speed of others and must be well aware of their positioning and speed control in such situations. If it is necessary to pass another rider at any time but specifically on a hill where there is a tendency for most riders to loose speed and/or power up (stand up), this must be communicated in a loud clear voice - “passing on your left.” Requiring e-bike riders not to pass in such situations would not be reasonable given the potential for jamming up the group but must always be done in a safe and orderly manner and only when traffic conditions allow such a maneuver.
E-bike riders must also always be aware of how their e-bike reacts and should anticipate and control any surges so as not to impact others in the group. For this reason they should leave more than the usual amount of space behind other riders.
Due to the fact e-bikes are restricted to 32 kmph they will not be allowed in any A+ group rides.
New e-bike riders and particularly those who are new to the club should start in lower speed groups to become fully comfortable with their bike’s performance capabilities and how they fit in with a group dynamic.