People turn to e-bikes because they want to go further or faster than their level of fitness makes them comfortable, or they want to haul loads that are difficult on a conventional bike. Not to mention, E-Bikes are excellent tools for efficiency in getting up hills and fighting the wind.
Capital Bike offers E-Bike Workplace Workshops, but until those are offered again, Todd Kalyniuk and Heidi Ullrich from Oak Bay Bikes have teamed up to discuss all things e-bike in our E-Bike Revolution Webinar:
An e-bike is a combination of a conventional bicycle with a battery and a motor. The maximum speed in Canada for e-bikes is 32km/hour (limit is built into the motor of the bike—it will not accelerate beyond 32km/hour on a flat surface; however, going down a hill, the bike will act like any other vehicle and pick-up speed during descent).
There are two types of e- bikes; throttle and pedal-assist. Throttle controlled e-bikes mirror motorcycle operation in that a simple twist of the wrist, or press of a button, activates acceleration—you do not need to pedal with a throttle operated e-bike.
Pedal assisted e-bikes were designed to make riding an e-bike mimic the natural motion you feel when riding a bicycle. As you pedal your bike and increase in speed, a sensor is activated, which in turn generates power from the motor. The power is activated only when you pedal. So you do need to pedal with pedal assist e-bikes—the motor only amplifies your power.
The same rules of the road for regular cyclists apply to users of e-bikes. This includes wearing a helmet AND the rider must be at least 16 y/o. In the CRD, E-bikes are even permitted on multi-use trails where conventional bikes are allowed.
Oak Bay Bikes also has a great FAQ page all about e-bikes!