Ah yes, the “e-grin”. Electric bicycle riders know it well and newcomers to the technology quickly discover it. An e-grin is the big, goofy smile that appears on the face of someone who has just experienced their first ever ebike ride. And you always remember your first ride.
Electric bicycles are a great option for commuting in cities and suburbs for countless reasons (but if you did count them, you’d have the Top Ten Reasons For Switching To An Electric Bicycle). Even so, ebikes are still quite a minority in the United States. Even in much of Europe, where ebikes have a much stronger foothold, pedal bikes are still the norm. Nine out of ten bicycles on a European street are still likely to be pedal bicycles (compared to over 99 out 100 in the USA).
For this reason, most people are understandably ignorant to the advantages of an electric bicycle. Even worse, they have no idea what they are missing! Electric bicycles are fun – it’s as simple as that! There’s nothing quite like hopping on a machine that is normally associated with measured amounts of strenuous activity (a bicycle) yet having the machine do all the work for you! Twisting the throttle and feeling a rush of wind through your hair brings excitement to everyone, it doesn’t matter who you are.
And the silence associated with such raw power only adds to the magic of the moment. Under these circumstances, an e-grin is perhaps the only thing that DOES make sense.
“So let me get this straight. You mean to tell me that this magic electric steed can take me everywhere I want to go and I never have to feed it or pump it full of explosive liquid? You’ll have to excuse me while I e-grin…”
That’s right, e-grin can even be a verb.
Over the years I’ve seen hundreds of people take their first ride on an ebike and the e-grin has proven to be an inevitable outcome. Without fail, everyone from children to doctors to teachers to businessmen finish their first ride with the same, stupefied smile on their faces that we’ve come to know as the e-grin.
The next time someone asks to take a ride on your ebike to ‘see what the big deal is’, snap a picture of their face at the precise moment they get it. You will have caught the elusive yet highly predictable e-grin.