Silent Night

Ever Wondered if Electric Drive Made a Difference in Biking Culture?

Two e-bike riders on the streets of Paris–Electric Night Ride on July 8, 2018. (Photo: Bob van Mol)

by Trui Hanoulle

 

Well, think of bikers and their machines, but take away noise and exhaust fumes. Like the first years of the automobile, early adopters of electric vehicles (EV) are pioneers. They know where the world is headed, but might have only seen one or two other e-riders on the streets; they’ll stop and chat, or just wave, because it is a small club so far.

 

E-bikers meeting under a bridge at the first Electric Night Ride in Antwerp, Belgium, on October 8, 2016. (Photo: Bob van Mol)
At the very beginning: bikers are meeting up under a bridge at the first Electric Night Ride in Antwerp on October 8 in 2016. (Photo: Bob van Mol)

 

Just Like Their Petrol Driven Pals They Like to Mingle

 

Every rider is an ambassador, proof that some are brave enough to shut out the noise and naysay and simply enjoy the ride, adapting to something a little different. But not that different: e-everything is awfully convenient. Still, EV adoption is an uphill battle against a century-old industry, even if nearly everyone understands the damage that industry has done. So e-riders, all of them, remain pioneers, and as bold and isolated as they might feel, hooking up with like-minded folk bolsters their fighting spirit.

 

Two e-bikers resting next to their bikes during the Electric Night Ride at the footsteps of Sacré-Coeur de Monmartre in Paris, on July 8, 2018. (Photo: Bob van Mol)
E-bikers resting next to their bikes during the Electric Night Ride at the footsteps of Sacré-Coeur de Monmartre in Paris, on July 8, 2018. (Photo: Bob van Mol)

 

What They Do at the Electric Night Ride

 

It's a non-commercial, social ride that assembles e-riders in towns across Europe. The Ride is independent of brands and sponsors, and simply wants to bring passionate e-riders together for fun, and to raise visibility of the EV movement. It unites regular EV users, future users, and interested citizens who get to see the huge variety of e-wheels available today. A silent ride at night seemed the perfect combination, and the organizers say: "We equally aim at visibility, before, during, and after the rides to show the public which mobile options there are and how much fun they are, either through the event itself or through press coverage."

 

E-bikers at the shore of Lake Lucerne at the second Electric Night Ride on September 16 in 2017. (Photo: Bob van Mol)
E-Bikers at the shores of Lake Lucerne at the second Electric Night Ride on September 16 in 2017. (Photo: Bob van Mol)

 

The ad-hoc world record for an all-brands EV tour was 69 riders in Paris in 2018, up from 43 in Lucerne in 2017, and 55 in the inaugural ride in Antwerp in 2016. The next event will be held in Stuttgart in 2019, with more to follow. Keep your eyes peeled on social media and in the streets of your town, since you can barely hear them coming!

Trui Hanoulle is a photographer and graphic designer from Belgium and also known as Elektrogirl. She is the organizer of the Electric Night Ride. This feature is an exclusive preview from The Current.


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