Numerous incidences of electric bikes having their control units deliberately damaged or removed in the town of Aspen in Colorado.
According to a report from Colorado’s Aspen Times, someone, or some group of people, has been deliberately targeting electric bikes and intentionally damaging the control units on the handlebar to prevent the motor from being operated.
Lori and Larry Garon live in Michigan and have been visiting Aspen as tourists for a number of years but had only this year seen electric assist bicycles as a good solution to the trouble of getting around the town. Aspen suffers from car gridlock in some spots and the difficulty and cost of car parking all over the town are a big turn-off too.
The Garons actually purchased two electric mountain bikes upon arriving in Aspen this year for their holiday at an approximate cost of $6,000.
One of the first trips they did on their new e-bikes was to the Aspen Arts Festival: “We did the arts fair, had lunch and came back to unlock our bikes, and on both of them there is a little computer that sits on the handle, and the button was popped off both of them” explains Lori.
With these buttons absent, the Garons had no apparent way to turn on the bikes’ electric assist motors. They managed to get the now-unassisted bikes back to the bike shop where the owner – Tim Emling – restarted them by a tucked away system underneath the downtube.
The Garons filed a report to the local police department. As did Mr Emling when he also discovered that three of the shop’s own e-bikes had been similarly vandalised (although this time it was ‘only’ the light switches that had been prised off the control unit as opposed to the main power buttons).
Mr Emling is now firmly of the belief that somebody, or some people, have a grudge against and vigilante-style crusade against electric bikes.