I was surfing through some photos of ExpoBici 2014 that Velonews had posted and apparently this company Vivax Gruber, who make these assist motors for bicycles, was there to share their product. I know this isn't new, as the videos from Ryder Hesjedal's bike spinning around like a top on la calle in la Vuelta surfaced quite a few weeks ago, but I can't believe that somebody actually went to the trouble to make this product, and better yet they're selling it at a bike show. "Umm, shun!" I don't know. I think this is crazy screwed-up. Really? For all the work and effort that goes into creating and designing a product, building a business, and all for what, a couple of miles an hour, a horsepower, or whatever out of a bicycle that was meant to be pedaled? Do you use this if you bonk on the group rides? Is this gonna get you home on your commutes? You got me. I would love to see the marketing and sells strategy behind this. I went to their website but after about one second the words motorcycle, moped, and scooter came to mind and I exited. If I want a motor to help me get around, I'm not gonna choose the cordless drill motor. Who are the people that actually want/need these? Is this product really in demand? When we all first heard people saying that Fabian Cancellara rode away from Tom Boonen like he had a motor on his bike, I just laughed inside. And even though I don't believe that Cancellara would ever stoop to this level, this product actually makes it a possibility.
Ok, I did go back and read a couple of clips to see if I could find something to help me undestand this a little better. While I didn't read much, it only took me a second to realize its for keeping the group together, hence, not getting dropped. Isn't getting dropped what makes a rider get better and stronger? Here is an excerpt from their advantages column.
Vivax's electric assistance is only usually needed from time to time for group cycling, ensuring the riders remain together. Electric support takes the strain off hard-working muscles at exactly the right moment. None of the group find the riding too taxing and none find it too easy. On easy routes electric support isn't needed at all, conserving battery capacity and battery life. Longer and more challenging touring routes are also possible, motiviating and giving the rider confidence. You keep the exhuberence and enjoyment of riding, even on these longer, harder routes
Well, after looking the website over and watching the video, I've come to this conclusion.
Someone has stolen my "5 Seconds of Nitrous" idea.