Leading cycle advocate Mikael Colville-Andersen, founder of Copenhagenize.com, is facing backlash after taking a swipe at e-bikes on Twitter.
Following the reaction from various pedal-assist supporters, Colville-Andersen told BikeBiz he was "expecting it".
On Sunday night he tweeted: "Some elderly aside, #eBikes are nothing more than #whitepriviledge gadgets for a middle-class with elitist aspirations – probably the laziest demographic in the history of homo sapiens."
Boston-based cycle advocate Jonathan Fertig was one of many vocal supporters of Colville-Andersen who voiced concerns:
"I greatly respect your work, but this is a garbage take," wrote Fertig.
Many others took Colville-Andersen to task for claiming e-bikes were for middle-class people only, and that using e-bikes was "cheating."
"Why not rail against derailleurs while you’re at it? They also make bicycling easier," argued Barbara Chamberlain, director of the Active Transportation Division in Washington State’s Department of Transportation.
She added: "Every person on a bicycle – any bicycle – is a reason to rejoice. Your narrow view of bicycling and careless stereotyping are what’s elitist here, not people riding #ebikes."
Unrepentant, Colville-Andersen said: "I rarely go back and read responses to my tweets, so it’ll run its course."