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'With power comes responsibility' — More Kiwis are falling off e-bikes and hurting themselves

As people search for more climate-friendly and cost-effective ways to get to work, e-bikes are becoming an increasingly popular option. 

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E-bikes are becoming increasingly popular, but with more bikes come more injuries. Source: Seven Sharp

But with more bikes come more injuries on bikes, particularly among older people.

While he’s about 30 years too young to be considered a boomer, Eli Matthewson kicked the year off with a fall off his bike. 

It was his first day back in the Seven Sharp office and he was ready to kick off the year by bragging about his new e-bike.

While at Western Springs, a place of joy, geese and Six60 concerts, he hit the curb wrong and scraped face-first on the ground.

Matthewson isn't the first, nor will he be the last, to injure himself by falling off an e-bike.

ACC data shows e-bike injuries have more than tripled in the last few years, costing Kiwis about $1.2 million last year.

Pensioners account for more than 40 per cent of those injuries.

"I think there's a lot of re-engagers. People going, 'I can ride a bike, I learned as a kid,' may not have ridden for 10, 20, 30 years," ACC injury prevention leader Kirsten Malpas says.

But Malpas warns there's a difference between an e-bike and the bike you rode as a kid.

"They do handle a bit differently and the stopping distance is different. If you think of a truck takes longer to stop, e-bikes are similar — it's got more momentum behind it."

Electrify NZ founder Michael Tritt says aspiring e-bike riders should remember to ride defensively.

"You're going out there with a bike that has a fair amount of power at your disposal, with power comes responsibility," he says.