Why can’t Amish ride bikes (can Amish ride bikes)?

As a theologian who loves cycling to work, I take an interest in the modes of transportation of different religious groups. I was especially intrigued by the Amish after learning that some of them have embraced other modes of transportation besides their horse and buggies. I decided to move to Lancaster Country and live close to the Amish to conduct more research on them and their modes of transport. Last Monday, as I was teaching my college theology students about the modes of transportation that Amish prefer, one of them asked why some Amish prefer riding scooters instead of bikes. Having lived among them, I had all the right answers. So, why can’t Amish ride bikes?

Some Amish groups avoid riding regular bicycles since they find them too worldly and argue that they move too fast over long distances, connecting them with the outside world. Since the cost of bicycles was high when they were introduced, some Amish communities chose not to embrace them.

In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into the topic of the Amish view on riding bikes. Keep reading to discover why the Amish do not use bicycles, why some ride scooters, and much more.

Why do Amish not use bicycles?

Some Amish communities use bikes, while others do not. Those who do not use bicycles argue that they move too fast over long distances and therefore connect the Amish to the rest of the world.

Since bicycles were expensive when they were first introduced, some Amish communities chose not to use them. When bikes were introduced, riding them over unpaved roads could have been uncomfortable for the Amish. Due to the resistance to change, the bikes were not integrated into daily practices.

Why Do Some Amish Ride Scooters?

can Amish ride bikes?
Why Do Some Amish Ride Scooters? Image source: Freepik

Some Amish prefer scooters since they find them technologically simpler than bikes.

As other communities started embracing bicycles, some Amish groups chose the scooter as a simple alternative to look different. Roads improved, and the scooter was soon accepted as one of the forms of transportation in Amish communities living in areas like Delaware and Lancaster. The Amish also prefer riding scooters since they are low maintenance compared to bicycles.

Why do the Amish forbid riding bicycles with pedals?

According to some Amish, riding bicycles with pedals would encourage young people to compete against one another. This could lead to pride among the winners. The Amish highly discourage pride. Additionally, some theologians speculate that riding bicycles with pedals requires less labor and therefore does not align with their community values. However, some Amish allow their members to ride bicycles with pedals.

Do Amish ride electric bikes?

Why can’t Amish ride bikes?
Do Amish ride electric bikes? Image source: Pixabay

Yes. Some Amish, including those from the Old Order Church in Ohio, ride electric bikes. The electric bikes run on solar energy instead of relying on the power grid since the Amish are against using electricity. The electric bikes have small batteries that are charged by small solar panels. Those who ride them argue that electric bikes offer a better riding experience than using horses and buggies.

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