E-Bike are Not Bicycles

I’m tired of reading stupid stuff so here’s the deal, you want to comments, you need to answer one of the following questions:

https://cyclingunbound.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/e-bikes-are-not-bicycles-ii-questions/

 

Also, we turn up the temperature on e-bikes as I argue some of the nonsense we’ve been getting from the community:

https://cyclingunbound.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/e-bikes-are-not-bicycles-iii-rebuttal/

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I have been thinking of e-bikes every since I first heard of them. I have always had a negative feeling about them, but I wasn’t sure why. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle]

After having thought about this for a bit longer, I realize that the main reason is that e-bikes are not bicycles. They should not be called bicycles because bicycles are “human powered machines” and motorcycles are “motor powered machines.”

Why do they say e-bicycle then?

I think that there are many reasons. One of them is that they feel that they can sell more in this category. After all, what would you rather have, a bad-ass bicycle or a wimpy motorcycle?

Also, over the years, bicycling has some cultural and symbolic capital in certain circles, and e-bikes would like to co-opt that without doing the actual work that got us there.

There’s a certain amount of respect someone gets from climbing a hill due the effort and patience. E-cycling robs us of that sense of accomplishment while at the same time demanding the same amount of respect as if the e-cycle rider actually put out some effort.

Thus, in a sense, it’s a fraud not unlike doping is in racing.

When someone pedals past you on the road, you can admire that person. Imagine what happens when you realize that the person used a motor. You feel cheated.

Another reason that e-cycles suck is because the reasoning for using them is the exact same reasoning for motoring. If climbing a hill is too hard, let’s put a motor on the bike! But if you are too weak to ride a bicycle why not drive a car? After all, isn’t an e-bike just a Prius without walls?

If you really want comfort, you probably don’t like it too hot or too cold. A climate controlled car solves these problems as well.

Thus, the whole motivations of incompetance, laziness, and comfort seeking make a Prius more attractive than an e-bike which puts bicycles, in this value system, on the bottom of the food chain. Again!

In the cycling world, we are all ready shat on by motorists, and despite this, we are able to create a sense of beauty and joy due to our perseverance and strength, both inner and outer.

Now these douche bags, who are really motorists in Lycra, want to take this away from us, too?

Finally, if we permit e-bikes to ride on our trails why not have mopeds on bike lanes, too? And aren’t mopeds smaller motorcycles? Why not invite them to the party? And now that we’re spewing petrol, let’s just cover ourself up from the elements. (Thanks Bike Snob). At the end of the day, why not do what a wise man once said, “Fuck it, I’m leasing a Hyundai.” [http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2012/03/cycling-american-style-vehicular.html]

I don’t “hate” e-bikes, but I do not think that they should be called bicycles any more than people like Lance should be called a champion cyclist. If you want to ride your bike faster up hills by doping or attaching hidden motors (yes they hide them because they are ashamed of using them) then do it. Just don’t be an asshole and lie to the rest of us about it.

E-BIKES ARE NOT WELCOME ON OUR RIDES. YOU’RE NOT WELCOME IN THE CYCLING WORLD.

GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE TRAILS, BIKE LANES, AND BACK INTO YOUR SMUG, SELF-CENTERED MOTORING WORLD!

https://cyclingunbound.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/e-bikes-are-not-bicycles-ii-questions/

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41 Responses to “E-Bike are Not Bicycles”

  1. rich00 Says:

    Have you ridden a quality ebike? Do you prefer more cars on the road belching toxins into the air you breath? Do you know understand how much more efficient (lighter weight, lower cost, less impact) a small ebike is compared to a full powered motorcycle? Why do I need to ride a machine capable of 100mph if I only need 25mph? Do you understand the traffic problem? My ebike hauls cargo, goes fast and far that I could only dream about doing on pedal power alone (and I was a cat 2 roadie 8 years ago). Don’t be so close minded.

    • Fred Says:

      Yes, I rode a quality electric scooter.

      I didn’t say what I preferred, I just don’t think e-bikes are bikes. Why does this bother you so much? Is it because you want to don the mantle of being environmentally friendly and gain the good will of the community while avoiding the actual hard work of cycling?

      I do know that smaller vehicles are more efficient. However, not all vehicles are bicycles.

      I have no problem with you riding an e-scooter, I just prefer that you don’t buzz me when I’m on the shoulder as every e-bike I know has done. If you are following me up a hill, wait behind me; it should be easy because you have a motor.

      And finally, please stay off the non-motorized bicycle paths as you are riding a motorized vehicle.

  2. Troy Says:

    It’s unfortunate for you, since an electric bicycle, is actually much more efficient than a traditional bicycle. You’re actually using much more energy powering your bicycle by human means. Ebikes are bicycles of course, just like any other, except in the fact that they’re more practical, have much less limitations, and can be used as transportation much more effectively. Most ebikers don’t miss “the cycling world” I certainly don’t. And by the way, we’re here to stay, so share the trail.

    • Fred Says:

      Define “efficient”.

      An e-bike is not bicycling, it’s sitting down and letting a motor do the work just like a car.

      I have seen e-bikes in action. They have pedals but those are for show. Most people use them as weakly powered motorcycles.

      Finally, if you want things to be “easy” and “efficient”, you’ll eventually realize that a bicycle sucks as it leaves you out in the rain and you’ll get an e-smart car. Still a great environmental choice, but not a bicycle. I have seen many people decide that they needed e-bikes, and at the end of the day, they wound up back behind the wheel of a car.

      E-bikes are the worst of all worlds, the discomfort of a bicycle without the benefit of exercise. They cost vastly more than a regular bicycle and have less range and are far less convenient. Their battery is toxic.

      Why the obsession with putting the word bicycle on things that aren’t? Please answer this question somebody.

      The e-bike community is obsessed with wanting to be accepted by people who actually enjoy riding up hills.

      Please just take your e-bike and all your excuses and get into the road where you belong. Stay away from our group rides and our dedicated paths.

      I don’t care what you do with your own time, but I don’t want to get buzzed by e-bikes anymore.

    • Fred Says:

      So, Troy, you feel that nobody should ride a regular bicycle? Is this feeling common in the e-bike world?

  3. Roubaix12 Says:

    Change starts with education and that takes time. I understand it’s difficult to ponder something new when it might contradict your standards (myself included).

    I don’t know what else to call them, ideas? You’ve referred to them as e-scooters but I think we’re comparing apples to oranges. Click this link and tell me if you’d call this an e-scooter?

    [REMOVED LINK TO E-SCOOTER]

    Would I rather have my mom/dad get an ebike vs. not ever getting on a bike? I think everyone knows the answer to this. And again, 20MPH is the top speed, the same as my overweight dog – please tell me you don’t think this unsafe. Unfortunately, I’m sure some people take advantage of this by building their own but I’m confident most dealers/manufactures won’t sell the market an illegal product.

    I may be biased since I like technology, the environment and innovative thinking but I think your argument still falls flat. You just have to be open to something different. I hated snowboarders but I married one and now we hit the slopes in harmony.

    Oh, and the guy who did pass me, alerted me with his duck horn, which I most appreciated. Just like you give the cargo bike the same heads up, right?

    • Fred Says:

      Why is it so important to call them bicycles and not scooters?

      I’m banning all comments until I get an answer to this.

  4. jim Says:

    I don’t see the issue other than bruised ego . I do agree with you that electic assisted bikes (ebikes) should fucking slow down on the bike paths or just use the pedals like sensable people .However it boiles down to ease of transpartation. Some people don’t have a license but want to get around without hauling ass all the time thats where innovation happens.You ranting about electric bikes going up hill makes things too easy is equivalent to argueing about why candles are better than light bulbs. Dont like it? Move to the uk where ebikes are pretty much ban but walking is quicker in that god forsaken country anyway.Don’t take away my freedoms by being an idoit.

    • Fred Says:

      “Some people don’t have a license but want to get around without hauling ass all the time thats where innovation happens.”

      You can say the same thing about a car. Some people want to get around, but don’t have a license. Why not give them a car unlicensed? The point is that a motorized vehicle should have a level of responsibility that a human powered on does not.

      In many states this is all ready true.

      And I noticed that you weaken your point by insulting me. I have noticed a pattern where e-bike people tend to be highly insulting to me when I just ask a few simple questions and a simple request.

      Why is there such a compulsive need to get personal when we can just discuss the issues? There’s something deeper than a simple matter of terminology that’s getting people angry. I’d like to know what this is.

      “You ranting about electric bikes going up hill makes things too easy is equivalent to argueing about why candles are better than light bulbs.”

      The point is that going up a hill on a bicycle is a challenge. Do you debate that? To overcome a challenge gives one a sense of accomplishment. This is a basic fact which has nothing to do with candles.

      Does everyone have to ride a bicycle? No. I really don’t care whether someone rides a bicycle or not, but I desire for people to have all the positive benefits that cycling has including good health and a sense of accomplishment. It’s a fact that e-bikes diminish both. Are you in favor of diminishing people’s health and sense of well being? I just can’t seem to understand the point of these comments.

      I thought my post was straightforward but people are getting highly offended over my statement of a few opinions backed up with good grammar, research, and personal experience.

      Finally, I noticed how selfish your post is. “Don’t take my freedoms away.”

      I can’t take your “freedoms away” nor would I want to.

      I am just sharing my opinions and research as well as hoping that people can gain some benefits that real cycling has to offer. Seeking to benefit others has little to taking away “freedoms”.

  5. Roubaix12 Says:

    They have pedals (which can act independent from the motor), handlebars, seat, brakes, wheels/tires just like a bicycle but also have a battery and electric motor. Their not labeled specially as bicycles but ebikes or electric bicycles which I think is about accurate.

    Top 3 images that pop in my head when I hear “scooter”

    1. Vespa scooter
    2. Grandma’s mobility scooter
    3. Razor scooter, the skateboard with handlebars kids push around.

    Top 3 images that pop in my head when I hear “bicycle”

    1. My Roubaix
    2. The bicycle from the label of a Fat Tire
    3. I guess it’s now the ebikes I’m researching for my pops.

    I hope this clarifies your request and can now respond to my inquires from the post prior.

    • Fred Says:

      When I think of bicycle, I think of “human powered, two wheeled machine”. When I think of e-bike, I think of “motorized vehicle”.

      A motorcycle has all those things you listed save for peddles. So if I put peddles on a motorcycle, it’s a bicycle?

      What if I put a powerful combustion engine on a bicycle. Is that still a bicycle and should be treated as a bicycle by law?

      The point is that there’s a point where you take a bicycle body and add things and it stops being a bicycle. This should be obvious.

      Where we draw the line has legal and social implications.

      I suggest the simple test of saying that if it has a self-propelled MOTOR then it’s not a bicycle, it’s a MOTORized vehicle. If you add peddles to a motorized vehicle, it’s still motorized.

      The other question is why the word bicycle is so sacred to the e-bike community? Why not use another word?

      • Roubaix12 Says:

        I could be silly too. How about putting pedals on a tank and calling it a tank bike? Legal and social implications, please!

        I hardly hold the word sacred. If others do then I’m with you, I don’t understand the rationale. However, I will point out that it must bother someone enough (hold sacred) to write an article about it. Just sayin…

        Anyway, you just have to group it with whatever it is relevant too, hence the name “electric bike”.
        Do you take issue with trikes or cargo bikes? If you think about it, you can make the same argument…

        And what happened to my original reply? Did it make too much sense that it had to be removed? Oh well, that’s what I at least tell myself.

      • Fred Says:

        I agree that e-bikes are a silly idea.

        It’s super easy to piss me off no big challenge there. That being said, I was only mildly annoyed by e-bikes but the more I dig into the seedy community, the more dirt I find.

        Let me put this in bold: A BICYCLE IS A TWO WHEELED HUMAN POWERED, ONLY, MACHINE.

        I’m heavily deleting comments. If you don’t have new information for me don’t bother to comment. If you do comment, please answer one of my questions.

  6. Roubaix12 Says:

    Your entitled to your opinion but I’m confident it’s a lonely one. And when you resort to capitalizing it looks desperate. Sorta of like when having a discussion and thinking your right because you were the loudest. You know what I mean?

    No reason to get pissed off, conversing is good. I do see your angle and I appreciate that your a cyclist, which is good in my book. I just would hope that you would’t have such a negative outlook. Instead say “ok, let me think about that”. Everyone (in time) will agree, ebikes are harmless, they don’t threaten the cyclist community and there’s no conspiracy to steal the “bicycle” word. I’m sure you can think of other, more important things to blog about? But in the same sense, I’ve enjoyed the banter.

    And deleting comments is your right, this is your platform. But gosh, if you want dialogue – why filter? I think I’ve answered all your questions, just hope you do the same to mine.

    • Fred Says:

      I did answer your question. I only delete comments which don’t push the discussion forward. The E-bike community was having such a hard time giving me new information that I had to do the work for them and I wrote some questions which were mostly ignored.

      I don’t think I’m right because I’m loudest, I’m merely expressing an opinion. I do think a valid opinion is to ban all bicycles as well.

      I see e-scooters as a slippery slope towards not cycling at all. The rhetoric by e-bikers is more like motorists and you can make a case that motoring is better than both forms of bicycles.

      Finally, I have no clue why people attach peddles to a scooter and try to deceive the bike community that they are cyclists. My only beef is that they should ride their e-scooters on the road with motorists and call themselves motorists and call it a day. That’s all.

      I don’t go to e-bike events with my motorcycle and expect to be accepted. Why do you come to bike blogs (mine), our rides, and try to use the bike community as a forum to promote which is essentially an e-car without walls and a roof?

      • Roubaix12 Says:

        Very good, we’re back on track.

        Electric scooters (w/ pedals) are comparable to a 50cc (gas powered) scooters. I agree, there should be some regulation around those. These are huge in China and Taiwan. They can go at least 30MPH and in my opinion, borderline too fast for bike paths and bike lanes. Plus, I have to think they weight a lot, so the damage of an accident is potentially high.

        However for this discussion, I think we need to separate escooters vs ebikes. ebikes have 90% bicycle DNA. They can be used in every same way a bicycle can. Whereas, an escooter, in my opinion are designed with speed in mind. In the little research I’ve done, they have to be titled and registered, much like a regular scooter and have to have some sort of license to operate.

        I’m not sure why ebikes would want to feel the need to be accepted. Maybe they should from their own rides? I’ve been to plenty of sponsored bike rides/races and I’ve never seen an ebike participate. However, if my dad wanted to go, I’d be happy to have him tag along. If people want to snark, they need to get over themselves and relax. Or if a group of grandma’s show up, let ’em be, who cares.

        I’m sorry if your getting a negative responses from the ebike community but it’s a telling sign that they enjoy the experience and want it to continue.

      • Fred Says:

        If you reread my original post, you’d find that I speculated that they would like to get all the positive feelings the community has around cycling without actually cycling. All the people interested in e-bikes see cycling as transportation. I agree with this. However, I have grown to appreciate the sense of accomplishment, mindfulness that comes from working hard, and being in good shape. An e-bike denies all these things. E-bikers speak in terms of “efficiency” and other terms which suggests that cycling is not for them at all–they treat their e-bike as a replacement for a car.

        This is OK. I have NO problems with someone driving an e-car or an e-motorbike. I just have a problems of them masquerading as someone that they are not. Also, I do feel that since e-bikes have motors on them, they should be regulated as motorized vehicles.

        Finally, I have seen e-bikes erode people’s values and slowly get them into a motoring mindset to the point that they tossed out ebikes all together and went back to motoring. Not bad, but they could have gotten into shape.

        So I don’t think that ebikes are any more evil than cars, motorcycles, or tanks, but they aren’t bicycles.

        Since the ebike community came at me with such a vengeance, I take this as further proof that I was on to something in my original post.

        Now that their little “community” has challenged me and pissed me off, I have much less respect for the scene in general.

      • Charles Says:

        Fred. You keep insisting that all e bikes be registered and treated as motor vehicles. You suggest they use the same travel pathways as vehicles. You realize that is, in the most honest way to put it, narrow minded and silly. My ebike tops out at 24mph with pedaling. If you expect me to drive in traffic lanes where cars frequently speed and are aggressive even towards cycles in the cycle lane….you are completely insane. Any road over 25mph would simply be impossible.

      • Fred Says:

        I think that an vehicle which has a motor should be treated like a motorized vehicle. What is it insane to treat an apple like an apple?

        I object to e-scooters being crippled so they can pretend to be bicycles. Why not have them go much faster so they can ride in the road where they belong.

        You mentioned that it was too hard to ride a real bicycle to work and that it was too far. This suggests that you can’t ride a real bicycle fast enough because you value your time off your bicycle. An e-motorcycle will fulfill your dream of getting to work fast even better. You can spend the extra time that you are not in traffic doing weight bearing exercise like walking which is better for your bones anyway.

      • Charles Says:

        Ahh. And here it goes again. Even if they were no longer “crippled” as you say…I would still install a limiter and keep my e bike at its “crippled” state. The reson being that even with the throttle to full it never reaches a speed where pedaling is useless as you like to claim.

        Every moment my motor is on I can pedal and gain a varying degree of exercise. This is the issue with your claims. You, once again, presume to know every motivation and you dismiss claims to the contrary as being dishonest. And then presume to claim my inability to pedal to work is solely based on fitness level. It is not. I don’t know many people who could ride 20 miles over hilly terrain (with a knee that likes to give out) then arrive at a job that is ten hours of heavy physical labor…then pedal on home afterwards.
        I want to bike because I like biking. There need be no other reason.

      • Fred Says:

        If you want to bike. Bike. If you want to get to work on time take an e-motorcycle. You can even install peddles and pretend to ride. I really don’t care what you do. It just seems like my idea will:

        1. Save time b/c you could take the freeway and get to work much earlier.

        2. Use the time you saved in your commuter riding a REAL, BIG KID’s bicycle in a flat park.

        Why ride a super-slow crippled e-scooter when you can get to work much, much faster? “E-bikes” are pretty expensive (as I actually did research) and a comparable e-scooter is much cheaper. If you want to spend the money for an “e-bike” why not get one fast enough to ride on the freeway? You can get a used car for less then the cost of an E-bike.

        I don’t know all your motivations, but I think I pretty much exhaustively covered all the cases of where and why an “e-bike” is a waste of time and money.

        You failed to give me a decent reason other than that you want to tell people that you ride your bike to work.

        This is why you won’t compromise and make the simple word change. It’s a tiny four letter word, but you’re super-clingy to this word.

        Your comments have been invaluable in proving to me that I was 100% right in guessing the obsession with “e-bikes” by some people. They see cycling as cool but they can’t do it so they want to fool people that they do it.

        I’m an asshole for pointing out that cycling isn’t for everyone. We don’t have to turn everything into the special olympics.

        One day I’ll probably be paralyzed and rolling around in an electric wheelchair. What I won’t do is tell everyone that I’m a king and that this is my e-chariot.

        No, I’ll just admit that I’m just a sad, paralyzed guy who’s OK with his lot and doesn’t need people to lie to me to make me feel better. I’m happy as I am.

        Please give up the little word “bike” and be happy to.

        You ride an e-scooter. There’s nothing wrong with admitting it.

      • Charles Says:

        Oh..and a final point. Before you try the “it’s just as dangerous for a cyclist with an ebike in the same lane”. I suggest you look into physics.

        First of all. E bikes have been around for a while and I’m not seeing headlines of “ebike and cycle crash killing both”. The concept that its the same thing flies in the face of reality. A car striking a cyclist (motorized or non) is far more serious due simply to the size and weight of said vehicle.

        You still have speeders….you still have reckless drivers. Should we then ban all motor vehicles because the responsible ones might get hurt? Your logic fails on this premise. My e bike that goes, on average, 18 mph with light pedaling will not kill you even if I were to be a complete fool and collide with you. We might get some scrapes or bruises…but it won’t be much worse than a regular cycle to cycle crash.

        Now…imagine my e bike going its max (with heavy pedaling) of 24 mph hit by a SUV going 50.

        End point.

      • Fred Says:

        My point was that e-scooter riders don’t pay attention so much as regular cyclists b/c they aren’t really doing anything with their bodies to stay awake.

        Secondly, overtaking is dangerous and e-scooter riders tend to be as obsessed as cars with overtaking. You don’t see them waiting patiently until its safe to overtake.

        Also, there is a movement to treat real bicycle as cars, it’s called Vehicular Cycling (sic), and I have vented way more rage at them than you. So you’re new here. You probably should read some more posts because otherwise, you waste a lot of my time. Glad we share one thing in common that Vehicular Cycling is even dumber than e-scooters.

        Finally, please stop posting here and get on your e-scooter or whatever you call it and take a ride. Forget all about me and my silly blog.

        I don’t wish to hurt people, and I’m sorry that everyone can’t think exactly the same without getting upset. But I have my beliefs. I respect yours, and I respectfully disagree.

        You can put lipstick on a pig, but I’m not going to sit there and pretend she’s a super-model.

  7. Roubaix12 Says:

    My advice, don’t judge or take personal a market based on internet banter.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but you’ve mentioned a few times how bicycling has given you health benefits. If someone truly wants to get fit, then an ebike is not an obvious choice.

    When you speak of values, I’m confused because owning and then giving up an ebike is not a “value”. It’s more like buyers remorse vs trustworthy, loyal, generous values. Or do mean something else?

    Registering an ebikes (not escooter) would be a complete waste of time. People in big cities have wanted bikes registered, essentially to pay a tax towards the same fund to maintain the roads that cars do. This should be lobbied against on all fronts. Your opening pandora box because if one is registered, the other one is soon to follow.

    I’ve made this point before and wish you’d consider it. ebikes have a motor, that we agree on. But to consider it a vehicle is naive. The Federal standard is 1000 Watts (I think). And if you know how powerful this is, you’d understand that it’s basically a RC motor on steroids.

    I think we have a lot in common when it comes to cycling but for some reason I just don’t let things like ebikes bother me. Their a new tool, a new medium of alternative transportation and are building on the greatest invention ever made: the bicycle!

    Let it ride Fred!

    • Fred Says:

      Thanks for the advice. By values I meant patience and perseverance. These are important lessons that cycling teach us and e-scooter promotion denies these things to people.

      I realize that people have different values, but the point is that e-scooter riders share more values with other motorists than real cyclists. Thus, they should be considered such for this reason and many, many others.

      You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that an e-scooter should not be regulated as a motor vehicle because we have crippled to the speed of a bicycle and then promote an e-scooter as being vastly superior. Either it’s the same as a bicycle and the bicycle wins due to cost and exercise or it’s a motor vehicle.

      I don’t make the laws. I’m just pointing out deception being done in the cycling community. Perhaps people should relax about doping, too? Perhaps I should get a lobotomy and enjoy my life?

      Writing this blog and the topics that I find juicy is one positive aspect of my life, and I’ll continue to innovate by speaking of things that others are too chicken to take on.

  8. YouStillSawIt Says:

    Man, reading your post makes me want to stop cycling all together. I feel like you’d give me shit for having a belt drive instead of a chain. BTW – Cycling is not predicated on athleticism, health or physical accomplishment. Those aspects are put upon cycling by roadies and fixie snobs. The average cycling commuter from the 19th Century to now gave a shit about any of those things.

    Personally, I do hope e-scoots or whatever take the athlete out of cycling. I am tired of road lycra jocks who drive SUVs sipping coffee and pontificating about protein. I despise fixie kids that act like they are pro-bike when they are really just pro velodrome. Cycling is not implicitly a sport. Cycling is not implicitly healthy. Most of all, cycling was never intended to be implicitly elite.

    Fuckers like you have ruined cycling for me. I constantly have to defend why I am different than cats like you to my non-cycling friends. After over a decade of adult commuter riding I am sick of it. I hope e-riders overtake the roads, the paths, the shops, hell – even the polo gams and critical mass. Fuck you.

    • Fred Says:

      Cycling as defined by California law is implicitely health. You seem to be confused between healthy fitness and athletics.

      Not that there’s anything wrong with athletics, either.

      I have been on all types of bicycles including e-scooters. Your remarks seem to know much about me.

      But if you feel that opinions of one guy on a blog will stop you from cycling, I suggest that is something that your have wanted to stop for a long time, and that I am not responsible for your behavior.

      I’d like to meet and go on a group ride, if you are up for it.

  9. Nathan dance Says:

    what’s the big deal about ebikes on trails and cycle paths? I can see your point if you are talking about illegal 10 million watt ebikes though, but a if you think a 15 mph bike “moves as fast as a car”, cycling isn’t for you.

    • Fred Says:

      I thought this was clear in my article, but I’ll repeat myself:

      1. E-bikes are NOT bicycles, legally. I don’t make the law, but this is what it is.

      2. E-bikes are NOT allowed on paths.

      3. E-bikes in the real world act more like mini-scooters than bicycles.

      • Charles Says:

        Definition of “Bicycle”
        (Section 316.003(2), F.S.)

        • Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or a similar device. No person under the age of 16 may operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.

        Comment: A motorized bicycle that satisfies this definition is nevertheless subject to restrictions on sidewalks (see “Sidewalk riding” below).

        Federal law.

      • Charles Says:

        In case you need to see yet another location of this definition in clear print.

        http://www.electricvehiclemall.com/pdf/Federal_Electric_Bicycle_Law.pdf

  10. Charles Says:

    A few quick points over your misguided and misdirected rage that I can only account to a draining sense of self worth.

    Why do you care if we pass you? What does it matter? Why should you feel cheated when you realize it’s electric assisted or powered. When you make this realization then you should feel good knowing its takes an engine to surpass you. The issue there is that for some strange reason you seem to value your skill and ability in reference to the performance of others rather than taking value in your own growth and abilities.

    I believe the legal standing for classifying an e bike is that it must have fully functioning pedals and can go no faster than 20mph unassisted (unassisted meaning without pedaling).
    If its capable of traveling at higher speeds then by law it’s a moped. Once it goes over 35 mph it’s classified as a motorcycle. You don’t get to make arbitrary classifications based on your opinion.

    The reason it is still classified as a bicycle is that it still can be pedaled and really should be if you want to travel any decent distance without killing the battery. Let me know when you find a moped that has pedals.

    You leave out the numbers who may have physical limitations but love cycling. These are people who could have any number of reasons that cycling under pure human power is not feasible but do not want to give up biking. This way the bike can share the physical load while still delivering the experience they love.

    Then there are work commuters who would like a car-free option that won’t result in them arriving to work tired and sweaty. They can’t ride in the middle of the road…they can’t ride on the sidewalk. It’s not unreasonable to expect bike lanes to be shared. It is illegal for an e bike to go faster than 20mph. If this is happening and it’s a frequent issue I suggest you direct your energy at encouraging law enforcement to get involved instead of ranting at those who make choices that are not in line with your reasoning.

    There are as many idiotic “pure” cyclists as there are idiotic e-cyclists. People that don’t share the road…travel four abreast and block roads…don’t follow traffic laws as they are supposed to…running red lights because they are too self important to break their cadence.

    In the end this isn’t about safety, or cycling for you. It’s about being a purist and standing on your pedestal that you seem to think you deserve for being a “real cyclist”. Good job on working hard…but since you don’t seem to care about the e bikers opinion…don’t expect us to care about yours.

    This opens the world of cycling up to more people. Will some misuse it? Of course. But now those who are incapable of maintaining the physical output to ride their bike to work can still get the experience while adjusting the motors output in relation to their building physical ability as they share the load of the ride with the bike. Very few e bikes actually are capable of powering you for long distances without you putting in some effort.

    And by the way, many of us e bikers also have non motorized bikes. Each setup has its purposes and uses. I don’t look down at those who never use non-assisted bikes. They have their reasons…and frankly…it’s none of my, or your, business. Those that misuse it and endanger others need to be dealt with…motorized or not. Leave the responsible ones alone and just be happy that there are even bike lanes to share.

    • Fred Says:

      “Why should you feel cheated when you realize it’s electric assisted or powered…. The issaue there is that for some strange reason you seem to value your skill and ability in reference to the performance of others rather than taking value in your own growth and abilities.”

      Maybe this is so. Perhaps comparing my skill and abilities to others is strange. I don’t know. I do know I’m not the first person to do this.

      I do know that I’m pretty much the slowest cyclist on the road. (I can’t wait till arm chair Freud gets a hold of this juicy morsel.) I aim to keep riding really slow and really enjoying my ride.

      I don’t tend to worry to much what the other cyclists or e-scooterists are doing. I do wonder what the big deal about the word bicycle is in the e-scooter community it. You claim to be really happy with your setup. But a simple difference in opinion on the definition of a single word makes you write about half a dozen rebuttals to a single post of mine which was written as much of as a laugh as anything else.

      For some reason, e-scooter riders seem that they need to prove themselves to us real cyclists. Why? Why not ignore my angry and misguided posts then? Why spend so much time refuting me? Nobody really reads this blog, and I write it more as a safe place to explore my own philosophical ideas surrounding cycling as well as to explore my feelings.

      Anger has a place in my life. I like to explore it in a safe place among a few members of my family and friends. I find it easier to deal with my anger when I share _why_ I feel the way I do.

      Overall, I have felt that the amount of anger the e-scooter community has towards cyclists to be greater than anything I have seen expressed towards e-scooter.

      Overall, I get the feeling that e-scooter riders are like that goofy younger cousin who’s singing really sucks, but the rest of the family has to listen to a few songs and can’t say anything negative lest we be portrayed as bad people.

      I just mentioned that the music sucks, and I don’t want to listen to it. It’s my personal opinion. Shouldn’t I be allowed to express it? Does that mean that something is wrong with me just because I think slightly differently than you on a topic.

      “Motorized bicycles may not be operated on dedicated bicycle paths unless allowed by local government ordinance”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws#California

      I don’t fully agree with this law and I do post on how I prefer that we adopt HI’s law nationally.

      • Charles Says:

        “I don’t tend to worry to much what the other cyclists or e-scooterists are doing. I do wonder what the big deal about the word bicycle is in the e-scooter community it. You claim to be really happy with your setup. But a simple difference in opinion on the definition of a single word makes you write about half a dozen rebuttals to a single post of mine which was written as much of as a laugh as anything else.”

        Well. I have a day off and it’s simply something I decided to respond to. I have plenty of free time at the moment to do so. It’s not the word bicycle even. It’s your vehement claim and blanket vilification of e bike riders. The fact that my e bike is still primarily a bicycle (with its working pedals that still propel the bike at a reasonable speed without the motor being turned on) is simply a matter of fact. perhaps i should say “hybrid bicycle”. You ask me why I bother responding. Why do you use a forum with allows responses if you don’t wish to have them?

        “For some reason, e-scooter riders seem that they need to prove themselves to us real cyclists. Why? Why not ignore my angry and misguided posts then? Why spend so much time refuting me? Nobody really reads this blog, and I write it more as a safe place to explore my own philosophical ideas surrounding cycling as well as to explore my feelings.”

        Because to dismiss e bicycle riders as not real cyclists is a glaring display of ignorance and prejudice. You have no idea how much assist they are using or for what reason. Many of those riders might have non assisted bikes and they could outperform the common Lycra. As my friend does.
        And you post your ideas and opinions on a public blog with access to responses. We respond for our own reasons…that seems a sufficient answer.

        “Anger has a place in my life. I like to explore it in a safe place among a few members of my family and friends. I find it easier to deal with my anger when I share _why_ I feel the way I do.”

        Again…you do it in a public forum. When you launch attacks at a group without displaying exceptions to your opinion…expect criticism and corrections from those who see things differently.

        “Overall, I have felt that the amount of anger the e-scooter community has towards cyclists to be greater than anything I have seen expressed towards e-scooter.”

        This matters how? We are discussing your anger and blanket insults.

        “Overall, I get the feeling that e-scooter riders are like that goofy younger cousin who’s singing really sucks, but the rest of the family has to listen to a few songs and can’t say anything negative lest we be portrayed as bad people.

        I just mentioned that the music sucks, and I don’t want to listen to it. It’s my personal opinion. Shouldn’t I be allowed to express it? Does that mean that something is wrong with me just because I think slightly differently than you on a topic.”

        Express it…but don’t pretend it’s irrational to be challenged when your opinions are akin to the young Caucasian living in a minority gang controlled neighborhood believing that said gang represents all members of said minority.

        “Motorized bicycles may not be operated on dedicated bicycle paths unless allowed by local government ordinance”

        Yup…California law…not federal.

      • Fred Says:

        Bicycles all ready have an “assist”. It’s called gears. A well geared bicycle can take someone up almost any grade hill. SLOWLY.

        If you can’t ride a normal bicycle up a hill then you are more highly assisted than a normal bicycle. Which in my opinion does not make it a normal bicycle.

        Get it? Motored machine == not normal bicycle, but rather a motorized scooter.

        You’re still obsessed with that word bicycle. Why care so much?

        It’s because you want to go to the places where normal cyclists have paved the way, take the good will karma that cycling has without doing any real work. It’s lazy and selfish.

        I’m still awaiting your promised corrections. I’d prefer it in the form of some research or something.

        I have provided a great deal of value in terms of combining together research, innovative thought, comedy, and spirituality. All you do is argue without any real facts or knowledge. You come to my blog and call me names. How is what you did any better than my original post except that my post was actually funny and it was researched.

        I live in California so in this state you are NOT allowed to ride your goofy electric scooters on bike paths. Yet e-scooters are still there. You didn’t apologize for this nor have any reason other explanation other than the silly reasoning other than because I’m selfish for wanting peace and quiet, you are allowed to ride on bike paths.

        What goofy and bizarre logic.

        I’m pretty sure that my personal selfishness is totally unrelated to where e-scooters can legally operate.

        Again, I didn’t get the answer that if an e-motorcycle is operated slowly, why can’t they share my path?

        Also, a combustion engine powered scooter with peddles, can they join us? If not why not? Pretty soon we have regular road again.

        Haha, enjoy your life.

      • Charles Says:

        Don’t worry, this is my final response.

        You claim to be really happy with your setup. But a simple difference in opinion on the definition of a single word makes you write about half a dozen rebuttals to a single post of mine which was written as much of as a laugh as anything else.”

        The issue here is that you make generalizations and try to minimize genuine attempts to introduce you to the fact that this matter is not as black and white as you try to claim.

        E bike riders are not solely lazy individuals looking for an excuse to put forth no effort to pass themselves off as a cyclist. There are many in my group that are pure human powered cyclists and e bikers. Several of those e bikers are vets like myself. They sustained injuries in battle that required reconstructive surgery or other injuries that make powering solely on their own power limiting to the experience and joy they get from cycling. Are you saying these people have no right to use available innovation to continue to do what they love because you are too narrow minded to accept your limited experience means nothing when evaluating the numbers in this community all over the world?

        The flaw in your opinions are that they do not stand up to even a moderate amount of challenge and introduction to the myriad of factors that MUST be considered when offering the behavior of a “community”. This community is not solely made up, and is not even the majority, of the types of people you set up as straw men for your claims…at least not where I live. The issue with your opinion is that you promote it in a public blog and then try to dismiss or marginalize those that destroy the straw-man setup you have contrived to encompass the e biker community. You then go on to claim that we should have our rights to be responsible and reasonable, to treat our e bikes with respect and ride with the other pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles respect in mind, removed because it isnt what you want. You then take the mantle as being a spokesperson for all cyclists by screaming we e-cyclists have no place and are not welcome in the cycling community. You are dead wrong. Due to my responsible and respectful use of my e bike I have been welcomed with open arms. I use both traditional and my e bike on group rides depending on the style of the ride happening.

        To sum it up.

        You have a right to your opinion. When you promote your opinion publicly you then open it up to others rights to challenge it and point out where your opinion is based on ignorance, prejudice, soft or incorrect facts (IE the legal, federal, definition of bicycle which includes low power e bikes and supersedes all state laws). The right to hold an opinion is not the right to hold it unchallenged. If you do not wish it to be challenged by those of us who shatter your stereotype…then keep it in your head and out of public view.

      • Fred Says:

        I have highly enjoyed writing these posts as well as answering your really fun comments.

        You could almost say that they provide a form of catharsis over my rage which you really enjoy talking about. You still seem to be in denial about the really rotten attitude that many e-scooter riders show when you question their usage of the word “bicycle” even a little bit. This anger is totally disproportionate to what was done and is thus irrational.

        I am desperately looking for comments and criticism but this requires DATA and RESEARCH which add VALUE to me. You have only just argued “no” when I said “yes.” Can you see how little value this adds to my life?

        I have spent a lot of time doing research and thinking about e-scooters. I have even tried, successfully, to get in the mind of the typical e-scooter rider. You have spent a lot of time trying to pick on me due to not having perfect emotions, but you have spent zero time empathizing with my situation.

        I had a simple request of “5 minutes of peace and quiet” and instead of trying to get your community to respect that, you told me that this simple request is SELFISH. Wow. Bone chilling, but again it fits the profile.

        Also, you still seem confused over the usage of a word and a real world object.

        I don’t care if you attach peddles to a turnip. Just call it an e-turnip and not an e-bike. Get it?

        It’s really super simple.

        Motorized vehicles should be treated, by law, as motorized vehicles.

        Non-motorized vehicles should be treated as non-motorized vehicles.

        The only reason this is so complex of an idea of your is that you don’t want to realize the truth.

        A MOTORIZED VEHICLE IS NOT A BICYCLE. End of story.

        “Several of those e bikers are vets like myself. They sustained injuries in battle that required reconstructive surgery or other injuries that make powering solely on their own power limiting to the experience and joy they get from cycling.”

        What does this have to do with a motorized vehicle not being a bicycle? Am I the first person who wants to have a discussion based on facts and reason? Do you attempts to emotionally manipulate people always work?

        Your background means nothing to me. It’s all words on a computer screen. I do hope that your future comments attempt to add more value.

        “You have a right to your opinion.”

        Wow! Thanks. Finally something positive.

        “When you promote your opinion publicly you then open it up to others rights to challenge it and point out where your opinion is based on ignorance, prejudice, soft or incorrect facts (IE the legal, federal, definition of bicycle which includes low power e bikes and supersedes all state laws).”

        No I don’t. I only allow comments because I’m lonely and comments amuse me. Usually comments are a total waste of time here because people don’t add VALUE.

        You have NOT pointed out that I’m ignorant. You have no idea how intelligent or stupid I am. I could be a dumb computer for all you know.

        I don’t know what you mean by prejudice. I know I’m not prefect, but I don’t know what this means in this context.

        I don’t know what a soft fact is.

        Federal law is what it is. I have said in other posts (did you read them? You should before pointing the finger of “ignorance”) that we should have federal law like Hawaii’s. I know that it’s not, but this is my opinion.

        Your responses to me have shown a great deal of anger and they have provided no useful information. While I think that e-scooter riders are a diverse lot just like the rest of the world, your comments have fit the stereotype that my limited interaction with e-scooter riders perfectly.

        I’m waiting to meet that awesome person who’s an e-scooter rider, but most of them are super obsessed with acting like they are bicycle riders and they’re pretty annoying in my limited experience. I’d meet more of them, but there aren’t too many of them on the streets which is due to the fact that e-scooters are a maintenance nightmare and again cost more than a car and thus due to the logic that gets people on them in the first place, most people eventually say “Fuck it, I’m getting a Prius.” 🙂

      • Charles Says:

        Ok. A few brief responses. Forgot to turn off email notifications, will not this time.

        “I am desperately looking for comments and criticism but this requires DATA and RESEARCH which add VALUE to me. You have only just argued “no” when I said “yes.” Can you see how little value this adds to my life?”

        Very few of your statements involve a posting of statistical data. Many of your statements are merely a reflection of what you value in comparison to what I value. You do not include personal goals within your claims. Like the fact that you continually ignore my reasons for e biking to work. A short list. I can assure I arrive at work in a slightly over an hour trip, since I work at 6am and have a family I would rather not leave a 2-3am to ensure I have the time as that would mean an earlier bed time and result in less time with my family. Also the chance of my knee acting up is moot when I can use full motor to ensure it does not fail when it begins to act up. I like cycling and wish to arrive at work on time each morining. If I started work at noon this would not be an issue…

        Devaluing my anecdotal evidence by supporting your claims with your own is illogical. I compare the e cyclists I know to the ones you claim you know. Tell me how this is different.

        “I don’t care if you attach peddles to a turnip. Just call it an e-turnip and not an e-bike. Get it?

        It’s really super simple.

        Motorized vehicles should be treated, by law, as motorized vehicles.

        Non-motorized vehicles should be treated as non-motorized vehicles.

        The only reason this is so complex of an idea of your is that you don’t want to realize the truth.

        A MOTORIZED VEHICLE IS NOT A BICYCLE. End of story.”

        Do I really need to copy and paste where you defended your stance ultimately by claiming its the legal definition? Do I need to again post the federal definition that supersedes all state laws and definitions that a <750 watt 20 mph unassisted e bike is defined as a bicycle? It is why the word electric is added to qualify it as not exactly like every other bike. Perhaps it is you that is overly attatched to a word as you try to claim your definition is supported by being a law when that claim is false? (Which by the way means that any e bike fitting this definition is not actually breaking the law when using California paths as the state law is superseded by federal in such cases, thereby removing your claims of illegal activity and "selfishness".)

        "(In reference to speaking of vets with disabilities)
        What does this have to do with a motorized vehicle not being a bicycle? Am I the first person who wants to have a discussion based on facts and reason? Do you attempts to emotionally manipulate people always work?

        Your background means nothing to me. It’s all words on a computer screen. I do hope that your future comments attempt to add more value."

        It's sad that you cannot see an introduction of a variable for justification of using an e bike as a regular bike.

        The reason this is a valid response is we are the types of people who use e bikes to allow us to continue to cycle long distance as we used to. If you had your way we would be forced to either stop biking longer than a few miles, or buy machines that go highway speeds and therefore not be able to travel in bike paths at lower speeds and enjoy the cycling experience. This has nothing to do with emotion. It's a variable that you clearly have not considered and have no intention of considering…so your empathy is as non existant as you claim my own to be. Such innovations, when used properly, allow us to tailor the bikes output to reduce or eliminate undue pain caused by injuries. Forcing us to travel at road speeds would remove and worthwhile pedaling (and here is an instance of ignorance. You claim pedaling is completely useless on e bikes. The input of the rider can be increased or decreased in the application of assist.).

        "You have NOT pointed out that I’m ignorant. You have no idea how intelligent or stupid I am. I could be a dumb computer for all you know."

        There is a light correlation between ignorance and intellect. I don't recall ever questioning your intellect. Ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge about a subject. I have offered corrections where your examples have displayed a lack of knowledge of variables or facts (IE the level of pedaling possible under certain models, the federal laws and definitions, e biker mentalities and motivations.)

        "Federal law is what it is. I have said in other posts (did you read them? You should before pointing the finger of “ignorance”) that we should have federal law like Hawaii’s. I know that it’s not, but this is my opinion."

        You tried to use legal definition to support your claim that a bicycle definition cannot support an e bike. I was merely correcting your error as the federal law does have guidelines which allows certain e bikes to be considered bicycles.

        "Your responses to me have shown a great deal of anger and they have provided no useful information. While I think that e-scooter riders are a diverse lot just like the rest of the world, your comments have fit the stereotype that my limited interaction with e-scooter riders perfectly."

        Not sure where your claim of anger is coming from. Any seemingly "harsh" comments are merely reflective of your behavior.

        "I’m waiting to meet that awesome person who’s an e-scooter rider, but most of them are super obsessed with acting like they are bicycle riders and they’re pretty annoying in my limited experience. I’d meet more of them, but there aren’t too many of them on the streets which is due to the fact that e-scooters are a maintenance nightmare and again cost more than a car and thus due to the logic that gets people on them in the first place, most people eventually say “Fuck it, I’m getting a Prius.” "

        What you don't get is that many do ride non motorized cycles and use e bikes for whatever reason they choose. Those that masquerade…oh well…who cares? Unless they are endangering others feel free to pop their bubble and leave it at that.

        My e bike cost 2.5k and I've spent less than a hundred on maintenance…please.

        Anyway…have fun ranting…I just hope you understand that when you dismiss the comments you claim to desire…you get what you get.

      • Fred Says:

        I apologize if I hurt your feelings.

        My feelings are similarly hurt for different reasons. The idea of e-scooters fills me with dread and the concept really makes me angry that people will over run the nascent bike infrastructure with electric (and combustion powered) gadgets which will make my biking commute even more hellish than the nightmare of vehicularly riding w/ 50 MPH traffic that it currently is.

        My brief interactions with e-scooters have not been pleasant. _I_ was pleasant. I’d fake a smile and wave hello and that was it. You don’t think I’m like this in real life, do you?

        I don’t want to take anything away from anyone. However, we all have limitations and when we think only of ourselves and how to overcome limitations, we can sometimes unleash more horror than we imagine. To say, “you’re selfish, too, so there” does not reassure me that the e-scooter community is as awesome as they keep telling me.

        The rest of this comment is repeating federal laws and blaming me for the commenter’s behavior. Can I say that the shitty attitude of e-scooter riders made me write my blog?

        No, I take personal responsibility for everything I say and did.

        I meant the post to be slightly funny, and I don’t see why I have to pretend to think that e-scooters should be legal at all.

        I find them to be totally annoying for many reasons.

        Now I have another one.

        E-scooter riders love to play the victim game and blame their bad behavior on everyone else but themselves.

  11. wim Says:

    E-bikers = Losers !

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