Let me begin with saying that I initially thought that E-Bikes would be fantastic and that it was great that they were going into a test phase in Ontario. Now let me back up, E-Bike stands for electronically assisted bicycle and they are those scooter looking things with the foot peddles out the sides. Personally, I think they look like crap and the peddles are all but useless if you did want to go human powered; however, they do represent a more realistic direction for power assisted vehicles. For those that aren’t familiar with Canada, relying entirely on running shoes to get around is not an option, things are spaced just too far apart.
So here it is. We have this new technology to help us reduce fuel and all the other evils that come from cars and they are available to everyone. The problem is that SOME of the people buying these things can neither drive a motorcycle, nor a bicycle. I see the E-Bikes swerving about in lanes, flying through stop signs, and generally driving like a cyclist disregarding the rules of the road on a vehicle that is faster and harder to maneuver than any mountain bike. I fear for these people, I really do. Falling off a bicycle going 16 km/h is nothing like dropping a motorcycle at 35 km/h to avoid becoming a hood ornament of a distracted car driver – I speak from experience.
I’ve always been a supporter of training and at least an informal testing. Am I wrong? Should these new vehicles be available to everyone that can find $1,000?