- A little example of why e-bikes may be bad for everyone
Coming into law today is a piece of legislation requiring drone and model aircraft operators to pass a competency test and apply for an operators ID which must be displayed on all aircraft, i.e. a registration number. This will have to be renewed annually for a small fee.
Now people have been flying model planes and gliders for decades and like us mountain bikers are a fairly sensible bunch enjoying getting out into nature. I personally got into flying model gliders on hills in the South Downs this year and it’s a lovely thing to do (combines well with a bike ride too).
I’ve no doubt that this new legislation has come about due to the growth of drone use. Indeed 90% of the test questions related specifically to drone usage and all the questions were posed with the word drone not model aircraft in the question. Drones are readily available and can be flown by any muppet. Hours of building and learning to fly are not required. Hence drones have now been deemed a hazard by the CAA and model aircraft have been lumped into this.
When I saw this legislation I could immediately see parallels with the use of e-bikes. We’ve done all the arguments to death on here so won’t bother spell them out. I’ve personally now met enough e-bikers out in the wild to agree that they help bring people of different abilities together and that’s nice. However I thought I’d post this to the people who think e-bikes, and more significantly de-restricted e-bikes won’t affect everyone. It may well give those in power the opportunity to restrict our use more than we care to think. So before you blithely de-limit your bike, please have a little think about it for the ‘analogue’ crew’s sake.
I’ve pondered whether to post this for ages as I don’t enjoy the inevitable insults that will follow. I used to hate e-bikes with a passion and still don’t like them as a concept for recreational mtb’s but like I said earlier I’ve met enough nice enough folk out in the wild to realise that it’s not a black and white argument. I do however worry about the effect e-bikes will have on all our rights. Democracy seems to be going out of the window these days. I just don’t want my quiet, lovely sport to be regulated until it’s no fun anymore.Posted 1 month agoDelSubscriber
Interesting take, but if it was going to happen it have would have already I thinkPosted 1 month ago
To expand, drones enabled the attacks on that Saudi oil field, taking out 5% of the world’s oil production, albeit for a short while. Bikes can’t do that. We’re not the same sort of potential threatsobrietyMember
I reckon it’ll happen right after the first goon on a derestricted ebike knocks someone down and kills them, despite the law being set up in such a way as to be able prosecute said goon exactly as if they were riding a moped, for that is what a derestricted ebike is classed as.
Will it stop goons being goons? No.
Will it bugger things up for the sensible users of bicycles/ebicycles? Yes.Posted 1 month agota11pau1Subscriber
hysterical nonsense. There is no parallel, no country in the world has ever produced a workable licensing sytem for bicyclers, ebikes are an internationally recognised standard, there is law in place to deal with goons who derestrict them.
You can’t exactly chuck an e-bike at an aeroplane and shut down one of Britain’s busiest airports for a day, can you?
Riding a de-restricted e-bike that’s not registered, licensed and insured is already illegal. Just like the ‘number plates for bikes’ thing that pops its head up every few years, it’ll never happen.Posted 1 month ago
I don’t think this is purely due to activists disrupting airports. I mean what kind of an idiot would write their registration number on a drone used for this purpose? It’s likely more due to the massive increase of use of drones in public spaces. Most of the questions were about proximity to people/buildings and footage taken on cameras.Posted 1 month ago
I agree that no-one has used a bike for major terror attacks but simple little things like proximity to other land users with a vehicle that’s perceived as dangerous could become a reason for certain groups of people to have their way. I fear that e-bikes could tip the balance against us.spotMember
In Belgium fast ebikes need a license plate. An e bike is considered fast if it can reach speeds of 45km/hour.Posted 1 month ago
Rules are kinda the same as for mopeds. Government is still trying to figure out if they want them on the bike lane or on the road.
Use of these fast ebikes for commuting has exploded, i see up to 40 on my 45 km commute nowadays. Used to be a few a day last year. Mind this is on a busy bikecommuter highway.
E mtbikes are not regulated, this might change in the future but i think that as long as its obvious that an emtb is being used for sport and not transport that it would be exempt from the rules, kinda like a roadbike used for sport does not need to have reflectors and lights…MoreCashThanDashSubscriber
An interesting post OP. I doubt it will play out as you suggest, but if an ebiker does kill or seriously injure someone, I wouldn’t rule out a knee jerk piece of legislation going further than is needed, in a similar way to the post yesterday about intentional trespass.
As for the tone of some of the responses so far, I’m disappointed,even by the recent piss poor standards of this place.Posted 1 month agocouchyMember
Lol you should write for the daily mail.
I think your hate for ebikes is clouding any sensible judgement, why would you hate something that you don’t use ?
Nearly everyone I know with an ebike has a normal bike as well so they aren’t new users at all. Personally I now can’t use a normal bike…but blah blah blah I started to give a shit what others think I apologise for that, carry on as you were 👍Posted 1 month agoKryton57Subscriber
As for the tone of some of the responses so far, I’m disappointed,even by the recent piss poor standards of this place.
I had all this yesterday. Within 20 posts we have people fabricating the op when it’s still there for all to see. Personally I think RD has a point. The problem isn’t e bikes per se, it’s the users that will exaggerate thier use and the numpties that will jump to legislate against it with little thought. It’ll need a sensible person to make a sensible decision.Posted 1 month agoDelSubscriber
kinda like a roadbike used for sport does not need to have reflectors and lights…
In this country they still need to comply with construction and use regs. Few do, but there’s a risk associated with that of contributory negligence, if something goes wrong.
Not sure why either the op or the general tone of the thread is being slated? Seems quite sensible for the most part.Posted 1 month agowinstonSubscriber
God this place has really attracted some arseholes these days. Every thread is brought down by them.
As to the OP: Yes, I suspect that when you reduce barriers to entry to an area that was previously slightly more difficult to access due to fitness, skill etc then you run the risk of things rising above the parapet and attracting more attention. MTB has been on this trajectory for a while though but with the advent of ebikes things have been accelerated(no pun,,,etc). My unit is on an industrial estate and I’ve had bikes hanging off my car for years whilst parked there plus spun them round the car park hundreds of times whilst fixing them, putting new stuff on etc. Same with my colleague. None of the yobs who work in the other units have ever shown the slightest interest. Suddenly several of them have got emtbs. So we chat to them and guess what – derestricted, footpaths, interest in the proper e-motorbikes but on the downs etc etc They really don’t give a toss – the jetski crowd basically. So whilst we talk in endless threads about how emtbs get people out and commuting and all the good things that e-bikes bring, the reality is that they appeal to tossers in the same way that drones do. So good post and we will end up with increased regs – whether it works and whether analogue bikers are caught up in it is a moot point but I for one won’t be taking any notice of any regulation that was clearly brought in off the back of ebike increases but catches me.Posted 1 month agojamesoSubscriber
I just don’t want my quiet, lovely sport to be regulated until it’s no fun anymore.
Worst I can see happening is licenses and insurance for (current legal) e-bikes. There are moves (in EU, Motor Insurance Directive, but could still apply to UK sales after brexit) toward compulsory 3rd party insurance for e-bikes but from what I’ve read, it seems those involved with the discussions are confident it won’t happen.Posted 1 month ago
Part of this topic has been about reducing how easy it is to tamper with e-bikes, to de-restrict them. The European Commission thinks it needs addressing and you can expect the industry to take it seriously, since the EC bringing in further type-approval needs will complicate development or add costs and compulsory insurance will damage sales. Commercial pressure via regulators with clout tends fix things like this. The legal distinction between bikes/250W e-bikes and derestricted e-bikes/mopeds/motorbikes etc covers the rest when it comes to misuse.singlespeedstuSubscriber
Given how around 60% of my local riding is technically illegal and no one is remotely bothered I’ll carry on riding my normal bikes and my ebike over exactly the same routes I’ve been riding since 1986.
Feel free to form whatever kind of paranoid long winded rules you want though.
I’ll start worrying when people get arrested on a regular basis for riding motorbikes in very sensitive areas.
God this place has really attracted some arseholes these days.
Couldn’t agree more.Posted 1 month ago
Please feel free to stop posting. 😉grannyjoneMember
Some good points about E Bike restricting access. That is my only worry about the increasing popularity of the E Bike.
But apart from that, I can’t understand what the hate about E Bikes is all about. On some types of MTB ride (Big solo hilly rides with loads of climbing and massive hills) they are so much faster and more fun than a normal bike, can make the difference between spending most of the ride being happy or miserable.Posted 1 month ago
The key point that shows how false this conjecture is is that no non biker will recognise its an ebike.
In my experience is numpties riding paths in the hills at race speed that gives pressure to restrict access. ie is numpties thats the problem not ebikes. Ebikes are no faster downhill and its downhill thats the issue when you go flying round blind corners and scatter groups of walkers. Its numpties who are too vain to have mudguards on their bikes so they ride round puddles widening paths, its numpties who ride on soft and damaged ground churning it up. Its numpties who do not give way to walkers.
its numpties that are the issue.Posted 1 month agowinstonSubscriber
Like what martymac?
Other than the original post where the op states that he used to hate emtb’s then he met a few riders and now he just doesn’t like them as recreational vehicles, there are literally no posts on this thread stating that anyone hates ebikes
Always it comes down to this. Somebody states that they are not a massive fan of emtbs or that they personally wouln’t buy one or that they can see potential downsides of their existence and suddenly they are a ‘hater’ wtf is that all about? Its called balance, shades or grey whatever. e-bikes are clearly a huge gamechanger and with that comes loads of consequences. Some good, some bad.
As for the jealousy about who can and can’t afford one………really just have a word with yourself.Posted 1 month agoPoopscoopSubscriber
This isn’t necessarily binary.
I have no problem with ebikes but it is still possible to be concerned about any access rights that might change due to their increasing popularity. Whether the basis for change is right or wrong.
I really hope I and others worried about this are wrong but I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if laws and access do change for the worse.Posted 1 month agomartymacSubscriber
Sorry, i should have made it clear for you, my post was in response to grannyjone (one post above mine) where he said he didn’t understand what the hate about Ebikes is all about.Posted 1 month ago
As for the comment about jealousy, I don’t think I could make it any clearer that i was taking the piss ffs.
I think you’re the one that needs to have a word with yourself, it’s hardly my fault that you’ve had a sense of humour bypass.kerleyMember
People have concerns about all sorts of stuff and people are also paranoid about all sorts of stuff.
I can’t see ebikes making any difference as they are just bikes. They are no better or worse than any other bike. If government wan to restrict use of bikes then they will and it will be nothing to do with being using derestricted ebikes.Posted 1 month ago
Just carry on riding and stop worrying about stuff that is just in your headBadlyWiredDogSubscriber
The Viet Cong defeated the French and then the Americans with the help of bicycles. Makes you think doesn’t it.
If they’d had e-bikes it would have happened more quickly? Which sounds convincing until you consider the parlous state of charging infrastructure along the Ho Chi Minh trail. Of course you could solve some of those issues with larger capacity batteries, but that in turn would bring other factors into play – larger, heavier bikes, the need to buy loads of cheap batteries on amazon etc. I don’t think it’s a cut and dried argument tbh, but that’s counter-factual history for you.Posted 1 month agoTheBrickMember
In my experience is numpties riding paths in the hills at race speed that gives pressure to restrict access. ie is numpties thats the problem not ebikes
And as I and other have said it’s the fact that ebikes are bumpy enablers that’s the problem. More numpties being even more of numpty-ish, and as you say people will not recognize the difference if it’s an ebike or normal bike, but it’s more numpties being more numpty-ish.Posted 1 month agonickcSubscriber
I do however worry about the effect e-bikes will have on all our rights
I don’t think in all the time I’ve been mountain biking (close to 30 years, bloody hell) there hasn’t been some-one suggesting a “sky-falling-in” existential threat to the sport. Whether it’s land access rights (which haven’t changed in the UK in all the years people have been worried about various restrictions) to now e-bikes. It’s the same in climbing and kayaking circles. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but mountain biking is no longer an insurgent sport, we are part of the mainstream of outdoor recreation now, and there is no significant threat to it. I don’t think there’s much legislative appetite for “tackling” an issue that affects almost no-one in a draconian way that would affect the livelihood and recreation of thousandsPosted 1 month agodirkpitt74Subscriber
Interesting point.Posted 1 month ago
But how would it be policed?
Just like the drones the ‘sensible law abiding’ folk will register them – the ‘dicks’ won’t – nothing stopping them picking one up on eBay or faceache market place and flying them like a dick.
E-bikes on trails can’t be policed just like the knobs on dirt bikes that regularly bugger up the local trails.
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