A little example of why e-bikes may be bad for everyone

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  • A little example of why e-bikes may be bad for everyone
  • Premier Icon sirromj
    Subscriber

    Best thing about this thread is the self-referential title.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
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    I think the problem is that the OP does have a point. It’s maybe tenuous to compare RC aircraft to E-Bikes but the logical leap isn’t that great.

    New technologies have made a subset of something that wasn’t as popular, more popular and with it brought some additional risks. The response has affected a group who were, hitherto, not considered to be a “problem” and managed to conduct their activities without the need for additional regulation or intervention by the authorities.

    Most of the public can’t/won’t notice or will barely be able to differentiate between analogue/E-bike/de-restricted E-Bikes and so heavy handed, blanket regulations and restrictions that affect all “two wheeled things with pedals” (especially given our current social/political climate) are a possibility.

    Despite all the nasty (and sadly predictable) hyperbolic responses calling the OP “paranoid” and “jealous” he made a balanced post and certainly wasn’t calling for an end to E-Bikes.
    But if you can’t see them as a potential catalyst for those that govern us to invent some new rules and revenue streams then clearly we live in different dimensions…

    stevextc
    Member

    I’d imagine that they want to license drone use because of all the disruption drones have caused at British airports.

    Who are “they” ?

    They is someone, somewhere see’s an opportunity to make money.
    If the opportunity is big enough to pay MP’s and write a narrative for them it will be pushed.

    Premier Icon sirromj
    Subscriber

    Luckily there’s still plenty of people (like everyone I work with for example) who think mountain biking is boring, cycling is for losers etc. Who think £300 is a bit too much to pay for a bike.

    tjagain
    Member

    cookea – I simply do not see any pint thew OP is making that has any =validity. Maybe because I live in Scotland but even in england over the last decade there have been movements to improve access not reduce it

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I’ll accept that living in the more densely populated (perhaps in both senses) SE, I probably see a different picture to you TJ.

    Sad to say this is home turf for both DM readers and the elected arses that jump to attention when DM readers are displeased…

    Like it or not two wheeled things with pedals are on DM readers shit list, So the motorised version are an ideal opportunity to apply some rushed through blanket rules to keep the old duffers in Kent, Surrey and Buck’s on side without really considering the consequences…
    And if there is one thing we don’t do in the UK these days, it’s ‘consider the consequences’…

    We live in an unprecedented age, our infallible government deciding to regulate all bicycles because a few deliveroo-ists turned their BSO’s into twist ‘n’ go death chariots, isn’t the craziest notion I’ve heard lately…

    tjagain
    Member

    cookea – where I live – Edinburgh – we have some hills right on the edge of the city. Huge usage by both mtbers and walkers. Not a hint of anti ebike noise. almost no bike / walker conflict

    As non bikers cannot differentiate then I do not see how ebikes contribute to anti bike feeling.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Then let’s agree to disagree before we go any further into the Spiral of disagreeable nonsense that is an STW E-bike related thread…

    Think you’ll be OK. Air authorities would normally only begin showing an interest at over 400ft. However, I could possibly foresee a multi-hobby STWer arguing with himself over the plausible conflict between his high-flying MTB and his low-flying glider 😀

    Premier Icon jameso
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    our infallible government deciding to regulate all bicycles because a few deliveroo-ists turned their BSO’s into twist ‘n’ go death chariots, isn’t the craziest notion I’ve heard lately…

    I really don’t see this getting past DM front page frothing and it’d have to be a really quiet week. Since licensing or registration of regular bikes is unworkable, the worst likely to happen is compulsory 3rd party insurance for e-bikers (and there’d be a sound argument against that applying to the current 250W / 25kph type since they’re already ‘a bike’ tfh no compulsory insurance needs). The laws on moped/motorbikes already cover any action the police might want to take on derestricted e-bikes.
    It’s not impossible to see how compulsory insurance for all road users could come in to cover normal bikes, but like helmet laws, there’s a lot of good arguments against it based on lowering use or barriers to use. Kids riding to school, insurance? Not very practical.

    stevextc
    Member

    cookea – I simply do not see any pint thew OP is making that has any =validity. Maybe because I live in Scotland but even in england over the last decade there have been movements to improve access not reduce it

    Remember when Cd player’s were going to crash airplanes? People using tablets in hospital were going to shut down all the life support machines? Using a mobile phone in a service station next to a device specifically designed to ignite petrol vapour was going to blow up the area ??

    None needed a proper reason to ban, more they didn’t have a reason not to ban.
    Once they worked out how to make money from them the bans magically disappeared.

    kerley
    Member

    New technologies have made a subset of something that wasn’t as popular, more popular and with it brought some additional risks. The response has affected a group who were, hitherto, not considered to be a “problem” and managed to conduct their activities without the need for additional regulation or intervention by the authorities.

    According to this graph showing cycling from 1993 to 2018 graph

    It has actually dropped down since peak in 2014. So what are you basing your “more popular” on and how does that relate to ebikes ? (not many people had them in 2014)

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    blanket regulations and restrictions that affect all “two wheeled things with pedals” […] are a possibility.

    No they aren’t. It wouldn’t get pass the lightest scrutiny. Besides, there isn’t the capacity to enforce it, and there simply isn’t the will to impose it, as we’ve seen in both Wales and Scotland the direction of travel in this country (no pun intended) is broader access rights not narrower

    stevextc
    Member

    there simply isn’t the will to impose it, as we’ve seen in both Wales and Scotland the direction of travel in this country (no pun intended) is broader access rights not narrower

    Certainly broader for Scotland and Wales… though broader rights often comes with the price of increased legislation.

    It wouldn’t get pass the lightest scrutiny.

    2-3 years ago some legislation made it through the commons that amongst many things gave a PSCO the right to give a child an on the spot fine of something quite astounding (can’t remember the exact amount but it was something no child could possibly expect to pay on the spot) for cycling on the pavement.
    There was a whole load of bizarre stuff but not enough MP’s bothered to turn up or read the Bill… and it went to the Lords. I’d never quite seen the point of the non elected body and instinctively against it but it drew my attention to the sort of stuff that can just get passed in Parliament.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    2-3 years ago some legislation made it through the commons that amongst many things gave a PSCO the right…

    You assume, incorrectly, that this was an oversight.

    It’s actually been reassuring to read the sensible comments about the unlikelihood of increased legislation. Some good balanced discussion with a lower proportion of bile than anticipated so cheers guys.

    Im suffering from a cold this weekend so instead of doing the bike race I intended I went for a fly down at Bopeep hill on the South Downs. Kept me interested for 4 hours and it was a beautiful morning.
    Malvern rider you made me laugh with your post. Had to duck on one of my low height fly passes. Probably could have jumped the plane on a bike.

    The reason this CAA legislation hit a cord was that when I first looked into model flying (I wanted something creative to build in the evenings rather than sit around watching TV),I could see that powered flight was pretty restricted to permitted areas whereas unpowered gliding was allowed anywhere subject to some local bylaws. Then out of the blue about 4 weeks ago, BAM! BBC news story; ‘You have one month to register yourself and your planes or you’re breaking the law’! Furthermore if they publicise a few cases then everyone will know the proximity rules and then half of the flying hills will have walkers stating their rights to clear airspace around them. Probably won’t happen to this degree but thanks to the invention and uptake of the drone, this new cool hobby I’ve found has the potential for angry walker confrontation, something that really spoils a ride for me sometimes.

    Anyway I appreciate it is a stretch to transpose this particular scenario onto ebikes. It was the similarity between “analogue” flying and electric flight that made me think of it. That and the ‘making the sport instantly accessible for all’ rather than putting up a few barriers to slow down the learning process, allowing time to hear a few opinions and requiring commitment to enable progression. Three things that I personally feel helps to select for the more thoughtful people in society. (Now there’s a massive assumption if you want it!)

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    the worst likely to happen is compulsory 3rd party insurance for e-bikers

    TBF thats a great idea for everyone.
    I’ve always had insurance via one organisation or another. Never used it and been riding since the mid 80’s but it costs so little it’s not a problem.
    Some people really do think the sky is falling in.
    All this talk of ruining my sport.
    It’s riding a bike in the woods FFS and as pointed out some where in this thread no one cares about a few sad cyclists. The general public aren’t going to be flocking to your local trails because they can go a bit faster and further after splashing several grand an an electric assisted kids toy.
    Come on they aren’t even slightly interested in going outside never mind riding a bike through some woods.

    Interesting point.
    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.

    I was going to say exactly the same thing.

    In another parallel we have the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 which means people can’t buy certain weapon parts via mail order or “black” airsoft kit without a licence. Unless they just buy it from outside the UK. Then there’s the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 – you can’t buy an air weapon without a licence. Unless you buy it in England or Wales. Or mail order from abroad.

    These laws only serve to punish the law abiding and hamper the furtherance of the respective pastimes, if folk want to circumvent them and be arses they will, look at the MX and quad bike gangs. Legislation already existed to prosecute people for misuse in all the above scenarios, why is more legislation going to make a difference?

    mattherby
    Member

    I read this thread earlier and thought the OP was being more than a bit melodramatic. I mean c’mon, they’re ebikes, they are not going to cause chaos like a drone.
    But then I saw this video and can’t help but think that things like this ‘ebike’ will eventually ruin it.
    Apparently this is classed as an ebike and that you can choose pedals or throttle to power it but it can’t be legally an ebike becasue of the sheer power it produces.
    Bogles the mind that people think this is OK.

    nealglover
    Member

    Apparently this is classed as an ebike

    Throttle to power it, and more power than is legal makes it an electric motorbike.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
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    Apparently this is classed as an ebike

    Not by UK law.

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
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    Apparently this is classed as an ebike

    I think the salient point is that members of the general public won’t know the difference

    couchy
    Member

    Laws…does it matter what laws are made up as who is going to enforce them ?. I regularly ride the green lanes in the peaks on a motorbike and an emtb, I keep completely legal on the motorbike but even if I didn’t there is no one there to tell me not too. If I get lost on the emtb which I have done and end up on a footpath what is gonna happen ?, the bobble hats have had loads of green lanes closed in the peaks which has impacted my hobby of green laning, I still stop for them when I’m on a legal lane and I’m polite, half of them aren’t, if they did the same with access for cycles I’d just ignore it, maybe not the best attitude but I like my 2 wheels too much to give it up.

    nealglover
    Member

    I think the salient point is that members of the general public won’t know the difference

    I think they probably will
    This is what the guy in the video above was riding.

    grannyjone
    Member

    I’d like to see that E Bike in the vid do a long straight section to see what sort of power and speed it’s really capable of

    Premier Icon tomaso
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    If they have more the 250w motor and provide assistance over 15.5mph then they are not bikes and require motorcycle type approval. No new laws are needed, just enforceme t of current law.

    Spin
    Member

    hysterical nonsense.

    You might not agree with the op but there’s nothing hysterical about the post.

    Premier Icon rhinofive
    Subscriber

    On a (slightly) related note, CTT the pointy-hatted time trial body voted at the weekend to make rear lights mandatory for all riders in all events……so that includes daytime events, circuit events & closed road events.

    I will bet it won’t be long before some lawyer uses the fact a non-racing cyclist didn’t have a rear light on to mitigate blame after their client has hit them with a vehicle.

    A vote to make helmets compulsory was only just unsuccessful.

    The majority of non-cyclists see no difference between a yoof on a BSO, an old boy on a Hetchins, a tester on the E2 or one of us on our best Gnarpoon; we’re all just ‘cyclists’ so why shouldn’t we all be subject to the same rules….in the same way we all jump red lights because they saw one do it once.

    I have no strong feelings on e-bikes, but don’t think the OP’s thought process is too far-fetched

    I’m sure somewhere on the internet is a discussion from glider modellers about how ‘these new drone thingys will impact us all’ with a bunch of arguing from polarised opinions. I mean it’s ridiculous isn’t it? How would these new craft be lumped in with hobby of spending hundreds of hours building models then trekking to remote hilltops to fly them? A pastime that has been going on for over half a century?
    When I first saw the legislation I thought sod that, I’m not registering, however very quickly I realised I couldn’t get third party insurance without it and that was that. Compliance.
    If you can write a ref number on a bit of balsa and carry an ID then it’s not inconceivable that you would be forced to affix a number plate to your bike.

    Musing on it all though I think growing environmental awareness will help here. I doubt politicians will be keen to be seen as anti-cycling. Also the cycling lobby is undoubtedly more forceful than the British Modellers Association.

    Premier Icon Paceman
    Subscriber

    A couple of points:

    1) ^^ That’s not bicycle of any type, the rider doesn’t pedal at all but is able to accelerate using a throttle; it’s a motorbike ^^

    2) Licencing of pedal bikes or riders and enforcing those licences etc will never happen… where do you draw the line? Most riders with families have 2 or 3 kids bikes in the shed, as well as their own N+1 quiver of bikes, and what about the millions of casual riders who just have a pub bike, old commuter bike they occasionally use, or kids on BMX’s on their paperround and riding to school etc etc.

    I agree with you about de-restricted e-bikes though. However, laws are in place for this right across Europe and the UK, they just need to be enforced.

    Trimix
    Member

    I tend to worry like the OP. A lot of posters seem to see how daft any legislation would be and how E-Bikes are not like human powered bikes etc, and quite logically assume daft rules wont be implemented.

    But logic and rational thinking is often in short supply when it comes to outraged voters or bobble hatted nimbys, never mind those who make up the laws.

    Ive seen it with off road motorcycling, I used to do a lot of Green Lane riding years ago. Now its pretty impossible. I rode respectfully as I also ride a mountain bike and rode horses. I had a number plate and insurance. But due to some ****ts, who probably continue to ride about like ****ts, the laws have been changed so there are almost no places left to ride.

    Hopefully I will be wrong, but I wont be surprised when legistlation starts to creep in, or places start to restrict riding. Its easy for a non cyclist just to suggest we should all be confined to Trail Centers. Look at places like Swinley, where confilct has resulted in the Official Trail being the only trail we are supposed to use. Sure, most of us ignore that, but whats the next step, having to carry a ticket to show you paid, making that ticket look like a tag to attach to your bike, etc.

    This is how things slowly slide towards the sort of legislation you really dont want.

    Premier Icon downshep
    Subscriber

    Theoretically, current legislation is perfectly adequate for the control of derestricted ebikes. Anything over 250W or 25kph is a motorcycle requiring registration, insurance and a driving licence (and excise and construction & use requirements). Riding a derestricted ebike on a road should lead to a Section 165A seizure for riding without insurance, with no hope of getting it back as it can’t be insured as a road legal motorcycle as it doesn’t comply with other regs. I’ve used this legislation to seize mini motos and owners do get a ‘tad’ upset that their expensive toy isn’t coming home.

    Defining a ‘road’ in law may seem straightforward but there are stacks of contradictory court findings, generally involving gates and public access, that muddy the waters.

    If ridden off road, it can still be seized under antisocial behaviour legislation if a warning has previously been given either to that rider on any motorbike or any rider on that motorbike within the previous 12 months. There is also an offence of riding elsewhere than on a road, often used in tandem.

    The difficulty comes in a) the police being thin on the ground, busy with other things and largely unsure of their powers, and b) the CPS / Fiscal not being particularly keen to take technical cases to court, particularly if no one is injured. This assumes they too understand and care about the fairly obscure statutes (EAPC Regs anyone?) that apply, which they don’t.

    I would suspect that now’t much will happen until an ebike, restricted or otherwise, has a ‘Charlie Alliston’ moment. The press will have a field day and certain politicians will feed off the outrage, taking us who knows where.

    Anybody that buys a modern ebike and decides to derestrict it for shits and giggles only has themselves to blame if the laws of physics or parliament subsequently bite them on the bum.

    greyspoke
    Member

    There is also an offence of riding elsewhere than on a road, often used in tandem.

    I hadn’t heard of a general offence of this nature, which is it?

    Premier Icon isoo
    Subscriber

    no country in the world has ever produced a workable licensing sytem for bicyclers

    Not for bikes, but here’s some German e-scooters:

    https://images.cdn.yle.fi/image/upload//w_1199,h_800,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto:eco/13-3-11098826.jpg

    Premier Icon downshep
    Subscriber

    There is also an offence of riding elsewhere than on a road, often used in tandem.

    I hadn’t heard of a general offence of this nature, which is it?

    Grab a coffee, you’ll need it!

    pothead
    Member

    I’d like to see that E Bike in the vid do a long straight section to see what sort of power and speed it’s really capable of

    Not the same bike but gives an idea of the speeds possible, the same guy has uploaded vids riding (and pushing, believe it or not DOWN SPOOKY WOOD descent after getting a flat 🤣) around Glentress red route. E mtbs and Ebikes are not the same thing, if it moves without pedalling it’s an electric motorbike, 16000w motor puts it firmly in the not allowed where a MX bike wouldn’t be category imo

    nealglover
    Member

    I would suspect that now’t much will happen until an ebike, restricted or otherwise, has a ‘Charlie Alliston’ moment.

    As mentioned earlier, this has already happened. In August 2018.

    The press will have a field day and certain politicians will feed off the outrage, taking us who knows where.

    This didn’t happen as a result though.
    (Kind of proven by the fact so many people don’t seem to know it even happened)

    Premier Icon downshep
    Subscriber

    Despite how the YouTube hooligan above chooses to caption his own clip, ebikes and emtbs are both very much electrically assisted pedal cycles. For example Riese and Muller utility ebikes and full suss Spesh Turbo Levo emtbs may have different uses but their legal status is identical; EAPC. We need to be very clear on differentiating between pedal cycles, restricted EAPCs and motorcycles (including de-restricted ebikes) that require documents and C&U compliance.

    Calling a motorcycle an ebike (as above) because it happens to be propelled by an electric motor rather than an ICE creates the risk of tarring everyone with the same brush. There’s a world of difference between them and we need to hammer that home before the MSM and wider society make sweeping generalisations and ill informed judgements to the detriment of all lawful cyclists and ebike users.

    A Tesla has a driver’s seat and is powered by leccy but that don’t make it a class 2 or 3 electric wheelchair. Important not to make that mistake with ebikes.

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