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Ask Torontoist: Off The Road, E-Bike, or Whatever You Are!

The easy-to-ride bikes some people love, and others love to hate.


Reader Kevin Watson asks:
Concerning motorized “slo-peds” (with pedals that are never used) in bikes lanes—are they legal? If I glue pedals to a car, can I drive in the bike lane?

Torontoist answers:
Slow down there, Kevin! Don’t go gluing pedals on your Audi just yet! You’re bound to dip below the Blue Book value, for one. And no, you won’t be allowed to drive in the bike lane, as hilarious as a car with pedals driving in a bike lane would be, in theory. That said, we understand your confusion. These “slo-peds” as you call them (they’re more commonly called “e-bikes”) are pretty contentious, and for a number of reasons. There’s even a lot of niggling over what exactly constitutes an “e-bike.”
“There is a difference between e-bikes and electric scooter e-bikes,” says Andrea Garcia, spokesperson for the Toronto Cyclists Union. “We do support electric power-assisted bicycles, especially for people with impaired mobility, as an alternative to larger, less environmentally friendly motor vehicles. But that’s different from the scooter-style e-bikes.” So, basically, there’s the “power-assisted bicycles,” which look more-or-less like old-timey non-electric bikes but with a small motor, and the “scooter-style e-bikes,” which look more like oversized pocket rockets with ornamental pedals. We’ll assume you’re asking about the latter, Kevin.
E-bikes are frustrating because they occupy a weird middle space between motor vehicles and bicycles. Like motor vehicles, they have motors. But like bicycles, you don’t need a license or registration to operate one. Meaning that you have unlicensed motorists operating motor vehicles, who may or may not know the rules of the road. (Granted, many non-motorized cyclists show plain disregard for the rules of the road, but that’s not the point.) Like a lot Toronto cyclists, the union has an issue with e-bikes chewing up lanes that were specifically designed for traditional, non-electric bikes. “Their speed and their size and their weight make them hazardous to people using active transportation,” says Garcia. And besides being potentially dangerous, they’re also plainly obnoxious, as any cyclist whose ever been passed in a bike lane by some e-biker irksomely beep-beeping on their horn can tell you. But what’s the deal with those pedals?
Well, according to the MTO’s definition of a “power-assisted bicycle,” any e-bike must be “capable of being propelled by muscular power.” Meaning pedals. No pedals, and your power-assisted bicycle becomes a motor vehicle, meaning you can be ticketed for not having it registered, or for lacking the proper license to operate it. It’s kind of like putting Lamborghini doors on your bedroom and calling it a sports car. Or putting an outboard engine on your dog and calling it a speedboat. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

20110527EMMOebike545.png
A G545A model e-bike by EMMO, from their Facebook page.


According to Patrick Ryan, an e-bike sales rep at EMMO on Spadina, anyone who buys an e-bike is told that they must use the pedals (which, for some reason, can be removed). “We warn people beforehand that you can get fined up to $5,000 if you don’t have the pedals on,” says Ryan.”People keep them in the trunk or under the seat and think they’ll be fine, but you actually have to have them on, or the cops will try to bust you for no license or registration. That’s kind of your loophole, having the pedals on the side of the bicycle.” Ryan also says that e-bikes have appeal beyond annoying proper cyclists and proper motorists. “Gas prices are killing the economy. A lot of our customers have cars and trucks, but gas is too expensive. So they buy these to commute around the city.”
But why not use a regular bike? Too cool? Well, says Ryan, there’s a fun factor (and a laziness factor) with e-bikes that old muscle-powered cycles lack. “You don’t have to work, first of all. You just have to turn the throttle. They’re enjoyable to ride, like a small motorcycle.” He also says that not needing a license or registration is “another key factor” of the e-bike boom. And this appeal is catching on. Ryan estimates that in the past year alone, sales at his EMMO store have doubled, and they’re barely able to keep up with demand, often running out of stock. With an average price tag of around $1,000, an e-bike will run you about as much as a higher-end road bike.
So at the end of the day, though e-bikes are annoying (and dangerous), they’re legal. As long as they have the pedals. Your Flintstones-inspired pedal-car, however, will have to stay in the garage for now.

Ask Torontoist features questions posed by you, and answered by our elite team of specially trained investigative experts (also known as our staff). Send your questions to ask@torontoist.com.

Comments

  • http://twitter.com/owenadam Adam Owen

    I saw a Vespa riding down the St. George lane the other day. No foolin'

  • Charles Burton

    E-bikes in bicycle lanes are dangerous because they are virtually silent and pass cyclists with no warning and often at high speeds.

  • http://blog.yasmary.com yaz

    I think they're great (for the economy, for people trying to save money, etc), as long as they are *not* in the bike lane. They are too quiet and their horns are too loud = bad combo.

  • Roberto Garcia

    I think these vehicles are a good option for older people or anyone with reduced mobility. But when I see people riding them on the sidewalk or in bike lanes I want to snap off those cosmetic pedals and make them eat them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Donohue/100001683191319 James Donohue

    I built an electric bike back in 1986. It was the first electric bike in North America, AFAIK. I wish to point out that E-Bikes are required to have insurance, And, since the insurance company has on file the exact same information that the DMV would have, if it was registered, registration is NOT required, it would be redundant. It works that way because it saves paperwork for the government (DMV Office). 
    Top speed is limited to 20 MPH. The E-Bike I built in 1986 could go 47 MPH, but the 20 MPH limit was imposed in 1999. 
    In my experience, most cars pass with seven to ten feet of clearance, only one in ten thousand comes less than three feet. There is plenty of space to share the roads. 
    IMHO, everyone who rides a bicycle should have a  rear-view mirror and get out of the way of trucks and buses. I find myself riding half a mile, a mile, or a mile and a half without any traffic behind me. Please try not to cause a traffic jam, it makes all us cyclists look bad.

  • http://twitter.com/ftefno Simon Vehicle!

    I'm glad to see people embracing alternate forms of transportation.  Every one of these I see I assume is replacing a car, or otherwise giving someone on a tighter budget an easier way to scale a long(ish) commute. 

    They're economical and are a better gateway to the 100% EV future than any number of poorly engineered hybrid cars.  I have no solid argument against them even in the bike lanes, other than maybe that the average ebike rider seems to be a bit dickish.  And an alarming number of them seem to be fully able-bodied adults who could just pedal a regular bike that costs 1/4th the price and doesn't need to be recharged.

  • Roberto Garcia

    I think if you're not elderly, or disabled in some way, in other words, if you are a grown-ass adult male (I give the ladies a pass), why don't you be a man a ride a real bike!?

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    Welcome to Toronto. We don't have DMVs or use miles here. Enjoy your stay!

  • http://twitter.com/hammeroftruth D'Arcy

    if you own an ebike go …  gayest invention since roller blades

  • http://twitter.com/hammeroftruth D'Arcy

    if you own an ebike go …  gayest invention since roller blades

  • http://twitter.com/hammeroftruth D'Arcy

    if you own an ebike go …  gayest invention since roller blades

  • http://twitter.com/hammeroftruth D'Arcy

    if you own an ebike go …  gayest invention since roller blades

  • Roberto Garcia

    DMV is an American term. We have a Ministry of Transportation. And the metric system is better than the antiquated british-american system of measures. The whole world is pretty much using metric. Get over it.

  • Roberto Garcia

    I know gay guys who are great cyclists. I would say the electric scooter is perhaps the most lazyiest and wussiest form of transport. Again, these lazy fucks should just ride real bikes.

  • http://blog.yasmary.com yaz

    Cars & ebikes can accelerate a lot faster than a person on a bike. Its a bit scary to have them pass you on the bike lane, and then slam on their brakes in front of you.

  • Roberto Garcia

    I'm not so sure about your assumption that each of these contraptions is replacing a car. I think many are simply replacing a TTC pass or an actual bicycle for those who are too lazy to pedal.

    It is more than a bit dickish to ride them in what few bike lanes we have in this city.

  • http://twitter.com/maharper82 Matthew Harper

    What's your height and weight in metric?

  • http://philiplitevsky.com Philip Litevsky

    Wow. So much hate. I have no problem with electric scooters in the bike lane so long as they aren't interfering with normal bikes. If it's an empty lane, why not share it? Hasn't the bicyclist's mantra been “share the road”? Or did they mean only with them?

  • http://blog.yasmary.com yaz

    I think its not very practical to have a motorized vehicle on the bike line. Its like having bikes on the sidewalk. I mean sure, as a pedestrian I could share the sidewalk with a cyclist, but at the end of the day the cyclist will always have more power and speed. On the road, a car, motorcycle or ebike will always be faster than cyclists, so its unfair to force them to ride together when there is a designated space for them to ride on = the road.

  • http://philiplitevsky.com Philip Litevsky

    I think it's important to shed light on several key facts that I think some people may be missing. First of all, these vehicles are speed limited to 32KM/H, which while relatively fast, isn't anywhere near what an able rider on a bicycle can achieve. Second, the bike lane is exactly the space they are “designated” to ride in. See the MTO FAQ on the subject. http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/engli

    It's a shame that this article does not cover these basic, yet fundamental facts.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    That mantra is directed at motorists; cyclists are generally forced out of the way by the whims (or malice, or incompetence) of motorists.

  • Roberto Garcia

    190 centimeters and 113 kilograms.

    I would weigh several kilos more if I moved my ass around on an electric scooter as opposed to my bicycle.

  • Roberto Garcia

    Motorized vehicles such as scooters (electric or gas powered) have the whole street lane(s) available to them. They don't need to use the bike lane.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MEKQ5XQ4TNRSRKETGILXLJYIIE Tony

    totally agree. too quiet, too fast. the first time i ever saw an e-bike, it was in a collision. i was detouring around some construction at dundas and trinity-bellwoods park (big surprise) and had to jump the streetcar tracks. before doing so, i checked my peripheral vision and saw what appeared to be a cyclist. i made the track jump just as the e-biker decided to gun it to beat a yellow light in front, and he clipped my left elbow. the upshot of which was that he turned to hurl expletives my way, drove through a red light and wiped out his e-bike. never liked them since.

  • http://blog.yasmary.com yaz

    Phillip, I think those facts were clearly covered in the article. We are simply stating our opinions on those facts.

    While ebikes are limited to 32KM/H, I know of some that aren't. And as a cyclist, I don't believe I can maintain a *constant* speed of 32KM/H; I also can't accelerate that fast, or brake that fast.

    And to me that's the key issue, that these ebikes can; therefore putting us mellow, law abiding citizens at risk. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3GI6QLXFJDFEJ7LNSI27ZGE344 Zany

    You're comment is the gayest since the name D”Arcy.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3GI6QLXFJDFEJ7LNSI27ZGE344 Zany

    Because I can modify my E-bike to attain speeds that will scare the living hell out of you as you cower ijn the bike lane. E-bikes are the urban transportation of the 21sr century. Deal with them or they will deal with you.

  • gbread

    I saw a very unpleasant man riding one on the SIDEWALK on Church St. At a crosswalk I didn't move out of his way and he said, “Are you moving or not?” and I replied, “Why are you on the sidewalk?”. He than ran in to my leg, giving me impressive tread marks, so I threw my gum at his head. 
    In conclusion, don't be a dick.

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    Psh. I know my height in metric, “imperial”, and comparative (short), and don't know my weight in any measure.

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    At those speeds, you're going to be riding it on the six lane arterials and freeways, right?

  • Roberto Garcia

    Is that a threat?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3GI6QLXFJDFEJ7LNSI27ZGE344 Zany

    Yes, so wussy this is what they can really do:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Yp

    What can your clandestino walmart special do?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3GI6QLXFJDFEJ7LNSI27ZGE344 Zany

    I was speaking in general terms but you're about to see a whole lot more of them in the next few years so expect to share those bike lanes willlingly or unwillingly.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3GI6QLXFJDFEJ7LNSI27ZGE344 Zany

    That man was riding irresponsibly and should be charged accordingly. I've seen similar incidents involving motorcycles. This behaviour is not mutually exclusive to E-bikers.

  • Roberto Garcia

    Awesome. So since you can do 60km/h on your modified scooter, you can kindly stay out of our bike lanes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708835499 Jim Hunt

    I was riding my MTB on Coxwell N passing the Danforth and i was being pushed to the sidewalk edge and yelled at by this ignorant man, who had no peddles on his lazy mans excuse for a bike and the Cops across the street just smiled and thought it was humerus so i ended up with two ignorant people on my ride in one evening.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Ebikerlubo Lubo Ebiker

    Isn't keeping of our city's air clean and our planet green, the sky blue, sunsets and sunrises beautiful, streets quiet, Torontonians healthy and our future and future of our children bright  – most important and common goal for all the cyclist and e-bikers above anything else in our huge TO, already overflown with so many  smoldering cars, stuck idling in traffic during the rush hour, flooding and congesting our streets almost 24/7, killing dozens of cyclist every year and slowly poisoning the rest of us everyday, while there's already more than enough asthmatic kids and lung cancer cases statistic around? Is the danger really that terribly great when an e-biker responsibly takes free bike lane solely for his or her own safety and our common safety on the road, just like any cyclist does, yet moving at the same as cyclist speed or often much slower, so that would justify any cyclist  to push e-biker much closer to whizling cars and then yet try to pass e-biker on the right side being too busy with his own life? After all, how many cyclist are killed by e-bikers and how many by cars??? And finally, isn't this time to unite our efforts for our own common good to push Ford for more bike lanes or push him out of the office, instead of watching him bringing yet even more cars to TO DT core and wowing to get rid of all lanes and put all cyclist even at much greater danger of death??? In the light of these questions the problem of sharing  lanes between cyclist and bikers looks simply miserable and mediocre at it's best and is nothing more than a plain selfishness of some rare cyclist once scared “to death” by unexpected weak beeping behind him – not Torontonians on behalf of which he tries to speak here and represent. As a matter of fact such articles can only spoil even more already badly spoiled image of Torontonians and give all nontorontonians just another reason to laugh and hate TO for it's selfishness, greed and lack of plain common sense and wisdom. I can't believe how Cyclist Union is closely focused on pedals instead of focusing on much greater danger around them – cars. It's clearly a huge luck of vision and leadership and is simply compromising of all the highest goals of cycling itself.

  • torontothegreat

    These are awesome for drivers who have lost their licenses due to impaired driving!

  • http://twitter.com/MarkJull Mark Jull

    I had no idea this was such was such a big deal. I cycle around the city and have never had a problem with an 'e-bike' or whatever they're called. The only time I've found them annoying is when they're parked on the sidewalk taking up too much space. But I really think people need to chill out – Torontonians bitch about anything!

  • Bomb Shelter

    Article says: 'anyone who buys an e-bike is told that they must use the pedals (which, for some reason, can be removed).'

    What exactly is your thought process here?

    Do you think that e-bikes hatch out of some sort of egg, already assembled by magic? 

    How do you think that they got the axle for the pedals through it's mounting holes in the first place? With the pedals already on it, right? You just squeeze the huge, 4 inch across pedals through the tiny half inch mounting holes for the axle? Sure. That'll work.

    Do you fundamentally not understand that e-bikes are assembled in factories by humans, and that pretty much anything assembled by humans can be disassembled by humans?

    If you own a car, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle or any other piece of machinery assembled in a factory and there's a component of it that you think 'can't be removed', gimme a call. I'll happily show up with a toolbox and prove you wrong.

  • Bomb Shelter

    Neither do bicycles.

    Bicycles MAY use the bike lane. It is not mandatory.

  • mikedca1

    If you have lost your licence due to drunk driving You can't operate these bikes if you get caught you can be charged 

  • mikedca1

    As far as i'm concerned the problem is not with the vehicle your operating it is the people who use them and choose to be ignorant of the people around them and laws of the road.

  • mikedca1

    How do you know they don't. I ride both But i don't think my fellow employees would appreciate BO smell after riding my bike on a hot day

  • http://twitter.com/8888Lucky Allan Harmsworth

    If they were noisy, you would complain about them being noisy.  Bicycles are also quiet, and their speed is not limited by law. Wait until electric cars are more common, you will have to keep your eyes open for them as they silently swish by you.

  • rogercullman

    This article says:
    “Their speed and their size and their weight make them hazardous to people using active transportation,” says Garcia. And besides being potentially dangerous, they’re also plainly obnoxious, as any cyclist whose ever been passed in a bike lane by some e-biker irksomely beep-beeping on their horn can tell you.

    Garcia must be seriously misguided. Once again, we hear the same tired, misinformed opinions being spouted by the Toronto Cyclists Union.

    THE FACTS:
    Speed on an e-bike is about equal to a fit cyclist. That said, there must be lots of unfit cyclists out there going too slow on the streets of Toronto to warrant all the “beep-beeping” as described.

    Top speed is governed to 32 km/hr on a straightaway. This goes for both scooter-style and open-frame style e-bikes. They've both got motors. They both deserve to be ridden like bicycles on our streets and bike paths. The law even says as much.

    Perceived size of a scooter-style e-bike might be greater due to the fancy plastic panels that make them appear to look like gas scooters — which many associate with faster speeds.

    MEEP-MEEP!
    As for obnoxious, the ”beep-beeping” behaviour you describe might be obnoxious. But it goes both ways: Having ridden an e-bike for over 2 years, I've experienced far more obnoxious behaviour from my human-powered cyclist brethren spurting insults and negativity on my otherwise quiet, peaceful and environmentally friendly ride.

    The weight of a scooter-style e-bike is not much more than an obese man riding a pedal bike. To say that e-bikes' weight make them hazardous or “potentially dangerous” is grossly misleading and untruthful.

    DON'T KNOCK IT TILL YOU TRY IT:
    If all you naysayers — TCU, I'm looking at you — took a moment to actually test ride a scooter-style e-bike around Toronto, perhaps you'd change your tune.

    With over 5,000 kms of riding e-bikes in the city, I can confidently say that I feel much safer riding an e-bike than my Fuji Crosstown pedal bike: It's got mirrors and turn signals, brighter lights and far superior breaks.

    The only thing that makes riding an e-bike potentially hazardous is being forced to ride outside of the bike lane, where we have to contend with motor vehicles “beep-beeping” at us for driving too slow for the speed of traffic. Well, that and the threat of fisticuffs from overzealous know-all cyclists with an air of entitlement.

    Be kind and share the road, bike path, trail or street. We're all in this together, trying to get to our destination on 2 wheels. YMMV.

  • http://twitter.com/OcarinaPiffle Ocarina Piffle

    Oh, Roberto, that is so gallant of you to give us ladies a pass and lumping us in with the elderly and disabled so we get special consideration, because we ladies are all so weak and helpless, I appreciate your permission to ride a scooter style.  Can I have your permission to ride a “real bike” or are they just reserved for “grown-ass adult male”s?

  • http://twitter.com/johnsemley3000 John Semley

    you're obviously missing the point, you huge genius. obviously anything can be removed. that they're easily detachable speaks to how inessential they are to the vehicle. the “reason” refers to the the reason why they're so easily detachable, not to the “reason” behind movable parts. but like we're all just atoms anyways and what's separating me from an e-bike from the road in a quantum sense, right braniac?

  • http://twitter.com/johnsemley3000 John Semley

    it's not a hoverboard and it's not the future. give it up dude.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    I really can't believe this post is getting so many replies.

  • torontothegreat

    Link? You don't require a license to ride one. If what your saying is true, the person wouldn't legally be able to ride a bicycle either. Which I know is not the case.

    Actually I looked it up and you're wrong. ONLY if the drivers has an impaired driving CONVICTION under the criminal code of Canada and has lost their license indefiniately.

  • Bomb Shelter

    You obviously haven't tried disassembling a scooter style e-bike, have you? I have – I had to conduct repairs on one a couple of times, and I'm no mechanic, I'd never attempted to fix anything mechanical other than a plain old bicycle until a year ago.

    Lots of the essential parts are easily removable. The pedals hardly stand out in that respect.

    Removing the pedals takes a minute, sure. Other things that would take one minute to remove are the battery, mirrors and throttle. Give me two minutes and I can do the brake levers, four and I can have the entire rear wheel off the bike.

    Based on your logic, those must also be pretty inessential if they're so easy to remove, right?

    Should the pedals be the only thing on the bike that's hard to remove? That doesn't make sense either.

  • mike in parkdale

    interesting timing…

    so this morning I'm walking along King Street West in Parkdale and two people (of reduced mental capacity) are riding an E-Bike and swerving  between both lanes. This was holding up about 15 cars (and some trucks) and was a terrible accident waiting to happen.

    I have no problem with EBikes ridden in a safe manner, according to the rules of the road, but when someone doesn't have the physical ability or the mental stability to ride a pedal bike OR have a drivers license, then they really need to get off the road.

  • http://blog.yasmary.com yaz

    Ah yes, the good old “our feelings are not valid because I have my own facts” tactic.

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    The difference is that no one would operate an e-bike without the battery or the throttle.

  • mikedca1

    This is from the MTO website13.  If my driver’s licence has been suspended, can I legally operate an e-bike?It depends on the particular circumstances that lead to the licence suspension.  If your driver's licence suspension was related to a conviction under the Criminal Code of Canada, you cannot legally operate an e-bike.  If your driver's licence has been suspended under these or other circumstances, it is recommended that you discuss your situation with a licensed legal practitioner before deciding to operate an e-bike.

  • torontothegreat

    Yea, I just said that above.  You're wrong.  We get it.

    If your driver's licence suspension was related to a conviction under the Criminal Code of Canada

    http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/engli

    As you can see, it's perfectly plausible to have a suspended license and not a criminal convinction under the Criminal Code of Canada.

  • http://twitter.com/OcarinaPiffle Ocarina Piffle

    You have a 150 lb scooter style ebike with a 150 lb rider total weight 300 lb and  that 300 lb is “hazardous”, “dangerous” and “obnoxious” according to the article, and too quite, gay, lazy, weak, effeminate, and dangerous according to the comments.  On the other hand you can have a 50 lb pedal style “real”  bike with a 250 lb rider total weight the same 300 lb., and everyone seems to believe that is somehow safer because it looks different?
    If weight is a problem, then one must also ban fat riders and large males from the trails and bike lanes.

  • http://twitter.com/OcarinaPiffle Ocarina Piffle

    Methinks thou dost protest too much.  Have you not secretly admired a tight spandex clad sweaty male bum and it pumps up and down on a phallic shaped saddle ? Or admired the little package in front bobbing rythmically up and down, ready to burst forth in all its manly glory as soon as it is released from its spandex prison? I know I have, but being a woman I suppose I have the same thoughts as you closet gays, yet I can openly express my sexuality and you cannot, all you can do is make irrational disparaging remarks to hide your shame in being gay.

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    How often do you see 110 kg people riding bikes?

  • http://twitter.com/ftefno Simon Vehicle!

    I've had manual cyclists do this to me when I'm biking.  *shrug*.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cheri-Mae/596810503 Cheri Mae

    who the hell rides a pedal bike that weighs 50lbs???  That would be horrible

  • rogercullman

    They're not “my own facts.” They're the facts. Or do you have your own set of facts that you care to elaborate on?

  • http://philiplitevsky.com Philip Litevsky

    Yaz, neither the fact that e-bikes are limited to 32KMH, nor the fact that they are legally allowed to use bike lanes is explicitly stated or implied in the article.

    That being said, I don't think our opinions differ at all. As I've stated, I do not believe that large e-scooter type vehicles should occupy the bike lane when other cyclists are using it, but if it's an empty lane, then why not? It's there, and it's safer for a slow moving vehicle, than the roadway.

    As for standard, battery / motor powered bicycles, riders on those vehicles should be allowed to use bike lines, but it's up to them to exercise due diligence and make sure they are not interfering with the other riders.

    Electric vehicles of all kinds are here to stay, and our roads and regulations should adjust to this reality.

    There will be careless and obnoxious drivers on any vehicle.

  • rogercullman

    I'd rather give up arriving at my workplace all sweaty, thanks.

  • rogercullman

    I've found that gently grabbing my break levers and flicking them go when approaching cyclists alerts them enough with a familiar sound that they can tell someone's approaching. No need to meep-meep. YMMV.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    Toronto Islanders know something about bikes… and all their bikes weigh more than 50lbs… laden with groceries and trailers etc…

  • monching441

    I beg to disagree, I'm a middle age guy with knee problem so I can no longer pedal a bike far enough to get me to where I want to go hence the use of an ebike. Every time i pass a cyclist i see to it that I go out of the bicycle lane and besides most bicycle lanes are not wide enough to do some passing without getting out of the lane itself. The real problem is not the vehicle in general (bike, ebike, truck, car, moped, van,  motorcycle, tank, etc. etc. etc.) but the man (or woman for that matter) behind the steering wheel. Lots of jerk driver nowadays in any kind of vehicle so please don't single out the ebike. It's better if we all educate our selves on the rules and laws of the road and abide by it rather than bashing each others head. as far as i'm concern…there are more cyclist out there who are far worst than ebike riders. So at the end of the day it's still the one on the steering wheel and not the vehicle. Got it??

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    “There is a difference between e-bikes and electric scooter e-bikes,”Just to be clear, this statement is pure make-believe… legal “ebikes” must adhere to the definition of “power-assisted bicycles” in the Ontario HTA and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations:
    http://lois-laws.justice.gc.ca
    Tks

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    This of course has nothing to do with this Torontoist article…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    Sounds like the “dick” might have just as well have been riding a pedal-only bike on the sidewalk with the same disrespect. This has nothing to do with this Torontoist article about ebikes…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    This of course relates to discourteous riders and has nothing to do with ebikes per se… Pedal bikes are also virtually silent and cyclists can also pass at high speed with no warning…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    “I built an electric bike back in 1986. It was the first electric bike in North America, AFAIK.”

    Actually Joe O'Neill and his company General Engines sold about 15,000 units, including the power packs, bicycles and tricycles, in the 1970's. By 1980 annual revenues reached $3 million. Joe built his first electric bicycle in 1939.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    Of course, less than two percent of Canadians describe the Victorian pedal bike as their primary form of transportation. Power-assist bikes will help drive up the number of cyclists on our roads and build pressure for more and safer cycling infrastructure…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    I was pleased to hear yesterday from a local ebike shop owner that half his sales this spring have been to women. A much higher boy/girl ratio than traditional bike shops…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    Hehe…this otta drive the Luddites crazy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    Some recent headlines:
    “Germany 2010 ebike sales up 33% over 2009”“…in 2009, China had over 100
    million ebikes…”“In Switzerland… e-Bike sales rose by an impressive 44%
    in 2010”“130,000 Yamaha ebikes sold in Japan last year – more than any model
    of Yamaha motorbike”“ Electric bicycles are now the biggest money-maker for bike dealers in the Netherlands.”

    Sadly, the pedal-only bike proponents are about to be run over, in more ways than one…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    “”Their speed and their size and their weight make them hazardous…”

    Clearly bike trailers should be banned. Tandem bikes too… probably obese persons on pedal bikes or trikes also. Then there are those nasty recumbent riders that can go so fast…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    It's just `cause the original article was so poorly researched and full of so much misinformation. The answers to the two questions are simple:

    “Concerning motorized “slo-peds” (with pedals that are never used) in bikes lanes—are they legal?”

    Of course they're legal. And the Toronto by-law permits their use in the bike lanes as well, as long as they don't use the motor… pedal only.

    “If I glue pedals to a car, can I drive in the bike lane?”
    Yes. If your car is electric, weighs no more than 120kg, has no more than three wheels, is speed-limited to 32kmh and power-limited to 2/3 of one HP. And the driver will need to wear a helmet. 

    Lets hope that reader Kevin Watson doesn't get all his information from Torontoist pages…

  • http://twitter.com/OcarinaPiffle Ocarina Piffle

    My husband is well over 6 feet tall and well over 100 kg and he rides a bicycle.  I think you are being deliberately obtuse.

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    People riding bikes with trailers and with tandems regularly ride them super fast, too!

  • JHannaford

    Nice to know that scooter-style ebikes are the root of all evil. Or was it traditional cyclists?…

    http://www.thestar.com/news/fi

    I've found jackasses who walk, bike, ebike, scoot, drive cars, drive SUVs, ride transit, and more. How about we label them by their actions, and not what they're using to get from point A to point B?

    Plus, maybe instead of spewing venom at people who've made different transportation choices, we could try extending a little respect and understanding to all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lock-Hughes/725376608 Facebook User

    Actually I test rode a Pedego last week and it was very easy and comfortable to pedal… I actually was forgetting to use the power-assist. Sweet bike!

  • smvee

    “the real problem is not the vehicle in general but the [driver]“.  Exactly.  This anti-scooter sentiment in Toronto amongst cyclists and motorists alike is totally unjust.  As nice as it is to see y'all finally getting along (remember, it wasn't too long ago motorists were hating on cyclists and vice versa), focusing frustrating on this relatively new mode of transit is ineffectual. How is it that e-scooterists are somehow bigger a-holes than any other mobilist (cyclists, motorists, pedestrians etc) using the road with reckless abandon and self entitlement?  In time, this city will get through the same learning curve we experienced when there was the huge bicycle boom, and e-scooters will fit in somewhere. 

    As this poster said, the bottom line is everyone has a duty to observe the rules of the road, and to be aware of the best course of action while in transport…checking mirrors and using turning signals are a good start. Oh, and the use of a horn should be limited to A. life or death situations, or B. to notify someone they are cute.  That is all.

  • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

    Thanks for pointing this out, comment police.

  • http://profiles.google.com/michael.mussington Michael Mussington

    Because the law, in its infinite wisdom, doesn't like the idea of people with seizure disorders on the main roads in some areas? Does that answer your question, dickhead?

  • http://profiles.google.com/michael.mussington Michael Mussington

    Don't forget, you also have to ride side-saddle.

  • http://profiles.google.com/michael.mussington Michael Mussington

    Wanna try my recumbent trike?

  • Joe

    Your article is very one sided…

    Ebikes get a bad wrap because they’re new. “Blame the rider, not the ride”. There’s a ton of idiots in T.O. who drive bicycles or cars but nobody says, “Ban bicycles and cars from the road” There’s bad drivers for any vehicle.

    Every time I see a cyclist wearing an ipod and bolting through a red light (get because they don’t want to stop pedaling) doesn’t mean I think all bicycles should be banned from the road. It’s the person driving the vehicle that could be dangerous.

    Andrea Garica ( & the cyclist community) should really stop complaining. Being a crybaby doesn’t solve anything, and ebikes are here to stay. Ebikes are safer than bicycles, that’s a fact. Look at the statictics. They have lights, mirrors and turn signals. In the next few decades, ebikes will out number standard bicycles. Most large companies like Ford, Honna, G.E, and Motorolla are developing ebikes for the marketplace.

    If “Magic Carpets” were the new form of transportion, cyclists would still be crying about it because they don’t want to share any of the bike lane or road. If you look at history, most cities tried to ban bicycles in the early 1900′s just because they could keep up with cars and they were considered a new form of transportation.

    In many cases, cyclists (riding road bicycles and wearing spandex) who think they’re racing in the Tour de France can generate speeds much faster than most ebikes. Isn’t somebody on a road bicycle flying down the bike lane going 40km/hr dangerous? I mean it could kill someone, right?
    BTW: Last year an old lady was killed by a cyclist driving on the sideway going down a one way street the wrong way. The bicycle that killed her weighed about 20 to 30 pounds. Just because a bicycle is lighter than an ebike doesn’t mean it can’t kill somebody.

    Another point that you fail to mention (if you did some proper research) is that ebikes do have pedals that actually work. It’s called “power assist pedaling” I can pedal my ebike to work (without using the throttle for power) and at the same time save a little juice from the battery.

    • Marcia

      I have just purchased an e-bike to ride back and forth to work to try and save gas a few days out of each week. I have hip problems and the e-bike is the perfect replacement to a standard bicycle. I can’t wait until the weather warms up a bit so I can start riding it!

  • Marcia

    E-bikes are only as safe as the rider that is using them. Learn the rules of the road, and ride with caution. A traditional bicycle can go much faster than an e-bike. Just like a car, the e-bike has signals, lights, a horn – it’s much safer than trying to figure out what that cyclist in front of you is doing with their arms – I mean, who really knows what those arm signals mean anyways! Koodos to those who purchase an e-bike as an alternate mode of transportation. It’s proven that riding an e-bike leaves even less of a carbon footprint than riding a traditional bicycle!