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ebikes on the Shore

Aug. 14, 2021, 5:02 p.m.
Posts: 1069
Joined: May 11, 2018

One comment Chris porter made about ebikes on the recent nsmb interview was the fact that we are still waiting for our first ebike vs pedestrian fatality. As soon as that happens, their right to paths/trails will be in the hands of the courts.

I'm a pretty fast/aggressive city cyclist who has been riding for over 3 decades and those guys pass me on the city bike paths all the time. I can guarantee you that most of them don't have the bike handling skill to be traveling that fast on a busy city path. The meat motor is a great way to keep unskilled riders going an appropriate speed for their ability.

Aug. 14, 2021, 5:08 p.m.
Posts: 1254
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

Maybe off topic but I had a real laugh on Thursday on the to site. A guy on one of thos electric stand up unicycle things in a full face and full leathers! WTF?

Aug. 14, 2021, 5:27 p.m.
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Hepcat

It's a lot to expect everyone to be constantly vigilant for things that are this far outside of the norm.

Fair point, but it might pay to be on the lookout for bikes when doing things like I dunno, crossing a bike path maybe?

Aug. 14, 2021, 6:15 p.m.
Posts: 26
Joined: July 24, 2013

I did something stupid when I first got my ebike.  Was riding up a steep hill about 25km/h on the sidewalk.  Postal worker stepped out of a hedged fence without checking and I came close to smoking him and we both apologized to each other.  I learned not to do that and hopefully he pokes his head out before proceeding.

Aug. 15, 2021, 2:28 p.m.
Posts: 319
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: RAHrider

I can guarantee you that most of them don't have the bike handling skill to be traveling that fast on a busy city path. The meat motor is a great way to keep unskilled riders going an appropriate speed for their ability.

See people flying 30km+ on the throttle ebikes who are way outside their comfort zone. Surprised there isn't more carnage up to this point. 

Don't wanna stop the ebike commuter trend I think it's great. It's just a 200 pound replica emotobike with a tiny little crankset that won't push the bike isn't a bicycle. So what is the solution?

Aug. 15, 2021, 5:42 p.m.
Posts: 1380
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Posted by: bux-bux

Posted by: RAHrider

I can guarantee you that most of them don't have the bike handling skill to be traveling that fast on a busy city path. The meat motor is a great way to keep unskilled riders going an appropriate speed for their ability.

See people flying 30km+ on the throttle ebikes who are way outside their comfort zone. Surprised there isn't more carnage up to this point. 

Don't wanna stop the ebike commuter trend I think it's great. It's just a 200 pound replica emotobike with a tiny little crankset that won't push the bike isn't a bicycle. So what is the solution?

Update the current laws in step with the progression of ebikes.  Education and enforcement would help a lot here too. For example, why are the companies that are currently selling illegal in BC (throttle operated) ebikes allowed to do so? I wonder how many of those customers who have bought their bikes know that they are illegal to ride on the streets?  There are a at least two brands that I see everyday on the bike route, which are 100% illegal under the current laws. 

Update the laws, educate the buyers/users, and enforce the laws. Im sure if word got out that people riding a certain brand of ebike were starting to get $600 tickets (which is the fine for the throttle operated ones), that there would be a better discussion going on.

Aug. 15, 2021, 9:28 p.m.
Posts: 1069
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: shoreboy

Posted by: bux-bux

Posted by: RAHrider

I can guarantee you that most of them don't have the bike handling skill to be traveling that fast on a busy city path. The meat motor is a great way to keep unskilled riders going an appropriate speed for their ability.

See people flying 30km+ on the throttle ebikes who are way outside their comfort zone. Surprised there isn't more carnage up to this point. 

Don't wanna stop the ebike commuter trend I think it's great. It's just a 200 pound replica emotobike with a tiny little crankset that won't push the bike isn't a bicycle. So what is the solution?

Update the current laws in step with the progression of ebikes.  Education and enforcement would help a lot here too. For example, why are the companies that are currently selling illegal in BC (throttle operated) ebikes allowed to do so? I wonder how many of those customers who have bought their bikes know that they are illegal to ride on the streets?  There are a at least two brands that I see everyday on the bike route, which are 100% illegal under the current laws. 

Update the laws, educate the buyers/users, and enforce the laws. Im sure if word got out that people riding a certain brand of ebike were starting to get $600 tickets (which is the fine for the throttle operated ones), that there would be a better discussion going on.

When I was 16 and couldn't afford a car, I looked long and hard at gas mopeds. They are street legal and very affordable. I have absolutely no issue with electric mopeds. The gas mopeds had useless pedals as well. I don't particularly want to see gas mopeds on the bike paths, so I dont really want most of the emopeds there either. 

I agree, update the laws, enforce them and get the right vehicles in the correct lanes. 

Similarly I shouldn't ride my carbon road bike on the sea wall unless I am willing to slow down (which I'm not), so I ride on the road with the cars.

Aug. 16, 2021, 8:42 a.m.
Posts: 319
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Just so I'm not posting a giant quote. Isn't the law that anything under 50cc doesn't require a motorcycle license? Still requires plates and insurance no? I'm pretty sure I can't take a 50cc minibike/vespa with no plates and insurance and tear around the city in traffic


 Last edited by: bux-bux on Aug. 16, 2021, 8:42 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Aug. 16, 2021, 10 a.m.
Posts: 1380
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Posted by: bux-bux

Just so I'm not posting a giant quote. Isn't the law that anything under 50cc doesn't require a motorcycle license? Still requires plates and insurance no? I'm pretty sure I can't take a 50cc minibike/vespa with no plates and insurance and tear around the city in traffic

You are correct, anything 50cc and over requires plates and insurance. Anything under that spec, is not insurable and is therefore deemed illegal to ride on public roads. The exceptions to this are pedal assist e-bikes that do NOT have a throttle and currently the stand up electric scooters are undergoing a 'trial' period in Vancouver and a few other municipalities.

Motorinos, Rad Power Bikes, One-Wheels, SmartWheels, electric skateboards and other variations of these are all illegal on public streets (in Vancouver at least) the way the laws are currently written.


 Last edited by: shoreboy on Aug. 16, 2021, 10:01 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Aug. 16, 2021, 10:55 a.m.
Posts: 16695
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Posted by: shoreboy

Posted by: bux-bux

The exceptions to this are pedal assist e-bikes that do NOT have a throttle and currently the stand up electric scooters are undergoing a 'trial' period in Vancouver and a few other municipalities.

Motorinos, Rad Power Bikes, One-Wheels, SmartWheels, electric skateboards and other variations of these are all illegal on public streets (in Vancouver at least) the way the laws are currently written.

Incorrect. Canada (and BC) only regulate the power (500 W) and motor cutout speed (32 km/h). There is no regulation as to whether an ebike can or can't have a throttle that allows the motor to work without pedaling. 

https://ebikebc.com/ebike-regulations-in-british-columbia/

https://www.icbc.com/vehicle-registration/specialty-vehicles/Low-powered-vehicles/Pages/Electric-bikes.aspx

https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/151_2002

Aug. 16, 2021, 11:20 a.m.
Posts: 1380
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Posted by: KenN

Posted by: shoreboy

Posted by: bux-bux

The exceptions to this are pedal assist e-bikes that do NOT have a throttle and currently the stand up electric scooters are undergoing a 'trial' period in Vancouver and a few other municipalities.

Motorinos, Rad Power Bikes, One-Wheels, SmartWheels, electric skateboards and other variations of these are all illegal on public streets (in Vancouver at least) the way the laws are currently written.

Incorrect. Canada (and BC) only regulate the power (500 W) and motor cutout speed (32 km/h). There is no regulation as to whether an ebike can or can't have a throttle that allows the motor to work without pedaling.

https://ebikebc.com/ebike-regulations-in-british-columbia/

https://www.icbc.com/vehicle-registration/specialty-vehicles/Low-powered-vehicles/Pages/Electric-bikes.aspx

https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/151_2002

From your last link:

Motor shut-off requirement

3 (1)A motor assisted cycle must be equipped with a mechanism, separate from the accelerator controller, that

(a)allows the driver to turn the motors on and off from a normal seated position while operating the motor assisted cycle, or

(b)prevents the motors from turning on or engaging before the motor assisted cycle attains a speed of 3 km/hr.

(2)The motors of a motor assisted cycle must turn off or disengage if

(a)the operator stops pedaling,

(b)an accelerator controller is released, or

(c)a brake is applied.

Throttles go against both of the items I have put in bold. A throttle allows the motor to engage from a stop, and the throttle allows the motor to continue working if the operator stops pedaling. I agree there is no specific verbiage that says throttles are a no-no, but having a throttle directly goes against those two criteria. This is also why I feel they need to update the laws to make everything a bit more clear.


 Last edited by: shoreboy on Aug. 16, 2021, 11:26 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
Aug. 16, 2021, 12:58 p.m.
Posts: 16695
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

You do understand that the "accelerator controller" mentioned in the code is, in fact, the "throttle"? I mean, why would the code make references to an accelerator controller, if an accelerator controller was illegal?

You also understand that those requirements are logical OR functions ... not AND functions?

Right?


 Last edited by: KenN on Aug. 16, 2021, 12:59 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Aug. 16, 2021, 1:29 p.m.
Posts: 1380
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

I agree the 'accelerator controller' could mean the throttle, but the throttle is not allowed to function without the pedals turning. I guess I should have been more specific.

The way I read that, it says that the motor must turn off or disengage if you stop pedaling. Is that not what 2(a) indicates? 2(a)Operator stops pedaling OR (b)the accelerator controller is released OR (b)the brake is applied.

Again, confusing in how it is written in my opinion. If the (b) parameter is to be a condition, would it not mean that if you released the 'accelerator controller', the motor would have to stop, even if you were still pedaling?


 Last edited by: shoreboy on Aug. 16, 2021, 1:42 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Aug. 16, 2021, 2 p.m.
Posts: 182
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

From the language pasted above, I believe KenN is correct. It sounds like it's legal to have a throttle that's within reach of normal seated operating position, that can stop the motor when it's released.


 Last edited by: mammal on Aug. 16, 2021, 2:05 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Aug. 16, 2021, 2:04 p.m.
Posts: 14402
Joined: Feb. 19, 2003

Courts in BC I believe would disagree with KenN.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/e-bike-rider-loses-court-case-against-ticket-for-operating-without-licence-insurance-1.5551692

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