January 15, 2021

EBIKE LAWS

An ebike, especially a DŌST, can be a game-changer for many reasons. I think the most undeniable factor that crosses everyone’s face, is the smile they get when riding their first ebike.

I have seen the most harshest critics, the most dedicated cyclists, and the plain old grumpy ebike haters change their tune after riding one. It is undeniable! That smile will grace your face whether you want it to or not!

There is a lot of power behind that emotion. For those of us that have embraced the future with open arms, it can be even more powerful, a feeling we cherish. I remember one rider once saying to me that when he rode his ebike, he felt like he took a Superman pill!

But, with great power comes great responsibility. This is why I want to talk a little bit about ebike laws. These vary at the national level, provincial/state level, and even on a local level. They can be in the form of restrictions, classifications, laws, ordinances, and many other legal writs.

Now, I am not going to get into each and every ebike law out there. That would be a separate post and perhaps we can visit it in the future. What I am talking about, is a code of conduct we should adhere to so that our life as DŌST enthusiasts gets better and better.

It is this DŌST fan’s humble opinion that we should obey the laws as best we can. And here is why. eBikes themselves are converting people left and right. Those hardcore cyclists we mentioned, will eventually see the light either through a test ride or because they need an ebike in their future for when they become physically limited. But by staying in our lane, they will have no reason to push back or fear the future.

So many people, including the lawmakers, misunderstand ebikes. Right now, less than 1 in 10 people have ever even tried one. They might think “It has a motor? Okay, put it with the motorized vehicles.” They may not truly understand that they are quiet and do not pollute. So maybe their law is strict and frustrates you. Maybe you feel like going on ahead and doing what you like.

Now, of course, you may have quite a bit of leeway. After all, the vast majority of ebike laws go un-enforced. There is no “ebike task force” that will kick down your door and arrest you.

But by us abiding as best we can, we make the transition for them and us that much easier. If they never reason to pick a grudge with one of us, their own test ride one day will be that much more powerful. Day by day, the appreciation of our group will grow and the laws will melt.

With their inevitable test ride smile, they will learn that we are not cheating, that an electric bicycle doesn’t disturb nature any more than a regular bicycle, and most of all, they will learn that the laws will need adjusting to favour the ebike rider.