You've gotta let go of your misconceptions and prejudices. You really have no idea how far out in left field you are. First, I'm very lucky to live in a void in the law, and hopefully no one like yourself tries to make one. Of course I realize my bikes will be some kind of motor vehicle at some point in the future. The law moves slowly here, but once it does start to move I plan to be proactive in helping craft laws that make sense instead of something ridiculous written by pedalists like in Australia and Europe. I'm sure the new law will have 3 or 4 classifications just like the existing law has force gassers. My primary thrust will be to ensure there's a reasonable process for getting something home-built through registration, and because this is a mountainous country that no silly low virtually useless power level isn't the only way to get pedal bike treatment.
The comment about pedalists carving out any privilege I enjoy is simply wrong. There is no bicycle infrastructure here at all. The closest thing to it is one bike rack that I know of within a 10 mile radius. It's the cyclists who enjoy what car owners have carved out and paid for
. You haven't paid for your proportionate share of any of the bike infrastructure you use, have you? I own a car and pay my annual fees, so the cyclists here should thank me. Also, even my high power electric bikes are far more efficient in both fuel costs and CO2 emissions than any cyclist who doesn't grow their own food. That's before the hypocrisy of bicycles riding on car racks to get to a destination to ride on the street. Cyclists come from all around the area to the nearby toll highway to ride (where bicycles are prohibited btw, though not mine which are technically bici-motos and specifically permitted because they can maintain the minimum speed), because it's the best surface for riding withing 20 miles and one of the few roads with a nice shoulder, a clean one at that thanks to the operator of the highway. Do they stop and pay the toll? No of course not. Do I? Yes, to the dismay and laughter of the girls in the toll booths, I do, and I don't mind paying for the privilege of it's use, whether I'm on my bike or the rare occasion in my car.
The part you don't get, and likely never will, is how much better an ebike can be as a practical form of transportation. Pedal bikes are primarily for sport, and they're close to their limit in terms of popularity. Other than in China, ebikes are just getting started, and the more we get people out of their cars the better, even if it's only during fair weather and for local errands or short work commutes. The more people who try a moderately powered ebike, one that easily paces congested local traffic, the more they will almost totally give up their cars, just like Luke and I have done. Sure being pedalable is better so people get a bit of exercise in the process, but that's just a side benefit, not a requirement.
Just get off your high horse and forget ridiculousness like your "Prime Directive", and definitely drop the prejudices related to ebikes and their owners, because that's simply ugly, unwelcome, and no different than racial or other prejudices. The more ebikes in use the better, regardless of what they look like, and if their performance level is no better than a fit pedalist, there's absolutely no reason they shouldn't be allowed anywhere a pedal only bike is permitted. Also, get yourself an ebike, because I question whether you even own one.
ps- Get ready for ebikers to far surpass the number of cyclists. Sure there will be growing pains, but I doubt you'll ever hear an ebiker whining or complaining, or otherwise acting in an unbecoming manner toward pedalists the way you guys do.
John in CR wrote:My point and Luke's, is that it doesn't matter what ink dots on a page call them from a legal standpoint, they're ebikes and the people who are forced into using them are our electric brethren. The pedalist elitists who rail against them are discriminating pure and simple,
Pedal cyclists-- safe, clean, fit, efficient pedal cyclists-- are the ones who carved out the privileges you exploit. You want to have it both ways-- you want to enjoy the considerations and freedoms that come from being safe, slow and efficient, but then you want to drive just like a motor vehicle without meeting the responsibilities of one. Where does that line of reasoning stop? Should a jackass be able to stick pedals out the sides of his Tesla Roadster and claim to be a bicycle, exempt from licensing, registration and insurance requirements?
You can only push this stuff so far. When we get to where there are more than just a few crackpot mad geniuses zooming around at motorcycle speeds on "bicycles", y'all are going to get your privileges yanked-- more than likely right along with the privileges of legally observant e-bikers too. Things like scooters with pretend pedals will only hasten the day. If you want the rights and freedoms of a bicycle, move like a bicycle. That means actual usable pedals and bicycle speeds.
When the day comes, I'll stick up for pedelecs rather than an outright ban. But no way am I going to bat for some dorky Vespa-like thing with tiny cranks a foot and a half apart. As far as I am concerned, those turds can get plated, insured and inspected just like their smogger siblings.