Rules for where ebikes can be ridden seem arbitrary.

I understand not wanting motorized vehicles on paved multi-use paths. But to ban all ebikes and not just certain classes of them doesn’t make sense. They aren’t all alike.

Knowingly breaking the rules when it comes to riding an ebike. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

My ebike requires me to pedal for the motor to engage. That’s why it’s a pedal-assist bike. Yes, it’s still an electric bike.

Last month I took her out on the Midway trail, a popular paved path that runs from Chico to Durham. I ignored the sign saying no ebikes. The electric scooter rider also ignored the sign. The no motorized vehicles part of the sign applied to him as well.

As a non-ebike rider and walker, I understand not wanting people to whiz by me on a trail like this on a moped or scooter or motorcycle.

Like many ebikes, mine comes with different settings. On flat I have it in its lowest setting to get a better workout. I’m not a fast rider. Someone on a road bike passed me. Really! So, clearly, my speed on my ebike is not a threat to others.

Perhaps I’m the exception to the rule because I’m slow. But I don’t think so. I think the problem is that the powers that be put in the rules without understanding the dynamics of electric bikes.

I understand ones with throttles being banned from paved paths. They are more like mopeds than bikes.

But at the same time one has to consider the alternatives for people on two wheels. In my case this would have meant riding on a dangerous road with no shoulder where vehicles go 55-plus miles an hour. I’ll take a ticket for riding my ebike illegally over the threat of dying.

It seems like a speed limit on paved trails might be the better solution for safety for all and it would mean being more inclusive. I don’t know what that limit should be. I really don’t know who is going to enforce it. Enforcement of ebikes on these trails is probably not a thing. It’s like any rule, we are supposed to self-regulate, self-police.

Or maybe it’s time to get the rules changed; at least this particular one.

Pin It on Pinterest