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Life Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

My Short Electric Bike Rant

electric bike on bloor

I took the photo above on Monday afternoon at the corner of Bloor Street West and St. George while biking towards downtown…under my own power.

There’s something that’s just plain wrong with the many young, healthy, able-bodied people I’ve seen about town using electric bikes in increasing numbers. Use your damned legs, slackers!

10 replies on “My Short Electric Bike Rant”

If you’re 20km away from downtown an electric bike makes a lot of sense. Toronto is wide and up in the north it is relatively bike unfriendly.

Polish: Most of the e-bikers I’ve seen use them to cover “Hipster Toronto” distances, not “Greater Toronto” distances and view the city boundaries as such:

I don’t mind the “normal looking bike with an electric motor”, which look dorky enough that no young’un would be caught dead on one, but seem to serve older folks just fine. They key thing there is that people typically pedal the thing and just hit the “gas” for a boost up a hill or from a stop sign. It’s the full-fairing, vespa-wannabe with impossible to use pedals (like in your photo) that aggravate hell out of me. The pedals are just there to qualify it as an e-bike, and I’ve never seen anyone pedal one – many have removed the pedals altogether. If it’s a bike, let me see you pedal it!

I met an elderly gent with an old-fashioned e-bike outside the grocery store lat year. He said it helped him get around town and up hills (we’re in the Junction). The bike was as heavy as hell (I tried lifting it), but it served him well and I wished him well.

Don’t ask me what I think of the young, northbound salmon on the faux-Vespa who nearly ran into me while I was turning into the southbound Christie bike lane off Davenport.

In my experience e-bikes zoom through bike lanes at speeds higher than regular bikes can match, and then honk or bully their way ahead of you. It’s ridiculous. They’re bikes being driven with a car mentality. There needs to be some kind of regulation or licensing system.

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