Gone are the days where you are a child and struggling to ride your bike up the neighborhood’s largest hills. Today e-bikes are becoming the new craze, with the Times of San Diego recently reporting 145% market growth from 2019-2020.
In cities throughout North County, residents are asking councilmembers to make more regulations due to the rise of safety concerns resulting from more electric bicycles. The manager of Gelato 101 in Encinitas described the rise in e-bicycles recently for NBC San Diego saying, “They just turn whenever they feel like it,… Most of the time it’s very close, people honk their horn at them.” This is just one example where it is evident that biking regulations and laws aren’t suitable for current biking technology.
The dominance of electric bicycles is unavoidable. Outside of bicycle related sports, there is no way traditional bicycles will be able compete with the speed and convenience that an e-bike provides. Adding to this popularity, the state of California is proposing Assembly Bill No. 117 which would, “…[award] incentives for purchasing electric bicycles.” This bill provides ten million dollars worth of incentives toward e-bikes for California’s budget going forward.
Since Assembly Bill No. 117 has wide support in the State legislature, it would be unwise for anyone in California not to strongly consider making an e-bike their next bicycle purchase. What is the tragedy in all this, is that groups of kids decades from now will not know the true difficulty of riding a traditional bicycle up a steep hill, with additional passengers at that.