The news isn’t great on the bill to create an ebike licensing program.
Sponsored by 77th District Assemblymember Tasha Boerner, AB 530, which cannibalized an earlier bill, would —
1) Prohibit anyone under 12 from riding any class of ebike.
2) Require a photo ID for anyone over 16 who doesn’t have a valid driver’s license.
3) Existing state law requires that anyone riding a Class 3 ebike, defined as a ped-assist bike capable of speeds up to 28 mph, to wear a bike helmet that meets standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Correction: I originally wrote that the bill would require an ebike license for anyone who doesn’t have a driver’s license.
However, that understanding came from the press release posted below, which says the bill would “Require an online written test and a state-issued photo identification for those without a valid driver’s license.”
I’m told that the bill actually requires that anyone over 16 without a driver’s license would be required to carry photo ID to ride an ebike, though I’m not sure what that would be, since not everyone has one.
The bill would also establish a working group with a goal of creating a license for ebike riders.
Although as we’ve repeatedly been told, there’s no way to create a bicycle license that would pencil out financially, so I’m not sure that would work out. Not to mention all the other reasons bike licensing isn’t viable.
I don’t actually have a problem with the first requirement. Ebikes are powerful machines that young children may not be able to handle. Although I’d exclude handicapped children who may not be able to ride a standard bicycle.
I do have a problem with requiring a license for any adult to ride any kind of bicycle, electric or otherwise. There are countless reasons why someone might not have a driver’s license, which have nothing to do with their ability to ride a bicycle.
Someone who has been riding a bicycle for 20, 30 or 40 years is perfectly capable of riding an ebike without having to pass a test to get a license. And it creates a very slippery slope to the demands of some drivers that all bike riders should be licensed.
Once we require licenses for one group of bicyclists, it’s a very small step to require them for all.
Never mind that it’s exactly the wrong thing to do when California is literally on fire, overly congested traffic is grinding to halt, and our air and climate are fouled by motor vehicles.
We should be encouraging alternatives to driving, rather than throwing up still more barriers.
What would make far more sense is to create a separate class for throttle-controlled ebikes, which require no physical exertion to operate, and can easily reach speeds beyond what inexperienced riders are capable of safely controlling.
I’m sure Tasha Boerner’s heart is in the right place — although I’d like to know why the hell she pulled AB 73, which would have allowed bike riders to treat stop signs as yields when safe to do so, when it appeared to be on track to pass the legislature.
Especially since I’ve heard Gavin Newsom may have looked more favorably on it this time, after vetoing two earlier versions of the bill.
But this bill, AB 530, should be dead on arrival without major revisions.
Photo by Maxfoot from Pixabay.
Sad news from Moreno Valley, where a man riding a bicycle was severely injured in a head-on collision Friday night.
The victim was riding east on Box Springs Road at Pine Cone Lane around 9 pm when he allegedly crossed onto the wrong side of the road, and was struck by the driver of a 2006 Honda Civic.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Deputy Andrew Galbreath of the Moreno Valley sheriff’s station at 951/486-6700.
CicLAvia is teaming with LADOT to explore the newly extended protected bike lanes and safety improvements on Venice Blvd this Sunday, though the street will remain open to motor vehicles.
Streets For All is back with their monthly virtual happy hour on Wednesday, with Caltrans District 7 Director Gloria Roberts as special guest.
Which means this is your perfect chance to ask questions about safety improvements and Complete Streets requirements on state roadways.
A Shakespeare put it, “’tis true ’tis pity, and pity ’tis, ’tis true.”
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on rolling.
Talk about not getting it. A London writer and bike rider says we don’t need any bike cam vigilantes, arguing that a road raging driver who went ballistic after being challenged for texting behind the wheel wasn’t endangering anyone because he was stuck in stationary traffic. Never mind that texting drivers often lurch forward without looking after someone honks at them for not moving when the light changes.
A road-raging Porsche driver ran over a bike after a group of bike riders participating in a London ride-out blocked the driver’s path.
A couple in the UK were ordered to remove their DIY cargo bike parking space after the local council concluded that the planter they used for protection might hurt the poor cars.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Police in Northern Ireland have spoken to a bike rider regarding his conduct, after the “intolerant and ignorant” man shouted obscenities as he rode past a Protestant parade. More proof that The Troubles aren’t entirely in the past.
Streetsblog’s Joe Linton visits my neighborhood to offer his thoughts on the new peak-hour bus lanes on La Brea Blvd, which he suggests could be even quicker and cheaper to build; he also notes that CD10 Councilmemember Heather Hutt is working to maintain the street’s auto-centric focus by indefinitely blocking the project south of Olympic Blvd. It’s worth noting that Hutt, who cites a lack of public consensus for blocking the project was appointed by the council to fill a vacancy, and has yet to face the voters.
Solana Beach officials discussed the city’s response to mounting ebike injuries, after neighboring Carlsbad and Encinitas declared a local state of emergency earlier this year.
The Ventura County Transportation Commission wants your input on planning the future of mobility for the county.
San Francisco Streetsblog takes a self-guided, unofficial tour of the new Gilman Street pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-80, even though it’s not scheduled to open until October.
A Chico driver may have saved the life of a bike rider, stopping her car to intervene when she saw around eight pit bulls attacking a man riding his bike on a bike path, before the dogs turned on her; the dogs were captured at a nearby homeless encampment after both victims managed to get away
A travel website wants you to explore Mexico City by bicycle.
Streetsblog reposts a Substack article offering advice on how to talk to strangers to accomplish your bike and transit goals, saying even if you’re an introvert, you have to win others over to your cause.
Oregon officials are planning to build a 172-mile bicycle network in the scenic southwest portion of the state, though just what form it will take is still to be determined.
A new Oregon law reduces the penalties for biking under the influence, as lawmakers recognize the reduced damage an intoxicated bike rider can cause, compared to people in the big, dangerous machines.
A tragic warning about riding in extreme heat, after an Arizona man in his 70s died from apparent heat-related causes after suffering a flat, and attempting to walk his bike to a nearby fire station to wait for his wife.
This is who we share the road with. An Idaho woman is in a medically induced coma after she was run down by a 14-year old driver on the 4th of July while riding her bike; she was in treatment for a meth addiction and 120 days sober when she was injured. A crowdfunding campaign to defray her medical expenses has raised just over ten percent of the $50,000 goal.
A Nebraska bike rider became the latest person to be run down by a cop while riding a bicycle, after he was right hooked while riding on the sidewalk.
There’s a special place in hell for the adult thief who pushed a Detroit boy off his bike as the kid was riding it, then pedaled off on it; the thief turned himself into the police, while a state legislator gave the boy a new bike.
An Indiana man will spend the next 35 years behind bars after he was convicted of attempted murder for shooting a man on a bicycle in the back, while shouting that the victim had stolen his car.
A Kentucky state park worker is being praised for jumping into the water to save a ten-year old boy who accidentally rode his bike off a 15-foot cliff, then dove back in to retrieve the boy’s bicycle.
They get it, too. The leaders of a Boston-area city want the city’s police to stop ticketing bicyclists who ride through red lights without putting anyone else at risk.
Tragic news from DC, where a fixture in the local bicycling scene was fatally gunned down early Saturday; 27-year old Dzhoy Zuckerman was killed just blocks from his home by an unknown attacker. No word on whether he was riding his bike at the time, or any motive for the shooting. A crowdfunding campaign to support his partner has raised over $3,800 of the $10,000 goal in the first few hours.
Bike Biz asks if rising bicycle prices have become a barrier to sales.
A small new Canadian study suggest one factor causing crashes is that drivers just aren’t looking for people on bicycles.
A man riding his bike across Canada to raise awareness for mental health lost all of his gear when someone stole his bike outside a Winnipeg coffee shop; he says he was warned about Winnipeg.
A new Scottish study concludes that drivers are more likely to be at fault in crashes with bicyclists.
They must be doing something right, as British bicycling deaths drop 24% to their lowest level in 30 years. Exactly the opposite of what’s happening in this country, for reasons that should be self evident.
Forty people from four continents, including survivors of the 2017 New York bike path attack climbed the Grand Colombier before the Tour de France stage to honor the victims of terrorism.
Now you can carry your kids with what is in effect a three-wheeled ped-assist pedicab, thanks to a collaboration between Germany’s Cube and BMW.
A Singapore writer says it’s not easy being a casual bike rider in the island city-state. But apparently, it’s not any easier being a serious bicyclist, as 26 Singaporean roadies were fined for exceeding the limits on group rides, which specify no more than five bicyclists can ride together at any given time.
This year’s Tour de France is threatening to descend into chaos, marring what is turning into an epic battle between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar.
Exhibit one is the race motos that halted an attack by Pogačar on the Col de Joux Plane on Saturday’s stage 14, which may have kept him from claiming the yellow jersey.
Velo questions whether the race motos could prove decisive, as Pogačar lost out on a time bonus that could have cut Vingegaard’s lead to just four seconds, while the riders and passengers of both motos were suspended for one whole stage for their transgressions.
Exhibit two is a mass crash shortly after the start of Saturday’s stage that forced three riders to abandon, while holding up the race for half an hour to attend to the injured cyclist; two other riders were forced to abandon when they both crashed on a fast descent shortly after the restart.
Exhibit three is another mass crash on Sunday’s stage, when a spectator taking a selfie came in contact with American rider Sepp Kuss, triggering a massive chain reaction crash.
Vingegaard responded to questions about increases in speeds, as he and Pogačar have broken several climbing records in recent years, crediting it on improving bicycle tech, while acknowledging that he can understand why people would wonder if he’s on something.
American riders Neilson Powless and Lawson Craddock lit up Sunday’s “monster climbing stage” in stage 15, as Powless defended the King of the Mountain jersey he’s worn for two weeks, while Craddock just missed the podium with a career-best fourth.
UCI has reversed its policy for transgender cyclists, ruling that transgender women who transition after puberty will be barred from competing in women’s cycling events in all categories and disciplines. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.
Huh? A bizarre story from South Korea, where a transgender cyclist says she won a woman’s race to prove a point to “selfish” trans athletes that biological men are physically superior to biological women.
Citing a recent court decision, a Colorado landowner is now requiring liability waivers from all the competitors, support staff and spectators for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, after allowing the race to traverse his land for the previous four years he’s owned it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.
Now you, too, can carry a concealed weapon on your bicycle (just give a fake birthday to get past the NRA’s intrusive age check). That feeling when your bike brand shares a name with a late rock star.
And when popping wheelies and bunny hopping makes you “the NBA of the streets.”
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin.