When I was eleven, I always wanted to ride my Honda Z50 down to the local 7-Eleven for a Mellow Yellow and some Sweet Tarts. Or, ride it to school instead of my bicycle. That Honda could do about 28 mph (what an E-bike is governed to for sale in the U.S.), could have saved my mom from taking me places, kept me outdoors instead of indoors playing Atari, and would have saved me the trouble of physical exertion. But, I wasn’t old enough to have a license or instruction to ride on a public roadway, or registration, or insurance.
I could ride it up at the “Honda Hills”, what now is the Alta Laguna Park. But you were always looking over your shoulder because you weren’t legally allowed to ride a motorized vehicle there.
If only my Honda didn’t have that 50cc internal combustion engine (and resembled a bicycle), I could have made those trips to the store, and school, and not be wary of riding on any trails.
Back then, the bike racks at school were all full of bikes. Then, they all disappeared. I just chalked it up to parents being wary of predators in this current world. But now that the bike racks are all full again, with E-bikes, I’m not so sure.
E-bikes are a wonderful advent for parents and kids alike.
For pedestrians walking downtown however, not so much. They’re now sharing the sidewalks with youth on motorized vehicles. And likely, those youth are not interested in (or even able without a speedometer) to address 28 mph in a downtown 20 mph zone.
Some models don’t even have pedals, it’s quite literally a motorized dirt bike on public roads piloted by an eleven year old.
And now that those “Honda Hills” are part of the South Coast Wilderness Area, motorized vehicles are back there too. Although, not technically allowed since it’s a motorized vehicle, that’s not mentioned in the ad I see for local E-bike rental that touts “Laguna’s world-renowned spectacular trails”.
All things considered, they’re quiet and less polluting (not zero, fossil fuels are still used to create that energy), and are a wonderful tool. Making it much easier to gloss over that part about having an electric motor, in places that don’t allow motorized vehicles.
Duane Allee, Laguna BeachView Our User Comment Policy