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View Diary: When Is a Bike Not A Bicycle? (41 comments)

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  •  A motorcyclist's perspective (3+ / 0-)

    Bicycles with an attached motor are nothing new. People have been building low powered pedal-assist two wheelers since the late 1800's- and yes, Virginia, there were electric motorcycles at that time. Cycle wheels, with a "clip on" motor attached to a standard bicycle, date from the early Twentieth Century. The Shaw was a popular make of early moped.

    All of these items are motorcycles. A bicycle is solely human powered. Once you add any sort of a motor, the contrivance is a motorcycle- faster, heavier, and less maneuverable than a human powered bicycle.

    If you are on a public road or path, you have to obey rules which are intended to avoid injury to others. Car drivers do, motorcyclists do-- there should be no special dispensation for folks that choose to ride low powered motor-driven cycles.

    •  If it's got a motor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pHunbalanced

      it's a motorcycle.  That seems pretty basic . . .

      Maybe a "special class" of motorcycle that does not exceed "human power" (250 Watts might be reasonable limit) that does not require a license could be created, and maybe even permitted (in some cases) on "mixed use" paths . . . but nothing that gives sustained performance that exceeds that of a "normal" person . . .
         

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:37:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's another old idea (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, pHunbalanced

        They used to have kid licenses, and restricted kids to no more than five horsepower or something. That is, the kid bike had five horsepower before the kid started tinkering with it. Amazing how much physics and engineering you can learn just because you want to GO FASTER.

        •  yes, and we should encourage kids to... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deward Hastings

          .... learn physics and engineering.  

          That sort of thing was part of what we used to call the "can-do spirit."  

          "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

          by G2geek on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:21:53 AM PDT

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      •  electric wheelchairs? (0+ / 0-)

        And what about accessibility for people who are partially disabled?  

        Shall we decide they can't leave their houses unless they qualify for automobile or motorcycle licenses and/or there's good public transport in their areas?

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:23:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I believe we were talking about two wheels (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pHunbalanced

          Most electric wheelchairs have four. And my comment, above, was that people should be barred from using their motor vehicles in ways that present a threat to others.  

          •  about that we all agree: (0+ / 0-)

            People should be barred from using their motor vehicles in ways that present a threat to others.

            To which I would also add non-motorized vehicles, and walking and running in public places, since after all a jogger can carelessly knock down an old lady on the sidewalk and kill her.  

            The existence or quantity of wheels is irrelevant: the only thing that matters in terms of physics, is inertial mass and the ability to stop in time to avoid an accident.  

            "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

            by G2geek on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 02:07:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  once you add a motor.... (0+ / 0-)

      .... that's capable of providing "normal" performance equivalent to a person in "normal" health, it's called disability access.

      The fact that there are yahoos around who hot-rod these things to perform like little Teslas on two wheels, doesn't change that.  

      "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

      by G2geek on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:24:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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