Friday, July 13, 2012

Outrage Over eBikes in Automotive City

Windsor, Ontario -- known the world over for its contributions to the auto industry and for being one of the most automobile-centric societies on earth.

Much as Windsorites enjoy their motorized, mechanized transportation vehicles, there's a new breed on the road that's causing fear, loathing and outrage.

As though springing from some malevolent alien pod, "eBikes" -- some hellish, moped hybrid of unnatural origin -- have taken to the streets like a plague in Windsor, Ontario .

What is so odious about this new form of personal transportation?

"For one, they're really slow," says Otto Carmichael, president of Advocates for Automobile Autonomy, Safety and Fairness.

"Second, they're really cheap, so low income people can afford them.

"Worse, though," Carmichael continues, "is that most eBike riders travel to the side of the street because they're too anemic to take part in traffic. Pathetic!

"Worst of all," Carmichael opines, "is that eBikes are silent. What do they have to hide?  That also raises safety concerns on a noisy road. How are pedestrians to know an eBike is within their vicinity if eBikes make no sound? It's ridiculous.

"And even worse yet," Carmichael explains, red-faced, wielding his index finger like a switchblade, "is that people say eBikes are great because they have zero emissions. They don't pollute. That's a lie. They pollute my consciousness with their very existence."

From The Windsor Star:
City council has received a recommendation by the city’s Environment and Transportation Committee to change existing traffic bylaws to ban e-bikes from all sidewalks and multi-use trails.
"I think it’s bull crap because, I mean, if it’s a bike path, you should be able to ride on it on your bike, and they classify these as bikes," said Chris Belcher, who has owned several e-bikes for the past four years and was riding on Windsor’s waterfront paths on the weekend.
Bull crap or not, if these revelations about the "eBike" weren't troubling enough, a month-long Inside the Hotdog Factory investigation has uncovered the existence of yet another heretofore unknown "zero emissions" abomination, which some call "the bicycle".

"There have been rumors for years about such devices as bicycles," says Eli Izod, editor of Automotive Exuberance.  "But, like the Sasquatch or the Yeti, we've never found droppings, or dead bodies -- only grainy photographs, hearsay evidence and the odd plaster cast of tracks."

As an Inside the Hotdog Factory film crew staked out a nature trail, hoping to get footage of an eBike mangling a nature walker, we captured a clear, incontrovertible photograph of a bi-cycle.

The bi-cyclist didn't respond to shouts to stop, nor even appeared to hear these shouts.

Although this new evidence of other zero emissions vehicles has been found -- one that appears to provide exercise, as well -- is not all bad. Now that we know it exists, Windsorites can unite and storm City Council demanding something be done about them.

Unfortunately, at this point, the rarity and scarcity of this new vehicular form may well backfire on adherents of automotive exuberance and see this bi-cycle put on some kind of endangered species list or be otherwise protected by the Nanny State.

More to come . . .

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