Sometimes its hard to be anything BUT embarrassed by the actions of some members of our government. Republicans just recently failed (thankfully) to gut federal funding for maintenance and expansion of bicycling infrastructure across the nation. This comes at the same time that many large cities in the US and across the globe are, rightfully so, implementing more and more bike-friendly policies, creating more bike lanes, and developing bike share programs to help the populace transition away from the current unsustainable auto-centric paradigm.
Climate change is upon us and we must embrace new ways of living, being, and moving in the world. New alternative transportation modes are surfacing everyday and electric bikes are leading the way. E-bikes are a perfect synthesis of the proven efficiency of bicycling and the advantages of modern motor and battery technology. In fact, worldwide, the growing popularity of electric bikes has pumped new life into the entire bicycle industry which has been relatively flat for many years.
All these new variations of the venerable bicycle bring new challenges with regard to access, legality and licensing, and shared usage of roadways, bike lanes, and trails. Whenever there is an increase in activity of any sort in the public realm, there are bumps in the road and growing pains to be addressed. I encourage you to get involved to help shape the future of our shared “travelsphere” – the realm within which we all move about together.
PeopleForBikes.org is a national organization lobbying in support of two and three-wheeled transportation. SiskiyouVelo.org is our local bicycling group. The City of Ashland Transportation Committee addresses the needs of bicyclists within the context of community development. The local Forest Service office is the place to go to express concerns regarding trail access. With regard to local trails, electric bikes are currently lumped together with gas-powered cycles… an unfair assessment in my opinion. I agree that we don’t want noisy rigs with the potential to leak fuel and oil into our waterways roaming throughout the watershed. E-bikes pose no such threat and should be aligned and allowed with all other mountain bikes. If you agree, make your voice heard.
The world is changing. People are choosing to live and move more lightly on the land. Cycles of all kinds, especially electric bikes, are integral to these changes. Let’s co-create this new reality with intelligence, inclusiveness, and a genuine sense of community. Your voice matters. Let it be heard.
Ashland Electric Bikes
1678 Ashland St.