OrilliaMatters welcomes letters to the editor at email@example.com. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). This letter is in response to a letter regarding a hit-and-run involving an e-bike, published Aug. 7.
My heartfelt "get well" to the injured party.
My experience with pedal-assist e-bikes:
I discovered e-bikes a few years ago at a time in my life when I could hardly walk a few blocks due to chronic pain from fibromyalgia.
I couldn't bicycle more than a dozen blocks and certainly couldn't pedal up hills. My fitness level just got worse and worse.
Enter our first e-bike - the Giant Twist Freedom.
I discovered I could pedal this bike up hills and beyond my previous range restriction. I felt like a kid again on that bike (I'm 63). It rejuvenated my soul.
I could use as much "assist" as was required to overcome my limitations.
This has been life-changing for me from a mental wellness perspective and has allowed me to become more "fit" along the way.
However, as I was riding around, with a silly big grin on my face, it became apparent that some folks were not happy about this development, as indicated by their scowling faces as I slowly passed them after ringing my bell.
Yes, I see the speedy scooters and the speedy pro-ish bikers going too fast and yes it is dangerous, I agree.
We need to catch up with the times.
When I go to Newmarket, I see signs on the trails that we need here on our trails.
Let's start with a posted trail speed limit of 15 km per hour.
Let's add signs restricting these dangerous and heavy e-scooters (electric mopeds) with a red cross through the scooter graphic and another sign depicting a pedal assist bike with a green checkmark to make it clear what is allowed where.
Just like Newmarket has posted on its trails.
At present there is no signage on our trails that adequately explains the rules other than "No motorized vehicles" which is vague at best.
E-bicycles are classified as bicycles in Ontario as well as the rest of Canada.
E-bicycles are currently experiencing a worldwide surge of popularity as folks realize they can commute/shop and travel without getting sweaty while still keeping fit. The automobile is now "optional".
I would like to see Orillia become a leader in alternative transportation and this is where it starts, with E-bikes.
To succeed, proper enforcement will be required.
Whatever happened to the summer "police on bicycles?"
Regulations without enforcement are not an effective solution.