Sign the Petition to Legalize Ebikes on Boulder’s Paths, Lanes & Racks. ~ Evan Ravitz

Via elephant journal
on May 10, 2013
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A petition to legalize electric bikes (ebikes) on Boulder’s paths, lanes and racks will be presented to the Boulder City Council on May 21.

Everyone who breathes and moves around town should sign it!

Here’s why:

1. Ebikes use about 2 percent of the energy a car uses.

Several folks have crossed the U.S. using $7.00 or $8.00 of electricity. Climate scientists say we must cut fossil fuel use by 90 percent by 2050. Ebikes cut fossil-fuel use by about 98 percent!

If you displace half a typical driver’s mileage with an ebike, the gas saved will pay for a good $3000 ebike in 3 years. And a good ebike should last decades.

2. Ebikes “level the playing field” so most everyone can bike, in spite of hills, wind, distance, cargo, age, illness or sedentary lifestyles.

Ebikes can provide you with as much exercise as you want/need, arriving without sweat or fatigue. They can get you in shape after years at the wheel, desk and couch, while getting you where you want to go.

3. Even if it’s not for you, every driver who gets on an ebike is one less obstacle to you in your fire chariot!

4. In flat Amsterdam, 47 percent of all trips are by bike.

Boulder is younger, more compact and has better weather year round. Our big hills and high winds are the bane of amateur cyclists, but no problem with ebikes. When 47 percent of our trips are by bike, traffic and pollution will be back to levels comparable to the levels of the 1990s.

5. Ebikes outsell cars 4 to 1 in China where over 125 million ebikes are on the road.

Ebikes used over half the space at the 2012 Eurobike, the world’s largest bike expo.

Unfortunately, ebikes are illegal to use today on Boulder’s multi-use paths and public bike racks. In bike lanes, ebikes are restricted to 400-watt motors and a top, potential speed of 20 mph—not enough to get a large person up to Chautauqua Park.

The great news is that Colorado state law allows localities to legalize ebikes up to 750 watts. That’s what Boulder should do.

Therefore, please consider signing the petition.

If you’re enthused, attend the May 21 Boulder City Council Meeting at City Hall on the SW corner of Broadway and Canyon.

Citizens can speak on any topic for 2 minutes starting at 6:00 pm. Signup either in-person the day of the meeting before 5:00 p.m. or online beginning on Friday, May 17 at 4:00 p.m.


Evan RavitzEvan Ravitz is a lifetime cyclist, now 61 with a neck injury from his tightrope career that makes Boulder’s big hills a big pain in the neck. Don’t make him get a car! Help legalize ebikes. Learn more about Evan on his website.



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  • Assistant ed: Paula Carrasquillo
  • Ed: Kate Bartolotta


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2 Responses to “Sign the Petition to Legalize Ebikes on Boulder’s Paths, Lanes & Racks. ~ Evan Ravitz”

  1. EvanRavitz says:

    I forgot to say: They're WAY fun! Everyone I know who doubted they'd be interested changed their mind after a test ride. It's like having an enhanced Lance Armstrong pedal for you!

  2. BBolder says:

    I strongly support changing Boulder's law, and am surprised – not – that our pseudo-progressive city has such a restriction.

    At the same time, I'm extremely frustrated with the current state of all EV's. My Honda fit cost $16,5000 while the E version costs a mind-boggling $37,415, while being mechanically much simpler. Boulder's Opti-Bike, which is considered the best, is $13,000 … Exactly $12,000 more than my bicycle! The Opti can hit 25mph with pedal assist, which I can do also (although not for very long 🙂 An EBike will need new batteries in from 0 – 8 years, while my road bike will basically last for decades. And like you say, the Opti is not allowed on the bike paths, but is too slow for all but residential streets.

    So the current situation – legal and economic – is a complete disaster. Unbelievable.

    It's doubly frustrating for me, because I designed my house for an EV, so I have a charging station in my garage and enough surplus PV being generated on the roof to run an EBike for free, an EScooter almost for free, and 17% of a Nissan Leaf driven at my current usage.

    But I own none of the above. Instead I bike to work 2-3 times a week, drive my little Fit the other days, (the buses to where I work would take 1:10 while I can bike it in :30), have accumulated 5,873 KwH (as of yesterday) surplus electricity, and wait for something logical to finally evolve.