Electric Bikes Don't Belong in Bike Lanes

Electric Bikes Don't Belong on Bike PathsThere's a trend emerging that I'd like to nip in the bud. I'm an avid user of Toronto's bike lanes and trails, and recently I've seen people using these lanes while riding an electric bike.

It saw it again today on Royal York. E-bikes belong on the road with automobiles, trucks and motorcycles, not on bike paths.

While in Amsterdam last year, I noticed the electric bikes and scooters rode alongside bicycles on their extensive bike path system. I didn't like it there, and I hate it here.

If you're going to ride in the bike lane, use your pedals and turn off the motor. Thanks.

Share this entry

Comments (26 - click here to join in!)


Agreed. Also, if you're going to ride a bike don't ride on the effing sidewalk.

June 20, 2013 @ 2:15 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Agreed. 100%.

June 20, 2013 @ 2:16 PM


Completely agree: If you have an engine, you are not a bicycle. Get out of the bike lane.

June 20, 2013 @ 2:33 PM


My god, I agree with Argie on something! Yes, keep your bikes off the goddamned sidewalk! I can't count the number of idiots who have almost run my blind ass down over the years doing that. If the white cane wasn't such an important part of getting around, I'd honestly give in to temptation and use it to start taking you guys down.

And if you must bike on the sidewalk, at least pay attention to what's around you. If you're as careless on the road as you are up with those of us on foot, how are all of you not dead by now?

June 20, 2013 @ 2:43 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

My kids aren't yet pre-teens, but I've already taught them to never ride their bikes on the sidewalk.

They ride on bike paths and trails whenever possible, otherwise they ride on the street like a car.

June 20, 2013 @ 2:46 PM

4x4 Time

I know nothing about E-Bikes, but I was just wondering if they are motorized, and on the road, do you have to have insurance? Do you need a licence?...Just curious...Either way, they should not be in "bike" lanes where people are pedalling.

June 20, 2013 @ 3:20 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@4x4 Time

The city of Toronto has a page on e-bikes that just reiterates the fact that a bicycle must be pedalled manually... so an e-bike is definitely a motorized vehicle: http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/e-bikes/

That brings us to the MTO:

To operate an e-bike:

No driver's licence is required
No written test is required
No vehicle registration or plate is required
No motor vehicle liability insurance is required
All operators/riders/passengers must be 16 years of age and older.
All operators/riders/passengers on operating an e-bike are required to wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet.

June 20, 2013 @ 3:23 PM


I already posted this on Open Mike, but it seems appropriate here:

I've been riding around with a GoPro running lately, mostly because we have one, so why not, but also so I can be avenged when I inevitably get splattered by an inattentive driver.

Re: Argie's point, I took this one in April:

June 20, 2013 @ 3:37 PM

4x4 Time

So if an E-Bike riders plows into a pedestrian at 32km/h and injures that person, the rider has no insurance protection and is open for a potential lawsuit? And if no license is required, how does it prevent people who have lost their license from riding on one of these?..Wow..

June 20, 2013 @ 4:11 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@4x4 Time

If the e-bike doesn't exceed 32 km/h, that's exactly right.

June 20, 2013 @ 4:15 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@ markosaar

And there's no way that even qualifies as an e-bike.

What an idiot.

June 20, 2013 @ 4:17 PM


I work downtown and when I see bike couriers on the sidwalks it doesn't annoy me as much. It's because bike courier's understand they shouldn't be on the road, and are really good at avoiding people.

Bixi riders are the worst. They're always riding on the sidewalk.

June 20, 2013 @ 4:45 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


It's fear. I saw it with my wife last year. She was afraid to drive on the street with the cars.

We'd try and map routes that were mainly trails through parks and stand-alone bike paths but at some point there's always a street you need to bike on. And yes, she'd want to bike on the sidewalk because she was afraid.

It was confidence she needed. You need to understand that when you're biking on the street you have the same rights as the cars around you. If there's no bike lane, take the entire lane.... don't take a sliver on the right so cars can pass you, that's how you get killed.

Take the lane, follow the rules like you're a car and be sure of yourself. But please, stay off the sidewalk. That's for pedestrians.

June 20, 2013 @ 4:53 PM


Naked bike riders don't belong on city bike lanes and paths. They were out and about last Saturday.

June 20, 2013 @ 5:39 PM


@CQ: I cringe when they use Bixis. And then try to avoid using any until after a good storm.

June 20, 2013 @ 5:46 PM


...and just from my ride home this evening...

A personal pet-peeve of mine, since I changed my route to take Richmond and Adelaide. It's worse that it's the "quiet" part of Adelaide, as I see cars pulling out of driveways almost creaming unexpected cyclists travelling the wrong direction:

Another place e-bikes shouldn't be:

Supporting Derrick's assertion that Bixi riders are the worst:

...and home:

June 20, 2013 @ 7:38 PM

Jason from Sudbury

What's a bixi?

June 20, 2013 @ 8:04 PM


@Jason: public bike-share.

It has its share of detractors, but living downtown, I love it. I have my own bikes, but it's so nice to be able to use a Bixi to go out and not worry about two-way trips, locking up, weather, road salt, etc. The problem, for me, is its operating range is rather limited.


June 20, 2013 @ 8:07 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Oh yeah yeah ok I know what it is now. I had heard of them before just didn't know what they were called.

June 20, 2013 @ 9:31 PM

Jason Patterson

You'll get over it, Mike, give it time.

June 21, 2013 @ 7:06 AM


Love biking in Toronto, dislike e-bikes though. Do you ever see anyone pedaling those things?

June 21, 2013 @ 8:56 AM


Never seen anyone pedal an e-bike. I made a post yesterday evening with a bunch of infractions, including two e-bikes driving on the sidewalk, but Mike hasn't approved it yet. Too many pictures?

June 21, 2013 @ 9:47 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Sorry about that... it got caught in the spam filter. I've approved it.

Next time someone here comments and it's held for moderation, send me an email and I'll approve it right away.

June 21, 2013 @ 12:01 PM


Ah duly noted. Thanks. Seems to happen when I include more than one link in a post.

June 21, 2013 @ 12:15 PM


I'm no bylaw expert but I imagine the sidewalk diameter rule was originally set to differentiate BMX/kids sized bikes from adult bikes. Something should be done about that before it turns deadly.

June 26, 2013 @ 7:14 AM


having just moved into the big city from a smaller 1, I am trying to take an observers approach at first. But its getting more and more difficult. While out for a run, this guy was on the road on his e-bike...traffic stopped, he hopped up on the sidewalk to avoid the lights and the traffic ( nearly hittin me ), then hopped back on the road. PICK A LANE!!!!!!

this small town attitude of mine will only last so long...I just might end up using the middle digit!!!!

September 7, 2013 @ 12:59 AM

Leave a comment

Only 26 comments? C'mon, we can do better... Leave a comment above and let's keep this conversation going!

« You Never Know in Sports: 2013 Jays Edition Summer Solstice Open Mike »