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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Interesting resources for Ontario eBikers

Gio eBike forum

This is a discussion forum for Gio eScooter owners to share ideas, comments, modifications and upgrades and new owner observations. It is run by Jim, who blogs about his switch from a gasoline truck to an eScooter in the BandMobile blog.

The Gio is the marketing name in Canada for the Luyuan PB710 bike made in China. It represents the low-end of the cost spectrum of eScooters, typically costing in the $600-$700 range. Being so inexpensive it is an excellent entry-level eBike for those just wanting to explore the concept; it is also cheap enough that folks who like to tinker can play around with its lighting and look.

Durham e-Bike Association

The DEB has both a website and a Facebook group.

This Facebook group is considered one of the best online to address eBike issues in Southern Ontario. Although its focus is the suburban Durham region north of Toronto, it has many Toronto members because its organizers have taken a leadership role in demonstrating to the provincial government that PBAs have a legitimate and important place on the road, equal to but different from bicycles. The Durham e-Bike Association president Warren Christiani has been quoted in the Toronto Sun about the benefits and realities of eBikes in modern city life.

It has an excellent page on regulations and rules and retailers in Ontario.

'Sensible' pedal bicyclist blog

The Toronto blog ibiketo.com, operated by a conventional cyclist, has been home to much discussion among eBikers and bicyclists. The thread "Electric scooter a lion in lamb's clothes", despite its inflammatory title, has actually been a responsible and intelligent discussion of roadway issues between eBikers and conventional cyclers, usually building bridges between the two groups rather than excavating ravines like the TCU has been doing.

Of course, like any blog open to public comment and contribution, there are people who write things without thinking, make claims without factual study or science to back up their statements, or without any knowledge of the subject at all.

However, the tone of the discussions generally returns to sanity, with sensible people from both communities realizing that, in fact, they are just slightly different members of the same community.

A far cry from that biking lobby group and its scientifically-unfounded and reactionary position on eBikes.

Political contact lists

Because eBikes are new, many people who don't know anything about them, fear them. It seems to be a state state of uman nature to fear what you don't know, and decry it before learning about it. This includes politicians. So it's important to send an email, make a phone call or send a letter to your local and provincial politician to let them know that eBikes are legitimate, safe, friendly and thanks to federal legislation, here to stay.

Because so much of the regulation is provincial, it's also important to contact your MPP and let the decision-makers at Queen's Park know that we stand by the federal belief that Power-Assisted Bicycles are "a new means of transportation that is attractive, safe, and environment-friendly."

  • Find your Member of the Provincial Parliament.
If you'd like to add a community to this list, please join OntEBA and comment!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re the Gio e-bike Forum, its address is now http://gioebike.phpbb3now.com/

There is also a Yahoo group at http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/GIOscoot/