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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Green, my arse!

Posted on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 4:10 PM

When are the environmentally aware folks of Nova Scotia, and the rest of Canada, going to rise up and speak out against the ridiculous and archaic laws forbidding the riding of small non-licensed electric and gas-powered scooters and two-wheeled "bicycles" on the streets, just like any other bicycle? On one hand, I am continually reading about how we must find more efficient modes of transportation to "green" the planet, and the next I am being threatened with a ticket for actually doing so.

There is absolutely no reason why I shouldn't be able to ride my little electric scooter/bicycle everywhere that a pedalled bicycle can go, and yet I'm an "outlaw" if I do so. These prohibitions are in place from another age - where only teenage "hoodlums" rode mini-bikes and mopeds, but it's time to wake up and smell the 21st century. My little eZip 500 can go 10-15 kms on $0.20 worth of electricity. It is smaller than a pedalled bicycle, and has good brakes and 12-inch pneumatic tires. It is lighter, more maneuverable, slower and therefore "safer" than many pedalled bicycles; especially those you now see towing unhappy children and infants behind in these deadly bicycle trailers.

Currently there is a bizarre exception that allows electric scooters if they can also be pedalled, which has led to the manufacture of strange looking conveyances with tiny ineffectual pedals bolted on as an afterthought. This is beyond ridiculous.

If my eZip runs out of juice, it can also be pushed along by foot. For the record, this is how the very first bicycles were powered as well! I spoke with a company in Dartmouth that has 2 dozen beautiful electric scooters sitting in its warehouse that can as of now only be used on private property. What a waste. I suppose if he welded on a couple of child's tricycle-style foot pedals to the front wheel to satisfy law enforcement, he could then sell these wonderful units to commuters looking to go green, without the disadvantages of a pedalled bicycle e.g. limited range, hard to store, and not to mention showing up at work in a lather of perspiration and ready for a nap.

There is no reason why these eco-friendly devices should be banned by laws left over from the 1950s, made when a fill-up of gas was next to free, AND you got a toaster. I suppose as long as our law-makers are throw-backs to that era, we must expect resistance to progressive change?

Until I start hearing more folks support our being able to take advantage of the hundreds of makes of scooters and mini-powered "bicycles" which are currently and inexplicably still banned in Canada, I ask that you try to keep your letters about "greening" our transportation to yourselves. If you're not part of the solution....

As long as I am "forbidden" to use my eZip, I suppose I must be content to fire up my trusty old '69 T-bird and let it's worn-out 429 leave a trail of leaking oil and roiling exhaust smoke behind as I rumble up to the supermarket.

And to the officer of the "bridge police" that rudely threatened me with a summons...Yes, my scooter IS a bicycle - it has two wheels (bi), and they're round (cycle)...

--- baD mR fRosTy

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