Cycle lanes are becoming increasingly common across Britain. They’re designed to give cyclists safe places to ride and make cycling easier and safer. But what do they look like? And how do you know where one is? We’ve got some handy hints…
Pedal bikes are bicycles with pedals attached to the front wheel. Pedal bikes must meet certain criteria to be classified as a bicycle under the law. These include having three wheels, no motorised parts, being suitable for use off roads, and meeting certain size restrictions. A pedal bike must also fit within the definition of a “pedal cycle”.
A pedal cycle is defined as a vehicle with pedals attached to either side of the rear wheel, which is used for recreational purposes. You can’t ride a pedal cycle on pavements, cycle paths, or anywhere else pedicabs aren’t allowed – unless you meet the legal definition of a pedal cycle. So if you see a pedal bike parked outside a shop, restaurant, pub, etc., check whether there’s a sign saying ‘No pedicab’.
You’ll find pedal cycles on hire systems such as Lime Bikes, Mobike, Ofo and Skip. Some cities have special rules about where pedal bikes can be ridden. In London, for example, you can’t ride a pedal bike on the pavement or in bus stops.
If you want to ride a pedal bike on public transport, you’ll need to buy a ticket. You won’t be able to pay for a single journey with cash; you’ll need to tap in via contactless card or smartphone app. Once you’ve paid, the conductor will scan your credit/debit card or phone and issue you with a paper receipt.
The same applies to riding a pedal bike in car parks. When parking in multi-storey car parks, don’t forget to check signs carefully. There might be a separate area for pedal bikes.
Finally, if you’re planning a trip abroad, remember to ask your local embassy or consulate about laws regarding pedal bikes.
Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, with many people choosing them over traditional petrol-powered vehicles because of the environment and cost benefits. But there are some types of ebike that aren’t allowed under current laws. Here are the five different categories.
1. Motorised pedal cycles – These are often known as “motorbikes”, although technically they’re not motorcycles. They don’t use pedals like normal bicycles do, but rather motor engines that power the wheels. This includes most models of e-scooter, such as Razor’s Scooter, plus those produced by companies including Yamaha and Honda.
2. Electric assisted bicycle – An electric assisted bicycle uses a small battery and motor to help riders achieve speeds up to 20mph. They’re similar to pedelecs, except that the motor assists the rider, rather than being used purely to charge the batteries. Examples include the Brompton Cycles E-Bike and the BionX.
3. Zero emission vehicle – A zero emission vehicle doesn’t produce any emissions at all. However, it is still classified as a vehicle, even though it produces no exhaust fumes. Examples include the Bollinger ZEV and the Brammo Empulse R.
4. Moped – A moped is a type of scooter that is smaller than a standard car, and usually weighs less than 50kg. They’re designed to be ridden on roads, and have a maximum speed limit of 30 mph. There are no restrictions on how much weight they can carry.
5. Motorized tricycle – A motorized tricycle is a three wheeled vehicle that looks very similar to a trike, but is actually driven by a motor. Like a moped, it’s legal to ride on public footpaths.
If you are buying an electric bike, there are some things you should know about getting it type-approved. First off, it needs to be type approved. You cannot use an unapproved ebike on public roads. To do this, you’ll need to take the bike to a professional testing station. Once the test is complete, the person running the station will issue a certificate showing the bike’s type approval status.
Once you’ve got the type approval, you’ll want to make sure you’re riding in accordance with local laws. In many places around the world, you’ll need to register your ebike with authorities. Depending on where you live, this could mean registering your ebike with your local police department or municipality. Some countries require registration, while others don’t. Check with your local government to see what requirements apply to you.
You may also want to consider investing in lights and accessories. These items help ensure that you are seen by drivers and pedestrians. Lights come in several different types and styles, including headlamps, taillights, turn signals, brake lights, etc. Accessories include fenders, baskets, racks, panniers, locks, etc.