License to Flatten: E-bikers


Heidi Naumov

An actor portrayal of the perilous fate that awaits the ignorers of road rules (no children were harmed with this production).

What was wrong with normal bikes? Why, why are we giving young, wild, irresponsible
children faster bikes? Are children not dangerous enough to their health and society on normal
bikes? And besides that, these kiddos are at the prime of their health (probably), so they could
easily spend their excess energy biking with a traditional bike that does not cost at least a
thousand dollars.

POV: You’re sneaking down to the christmas tree in the early dawn. A haphazardly
wrapped, giant shadow of a gift looms monstrously in the dim glow of the tree. Is it a bird? Is it a
plane? No, it’s a bike. But not just any bike. An EEEE-bike, compliments of your loaded parents.
Now, you can zoom to school and flex your speed, money, and greatness every day on your

As long as you manage to stay alive.

Children are not responsible enough to man a 20-plus mile an hour beast, especially
around, or worse, on roads and high-traffic areas. Also, apparently, high schoolers. Maybe even
adults can’t be trusted. According to, controlling the speed of an e-bike
“…can be VERY confusing and potentially dangerous.” In addition, “E-bike riders are more
likely to suffer from internal injuries,” (than normal bike riders) due to higher speed, according
to the People Powered Movement. The roads were never a completely safe place and
irresponsible e-bike riders are exacerbating the issue. According to the Washington Post, “[s]ome
of them [e-bikers] have zero regard for even the most basic rules of the road.”

I have personal experience, as a driver. Just on September 13th, I witnessed a high-school
student speeding blissfully down the bike lane. Their hair was blowing in the wind and yes, they
did look quite cool. Until they staggered off the cold, hard asphalt to the anxious apologies of a
lady who had hit them making a right turn. The biker was going straight, obviously too fast for
the driver to see them or react. (Thankfully they seemed to be in one piece, although I’m sure
that in a couple decades their joints and bones will remember the incident with creaks and

And then again, as I was picking my brother up from school, this horde of children, some
piled three to a bike, were whizzing in every which way around this blind 90 degree turn in the
road, not bothering to remain even in the general vicinity of the sidewalk. The sardine-packed,
tipsy-turvy mob called out to their teacher, who was driving towards them. She somehow
managed to weave between them without making anyone into a pancake. I tried hopelessly to
predict their trajectory, breaking a profuse sweat while driving, white-knuckled, at a whopping 5
or so miles an hour. Bam! One of them passionately and nonconsensually french-kissed the road,
kneeling before my unyielding car as if in prayer to a cold-hearted god.
Just kidding. I didn’t hit anyone.

But please, someone, try to round up these speedy little public nuisances and give them a
little spiel on road safety because if no one does, the species of e-bike riders will be highly