On Sunday, May 16th, a long-unused garage door creaked open at 911 NE Dekum Street, revealing the newest business in the Woodlawn neighborhood, Upcycles. Based in a single car garage space that’s been lightly remodeled, Upcycles is co-owner Kai Druzdezel and Mark Hoskins’ entry into the growing number of bicycle shops in Portland. Their opening coincided with the NE Portland Sunday Parkways, which passed through the sprawling Woodlawn Park, which is just next door to the shop.[Read more…]
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over Portland these days.
(Illustration: Mark Young/Portland Storyboard)
Whether you like them or not, electric bikes have arrived and it looks like they’re here to stay. E-bikes can now be found in almost every local bike shop, major manufacturers are adding e-assist to a growing number of urban and cargo bikes, and e-bikes can be spotted among bike traffic more and more. But what about the laws governing their specifications and usage?
This isn’t intended to be legal advice, as I’m not a lawyer, but a brief summary of e-bike related law at the federal, state, and local levels.
At the Federal level, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) relegated defining what an e-bike is to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC defines a low-speed electric bicycle as:
“… a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph. (Public Law No. 107-319, section 1, 116 Stat. 2776 (2002))”