The New York Times, while it already had my frequent attention, is all the more attractive in its frequent coverage of bicycling topics. This Sunday it told another tale of electric bikes, which I've presented on this blog a couple times earlier. This time, it's electric bikes in Switzerland that are gaining a 2-page spread. The Swiss Alps on an Electric Bicycle made the idea of taking a 60 pound electric-assist bike through mountain passes quite attractive.
Will battery tech continue to cost less, and weigh less, to the extent that we will soon see many more folks on bikes? Folks who typically wouldn't give biking a try? Will my neighbors, who typically go from insulated garage to car to insulated retail establishment, grow a bit more intrepid and hop in the saddle?
Let's add to this picture. Bike lanes. Believe it or not my local township has included bike lanes in their visioning and architectural sketches. Their engineering and architectural consultants have explained how bike lanes are part of a solution to reduce traffic and increase interest in the township as a destination. Behold, progressive thought! Standing in contrast to these ideas are conservative fiscal approaches, which rely on private investment exclusively (and greater tax revenue from their increased investments) to build said bike lanes.
Anyway, is there a future that includes larger numbers of semi-bicyclists (those using power assist) using more bike lanes to make short jaunts to the shopping center? What would cycling be like if pedal bikes (no electric assist) became the minority in bike lanes, while electric assist bikes dominated them?