Are some cycle routes 'Off Road'?

jasono

Pedelecer
Sep 19, 2009
206
1
Leicestershire
Hi, whilst cycling to work the other day I got to thinking about the fabled 'Off road' button on the Wisper

Alot of my route is on NCN route 6, which in places runs alongside the road and in others on the pavement or even further away from the road. Does anyone know whether the pavement and bits of cycle path that do not run alongside the road are technically classed as 'Off road'?

Cheers

Jason
 

alex_h

Pedelecer
Dec 28, 2009
197
4
not sure but think that pathway alongside highway is still classed as public road. I think:confused:
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
As far as I know all Byways classed as BOAT (Byway Open To All Traffic) and RUPP (Road Used As a Public Path) which are legal to be cycled on are subject to the same road legislation as the public highway. They may have vehicle restrictions applied to them under local bylaws.

The 'off-road' setting when used by the ebike manufacturers is a marketing term, the only legal off-road use of an illegally powered ebike would be on private land.

As for pavement, then you would need to consult the legal status of those with the local authority. I'm not an expert though and could be wrong with some of the above :D
 
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fishingpaul

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 24, 2007
871
85
I agree i always thought off road means for example farmland,or the grounds of a stately home or a dissused runway,or in other words somewhere you have been lucky enough to be granted special permission to use by the land owner,and definately does not mean any other open to the public spaces or parkland.
 

andyh2

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 8, 2008
294
1
All the NCN routes are for bicycles. My understanding is that e-bikes that fall within the legislation are dealt with as bicycles within the law. ie they can access cycle paths etc and if an e-bike falls outside the restrictions it becomes a moped and that wouldn't be allowed on a bike path.

I'd have thought you'd be less likely to be noticed riding it unrestricted on the road than on a cycle path, especially if it were shared use with pedestrians.
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
I think there is some confusion amongst the general public though, whereby the definition of the term 'off-road' when used by ebike retailers could be taken to mean any path that is off the tarmac highway.

I believe that when retailers refer to the 'off-road' button that this term should be marketed as 'for use on private land only' and not off-road, they are mean two completely different things to me.

Unless you have been involved in off-roading on motorbikes or cars, I think that in general, people will not know the difference.

PS - I agree the chances of being caught illegally off-road or on-road for that matter are miniscule and I will continue to break the law everytime I ride my bike :D:D
 

Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
5,803
1,781
65
Sevenoaks Kent
Off road

Absolutely Tim

"Off road" should read "private land".

We have dropped the "off road button" altogether now as it was specifically referred to in the DfT's report on electric bikes as being outlawed in the new legislation.

All the best

David
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
We have dropped the "off road button" altogether now as it was specifically referred to in the DfT's report on electric bikes as being outlawed in the new legislation.
That's a shame, can your bikes still be de-restricted?
 

Wisper Bikes

Trade Member
Apr 11, 2007
5,803
1,781
65
Sevenoaks Kent
That's a shame, can your bikes still be de-restricted?
I would need to speak to you about that off forum. Wisper bikes are made for many different countries and sets of legislation. For production reasons our bikes can be adapted to suit local regulations.

All the best

David
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
I would need to speak to you about that off forum. Wisper bikes are made for many different countries and sets of legislation. For production reasons our bikes can be adapted to suit local regulations.

All the best

David
OK, Gotcha ;)
 

Patrick

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 9, 2009
303
1
I believe that when retailers refer to the 'off-road' button that this term should be marketed as 'for use on private land only' and not off-road, they are mean two completely different things to me.
I think the most accurate name for the "off-road mode" would be "motor bike mode". Unfortunately, for a bike with such a derestricted setting the most accurate name for the restricted setting would be "pretending to be an electrically assisted pedal cycle but actually still a motor bike mode" which would be a bit of a mouthful. :)

Patrick
 

Stumpi

Pedelecer
Dec 3, 2009
192
40
Scotland
I think the most accurate name for the "off-road mode" would be "motor bike mode". Unfortunately, for a bike with such a derestricted setting the most accurate name for the restricted setting would be "pretending to be an electrically assisted pedal cycle but actually still a motor bike mode" which would be a bit of a mouthful. :)

Patrick
"unrestricted" or "full power" mode seems a better name to me
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
'Outlaw' mode, the fuzz will be comin to get ya.:D
 

jasono

Pedelecer
Sep 19, 2009
206
1
Leicestershire
Thanks for the replies chaps, interesting reading
 

lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
One thing is certain, if enough people ignore the legislation and talk about it openly, it will be amended to the detriment of all of us in the end.

If someone wants to use higher power, why not do it properly, have all the power you want and then just tax and insure it and wear a helmet.

I get the feeling that the ultimate aim will be to have all the advantages of a motorcycle, speed, no physical effort with the freedom from legislltion of a bicycle. That will work against the cyclists and legal ebikers in the same way that the cycle lanes are being taken over by motorcycles and scooters in London.

It's interesting that the air gun business has become highly law compliant - because they were clamped down on some years ago after illegal power became technically easy to engineer :(
 

Alex728

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 16, 2008
1,109
-1
Ipswich
Indeed, as mentioned elsewhere the Chinese were given a lot of leeway but now are being reined in heavily..

One thing is certain, if enough people ignore the legislation and talk about it openly, it will be amended to the detriment of all of us in the end.
I help run one of the better known rave/dance music forums/websites... a few years back people were openly discussing how easy it was to just obtain a quantity of sound equipment, a medium sized or large vehicle and set up a rave in any "convenient" open space (whether or not those involved had any permission to be there) - and then openly bragged about how much fun these illegal parties were online. If any of you have cycled on the Ridgeway you may even have come across such an event!

People got away with this for a while - even the cops initially viewed it as harmless mischief - but more and more people started doing it - the systems and crowds got bigger, and problems such as litter, excessive drugs use, noise spilling into residential areas and even violence blighted the events, and so the authorities clamped down. Eventually the penalties got to be very harsh such as equipment being confiscated and people being sent to jail..

Also on a forum like this you just don't know who'se lurking. There are loads of fiercely competitive manufacturers/dealers on here, and one very effective way of hobbling the competition is to point out to state regulators a commercial rivals product breaks a rule.. (when I worked as a Civil Servant most of our investigative referrals came from rival companies turning each other in..)

Also I guarantee there is at least one copper on here - maybe a lurker, maybe a regular poster. Nothing wrong with that - despite my past I respect decent cops (there are some) and wholly approve of the constabulary using bicycles for their patrols (which tends to improve the quality of officers both physically and mentally) but if they are worth their badge and shield their job is to monitor and report any wrongdoing wherever they see it, whether on or off duty..
 
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eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
The latest posts do make oi larf. I know big brother britain has got out of control in recent years, but get real, the authorities have bigger fish to fry than considering amending the ebike laws based on a few musings of illegal ebike use on a public forum, even those musings may be just anectdotal. The laws are decided in Brussels anyway the UK has to be compliant sooner or later.

I think the pedelecs forum is even smaller fry in the world of ebike forums anyway with a low number of subscribers and probably readers compared to the US and rest of world forums.

Try not to believe everything you read on the internet ! As for the raving example well that was a case of a REAL, repeated, uncontrolled, large, gathering of people with a whole host of sideline illegal activites going on (drugs, violence, theft etc), that needed to be brought under control. The internet was used to spread the word as a communications medium and this just speeded the process.

None of the coppers I know personally would care less about illegal ebike activity unless it was causing a nuisance and generating complaints or you were caught in an accident. And then it wouldn't be cause to change the law. The worse case I can think of is a conviction for no insurance (criminal offence). I should think 90% of motorists break the law by speeding almost everyday (me included), but nobody seems too worried about that !

Maybe a straw poll, anonymous of course, is needed to determine the number of people that have ridden their ebike illegally on the highway at some time, hands up?

On the other hand, maybe illegal use of an ebike is an indicator of more sinister illegal activity, no smoke without fire ..... :eek:

PS I run a 190rpm Tongxin motor on my Synapse that will do approx 17-18mph with the pedals turning, yes it breaks the law, but at that speed I will be on the flat and I am usually running at anywhere between 15-25mph under my own steam anyway (with the motor turned off), do I really need a motorcycle helmet, tax and insurance, how daft would I look with a full motorcycle helmet on :D ???! Then there are the S class Panasonics that I think are legally sold and ridden in this country that are capable of 20+ mph (someone will tell me they are illegal now).
 
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Val

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 5, 2010
8
0
I have to say that I am with Lemmy and Alex here. I am also building a kit car, and the DVLA and IVA inspectors trawl the forums watching out for people trying to bend the rules. The IVA test (used to be SVA) was recently re written to fix many loop holes that the authorities had discovered through information posted on forums!

These days, any talk of how to get around a certain rule is only discussed by PM or email and any posts on the forums are immediately removed by the mods.

As e-bikes become more popular, you can rest assured that the authorities will turn to the internet to research what is going on on the ground, just like we do!

Val
 

Alex728

Esteemed Pedelecer
Dec 16, 2008
1,109
-1
Ipswich
its not a case of "amending" the laws - the laws are already there and already being broken to varying extents.

Try not to believe everything you read on the internet ! As for the raving example well that was a case of a REAL, repeated, uncontrolled, large, gathering of people with a whole host of sideline illegal activites going on (drugs, violence, theft etc), that needed to be brought under control. The internet was used to spread the word as a communications medium and this just speeded the process.

None of the coppers I know personally would care less about illegal ebike activity unless it was causing a nuisance and generating complaints or you were caught in an accident.
at the moment cops aren't going to care that much about people mostly aged 30-70+ who ride responsibly on the roads, especially as even unrestricted most EU-legal bikes (the bulk now on the streets) will only do about 17/18mph anyway.

but give it about 5-10 years or so, when e-bikes have finally become both affordable and "cool" to a wider group including young people in their late teens and 20s - its going to happen eventually, especially when petrol prices keep rising and cops clamp down further on 4 wheel vehicles..

e-bikes will start appealing to "gary boy" types, you are then going to get these younger people (and maybe not so young too!) trying to go ever faster with modified bikes, carry out ill advised stunts on the road etc, perhaps also a rise in theft of e-bikes and "laundering" of stolen components (which will lead to violence as many people in my area take matters into their own hands rather than use cops), also people cycling more under the influence of drugs and alcohol (as cyclists currently get less scrutiny) so injury collisions will rise as well - and then Mr and Ms Plod as well as Whitehall's finest are going to start taking an interest..
 
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