Motorized bikes: The rules riders must follow

Motorized bikes are becoming popular around Central Illinois as more and more people are interested in either getting back into cycling or as an alternate way to get around town.

At Trek Bicycle Peoria they sell what are known as “E-Bikes” which require the rider to peddle but do have a battery pack for added speed.

“You still get the exercise. If someone is looking to start commuting to work and doesn’t want to get super sweaty or have to deal with carrying all their gear with them it makes it nice. We’ve had some cancer patients who are trying to get back into riding but didn’t have the energy to do it,” Trek Bicycle Peoria Manager Doug Carolus said.

These versions of the motorized bikes are not the only ones on the market.

“There are some other options that have a throttle,” Carolus explained.  “We don’t sell a lot of those because we feel it doesn’t operate as a cycle and it changes the appeal of actually getting the exercise out of it.”

The ones with throttles have motors that run on gas, doing all of the work for riders. For some people, like Kent Conner, these are the best option when it comes to getting to work.

“[The bike] is another way you know instead of asking one of the coworkers ‘hey can you grab me’ even though I’m only a mile away. It’s a lot easier,” he said.

But having a battery or motor does not change the “rules of the road” when it comes to riding.

“[You have to] stay on the right-hand side of the road, you can ride as long as you’re not impeding traffic flow. We’re entitled to the entire rights of vehicles we just have no protection around us,” Carolus said.

For Conner, trying to stay out of the way of drivers is very important.

“It’s nice but you just got be safe, I try to use my hands and try to signal and try to not be an annoyance on the road,” he explained.

The Pekin Police Department tells 25 News they have seen an uptick in these bikes in the community and officers are ticketing riders that violate the laws.

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