So.... <apologies for long post>
It's been two years and one Bman in-between events since a thread I was following about electric bikes was started. I had intended to electrify my heavy rickshaw to make it more viable on playa, particularly when trying to move 2-3 people around in the rear seat. Oh and also particularly since we're in a trend where the playa is not sufficiently "healing" itself to the perfectly flat surface it was in the past.
Last year I came to the burn, but due to work pressures did not have time to dive into this project. But this year I will complete it.
I noticed MANY more powered bicycles last year - electric as well as those with cheap chinese-made 2 cycle engines, spewing smoke and making noise..
Looking on the Borg site, I see that nothing has changed regarding their powered vehicle policy, including e-bikes - though e-bikes don't seem to be specifically forbidden, the same vague language exists as well the logic-defying language regarding scooters that don't have a seat still exists.
One thing has changed though in Nevada law, from Wiki-Pedia:
"As of May 19, 2009, Nevada amended its state transportation laws to explicitly permit electric bicycles to use any "trail or pedestrian walkway" intended for use with bicycles and constructed with federal funding, and otherwise generally permits electric bicycles to be operated in cases where a regular bicycle could be. An electric bicycle is defined as a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals with an electric motor producing up to 1 gross brake horsepower and up to 750 watts final output, and with a maximum speed of up to 20 miles per hour on flat ground with a 170 pound rider when powered only by that engine."
So in the state of Nevada it is legal to ride an electric bicycle or tricycle on sidewalks and other pedestrian areas, but not at BRC?
I intend to bring my trike (rickshaw) to the event this year and participate in some civil disobedience if necessary to use it. It:
-will be electric and nearly silent
-will have pedals (eg, not a motorcycle)
-will transport 3+ people
-will have cool lights
-will have music
-will be artful
-will be available for the public to ride
-will be travelling safely
Charging will be accomplished by solar power and potentially also theme camp grid (one of the benefits of being part of theme/sound camps)
My rickshaw will not:
-belch two-stroke oil smoke
-be travelling fast, zig-zagging thru people making them dodge out of the way
-be trailing a dust cloud bigger than a large mutant vehicle
-be suitable for only one person
Perhaps the most annoying statement of all regarding the stand-up scooters is this:
"Though not an encouraged means of transportation, small, stand-up (no seat), one-person style â€œskateboards on wheelsâ€