proposed new law worse than the old

Positive discussion on ebikes and pedal assist bicycles

Ta

Postby alan101 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:49 am

Cachexian, thanks for the 'Great review, thanks' comment. It took me a lot of pedaling to put that info together, especially the hill climb aspect! Hope your ebike interest is on the mend after your prang.

Comedian, my current 14Ah 36v Li-ion battery is meant to give a flat-calm range of 75km, with the 3y old original Li-ion rated as 50km. I was ebiking to work 34.4km (each way) averaging about 28kmh, and doing it in a reliable 1.25hrs. I'm now 59y, and retired last year. After 2y ebiking, I've done some longer rides up to 120km on my (unassisted) road bike this year. The ebike was good for getting me out amongst it, developing fitness and opened up cycling horizons to me. It's still a great workhorse. I do relish developing 'legs' with unassisted riding these days. 'Use it or lose it' applies to ebike batteries, so I still ebike a bit to maintain the battery.
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by BNA » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:07 pm

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby winstonw » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:07 pm

I wonder if it is a given that human powered cycling is more green than e-cycling.
If an 80kg cyclist expends an average 18 Calories per km at 30kph on a 60km return commute, that's 1080 additional Calories they have to eat. Do that 5 days a week for 45 weeks and you have an additional 243,000 Cals pa.

Depending on your food source mix (i.e. lots of methane producing grain eating animal produce), you will be contributing significantly to greenhouse gases.

Some interesting reading.
http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/energy.html
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby KenGS » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:19 am

winstonw wrote:I wonder if it is a given that human powered cycling is more green than e-cycling.
If an 80kg cyclist expends an average 18 Calories per km at 30kph on a 60km return commute, that's 1080 additional Calories they have to eat. Do that 5 days a week for 45 weeks and you have an additional 243,000 Cals pa.

Depending on your food source mix (i.e. lots of methane producing grain eating animal produce), you will be contributing significantly to greenhouse gases.

Some interesting reading.
http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/energy.html

I'd be surprised if it was. Firstly it takes more energy to move an eBike a given distance at a given speed due to the extra mass from the battery and motor. Most of our electricity is generated from coal and the energy efficiency of the generators and distribution network is pretty low - on a par if not less than for a human to convert food to energy. Then you have the embodied energy in the motor and battery. Someone has probably done the maths. I might too if I find the time but like I said I'd be surprised.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Comedian » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:38 am

winstonw wrote:I wonder if it is a given that human powered cycling is more green than e-cycling.
If an 80kg cyclist expends an average 18 Calories per km at 30kph on a 60km return commute, that's 1080 additional Calories they have to eat. Do that 5 days a week for 45 weeks and you have an additional 243,000 Cals pa.

Depending on your food source mix (i.e. lots of methane producing grain eating animal produce), you will be contributing significantly to greenhouse gases.

Some interesting reading.
http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/energy.html


That is really quite interesting. Thing is - the big assumption is that someone driving a car is eating only what they need... however given our endemic obesity problem this clearly isn't the case. I don't think I eat more meat than I did before I started riding and I probably only eat slightly more other stuff than pre-cycling days. :)
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:51 pm

It may be interesting but it seems to be (a) very one dimensional and (b) fairly irrelevant.

This article is based upon the United States figures and says

What about grass-fed beef?

What about it? Eighty percent of beef raised in the U.S. is grain-fed, not grass-fed.


Whilst there is definitely grain feeding of cattle in Australia, I can't find anything that indicates it's anywhere near that percentage, the majority seem to be grass fed. According to Meat and Livestock Australia, the majority of that grain fed beef is consumed overseas.

http://www.australian-meat.com/livestoc ... ction-beef

And in any case, at least in places like the North West, Kimberleys, Northern Territory etc the grasslands which support the cattle are not really suitable for growing (human) edible crops. Further, in many cases, the cattle are driven at least part of the way to the market on their own feet, which really consumes very little fuel energy, and whilst they are still producing methane, this can partially offset greenhouse gas production which would be generated by fertilising, sowing, harvesting and transporting of grain or vegetables. (Perhaps this is where the Triffids might come in handy, vegetables which transport themselves. :lol: )

So this article has little relevance to Australia.

But to me it's only addressing one side of the problem. It's not so much a matter of how much meat a person eats, but how many people are eating meat. Once it was necessary for humans to start cultivating food, whether animal or vegetable, then that meant the population was starting to exceed the capacity of the natural environment to support it. As the population grows, there will come a time when the capacity of the environment to support even a totally vegetarian dietary regime will be exceeded, especially given the fact that we are already losing arable land to salinity, desertification, drought, flood, to say nothing of the increasingly expensive petro-chemical component of fertilisers, pest control and transport. (Even if the entire world switched overnight to bicycle transportation, there'd still not be any means of replacing the petroleum consumed.)

So looking at both sides of the question, I'll continue to eat meat with a clear conscience, and ride my solar charged e-trike as a penance. :lol:

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby jet-ski » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:54 am

winstonw wrote:I wonder if it is a given that human powered cycling is more green than e-cycling.
If an 80kg cyclist expends an average 18 Calories per km at 30kph on a 60km return commute, that's 1080 additional Calories they have to eat. Do that 5 days a week for 45 weeks and you have an additional 243,000 Cals pa.

Depending on your food source mix (i.e. lots of methane producing grain eating animal produce), you will be contributing significantly to greenhouse gases.

Some interesting reading.
http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/energy.html


I made it 94ks yesterday on 3 museli bars, a can of Solo and a bidon of electrolyte drink.... never mind the whole pizza I ate that night... I could have eaten that regardless :lol:
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby winstonw » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:27 am

jet-ski wrote:I made it 94ks yesterday on 3 museli bars, a can of Solo and a bidon of electrolyte drink.... never mind the whole pizza I ate that night... I could have eaten that regardless :lol:


And you'll probably be eating more than usual over the next 24 hours, not only to restore glycogen depleted on the ride, but to repair microtrauma to muscles and joints, and fuel anabolic processes to adapt muscles to ride the same again in the future. :)
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proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Comedian » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:00 am

winstonw wrote:
jet-ski wrote:I made it 94ks yesterday on 3 museli bars, a can of Solo and a bidon of electrolyte drink.... never mind the whole pizza I ate that night... I could have eaten that regardless :lol:


And you'll probably be eating more than usual over the next 24 hours, not only to restore glycogen depleted on the ride, but to repair microtrauma to muscles and joints, and fuel anabolic processes to adapt muscles to ride the same again in the future. :)

But what about all those people that eat more than enough anyway? :)
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:18 am

Comedian wrote:But what about all those people that eat more than enough anyway? :)


Put 'em all to work doing something useful for the community. :wink: :lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C93cL_zDVIM

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby jet-ski » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:07 pm

Comedian wrote:
winstonw wrote:
jet-ski wrote:I made it 94ks yesterday on 3 museli bars, a can of Solo and a bidon of electrolyte drink.... never mind the whole pizza I ate that night... I could have eaten that regardless :lol:


And you'll probably be eating more than usual over the next 24 hours, not only to restore glycogen depleted on the ride, but to repair microtrauma to muscles and joints, and fuel anabolic processes to adapt muscles to ride the same again in the future. :)

But what about all those people that eat more than enough anyway? :)


That would be me, Comedian! I love love LOVE eating, but at least if I've been on a long ride I don't feel as guilty about it. If it wasn't for riding, I would simply expand in mass.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby ChrisRider » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:53 am

The new Laws are only an Add On, to the Original law.

So you can still use the hand throttle too.

This new law is just allowing the European standards to be used in Australia, so the European companies can come into the market!
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby ekib » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:27 pm

As the new laws have already come into law at least in Qld, when will see local LBSs and online Au bike stores start to import quality 250W ebikes or pedalecs into Aus?

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Cruiserman » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:20 pm

Why bother with the law the are not going to be enforced. If and it is a big if you we're to be pulled over the police would have to dyno the bike to proceed with a charge (no pun intended) the cost outweighs the fines etc so they don't bother. Guy at work goes on shared paths at 50 km/h on a 2Kw Surly big dummy conversion. According to the law it should now be registered as a motorcycle only ridden on the road and he should be wearing an approved motorcycle helmet, but it is a bit like the new law covering smoking in cars with children under 16 in them - unworkable.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:32 pm

If you are talking about police simply pulling over a rider to check the power of the bike, it probably won't happen, but if the rider is pulled over for something obvious like riding in a dangerous manner, and the police then check the vehicle over, they could probably impound it, take it away for testing and lay further charges if necessary.

How often does somebody get pulled over for a simple driving offence in a car and then when the police check the vehicle and find things like drugs, firearms, unexplained large sums of money, a dead body etc, a whole string of much more serious offences arise. It's on the news just about every week.

The problem is with the police enforcement, not the law itself. Certainly there have been laws rescinded in the past, but usually because they are extremely out of date, and unenforceable. Something like riding a horse furiously on a public thoroughfare.

This law has only just come in and needs to prove itself. It's not unenforceable, just unenforced. Come back to it in 10 years and check again.

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:32 pm

Cruiserman wrote:Why bother with the law the are not going to be enforced. If and it is a big if you we're to be pulled over the police would have to dyno the bike to proceed with a charge (no pun intended) the cost outweighs the fines etc so they don't bother. Guy at work goes on shared paths at 50 km/h on a 2Kw Surly big dummy conversion. According to the law it should now be registered as a motorcycle only ridden on the road and he should be wearing an approved motorcycle helmet, but it is a bit like the new law covering smoking in cars with children under 16 in them - unworkable.

I assume you are referrign to a rider in the ACT. In some states (most I suspect?) it is illegal to engage the motor on a path and in those states the police would have no trouble whatsoever in prosectuing the guy you mention.

However, if he is on the road then what you says is probably a fair assessment of what would happen.

btw the guy you mention is a tosser and hopefully the police will indeed put him in court. No path users want or should be sharing the path with idiots holding 50kph. Do the right thing by fellow users and convince him otherwise.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby find_bruce » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:18 pm

I find it interesting that people assume that the police must prove your motor is more than 200 w / 250 w. It would not surprise me if the police simply charged the rider with the unlawful operation of a motor vehicle & left it to the rider to raise the defence that it was in fact a bicycle.

The legislation is worded differently in each state and I am not aware of it being tested in any court, but it is something to keep in mind
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:42 pm

Why would being a "bicycle" be any defence? As far as I know, bicycles are classed as motor vehicles under the traffic codes in all states, and riders are required to abide by said codes. I can't for example seeing a speeding charge being fought on the grounds that there was a bicycle concerned, with or without motor assistance.

Testing an electric bike would require the same degree of rigour as that for presenting speed camera/radar evidence to a court. There are laid down procedures that must be met, and it's up to defence to challenge the evidence based on whether everything was done correctly. The proposed legislation I've seen is quite specific as to how testing is to be done, type of track, weather conditions, including wind etc.


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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby find_bruce » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:04 pm

Sorry Joe I should have been clearer. The question comes down to this, if you are riding a bike with a 300W motor, what are you charged with ? (sorry about the bad puns, it is a weakness of mine, and this post would suggest verbosity is another).

Firstly a bicycle is a vehicle, but not a motor vehicle. Almost all of the road rules apply to all vehicles and, as you say you can get booked for speeding even though you are not riding a motor vehicle. Registration & licencing however only apply to motor vehicles. A conventional bicycle, having no motor, is not a motor vehicle. A bicycle with an electric motor attached is a motor vehicle. It is required to be registered & the rider must be licensed, unless it falls within an exemption for "pedal cycles".

The most common charge is riding an unregistered vehicle. In NSW the on the spot fine is $596, the maximum court imposed fine is $2,200 and you will get 4 demerit points. Additional charges can include :

  • riding an uninsured vehicle (NSW on the spot $596 maximum court $2,200)
  • riding a motor bike without wearing a motor bike helmet (NSW on the spot $298 maximum court $2,200 + 3 demerit points)
  • riding a motorcycle without a motorcycle licence (NSW on the spot $496 maximum court $2,200 + 2 demerit points)
  • riding a defective motor vehicle (usually no headlight, brake lights or indicators) (NSW on the spot $99 maximum court $2,200)
  • if they are particularly nasty, defective brakes (ie not certified to Australian Standard) (NSW on the spot $298 maximum court $2,200 + 3 demerit points)

If the police officer decides to throw the book at you, you are looking at on the spot fines of $2,383 and 12 points off your drivers licence & an automatic suspension.

I could go on & on about the elements of the offence of riding an unregistered vehicle, but it is easier just to refer to Matheson v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) [2008] NSWSC 550

In summary, a motor vehicle is defined as “a vehicle that is built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle”. The regulations then provide that "pedal cycles" do not have to be registered. Pedal cycles used to be defined as "a pedal cycle to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors having a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 watts."

With the introduction of the pedelec rules, what it now states is "a power-assisted pedal cycle within the meaning of vehicle standards, as amended from time to time, determined under section 7 of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 of the Commonwealth".

A reference to compliance with a standard can have significantly different consequences - to use a simple example if you wear an ice cream container on your head & call it a helmet, the police do not need to test the helmet to show that it does not pass the test - all they have to prove is that there was no Australian Standard sticker on the helmet.

I have been careful not to state a conclusion because I can see there are arguments going both ways. The reason I get a bit excitable on topics like this is that it annoys me that people are quite happy to offer gratuitous advice about how unlikely they think it is that you will be caught without considering the consequences if you are. In the case of Ms Matheson she was told by the sales person that she didn't need registration, which in the end cost her not only the price of the motor bike but also the cost of lawyers to unsucessfully fight her conviction. Sure she ultimately avoided a fine of $500, but I am sure that her lawyers cost her significantly more than that.

I have only referred to NSW in this post - other states are similar but there will be differences in the provisions which may be significant.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:50 pm

If it's only about NSW then I'll remain taciturn. :wink:

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:57 pm

Or to add another pun to the pile ...

I shall perform a taciturn.

:mrgreen:
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby find_bruce » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:34 pm

It is sad that I find your pun almost as funny as my own :D

WA is similar -
  • Definition in Road Traffic Act s 5 "power assisted pedal cycle means a vehicle designed to be propelled through a mechanism operated solely by human power, to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors having a combined maximum output not exceeding 200 watts;"
  • Road Traffic Act s15 requires vehicles to be licensed as per regulations
  • All motor vehicles must be registered Road Traffic (Licensing) Regulations 1975 - Reg 3AA(1)
  • power assisted pedal cycles exempt from requirement for registration Road Traffic (Licensing) Regulations 1975 - Reg 3AA(2)(d)

Argument remains a vehicle must be registered unless you can demonstrate it falls within the exemption.

The only difference is that WA does not appear to have legislated for 250W pedelecs - NSW only got around to it on 14 December 2012.
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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby Joeblake » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:20 pm

find_bruce wrote:Argument remains a vehicle must be registered unless you can demonstrate it falls within the exemption.



I have no problem with that.

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby softy » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:03 pm

I know this is a old thread, but since the posting a number of bikes meeting the new laws have arrived on our shores,

So here is my opinion; pedelec is for the majority a great idea because you have to input a measure of the power, therefore limiting the total measure of power by only offering a percentage of asist. I feel this would of been the best option, not speed or wattage limited.

The problem with the current system is, as the law stands, the asistance will cut off at 25km. So we say okay, but what you are forgetting is to go slightly faster, even just a few clicks faster, you are pedaling a bike twice the weight! So your going to sit around the 25km mark. Many ebikes have a slight braking effect so your not going to get the same rolling speed as a normal bike. So 25 to 30 is it!

Now lets look on the other side of the coin. A reasonable road bike can easily do 30km + no drama, so why limit a ebike to a slower speed when it is twice the weight? People want to use ebikes to commute and hoping to make it slightly easier and quicker, to their horror, not likely. For the maybe cyclist, they could buy a ebike, well maybe not. They go slow and are heavy. So how does this add a half way house to encourage cycling, or make longer distances appear short for cycling commuters?

The pedlec system should of been applied like in the states, where we have a similar culture to car usage and distances travelled. Europe is a different kettle of fish. Appling the input rule eg: 100% max input only of the rider, the max speed is still limited by the effort required, as is a normal bike, although it take less energy input by the rider to propel the bike forward. This would also encourage better designed ebikes. Limiting it to 25km 250w reduces options by manufacturers for lightness and efficiency, speed etc. As long as these bikes are limited to similar speeds the bikes will be all the same in performance. So what is the incentive to build lighter more efficient bikes. The cheapest goes the same as the dearest. People can already ride at above these speeds with ease, so what are you restricting?
Am I missing something with this law?

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Re: proposed new law worse than the old

Postby softy » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:27 pm

find_bruce wrote:Sorry Joe I should have been clearer. The question comes down to this, if you are riding a bike with a 300W motor, what are you charged with ? (sorry about the bad puns, it is a weakness of mine, and this post would suggest verbosity is another).

Firstly a bicycle is a vehicle, but not a motor vehicle. Almost all of the road rules apply to all vehicles and, as you say you can get booked for speeding even though you are not riding a motor vehicle. Registration & licencing however only apply to motor vehicles. A conventional bicycle, having no motor, is not a motor vehicle. A bicycle with an electric motor attached is a motor vehicle. It is required to be registered & the rider must be licensed, unless it falls within an exemption for "pedal cycles".

The most common charge is riding an unregistered vehicle. In NSW the on the spot fine is $596, the maximum court imposed fine is $2,200 and you will get 4 demerit points. Additional charges can include :

  • riding an uninsured vehicle (NSW on the spot $596 maximum court $2,200)
  • riding a motor bike without wearing a motor bike helmet (NSW on the spot $298 maximum court $2,200 + 3 demerit points)
  • riding a motorcycle without a motorcycle licence (NSW on the spot $496 maximum court $2,200 + 2 demerit points)
  • riding a defective motor vehicle (usually no headlight, brake lights or indicators) (NSW on the spot $99 maximum court $2,200)
  • if they are particularly nasty, defective brakes (ie not certified to Australian Standard) (NSW on the spot $298 maximum court $2,200 + 3 demerit points)

If the police officer decides to throw the book at you, you are looking at on the spot fines of $2,383 and 12 points off your drivers licence & an automatic suspension.

I could go on & on about the elements of the offence of riding an unregistered vehicle, but it is easier just to refer to Matheson v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) [2008] NSWSC 550

In summary, a motor vehicle is defined as “a vehicle that is built to be propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle”. The regulations then provide that "pedal cycles" do not have to be registered. Pedal cycles used to be defined as "a pedal cycle to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors having a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 watts."

With the introduction of the pedelec rules, what it now states is "a power-assisted pedal cycle within the meaning of vehicle standards, as amended from time to time, determined under section 7 of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 of the Commonwealth".

A reference to compliance with a standard can have significantly different consequences - to use a simple example if you wear an ice cream container on your head & call it a helmet, the police do not need to test the helmet to show that it does not pass the test - all they have to prove is that there was no Australian Standard sticker on the helmet.

I have been careful not to state a conclusion because I can see there are arguments going both ways. The reason I get a bit excitable on topics like this is that it annoys me that people are quite happy to offer gratuitous advice about how unlikely they think it is that you will be caught without considering the consequences if you are. In the case of Ms Matheson she was told by the sales person that she didn't need registration, which in the end cost her not only the price of the motor bike but also the cost of lawyers to unsucessfully fight her conviction. Sure she ultimately avoided a fine of $500, but I am sure that her lawyers cost her significantly more than that.

I have only referred to NSW in this post - other states are similar but there will be differences in the provisions which may be significant.


I can't agree with you more, if you get court this is a possible outcome, although unlikely unless you were doing something really dangerous.

The issue here is how they are now defining 250w??
Many pedelec bikes have motors fitted but are computer controlled to power output. How is this software defined.
The specialized turbo can deliver 750w instant output, although electronically limited to 25km 250w supposedly.
The BH emotion are 350w motors limited to 250w supposedlly?

So if you get pulled over how does Mr or Misses plod confirm this. How does anyone confirm this. I would imagine only a manufacturer or authorised service agent could and this would be via a computer. Then the setting or algorithms would need to be analyzed.

Yes you could get the book thrown at you, but unless you are doing silly speeds it is very hard to determine the wattage output. Especially your new intergated electronic controlled, mass produced bikes.

So you want to bend the law a little, yes, you take a risk, but I do believe it is slight if you keep your speeds within that of a normal pushbike.
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