I bought my XB500 mid summer 2008. We all got a small raise at work, with a pretty good retro amount. Gas prices went over $4/gal and it was rough to get where i need to go. With a family depending on me, I had to get to work every day, do various errands. I remembered how I loved a moped I had many yeaars ago, found electric scooters & bikes, finally settled on the XB500. I had problems putting it together and electrical issues. I found the info & parts I needed and my son got it running. I was so excited. I used to literally have dreams of riding again, now I was doing it. I kept saying, I love this, I should have got one of these long ago.
About the XB500, It takes little electricity, gets me there cheap. I was saving 1/2 to 3/4 tank of gas/week. It's an electric BIKE. No special license or helmet. That's what they advertise. And that's how it should be. I printed out the electric bicycle law and the specs on the bike. Then I drove to work, did errands, Drove 1 mile to my daughter and grandkids. Then one day a cop drove alongside me, said, "you need to wear a helmet", and drove off. I didn't have time to explain.
A couple weeks later, driving the mile to my daughter's, a siren sounded behind me. the looked at me and my bike. I was prepared, I had the specs and laws ready. He said "Wear a helmet." I said "This is . . " He interrupted, saying louder "Wear a helmet." I tried to get more words in and said fast "This is an elect . . ." He yelled "Wear a helmet." We did that a few times, me trying to talk, him interrupting and yelling the same words over and over, then he drove off.
I had the helmet with me. I put it on and drove straight to the Police Station. I told them why I was stopped and asked to talk to somebody about it. They called this cop in his cruiser, to come in and talk to me.
Meanwhile I sat there and read a big poster on the wall in the Police Sta. showing a kid on a bike wearing a helmet, advertising that anyone under 16 has to wear a helmet on a bike, it's the law. I'm over 16.
The cop arrived and we talked about 15 min. Some points of our conversation:
I showed him the bike specs and law. He wasn't aware that electric bikes exist. He asked, does it have pedals? I showed him. He asked many questions. He wouldn't admit it is a bike. He had never seen anything like this. He asked how many CC's it is. I said "It's Electric, it's 500 Watts!" He commented that he personally doesn't like motorcycles. At one point he said, It has a motor doesn't it. I said yes. He said then you have to wear a helmet. I said not according to the Federal Bicycle law, which was still in his hand. This crazy conversation went on & on. Finally, here is the bottom line:
IT LOOKS LIKE A SCOOTER, SO YOU HAVE TO WEAR A HELMET.
IF YOU DON'T WEAR A HELMET YOU WILL KEEP GETTING STOPPED.
EVENTUALLY YOU WILL BE CITED FOR NOT WEARING A HELMET AND HAVE TO GO TO COURT.
AND AFTER ALL THAT, BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE A SCOOTER, YOU WILL KEEP GETTING STOPPED AND CITED AND GO BACK TO COURT.
Now doesn't that sound like a threat, based on the personal opinion of one cop????
All winter I thought about that. I live in a small town, full of good ol boys, and if you'r not one of them ........
I'm taking a chance. I wrote a letter to the chief of police about the incident. I was nice it this first letter. I just need the guts to send it. I will mail myself a copy first to prove what I said, in case anything happens. My kids are aware of this and have a copy of the letter. I will not talk to the police alone.
If I get no response or no satisfaction, I will send it to the Town Administrator. Finally, there are ways to make this public, which scares me because of other things I know about the Town Officials here, but I will take it one step at a time.
My mother was afraid of them. If she had issues that involved the town, she just dealt with it. She was afraid, being older and alone, they would retaliate. She thought they would vandalize my father and brother's grave. My thought is they would cut her brake line.
I would figure they would do something that could be an accident, and who would you report it to? Even if you call them, they never respond. The last few years my daughter, in a good neighborhood, has had kids just fooling around, throw things in her yard, at her house and in her pool. Cops never respond. Last week kids were making noise, woke up my daughter and her family at 2:30am. She called the cops, they never came. She sat outside waiting to see what would happen. She heard one ask, is that a real gun? Another teen said, the safety is on. She called cops again. By 4:30am they still hadn't showed up.
I need to documet this before I send the letter, in many places, for proof. Just in case.
It's only a matter of a bike helmet.