|Is it a bicycle with a motor, or a motorcycle with pedals?|
But a recent report filed by Selene Yeager for "Bicycling" reveals that the world federation in control of motorcycle racing, the FIM, are also planning their own HPC mountain bike event this June, with more coming. The UCI responded by warning UCI license holders that if they were found to have participated in "banned events" that they would be "punished".
Typical UCI tactics are being employed here which are reminiscent of the proposed bans to be placed upon ultra-endurance mountain bikers who were taking part in unsanctioned events several years ago now. The UCI then also threatened punishments to those riders participating in what were termed also as "banned events". This Draconian measure ultimately was overturned in favor of the riders. But this time the stakes are higher, money is at stake, and in my opinion, the UCI won't be so ready to give over.
However; the true point to be gathered from this farce was made by the FIM's president, Jorge Viegas. He stated in a very clear and concise way exactly what many electric powered bicycle advocates have avoided saying, denied, or have tried to justify in other ways. Here is what he said as quoted from the "Bicycling" article linked above:
“Power-assisted bicycles and electric-powered cycles are not recent products and have long been part of the history of FIM,” said FIM president Jorge Viegas in a statement. “In fact the early motorcycles were much based on a bicycle frame with the addition of an engine, so the story has really returned back to the beginning of our evolution".
(Underlined portion for emphasis by me.)
Did you catch that? It's just what I've said all along. This is basically history repeating itself. The UCI knows that the motorcycle companies and the FIM are far more powerful and richer than they are. They know that if the narrative is directed by the FIM, this will have a detrimental effect upon the future of the UCI, as it will lose its position as the director of racing in Europe and beyond for those vehicles which happen to have an electric motor and pedals. You know, kind of like "mopeds", only without a gasoline powered motor.
Hybrid Powered Cycles = mopeds = "motor/pedals". Same-same. Call them whatever you want to, it is what it is.
UPDATE: 4/10/19 @ 10:50am- While working on the web I came across an excellent article in "Bicycle Retailer and Industry News" here which covers the pains that legislatures/government bodies across the US are facing with regard to e-scooters. This issue is also something bicycle advocates are taking umbrage with since government wants to lump the scooters in with bicycles and electric powered bicycles to streamline bills and policy.
There are some great quotes dealing with "what is easier and cheaper" for the masses. Also- read the comments. (Normally I wouldn't suggest this), because there are some excellent views being shared here.
While my take is that this issue will be most felt in larger urban/metropolitan areas in places with better weather for most of the year, it does point up other reasons why the bicycle industry's reliance on HPC (e-bikes) to "save" the industry is a short sighted vision and ultimately will not work in the US marketplace.