After vacationing on Jeykll for over 20 years, my wife and I recently bought a house and live here full time. I have biked through Europe, done countless triathlons and raced bikes. Now I enjoy just riding my beach cruiser around Jekyll.
I applaud the Jekyll Island Authority’s ban of e-bike rentals on the island. The bike paths are not designed for vehicles of any kind going over 10 mph. I have seen many people on e-bikes who get moving too fast and cannot make the switch-backs, often forcing me and others off the path.
With the volume of visitors to Jekyll increasing, especially on the weekends, the bike paths get very crowded. It is dangerous to have e-bike renters who are likely unfamiliar with the workings of the e-bike mixed in with others, especially the many children who are just beginning to learn, as my children did on the paths of Jekyll.
One experience stands out. Around mid-January, I was riding my bike on the path and coming at me, going at least 25 mph was a woman on a three-wheeled e-bike that looked more like a full motorcycle. I shook my head disapprovingly as I rushed to get off the path, onto the street, out of her way. She yelled at me “I have a disability.”
We need to accommodate people with disabilities, but it should not be at the risk of potentially causing others to suffer due to accidents and collisions caused by ebikes, especially children.