Why Are There So Many E-Bikes?


Increasing amounts of bikers around Del Mar Heights Rd. have led to problems. Disrespect and lack of knowledge of the road by these young bikers has been a detriment to young people’s reputation in the eyes of businesses and adults in the area.

Learning to drive can be a daunting task for teenagers. Learning the rules of the road and getting used to controlling a thousand pound machine driving at high speeds requires placing a lot of trust in new drivers. Especially when driving around High Schools it’s evident how new and confusing the task of driving is to teenagers.

But outside of getting used to pulling in and out of driveways, Cathedral students are having to get used to dealing with a new stressor: the influx of young inexperienced electric bike riders taking over the roads near our school.

Middle schoolers have always hiked to school, especially around the cathedral because of our proximity to Pacific Trails Middle School but recently something about these bikes has changed. Sometime around when the pandemic started Electric bikes started popping up everywhere. You’ve probably noticed the fancy shiny vehicles with long seats and big batteries cruising around sometimes with multiple kids onboard. They are everywhere.

They’re useful for going places especially when you’re too young to have a license, they’re fun, and better for the environment than driving in a car. All these reasons are great, the issue starts to arise when the young kids trusted with them start to think their trusty E-Bike is safer and has more road presence than it does.

Rather than the bike lane or sidewalk, many of these E-bikers have started colonizing the road and driving on the road as if they were in a car. Outside of this being annoying to actual drivers it is extraordinarily dangerous. Bikes can’t start and stop like a car would, and they don’t have the stability of one either.

Outside of issues with bikes themselves, simply being around cars in something as flimsy as a bicycle is terrifying. Cars are built with suspension, power steering, etc. all to make the ride experience smooth, but this smoothness disconnects the driver from reality and makes mistakes like going faster than they think they’re going a lot easier to make.

“It’s always scary looking out for them because they never wear helmets or anything reflective and usually don’t pay attention to traffic lights,” says Reese Elazar ‘25. Their general recklessness and naïveté as a result of their inexperience with the road makes many main roads, such as Del Mar Heights, stressful to navigate.

Intersections such as the crossing in front of Cathedrals front driveway is inundated with bikers every light change. Bikers crossing the street is not an issue, but their disregard for when they should cross is. Many can be seen crossing when cars turning left into the driveway clearly have the right away.

Their unwillingness to yield is not the only issue though, many who have walked on the sidewalk on Del Mar Heights Rd have reported being almost run over by young bikers not using the bike lane. Speeds on sidewalks are also a concern, many drive as fast off the road as they would on the road, endangering walkers.

The Village and Highlands near CCHS have also been impacted as a result of these vehicles. Bikes are, “laid there haphazardly, and students ride through the parking around cars and on paths in front of people. This lack of common courtesy is dangerous and is a detriment to students visiting, customers just trying to shop, and the businesses there,” says Adriel Reomales ‘25.

These young rider’s disrespect of customers and businesses is morally wrong, and additionally it gives all three of the high schools surrounding these shopping centers a bad name. Teenagers already have a bad reputation for loitering, but these younger students blatant disrespect gives the stereotype evidence for adults and businesses to grab onto.

Not so shockingly, the Starbucks at the Village recently closed its doors early, and when questioned as to why baristas responded that it was because of the influx of rude students who did not buy anything and made a mess. These same kinds of students are hurting public places, putting drivers and walkers in danger with their moves, and giving those their age around them a bad name.

They cannot be criticized for just trying to commute to school in the morning, and that isn’t the problem. Their disrespect of concrete rules and common courtesy is pushing it too far. It’s only a matter of time before an accident happens as a result of these dangers and it will probably hit close to home here at Cathedral as we as drivers and students are at the epicenter of it.