Do not take it out on me.
I'm not sure what you're responding to here.. but I don't agree with you. What do you do about kids? Tell them they can't ride a bicycle on the street until they're old enough to drive? Do you really expect a 5 year old to go to some special class and pass a bunch of tests? What about people on low or fixed incomes? While it's true that some of us are more serious about it as a sport and spend $$$ on it, many people ride casually or ride because they can't afford any other transportation. What you're proposing would invite beaurocratic shenanigans that would end up raising the price of being a cyclist out of the range of everyone except people who have money and don't NEED to ride a bicycle. It's as preposterous an idea as they come. What's next, requiring training and licensing for rollerblades and skateboards?
Some of you are discussing using a flywheel. Does anyone have some data on the efficiency of that technology versus using this type of battery? My first thought would be that coming up with bearings for a flywheel that can handle the mass of the wheel yet be as close to frictionless as possible would be difficult and expensive to develop and then later to maintain.
As yet, there is nowhere to ride them safely AND legally.
We can change that.
Check out Google Maps sometime, our road system isn't made for bikes.
We can change that. Between where I live and Davis, California, there is nothing but freeway, but there is a bike lane connecting the two over the causeway that is off to the side, protected by concrete guards and a fence. Cyclists use it every day.
I sometimes wish I had a stick that I could hold out just in front of them so they would fall
You're a fucking JERK, then.
..cyclists usually suck.
Making broad generalizations isn't going to improve the situation any, it's just going to give a false sense of entitlement to poor drivers with already bad attitudes, and enrage the cycling community in general for being punished for the actions of the few. Stop pointing fingers and making accusations, and start doing something positive about the situation.
..I have no doubts about why more people do not subject themselves to this.
I hear you; I ride a motorcycle, too, and get that sort of treatment with that as well -- but doing nothing about it isn't going to change anything. BTW we both know that cyclists are also partly to blame for this attitude, because too many of them also don't realize they are subject to the same rules of the road -- or just don't care. Cyclists need to behave better, and drivers need to be educated better as well as be made an example of by police and the courts for misbehaving.
According to what I hear, an average speed of 40 km/h (25mph) would be 'normal'
Ummm... depends 100% on your fitness level, really. If you're a couch potato, you're not going to average 25mph, maybe not for a long time, maybe never. Professional racers average 25mph over significant distances. *I* can't average 25mph, that's for sure!
Define "parking problems"
I'm not one of the nut-jobs who insist on riding a bicycle everywhere -- you can't go to Costco on a bicycle (although I can sometimes on a motorcycle). I drive my pickup for errands that require hauling significant amounts of cargo. But I'm more than capable of riding the 6.4 miles each way to work.
I suppose if you're dedicated to being "green", you can take public transit when you need to shop. (?)
What realistic options are left to us?
It's called "civil disobedience", dude. Try it sometime. Worked wonders for us, back in the day. Looks like it's time for it, again.