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Lawmakers representing The Villages aim to make riding seatless bikes legal in Florida

ElliptiGOs provide low-impact outdoor exercise. Photo: Courtesy of ElliptiGO Corp.
ElliptiGOs provide low-impact outdoor exercise. Photo: Courtesy of ElliptiGO Corp.

Representative Brett Hage's bill making it legal in Florida to ride bicycles built without seats drew chuckles -- and then approval -- from a House committee last week.

Hage and Senator Dennis Baxley want to clear the way for the ElliptiGO in The Villages.

Hage's bill will change a law that says cyclists must ride "upon or astride a permanent and regular seat." If not, they can get a ticket starting for $15.

But Hage says his constituents are riding ElliptiGOs, which combine an elliptical machine, like those in a gym, and a bicycle. And ElliptiGOs don't have seats.

You don't see them often in The Villages. And the Sumter County Sheriff's Office reports only one ticket for a seatless bike in the past two years.

But the ElliptiGOs could be coming. Mike Ruffalo -- a brand ambassador in Naples -- says more people are using them for low-impact outdoor exercise during the pandemic.

He can't imagine it's an issue for law enforcement.

"In fact, it's safer than a bicycle because you're in a standing position and much more visible to cars and traffic and pedestrians," Ruffalo said.

And pretty soon riding them could be legal, too.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.