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Bicycling/Number plates for Mountain Bikes.


Dear Howard

Do you suggest to have number plates for Mountain Bikes?.

This is applicable to both bicycle and tricycle.


Hi Prasant,

No -- it's not worth the time, effort, money, and manpower for a program that would serve no real purpose and also discourage bicycling rather than promote it. Setting up a licence plate program would involve an expensive government bureaucracy requiring staffing, enforcement, and facilities and machinery to make the plates. For the program to break even financially, the fee to obtain the plates would be so high that most riders would be discouraged from riding, especially younger people and children.

When I was a boy in the 1950s some towns near where I lived (in the Boston area) had licence plates for bicycles. Then at some point I never saw them again, and now they're collectors' items.

Some towns and many universities have a free or low-cost registration program where you can have your bike engraved with a number in an inconspicuous spot. This is done solely to help identify the bike if it's stolen, and it only takes a couple of minutes.



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Howard Stone


I can answer questions about bicycle touring in New England and the Hudson Valley.


I have written bicycling guidebooks for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, and the Hudson Valley. I served as the rides chairperson of the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen, the major bicycling club for R.I. and southeastern Mass., for 12 years.

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