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Thread: Fine for riding e-bikes on trails in DC?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtowner View Post
    It's all relative, I guess.
    and generally inflated, imho. much like the n+1 rule, when cycling speeds are mentioned on the forum, they typically follow f(S) = s 1.25, where f(S) is "Forum Speed" and s is actual speed.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    25mph is awful fast on a skateboard. Mine tops out at 23 or so and I've only topped it out a handful of times. I mostly cruise at around 15mph. They don't really have brakes.
    Sure they do. That's why I keep having to buy new shoes for my 10 and 12 year old sons.

  3. #23
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    baiskeli is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crickey7 View Post
    As with the MVT, NPS "closed" the CCT last year at the DC line due to the government shutdown.
    Yet the GW Parkway was kept open for business, of course.

  4. #24
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    The problem is, as with so many legal questions, where is the line? On one end of the continuum you have these very basic e-bikes that people putter along on. But then on the other hand they are currently making electric motorcycles that exceed 100 mph. So where do you draw the distinction? Sure, it's easy for a person to qualitatively say "Oh arlrider, you're being silly, EVERYONE knows those aren't the same!" But that's not how regulations and laws work - there has to be a metric and the ability to enforce. Wattage, top speed, what? Do you put a speed limit on the trail and then require all conventional cyclists to have speedometers? Due to the can of worms that is opened up by doing otherwise, I am personally in favor of retaining language that says no "motorized" vehicles on trails.

    My other issue with e-bike cyclists (note, I have not voiced this on other forums so I'm not one of the aforementioned trolls) is that they tend from my experience to be people who have just jumped into this and have very low levels of situational awareness and motor control when on the bike. They have skipped the steps that most of us take, where we build power, conditioning, and control (over years, typically), and instead have just lept right to ELITE speeds but without any of the experience that accompanies it. So in that respect I often find them dangerous - fast moving, uncontrolled objects.

  5. #25
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    I think its probably proper that the law draws the line at motorized vehicles, but I'd never hassle anyone who was riding considerately. I've seen several people on e-bikes on the W&OD (actually chased someone from Vienna to Reston a few weeks ago) and I've never had an issue with them.

    I do think within the next few years this will become an issue. There are already commercial e-bikes that blur the line between motorcycle and bicycle. As the tech gets more popular and the prices drop, we will probably start seeing conflicts. I'd personally much rather see someone on an e-bike than in a car, but its also true that most MUPs just aren't designed for motorized traffic. Guess we will see.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    I'd personally much rather see someone on an e-bike than in a car
    On an MUP? For certain!

    All joking aside, remember that string of drunken / clueless driver incursions onto the W&OD a couple years ago?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    I have never encountered one of these; I don't think this is a real problem. And plenty of [conventional bicycle] riders can go 30+ mph; just look at Tim's KOMs!
    Article

    One MMM reader sent me a full description of the $3400 ebike he built from the ground up that easily does 35MPH and regularly rocks a 42 mile roundtrip commute in a hilly area with high winds.
    Have I encountered one? Nope. I think there are enough stories of what happens when a bike hits a pedestrian at high speeds to give cycling a bad enough name. Reaching those speeds requires a lot of fitness, effort and experience. Those three things typically combine to knowing that going 30mph on a MUP is a bad idea. Being able to easily reach that speed and beyond means you are less aware of how fast you are going and how dangerous it can be. It is similar to the problem with people speeding in cars. When you don't have to work very hard to go faster.. you tend to go faster.

    I have no problem with people using frankenstein ebikes on the road for commuting. But I certainly have concerns about them being used in MUP/Trail. If you want to use an ebike limited to 20mph (which still allows your muscles to get it going faster than that) I'm all for it. Let me know how fast you can move a 50 lbs bike above 20mph. If your bike can do 35 mph with a turn of the wrist then get on the road and off the path. No one is advocating for gas powered scooters on the MUPs even though many are limited to low speeds to avoid some of the new regulations.



    As an aside:
    If a moped is operated in excess of 35 mph, it is considered a motorcycle.
    three wheels or less plus motor plus 35mph = motorcycle in VA these days. better get your registration and plates.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    I do think within the next few years this will become an issue. There are already commercial e-bikes that blur the line between motorcycle and bicycle. As the tech gets more popular and the prices drop, we will probably start seeing conflicts.
    I can only imagine how common place e-bikes will become over the next decade. The batteries will get lighter, the ranges longer, the motors more powerful, prices will drop and I assume gas prices and car access tolls will be much higher.

    As primarily a mountain biker, I dread what physical and regulatory impact they will have on trails and trail access. I would never consider one now at 43 3/4, but maybe in 10 years I'll want one so I can still climb some of the nutty things I can just barely climb now.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymo853 View Post
    I would never consider one now at 43 3/4, but maybe in 10 years I'll want one so I can still climb some of the nutty things I can just barely climb now.
    Sounds like a great way to tear up and ruin a trail if it's not used properly...

  10. #30
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    Does anyone know of someone who uses an e-assist recumbent? Around 7pm on Friday my wife and I saw a guy going nearly full traffic speed down Lee Highway in Fairfax where the speed limit is 40mph. He had lights everywhere and was towing a cargo bed too.

    Mad props to him.

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