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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #621
    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarBikeCar View Post
    Difference in speed between slowest traffic and the fastest traffic on a highway (80mph/40mph) = 2x
    Of course, the relevant science is that the energy is proportional to the square of the velocity...so the absolute difference is fairly irrelevant in the context of the discussion. But we do understand that anyone who tells you to get the car off the trail must be wrong, so the appropriate grain of salt has been applied.

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  3. #622
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    speed disparity between fast ebikes and pedestrians. 9.

    That alone makes trail conflict worse. Without even getting into A. folks really shouldn't be riding 22MPH on MUTs when ther are peds around. B. People riding human powered bikes on trails that fast will usually have gotten to that point by spending a lot of time riding and should be more experienced. C. The differences in weight and velocity are multiplicative. Unlike the truck vs prius example, on the trail you are both widening the speed disparity, and increasing the weight of the fastest users.

    As for motive, I ride a hybrid, and I am routinely passed by roadies. It's not about that.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 09-29-2017 at 09:46 AM.

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  5. #623
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicegrip View Post
    e-bikes have a place in the world but they should not displace or disturb other forms of travel.
    This sounds exactly like drivers trying to keep bikes off roads. And I fail to see how this doesn't boil down to an unwillingness to share public space. Given that ebikes make biking accessible to people who have mobility challenges, you're unwillingness to share with them is particularly offensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    E-bikes used in that way have their own negative externalities.
    What are you talking about? What negative externalities does a long-haul ebike have that a bike doesn't have?

  6. #624
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    speed disparity between fast ebikes and pedestrians. 9.
    Yes, but only if you assume that fast ebike riders go the max speed all the time. The problem is the behavior, not the tool, and we can address the behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    A. folks really shouldn't be riding 22MPH on MUTs when ther are peds around.
    Totally agree that there's some max speed where it's not safe to ride around pedestrians. I think it depends on the trail (width, sightlines, surface conditions) and the pedestrians (runners, people with dogs, kids, earbuds v non, etc). But there's some max speed in all situations. And in most situations, that max speed is less than many cyclists can get to without eassist. Just because a bike CAN achieve a speed that's unsafe doesn't mean we should ban the bike. Otherwise, most of y'all are off the trails.

    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    B. People riding human powered bikes on trails that fast will usually have gotten to that point by spending a lot of time riding and should be more experienced.
    Unless they are going downhill. Or unless you're talking about a narrow section of trail with a blind curve or slippery boards or lots of kids, etc. Then the speed that's too fast may be 10 mph, which most people don't need experience or lots of fitness to get to on a bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    C. The differences in weight and velocity are multiplicative.
    But if this were a big issue, we'd see reports of more serious injuries coming out of places where ebikes mixing with peds is already prevalent (China, Germany). Have you seen any of that?

  7. #625
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    But if this were a big issue, we'd see reports of more serious injuries coming out of places where ebikes mixing with peds is already prevalent (China, Germany). Have you seen any of that?

    I haven't seen much on the issue from China or Germany either way, not even sure what the best sources would be. Don't know what their regs are (note now we are talking about 1000watt ebikes, capable of going 30MPH, if I am following the thread correctly) Don't know what their infra is like, etc. I do know Germany manages autobahns with no speed limits, IIUC because German drivers are very disciplined - not sure I would suggest that in the US.

    Are you saying that ebikes with 1000 watt motors capable of going 30MPH on flats are not going to become a growing issue on our trails as they increase in numbers?

  8. #626
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Unless they are going downhill. Or unless you're talking about a narrow section of trail with a blind curve or slippery boards or lots of kids, etc. Then the speed that's too fast may be 10 mph, which most people don't need experience or lots of fitness to get to on a bike.
    regarding going downhill, IIUC one of the trails where there is a lot of conflict between peds and human powered bikes is the CCT, where many people ride too fast downhill, and MoCo has responded with more on trail speed enforcement than anywhere else in the region. It sounds like with ebikes that do 30MPH will expand the areas where that kind of enforcement may be needed, which I am not sure is a trivial issue.

    As for 10MPH dangers, sure they exist, absolutely. Just as a car can be a danger at 10MPH or 15MPH, if it goes through a red, hits a ped when making a turn, or (as happened to a forum member the other day) passes a cyclist improperly. But we have focused very much on vehicle speeds, not because collisions only happen at high speeds, but because the consequences are (on average) WORSE at high speeds.

  9. #627
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    I haven't seen much on the issue from China or Germany either way, not even sure what the best sources would be. Don't know what their regs are (note now we are talking about 1000watt ebikes, capable of going 30MPH, if I am following the thread correctly) Don't know what their infra is like, etc. I do know Germany manages autobahns with no speed limits, IIUC because German drivers are very disciplined - not sure I would suggest that in the US.

    Are you saying that ebikes with 1000 watt motors capable of going 30MPH on flats are not going to become a growing issue on our trails as they increase in numbers?
    As far as which ebikes we're talking about -- of course it's all mixed. Some have said Cat1/2 ebikes are fine everywhere, but some have argued for a total ban of any ebikes on the trails, for various reasons.

    Personally, I think the biggest issue is the behavior, and we should do more to address behavior on trails.

    On ebikes, we should also allow all Cat1/2 ebikes everywhere and Cat 3 ebikes on PBLs and cycletracks permanently and on trails on a trial basis -- I don't think it's an issue now, but I admit it could become an issue. So let Cat 3 use the trails for now and only ban them if we see a problem with Cat 3 ebikes causing collisions/injuries/near misses with others. We shouldn't ban ebikes because of congestion. We shouldn't ban cat 3 ebikes from any trail routes where there is not a safe on road route that's a reasonable alternative (so e.g. not on the bridges unless/until there is a safe river crossing).

    As a note, most German autobahns now have speed limits, because Germans are human too. Their drivers are better educated, and they do have more serious penalties for violating traffic laws.

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  11. #628
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    My sense it that some people are questioning whether it will be possible for LE to distinguish Cat 3 ebikes from others.

    I note this, from Wiki, about China.

    In China, e-bikes currently come under the same classification as bicycles and hence don't require a driver's license to operate. Previously it was required that users registered their bike in order to be recovered if stolen, although this has recently been abolished. Due to a recent rise in electric-bicycle-related accidents, caused mostly by inexperienced riders who ride on the wrong side of the road, run red lights, don't use headlights at night etc., the Chinese government plans to change the legal status of illegal bicycles so that vehicles with an unladen weight of 20 kg (44 lb) or more and a top speed of 30 km/h (19 mph) or more will require a motorcycle license to operate, while vehicles lighter than 20 kg (44 lb) and slower than 30 km/h can be ridden unlicensed.

    No info about changes to trails policies in China.

    My own position as stated above, is not to push for any changes in the law right now, in either direction on ebikes on MUTs in Alexandria, despite the inconsistencies in the law (notably the difference between City rules and NPS rules) (note again,, the bridge issue is in DC jurisdiction). Its simply not worth the political headache for really small benefits. It does sound like Virginia might be well advised to clarify distinctions among different classes of ebikes, as this would give local jurisdictions more options in the future as ebikes become more widespread.

  12. #629
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Otherwise, most of y'all are off the trails.
    I could see a case for eventually banning carbon fiber road bikes from the section of the MVT between the 4MRT and the 14th Street bridge. I suspect that having LE distinguish carbon fiber from other road bikes would be even harder than having them distinguish different classes of electric bikes.

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  14. #630
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    I could see a case for eventually banning carbon fiber road bikes from the section of the MVT between the 4MRT and the 14th Street bridge. I suspect that having LE distinguish carbon fiber from other road bikes would be even harder than having them distinguish different classes of electric bikes.
    GTFO!

    But then, there's plenty of roads to get to the same place.

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