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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Okay, looking at it closer, it seems the Arlington language actually is actually somewhat more clear about this, in favor of allowing e-bikes on trails. According to Arlington Code 14.2-1.1. Definitions:



    To me, this means that when Arlington says "motorized vehicle", it's using Virginia's definition, which excludes e-bikes. In addition, Virginia code only considers bikes and e-bikes "vehicles" when operated on the highway. When VA 46.2-100 refers to bikes and e-bikes, it calls them "devices," but mopeds are called "vehicles." Thus, an e-bike is not a "vehicle" for the purposes of the Arlington MUP statute and probably not for any other local ordinance unless it is very explicit.
    That seems consistent with the point others have made that e-bikes are legal on Arlington MUPs. I guess in VA [for us] that leaves the W&OD, which isn't Arlington jurisdiction? I'm not sure how NRVPA rules fit into this.

    (To be fair, the W&OD is probably the place where e-bike usage actually matters the least. It is not very crowded when compared to the Custis.)
    Last edited by hozn; 09-15-2017 at 01:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    One of the reasons I prefer riding on trails, over riding on streets, is to avoid exposure to tailpipe emissions. I think that is also a reason runners and walkers like them (and yes, I know the GWMP is not far from the MVT, for example, but IIUC research has shown even a few feet of extra distance helps significantly). I imagine low power mopeds have modest emissions, but e-bikes have none?
    Sure, I agree that breathing exhaust isn't great. Can we ban people smoking on the trails too? That's gross. I could see someone counter-argue that the advantage of a louder motor is that you'll hear it coming. OTOH, I also hate it when people blast their music on the trail -- unless I'm part of the ride and it's Pete and then it's pretty cool (but it's also not on the trail).

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  4. #543
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    Sure, I agree that breathing exhaust isn't great. Can we ban people smoking on the trails too? That's gross. I could see someone counter-argue that the advantage of a louder motor is that you'll hear it coming. OTOH, I also hate it when people blast their music on the trail -- unless I'm part of the ride and it's Pete and then it's pretty cool (but it's also not on the trail).

    I don't know if you could. Probably harder to do in Va than banning small mopeds. And to note, 2nd hand smoke in an open public place has not been shown (AFAIK) to be a health hazard, while tailpipe emissions (but from cars, not necessarily from mopeds) have been. So all in all I think banning smoking on trails is really heavy lift, while banning mopeds appears to be status quo. Anyway, the point that the distinction between gas motors and e motors is not arbitrary, appears to stand, IMO, without regard to whether smoking on trails should be or can be banned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    One of the reasons I prefer riding on trails, over riding on streets, is to avoid exposure to tailpipe emissions. I think that is also a reason runners and walkers like them (and yes, I know the GWMP is not far from the MVT, for example, but IIUC research has shown even a few feet of extra distance helps significantly). I imagine low power mopeds have modest emissions, but e-bikes have none?
    Small engines don't have catalyzers like cars and actually have pretty bad emissions despite their small displacement. Mythbusters did an episode on motorcycles vs. cars once which explained it pretty well. And even though you're getting better mileage on a bike, they pollute a lot more. Some bikes do have catalyzed exhausts though. Regulation of small engine and off road emissions are an argument for or against a well funded far reaching Environmental Protection Agency depending on how you feel about those things.

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  8. #545
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    That seems consistent with the point others have made that e-bikes are legal on Arlington MUPs. I guess in VA [for us] that leaves the W&OD, which isn't Arlington jurisdiction? I'm not sure how NRVPA rules fit into this.

    (To be fair, the W&OD is probably the place where e-bike usage actually matters the least. It is not very crowded when compared to the Custis.)
    Looking at NVRPA's regulations, it seems to be effectively a state entity, deriving it's regulations from the state statutes, so it looks like State definitions would apply (although I can't find this stated explicitly or any listing of definitions...which reinforces for me that state definitions apply). Other than "not allowed off established trails" language, there isn't any specific reference to bikes in NVRPA's regulations. Mopeds, however, are explicitly forbidden on NVPRA trails per the regulations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    Sure, I agree that breathing exhaust isn't great. Can we ban people smoking on the trails too? That's gross. I could see someone counter-argue that the advantage of a louder motor is that you'll hear it coming. OTOH, I also hate it when people blast their music on the trail -- unless I'm part of the ride and it's Pete and then it's pretty cool (but it's also not on the trail).
    Oh I think a rant on boom boxes is worthy of its own thread!

    I may have to try to combine all the rant-worthy gear and behavior into the ultimate commuter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anomad View Post
    I may have to try to combine all the rant-worthy gear and behavior into the ultimate commuter.
    Impossible due to multiple contradictions. For example, a retina-searing strobe headlight prevents you from also being a ninja. Or a boombox blaring bad music makes it essentially impossible to pass without warning.

    Although a stogie-smoking, throttle-twisting ebiker with a boombox and strobe headlight would be pretty annoying.

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  13. #548
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    Quote Originally Posted by anomad View Post
    Oh I think a rant on boom boxes is worthy of its own thread!

    I may have to try to combine all the rant-worthy gear and behavior into the ultimate commuter.
    Extra points if you wear a t-shirt under your see-thru bibs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Extra points if you wear a t-shirt under your see-thru bibs.
    I just retired two of my favorite bibs that were getting a little embarrassing... I wonder if they're still in the trash?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    I imagine low power mopeds have modest emissions, but e-bikes have none?
    E-bikes still have emissions; most electric power is still generated by coal & oil.

    An electric vehicle just offsets the issue


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