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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #681
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    Man, things got intensely theoretical since I've been away from this thread.

    I just came back to say I saw my first e-bike in a couple of weeks yesterday. Woman was walking it up Carillon Hill by Iwo and I asked how she was doing. (I know, chauvinist monster). She grumbled back that her battery was dead and she couldn't get up the hill. Hunh.

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  3. #682
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    You keep saying these things along the lines of "more people on trails = safer," .

    ..
    And who are "normal people" riding bikes? What's the demographic composition of the class/strata of "normal people" riding bikes? Or are normal people simply "not Freds that ride carbon bikes"? Is it simply "skinny people" that ride bikes that you don't like? Or is it just men that ride too fast?
    I think there are two sides to the safely issue when more "normal people" ride bikes. Sure, more cyclists means drivers are used to seeing them on the road and look out for them more, but more cyclists also makes the trails more crowded and therefore less safe. Another factor is that new riders seem to ride less safely than experienced riders. Just like you need to learn how to ride a bike, you need experience in order to judge when it's safe to pass or how much room to give a pedestrian or other cyclist. When you have a motor assist helping you go faster than your experience warrants, it's asking for trouble.

  4. #683
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    I think there are two sides to the safely issue when more "normal people" ride bikes. Sure, more cyclists means drivers are used to seeing them on the road and look out for them more, but more cyclists also makes the trails more crowded and therefore less safe. Another factor is that new riders seem to ride less safely than experienced riders. Just like you need to learn how to ride a bike, you need experience in order to judge when it's safe to pass or how much room to give a pedestrian or other cyclist. When you have a motor assist helping you go faster than your experience warrants, it's asking for trouble.
    I actually don't think this is what will happen. It could turn out that more crowded trails means that overall people will ride slower and not make stupid passes, just expecting no one to be there. So more crowded may actually be safer.

    Similarly, people who don't ride bikes because they don't think it's safe are more cautious overall, and thus are more likely to ride cautiously. The "you need experience to know how much room you need to make a pass" works two ways -- you may ride slower than you need to because you're scared of falling, or you may ride faster than you should because you overjudge your ability. I think the majority of the "I don't ride now because I don't think it's safe" crowd fall into the former category.

    But I see that the world could follow your logic, too. And that is why we have to data and experience in the real world, rather than the conjectures of people -- we just don't know how real people will end up using things, and given that these aren't the kinds of things that will kill lots of people if it ends up turning out more like what huskerdont expects than what I expect, I think we should try it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Maybe I don't understand comparative negligence well enough (IANAL) but I thought that under it, the woman on the bike would be liable only to the extent her behavior contributed to the damage. So if it could be shown that her riding an ebike (instead of a regular bike) contributed 20% of the fault, while the Fred doing the bad pass contributed 80%, she could still collect 80%. If she were riding under 15MPH, I suspect it would be difficult to establish that she was mostly at fault.
    Because what she is doing is illegal, and what the other person is doing is not, she would be liable. That's why getting police to write tickets in collisions is so important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    You keep saying these things along the lines of "more people on trails = safer," when you really mean "more people riding bikes = easier to point at larger or smaller numbers in non-representative European data about a foreign population with different norms, rules, and laws, to suit a specific local advocacy issue". You should be more honest about the statistics.

    We get that you're a vocal cycling-as-transportation advocate. And you need numbers to throw at Arlington to "prove" a position during BAC meetings. But reading/regurgitating a handful of surveys about why people don't like riding bikes up steep hills doesn't change the physics of collisions or accidental crashes.

    And who are "normal people" riding bikes? What's the demographic composition of the class/strata of "normal people" riding bikes? Or are normal people simply "not Freds that ride carbon bikes"? Is it simply "skinny people" that ride bikes that you don't like? Or is it just men that ride too fast?
    We talk in a lot of short hand here, but I honestly have no idea what you mean in that first paragraph.

    As to "normal people" -- I think it's reasonable to believe that the set of people who ride bikes now is less risk adverse than the set of people who do not, given that cycling is seen as "dangerous". I was using "normal people" as a short hand for "people that are willing to ride bikes but don't do it now because they see it as too dangerous". Does that help?

    ETA: Also, why would you say that I don't like "skinny people that ride bikes"? That's ridiculous. I like EVERYONE who rides a bike and want everyone to be able to enjoy it and get the benefits. Even the skinny fit people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Because what she is doing is illegal, and what the other person is doing is not, she would be liable. That's why getting police to write tickets in collisions is so important.

    Failing to yield to oncoming traffic is not illegal? Would striping a no passing line where the pass is blind address that? Shouldn't we have that anyway, if people are getting away without liability for blind passes (because even if a human powered biker or ped hit by someone doing a blind pass is doing nothing illegal, they still would need to show the passer is legally at fault to get anything right?) ?

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  9. #687
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    I actually don't think this is what will happen. It could turn out that more crowded trails means that overall people will ride slower and not make stupid passes, just expecting no one to be there. So more crowded may actually be safer.
    I'm an early advocate for trail diets. The Custis needs to be narrowed and have more blind curves added to help slow trail traffic down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    I'm an early advocate for trail diets. The Custis needs to be narrowed and have more blind curves added to help slow trail traffic down.
    Or, instead of fixing the moguls, install them along the rest of the trail.

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  13. #689
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbike33 View Post
    Or, instead of fixing the moguls, install them along the rest of the trail.
    You jest. At a meeting on the bike ped master plan update in Alexandria, one Dino Drudi, proud defier of the evil bike lobby, suggested that bike lanes be made narrower, for "traffic calming". Sadly I did not have the presence of mind to explain that the applicable speed limit on them was the same as that on the street, nowhere less than 25MPH in Alexandria, and that few riders exceeded that speed on flats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    You jest.
    Yes, but you forgot you call me Shirley.

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