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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #1311
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    For something completely different: Specialized aired their "Learn to Ride Again" commercial promoting their Turbo lines of e-bikes during NBC's Tour de France coverage this weekend. Imagine that - an actual ad for bicycles during a bicycle race! Would love to see it aired more often and elsewhere (e.g., to help inform the notion that these can be car replacements), but this is a good start!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwD87kmbPEA

  2. #1312
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    Quote Originally Posted by LhasaCM View Post
    an actual ad for bicycles during a bicycle race
    The Specialized Turbo Vado SL is a bit special, though I wish they made the main battery removable. But that video at the 26" point the narrator exclaims "it's not even a bike". Disagree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
    The Specialized Turbo Vado SL is a bit special, though I wish they made the main battery removable. But that video at the 26" point the narrator exclaims "it's not even a bike". Disagree.
    My wife has a Turbo Como. The battery is removable (yay!) if need be. I get the marketing push of "it's not even a bike" but would rather they phrase it as "it's not just a bike" as they had done in other ads they've shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LhasaCM View Post
    My wife has a Turbo Como. The battery is removable (yay!) if need be. I get the marketing push of "it's not even a bike" but would rather they phrase it as "it's not just a bike" as they had done in other ads they've shot.
    Turbo Como is a nice ebike. I think my beef with the ad is it reinforces this misperception that ebikes aren't bikes. Sadly this feeds into more consequential stuff, for example this afternoon I looked at the transcript of the August DC BAC Legislative committee meeting. With Vision Zero out of the way the Council are able to reconsider Cllr Cheh's 2019 proposals to update the District's regulations around ebikes. Dear Lord, the arguments over whether to allow ebikes on street bicycle infrastructure. Ebikes are bikes, they get more people on bikes. Advocating for equitable access to safe bicycle infrastructure and protections from motorists who hide behind the Contributory Negligence law is why I joined WABA. I recognize the official DC BAC position is pro-ebike as shown by their support for the Vulnerable User Collision Recovery Amendment Act of 2019, that bill too was put on ice until after Vision Zero. I would love to see some movement on these necessary updates to ebike regulations in the District.
    Last edited by Dewey; 09-09-2020 at 03:34 PM.

  5. 09-10-2020, 10:09 AM


  6. #1315
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
    Turbo Como is a nice ebike. I think my beef with the ad is it reinforces this misperception that ebikes aren't bikes. Sadly this feeds into more consequential stuff, for example this afternoon I looked at the transcript of the August DC BAC Legislative committee meeting. With Vision Zero out of the way the Council are able to reconsider Cllr Cheh's 2019 proposals to update the District's regulations around ebikes. Dear Lord, the arguments over whether to allow ebikes on street bicycle infrastructure. Ebikes are bikes, they get more people on bikes. Advocating for equitable access to safe bicycle infrastructure and protections from motorists who hide behind the Contributory Negligence law is why I joined WABA. I recognize the official DC BAC position is pro-ebike as shown by their support for the Vulnerable User Collision Recovery Amendment Act of 2019, that bill too was put on ice until after Vision Zero. I would love to see some movement on these necessary updates to ebike regulations in the District.
    There's the rub. Marketers still need to emphasize the non-bike like aspects of these vehicles (battery, top speed, etc, ) to sell them, it's just product differentiation. Advocates have to downplay these differences in order to enjoy infrastructure that was developed and mostly reserved for plain-old bikes. At some point bike companies won't have to emphasize the differences so much. Already it seems to me that ebikes are putting the faux-motorcycle bad-boy aesthetic behind them and getting normalized. But then something gets named "Turbo" and I wonder.

    To me, an e-bike is an e-bike. It's not a bike, and not a moped. The battery-powered nature is a game-changer. I think it's why most cyclists would be happy to allow a Turbo Vado user to enjoy bike infrastructure but would balk if they wanted to use a 1 HP Puch Maxi moped, which like the Turbo Vado, has pedals and a top speed of 20mph.

  7. #1316
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    most cyclists would be happy to allow a Turbo Vado user to enjoy bike infrastructure
    I appreciate both WABA and the local BAC's hold a pro-ebike position, and this year has seen movement with VA and MD adopting the 3-class ebike legislation, and NPS, NOVA Parks, and Arlington County permitting ebikes on bike paths/infrastructure, now DC needs to catch up. Hoping for movement this year.
    Last edited by Dewey; 09-10-2020 at 10:54 AM.

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  9. #1317
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    Cllr Cheh's rideshare scooter/ebike regulation bill was reworked and renamed as the “Shared Fleet Devices Amendment Act of 2020” and was passed by the DC Council. Different than the original proposals this bill changes DC's Municipal Regulations affecting ebikes as follows:

    1) Class 3 ebikes remain subject to the "Motor Driven Cycle" definition. Class 1 and 2 ebikes continue to fall under the "Motorized Bicycle" definition that has "a motor incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on level ground". This is a missed opportunity to bring DC regulations in line with neighboring Virginia and Maryland's adoption of the BPSA/PfB 3-class model ebike law.
    2) Motorized Bicycles and electric scooters operated by bikeshare/rideshare companies are further defined as a type of "Shared Fleet Device", that would include the Class 1 ebikes operated by Capital Bikeshare. Shared Fleet Devices may be parked on the sidewalk provided the ebike or scooter is left upright, locked to something, and leaves 3 feet of unobstructed pedestrian space.
    3) Shared Fleet Device operating companies are mandated to share with DDOT "a description of all complaints made against the permitted operator via the customer service phone number or online". This should hopefully enable some oversight and perhaps prevent the problems with Lyft and Uber not sharing safety data that contributed to unneccessary accidents and the withdrawal of CaBi ebikes for over a year.
    4) Unfortunately the wording continues the ambiguity around the legality of riding Class 1 and 2 ebikes on sidewalks and shared use paths in DC: the wording describes Shared Fleet Device users "shall not ride on sidewalks within the Central Business District" but otherwise does not address the issue, leaving it open to interpretation whether this implies permission for Capital Bikeshare ebikes to ride on sidewalks and paths outside the CBD and whether this implied permission extends to privately owned Class 1 and 2 ebikes. The areas of DC within the jurisdiction of the National Park Service including the National Mall and Memorial Parks superintendent's Record of Determination permits ebikes on sidewalks outside the Memorials otherwise their use is governed by DC law/municipal regulations. Class 1-3 ebike use on Memorial Bridge is permitted under a GWMP superintendent's Record of Determination subject to a 15mph speed limit and for Class 2 ebikes no sustained use of the throttle.
    Last edited by Dewey; 10-22-2020 at 01:34 PM.

  10. #1318
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    Hat tip to @Wash_cycle on Bike Twitter, B23-0083 the "Vulnerable User Collision Recovery Amendment Act of 2020" passed the DC Judiciary Cttee who filed a report supporting revision of the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016 to expand its protections to other classes of vulnerable road users including riders of e-bikes and scooters, the bill limits the application of the unfair contributory negligence legal standard in cases of a collision with a motor vehicle. Thanks to all who gave testimony in support of this bill. It proceeds to the DC Council who hopefully will pass it, maybe encouraging Virginia state senator Surovell to reintroduce his Contributory Negligence bill in 2021? (fingers crossed)

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  12. #1319
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
    Hat tip to @Wash_cycle on Bike Twitter, B23-0083 the "Vulnerable User Collision Recovery Amendment Act of 2020" passed the DC Judiciary Cttee who filed a report supporting revision of the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016 to expand its protections to other classes of vulnerable road users including riders of e-bikes and scooters, the bill limits the application of the unfair contributory negligence legal standard in cases of a collision with a motor vehicle. Thanks to all who gave testimony in support of this bill. It proceeds to the DC Council who hopefully will pass it, maybe encouraging Virginia state senator Surovell to reintroduce his Contributory Negligence bill in 2021? (fingers crossed)
    Was in the World Day of Remembrance call this past Sunday with Senator Surovell and he brought up contributory negligence and indicated itís still at the top of his legislation priorities. He discussed personal injury clients of his and how the current law impacts their ability to recover damages. He also shared that he has been hit by drivers twice while riding a bike.


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