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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    It seems like we agree on quite a bit:
    * we'd be better off if there were a place to bike fast safely separate from where people walk
    * we need changes (mostly infrastructure) that will convince faster cyclists (on e- and regular bikes) off of trails, leaving trails to the people walking, jogging, kids riding, slow biking, etc.
    * what that changes are depend on the road -- maybe PBLs on Lee, Wilson, FFX, maybe wayfinding or streamlined stop-signs on neighborhood streets like Key, 5th St N, etc.

    So let's work on getting this done!
    Agreed! To which I would only add, changes other than infra to make riding in the road (in seg infra or taking the lane) more attractive - lower speed limits where appropriate, restrictions on turns where appropriate, better enforcement of traffic laws and education about them, a due care standard relative to vulnerable road users and changes to contributory negligence laws.

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  3. #282
    DismalScientist is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Are the lanes 11 ft there now? If a bike is two feet wide, a car is 6 ft wide, and you need 3 feet to pass, isn't riding to the right barely safe in such a lane? Personally my understanding of VC is that in such a lane you ride in the center anyway (which you could do in a 10 ft lane) and only ride on the right in a lane of at least 12 feet or maybe wider.

    Do we have different understandings of what VC riding means?

    Here is what LAB says:

    Bikes can share the same lane with other drivers. If a lane is wide enough to share with another vehicle (about 14 feet), ride three feet to the right of traffic. If the lane is not wide enough to share, “take the lane” by riding in the middle.

    I thought this was VC.
    Fairfax has a parking lane, an unprotected bike lane and two regular vehicle lanes on either side of the median. I just treat this as a wide right lane and narrow left lane and generally end up at the left edge of the bike lane, out of the door zone.

    I'm not sure about lane widths, but my general practice is to take more of the lane as my speed increases relative to other traffic. On Fairfax, this means that cars is the right lane can safely pass with moving substantially to the left. On Glebe in far north Arlington, I am generally about 3 feet from the curb with a fairly wide right lane and narrower left lane. Here, cars in the right lane will scooch over in the right lane to pass, if they don't just change lanes to the left. This is fine with me. On Army Navy drive, a two-lane road with normal lanes but good sightlines, I will be 3 feet from the curb and cars with either scooching over the double yellow line or taking the opposite lane (across the double yellow). Either way they pass is fine with me. I do take the lane on Washington Blvd east of Glebe where there are two narrow lanes in each direction. Here, I want cars to be forced to change lanes if they want to pass. Going downhill on Clarendon (east of Courthouse), I take the lane and am out of the bike lane, because it is too dangerous to be confined to the bike lane at such high speeds. Here, I don't think cars should pass me at all, but if they pass on the left I won't get bent out of shape. I generally don't see the need to take the lane if cars can safely pass in some way without me taking the lane. I guess this doesn't make me a pure VCer.

  4. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    ...and changes to contributory negligence laws.
    I emailed WABA and wrote it in the WABA member survey asking for advocacy/action to build on the successful campaign in DC to repeal Contributory Negligence for cyclists to extend the benefit to include ebikes - we're still subject to this unfair driver loophole - don't give car drivers an excuse to abdicate their responsibility to vulnerable road users, that should include pedestrians, cyclists, ebikes, all of us. I'm just asking for equitable treatment.

    In addition to Infrastructure, Education, etc. we need a safe Potomac river crossing that is legal for both cyclists and ebikes to use, I like @Scoots suggestion earlier of a PBL on Key Bridge. VC does not work in the rush hour commute on any of the Potomac bridge vehicle lanes for low powered Class 1/2 ebikes that are limited to <20mph.
    Last edited by Dewey; 08-02-2017 at 03:46 PM.

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  6. #284
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    So instead of cogitating, some reportage (about PBL usage, not directly about Ebikes)

    I rode the Eads street bike lane SB this afternoon, around 6ish.

    It was almost empty. I saw a CaBi rider in it for about 20 ft, before she made a right turn off Eads. A runner in it for a few to pass some walkers. And a UPS truck.

    I saw one rider in the NB lane. This on a nice evening, when the MVT was surely not empty (one motive to do Eads was that coming in on the bridge I already saw passing activity SB on the MVT)

    Anyone riding an 20 MPH on Eads SB would not have needed to pass slower folk (well except for me, I guess).

    If they HAD needed to pass, there were abundant places to do it. As Dasgeh mentioned, large parts of Eads are not "protected" lanes but only buffered. Which may not feel as safe as the trail (though in fact I think buffered lanes are great to ride in) but enable faster riders to pass slower rides at least as easily as in a conventional bike lane. There are sections where the PBL is protected only by flex posts, and it would not be hard to leave the lane to pass. And places where it protected by parked cars, but where there no parked cars at the time I was there. Now none of those are perfect options for passing, I suppose, but compare that to passing riders (and runners, and walkers) on the MVT. (of course there are other concerns for fast cyclists on the PBL, but then ditto on the MVT)

    Now someday we may have enough riders on Eads street lanes, that passing will happen frequently, and maybe the available passing options won't be enough (or the volumes will enable the bike lane bolsheviks to get the protections extended, and the numerous driveways will disappear with redevelopment), and then I won't suggest the PBLs as an option for fast riders. Maybe on that great getting up morning when the PBLs get one tenth the volume that the MVT gets.

  7. #285
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    An e-bike that can do 20mph uphill probably does 25mph on the level and downhill. If an e-bike that does 20 on the level is likely doing 15mph on the hills. There are different types of e-bikes and different hill grades, but typical e-bikes don't have enough spare power to maintain constant speed up a hill. For playing well in traffic one needs to maintain constant speed as motorist's safety calculations during passing and turns is based on a projection of other vehicle location based on the last observed speed.

  8. #286
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Ebikes that have the power but are programmed to meet the FTC regs can do 20mph uphill and on flats.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

  9. #287
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Ebikes that have the power but are programmed to meet the FTC regs can do 20mph uphill and on flats.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk
    With pedal assist the rider can go 28mph, which I've seen riders do on the MVT and 4MR. This is dangerous and not something a non ebike rider can easily do.

    20mph is very fast for riding uphill. If you look at the Rosslyn hill on the Custis trail on Strava (https://www.strava.com/segments/12543956), only 9 out of over 7500 riders have ever averaged 20mph up that hill. Putting ebikes out there means that anyone can spend a couple grand and be faster than basically every rider on the trail, simply by twisting the wrist or flicking a switch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    With pedal assist the rider can go 28mph, which I've seen riders do on the MVT and 4MR. This is dangerous and not something a non ebike rider can easily do.

    20mph is very fast for riding uphill. If you look at the Rosslyn hill on the Custis trail on Strava (https://www.strava.com/segments/12543956), only 9 out of over 7500 riders have ever averaged 20mph up that hill. Putting ebikes out there means that anyone can spend a couple grand and be faster than basically every rider on the trail, simply by twisting the wrist or flicking a switch.
    There are a wide variety of ebikes. Plenty can't go 20mph at all, let alone 28mph, on the flats. There's a federal law, and acompanying FTC reg, that gives special status (irrelevant in this area) to ebikes that meet certain requirements, including programming the assist to stop helping at 20mph.

    There are plenty of others that are programmed to cut off at 28mph and others that have no limit. Again, wide variety

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

  11. #289
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    I ride the Custis daily. Even on "crowded" days. It's not crowded. I've never missed a light, even with the short timing at Lynn.
    I am not sure when you are on the trail (I usually get on between 6:45 and 7:15 - earlier in summer, later in winter), but I find the Custis more and more crowded - to the point that it rivals the MVT for the times that I am on that trail later in my ride to work in the south part of the county. Oddly, more and more people are heading westbound in the morning than there used to be. This morning I needed to stop on the downhills of both of the two sisters because a pedestrian was in front of me and cyclists were coming up the hill. And it is a rare day that either multiple people are passing me from behind on the hill going up towards the bridge to now where or there are multiple people on the downhill. The numbers of peds and cyclists all throughout is typically higher than I have seen in recent years.

    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    20mph is very fast for riding uphill. If you look at the Rosslyn hill on the Custis trail on Strava (https://www.strava.com/segments/12543956), only 9 out of over 7500 riders have ever averaged 20mph up that hill. Putting ebikes out there means that anyone can spend a couple grand and be faster than basically every rider on the trail, simply by twisting the wrist or flicking a switch.
    This happens to be how I mostly notice the ebikes - they zoom past me going up hill. I find fewer of them are courteous than non-ebike riders, but since only a small fraction of cyclists seem to call their pass, this may be small number of statistics. And most of the non-courteous do not fall into the previously mentioned categories - they are all guys between 30-50 who seem to have more money than brain cells (from what I can tell as they whiz by me). Kind of like those in the expensive fast cars.

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  13. #290
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    With pedal assist the rider can go 28mph, which I've seen riders do on the MVT and 4MR. This is dangerous and not something a non ebike rider can easily do.

    20mph is very fast for riding uphill. If you look at the Rosslyn hill on the Custis trail on Strava (https://www.strava.com/segments/12543956), only 9 out of over 7500 riders have ever averaged 20mph up that hill. Putting ebikes out there means that anyone can spend a couple grand and be faster than basically every rider on the trail, simply by twisting the wrist or flicking a switch.
    You are talking about the performance of high power/over-volted electric motors likely drawing above the 1,000w Virginia definition of an electric power-assisted bicycle and I agree 20mph is too fast going uphill on the Custis Trail, it's also 5mph over the trail speed limit, lower powered Class 1 and 2 ebikes typically don't achieve those velocities uphill. I converted a bicycle with a pedal assist motor, no throttle, I'm not interested in speed only utility cycling and commuting, and I need help pedalling uphill, towing a child trailer, and carrying groceries. The motor while continuously rated at 250w can draw peak power of 648w - this is capable of assisting my pedalling up to 14mph unloaded going uphill from Rosslyn on the Wilson Blvd PBL, with child trailer and groceries I'm usually going 10mph uphill.

    The riders zooming past you uphill may or may not know this but in Virginia motor power >1,000w means they are not riding an ebike. Bicycles are not equipped to NHTSA moped safety standards so they don't have a VIN number and in Virginia it cannot be registered or titled without a VIN number so it likely also can't be insured or operated on the street. It's why I advocate for Virginia adopting a California style ebike classification system certified by the manufacturer or distributor with a decal to identify legal ebikes. Class 1 pedal assist and Class 2 throttle ebikes and kit motors are power limited with performance similar to pedal bicycles, Class 3 speed pedelecs provide pedal assistance up to 28mph which is suitable for long distance commuting on the street, in California only Class 1 and 2 ebikes are allowed on the trails.
    Last edited by Dewey; 08-03-2017 at 11:23 AM.

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