Page 41 of 48 FirstFirst ... 313940414243 ... LastLast
Results 401 to 410 of 477

Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #401
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    The forgotten corner of Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    2,334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sjclaeys View Post
    I saw an ad for the Faraday e-bike on the Washington Post website this morning and, because of this thread, thought that I'd check it out. Two things jumped out to me in the marketing of what appears to be a regular e-bike (emphasis added):

    "Everybody knows electric bikes can climb hills with ease. The lesser known secret? On flat ground they FLY. So while an electric bike can save you money, the biggest thing it can save is your most precious resource your time."

    "Your Faraday keeps you safer with an upright riding posture that gives you a clear view of the road, fast acceleration, and a 20 mph cruising speed that lets you stay with the flow of traffic."
    Seems like they agree with me, that the big advantage of ebikes is making full VC style riding a lot easier for a much wider range of riders.

  2. #402
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    South Arlington
    Posts
    238
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Seems like they agree with me, that the big advantage of ebikes is making full VC style riding a lot easier for a much wider range of riders.
    I agree with you too, the "problem" is that e-bike operators prefer to ride on MUPs at such speeds, rather than on roads.

  3. Likes Harry Meatmotor, hozn liked this post
  4. #403
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5,061
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    I agree with you too, the "problem" is that e-bike operators prefer to ride on MUPs at such speeds, rather than on roads.

    It's a problem is that some people ride bikes (e- and not) on MUPs at speeds that are unsafe (and there are places where 12mph is unsafe, others where 20mph is safe).

    The reason the anti-ebike argument grates on me is that the "e" part of the bike is a red herring. The logical position would be to ban any vehicle from a trail that has the ability to obtain unsafe speeds. Yet, anti-ebike folks don't want to ban (as I understand it) road bikes ridden by roadies, and those have the ability to obtain unsafe speeds. So why should only fit people be allowed on vehicles that have the ability to obtain unsafe speeds, but not unfit people and people with heavy loads?

    The only answer to that I've seen on this thread is capacity: we don't have that much room on the trails, so let's just keep the unfit off/heavy loaders off the trails. But is that how we should allocate our resources?

    Quote Originally Posted by Subby View Post
    We might all come at this issue with different opinions and agendas. However, I am confident that we can unite in agreement that using pedal assist on flat ground on the trail is laaaaame af.
    No, we can't unite in this argument. Some people are carrying big loads. Some people just can't pedal a bike at a sustained 15mph. It's not lame is add assist to this equation so that people can bike -- getting 90% of the benefits (movement, time outside, sense of community, fiscal savings, environmental savings, less impact on our already crowded cities) -- at speeds that allow them to work biking into their day.

    In fact, the only thing lame here is the implication in this statement (and others on this thread) that only fit and unburdened people should be equipped with the ability to bike fast on trails.

    (Note: I said "equipped with the ability" - no one should be biking too fast for conditions/above the speed limit)

  5. Likes Dewey liked this post
  6. #404
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    The forgotten corner of Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    2,334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    It's a problem is that some people ride bikes (e- and not) on MUPs at speeds that are unsafe (and there are places where 12mph is unsafe, others where 20mph is safe).

    The reason the anti-ebike argument grates on me is that the "e" part of the bike is a red herring. The logical position would be to ban any vehicle from a trail that has the ability to obtain unsafe speeds. Yet, anti-ebike folks don't want to ban (as I understand it) road bikes ridden by roadies, and those have the ability to obtain unsafe speeds. So why should only fit people be allowed on vehicles that have the ability to obtain unsafe speeds, but not unfit people and people with heavy loads?

    The only answer to that I've seen on this thread is capacity: we don't have that much room on the trails, so let's just keep the unfit off/heavy loaders off the trails. But is that how we should allocate our resources?



    No, we can't unite in this argument. Some people are carrying big loads. Some people just can't pedal a bike at a sustained 15mph. It's not lame is add assist to this equation so that people can bike -- getting 90% of the benefits (movement, time outside, sense of community, fiscal savings, environmental savings, less impact on our already crowded cities) -- at speeds that allow them to work biking into their day.

    In fact, the only thing lame here is the implication in this statement (and others on this thread) that only fit and unburdened people should be equipped with the ability to bike fast on trails.

    (Note: I said "equipped with the ability" - no one should be biking too fast for conditions/above the speed limit)
    1. Not everyone on a road bike can bike fast though. I know this, because I am competitive enough that I look to see who I am passed by, and who is passing me. Its not every day that I pass someone on a road bike, but it happens enough times. (yes they could be people just out for a mellow ride, but my impression is that often they are not) I assume those are mostly people who are new to biking and bypassed the "ride a hybrid because road bikes are scary" stage. In contrast its sounds like almost everyone can ride fast on an ebike.

    2. Again the reason to move ebikes off if we are reaching a capacity limit on our trails (and note, its about both overall capacity, and the particular issues of speed/mode mix as we get closer to capacity) is that its easier for ebikes to use the general road network, as the ebike ad Steve mentioned points out. Of course its also easier for fast human powered road bikers to do so, and I very much hope more will, but IF it comes to banning things, its simply not possible to ban only those who can ride 20MPH uphill on human powered bikes - what do we do, get people to submit their strava feeds to get a special can use trail with this bike license? We could ban all road bikes from the trails, but that would impact lots of people who can't go that fast. Maybe ban high end road bikes, but leave the entry level road bikes? Probably even harder to enforce than the current ebike bans.

    3. The main argument against either removing ebike bans, or extending/enforcing them, is inertia. Given that the status quo is mostly acceptable ( Even the explicit bans on NPS trails are not enforced, and OTOH, fast human powered bikes are still more widespread than ebikes on the trails, and only a few trail sections at a few times are really really crowded) there is no reason to make this an issue with NPS, either way - it could detract from other issues with NPS, and it would stir up the question of fast cyclists vs peds in the media (which is like the last thing I want at this time). I know this leaves the problem of civil liability/contributory negligence (which latter is still the law in Va and Md, though not in DC) for ebikers on places with a nominal but unenforced ban still in place.

    4. Do you have to be able to go 15MPH on flats to get benefits from bike commuting? When I began, aside from being totally unfit and unskilled, I was riding an undersized dept store mountain bike. It took me about 45 minutes to get from Navy Yard to Pentagon Metro (where I did the next phase of a multimodal commute) which is about 8 miles an hour (there were faster segments on the way, but I am pretty sure I went well under 15MPH on them). That speed won't make it possible for people to commute more than 5 or 6 miles, but I am not sure the goal of getting the "masses" to do 10 mile plus bike commutes anyway would really be plausible absent ebikes. I am not saying we should ban ebikes from the trails based on that - but I wonder if one of the things we as a bike community need to do, is join forces with the smart growth community to make create changes to urban form (more density close to employment centers, more mixed use, etc) that make short bike commutes available to more people. Much of this discussion, on both the ebike and fast road bike sides, seems to take for granted forms of urban development that are a heritage of our autocentric suburbs.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 08-10-2017 at 10:41 AM.

  7. Likes hozn liked this post
  8. #405
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5,061
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    1. Not everyone on a road bike can bike fast though. I know this, because I am competitive enough that I look to see who I am passed by, and who is passing me. Its not every day that I pass someone on a road bike, but it happens enough times . I assume those are mostly people who are new to biking and bypassed the "ride a hybrid because road bikes are scary" stage. In contrast its sounds like almost everyone can ride fast on an ebike.

    2. Again the reason to move ebikes off if we are reaching a capacity limit on our trails (and note, its about both overall capacity, and the particular issues of speed/mode mix as we get closer to capacity) is that its easier for ebikes to use the general road network, as the ebike ad Steve mentioned points out. Of course its also easier for fast human powered road bikers to do so, and I very much hope more will, but IF it comes to banning things, its simply not possible to ban only those who can ride 20MPH uphill on human powered bikes - what do we do, get people to submit their strava feeds to get a special can use trail with this bike license? We could ban all road bikes from the trails, but that would impact lots of people who can't go that fast. Maybe ban high end road bikes, but leave the entry level road bikes? Probably even harder to enforce than the current ebike bans.

    3. The main argument against either removing ebike bans, or extending/enforcing them, is inertia. Given that the status quo is mostly acceptable ( Even the explicit bans on NPS trails are not enforced, and OTOH, fast human powered bikes are still more widespread than ebikes on the trails, and only a few trail sections at a few times are really really crowded) there is no reason to make this an issue with NPS, either way - it could detract from other issues with NPS, and it would stir up the question of fast cyclists vs peds in the media (which is like the last thing I want at this time). I know this leaves the problem of civil liability/contributory negligence (which latter is still the law in Va and Md, though not in DC) for ebikers on places with a nominal but unenforced ban still in place.
    1. I see your point, but your "seems" is not correct. Not every ebike has a lot of power. Depending on the weight of the bike and the power of the motor, the rider's power may make a significant difference. So yes, not every road bike can bike fast, not every ebike can bike fast, and not every ebike can bike fast for every rider.

    2. Again, not all ebikes are that fast, and (has we've discussed) there isn't always an on-road option. Besides, as you note, we're not really to "crowded" yet (the example listed in a previous post is having to slow once a ride behind pedestrians -- that's not really crowded) How about this proposal: we allow ebikes on all bike infra now (lanes, PBLs, MUPs), but we really concentrate on improving the behavior on trails, including making sure there are safe road-route options where people who can bike fast will average higher speeds that on the trails (e.g. a safe bike lane on a 4-lane Lee Hwy in Arlington would probably be faster than the Custis). In a few years, we can evaluate whether that change fixed the problem, or whether we need to think about banning some or all users.

    3. I don't think the status quo is acceptable for really growing cycling. Plenty of people are not willing to blatantly break the rules, and need to use trails that ban ebikes to get places.

  9. #406
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    South Arlington
    Posts
    238
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Just for the record, I'm not in favor of "banning" e-bikes. I've said before that I'm amenable to speed limits during heavy use hours (morning and evening rush hours, weekend afternooons). I support these because:

    1. I think there will be many more ebikes in the future than there are now.
    2. Most ebikes can easily go 15mph now, with the potential to go much faster. Most non-ebikes don't, simply because even a moderately fit rider can't go faster than 15mph for very long. And as Vicegrip pointed out, an a faster, heavier vehicle does have much greater potential for serious injury than does a vehicle that seems just a little lighter, and a little slower.

    Speed limits of around 15mph would enable those who need ebikes for mobility reasons to use them at a speed that only very fit cyclists can maintain for more than 5 or 10 minutes, and restrict those who simply want ebikes because it allows them to go 25mph without any effort on a path designed for pedestrians and low-speed cyclists. That seems a fair compromise to me. I imagine a 15-16 mph speed limit would be a bummer for some e-bike users (Gearcrushers), and a downer for the fittest on this board, too. But it seems like a reasonable alternative to the coming Wild West. For cyclists of both stripes who want to go faster, there are plenty of roads around here.

    The problem of course, is that speed limits are unenforceable at present. So would a ban on e-bikes, which are designed to go unnoticed. But perhaps posting speed limits would be a start.

  10. #407
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    The forgotten corner of Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    2,334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    3. I don't think the status quo is acceptable for really growing cycling. Plenty of people are not willing to blatantly break the rules, and need to use trails that ban ebikes to get places.
    1. I don't think ebikes are the only way to grow cycling. I think we should aspire to continue to grow human powered cycling, and that that is a doable thing. It WILL however, mean a greater focus on growing shorter distance trips.
    2. We can also grow legal ebike usage, as there are A. Quite a few places where there are usable on road routes (in general travel lanes with or without sharrows for the faster ebikes, and on road seg infra for the slower ebikes) and in fact many of those places are places where trails are not a good alternative anyway B. There are trails where it is currently legal - IIUC the County owned trails in Arlington (notably the Custis and 4MRT) and the City owned trails in Alexandria - and according to some people here, the W&OD.
    3. While there is some benefit to accommodating that subset of people who both know about the NPS ban, and are unwilling to violate it (especially since those people, if they are consistent, will revolutionize the optics of cyclist behavior at stop signs - I do doubt there are that many though, based on few people I know who will either refrain from Idahoing a stop sign at an empty intersection with good visibility, or who will refrain from driving even 1MPH over the speed limit, or will go out of their way to cross an empty street with good visibility at a crosswalk) that must be weighed against other factors.

  11. #408
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    849
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    Speed limits of around 15mph would enable those who need ebikes for mobility reasons to use them at a speed that only very fit cyclists can maintain for more than 5 or 10 minutes, and restrict those who simply want ebikes because it allows them to go 25mph without any effort on a path designed for pedestrians and low-speed cyclists. That seems a fair compromise to me. I imagine a 15-16 mph speed limit would be a bummer for some e-bike users (Gearcrushers), and a downer for the fittest on this board, too. But it seems like a reasonable alternative to the coming Wild West. For cyclists of both stripes who want to go faster, there are plenty of roads around here.
    I'm reasonably fit although by no means nearly as fit or as efficient as a good majority.

    On mornings when trail traffic is light(-ish), I can average over 15 mph from Vienna into DC (W&OD->Custis->MVT->TR Bridge). It doesn't happen often (mostly because my average goes WAY down once I hit Rosslyn into DC) but this average speed includes me slowing down to pass other trail users (I won't pass unless the trail in opposite direction is clear), slowing way down for all the blind corners, and includes Idaho stops and full stops at traffic lights.

    I've been trying to notice my speeds as I bike - 18mph on a flat stretch with no one in front of me is to me a relatively easy speed, barely a conversational pace. I'm ok with riding at the pace the trail traffic allows - on weekends I might average 10-12 (if for whatever reason I can't avoid the MUPs which I normally would). If I can ride faster, I will. Otherwise, I'll chill and chit chat with the person in front of me until it's clear to pass.

  12. Likes dasgeh, Judd liked this post
  13. #409
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    849
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    How about this proposal: we allow ebikes on all bike infra now (lanes, PBLs, MUPs), but we really concentrate on improving the behavior on trails, including making sure there are safe road-route options where people who can bike fast will average higher speeds that on the trails (e.g. a safe bike lane on a 4-lane Lee Hwy in Arlington would probably be faster than the Custis). In a few years, we can evaluate whether that change fixed the problem, or whether we need to think about banning some or all users.
    I'd love to find a way to improve cyclist behavior on MUPs with a possibility of having a "fast" lane for faster cyclists (e-bikes included).

  14. Likes dasgeh liked this post
  15. #410
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    1,650
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post

    In fact, the only thing lame here is the implication in this statement (and others on this thread) that only fit and unburdened people should be equipped with the ability to bike fast on trails.

    Subby - I thought I told you that making jokes is not allowed on this forum.

  16. Likes hozn liked this post

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •