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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #411
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Subby - I thought I told you that making jokes is not allowed on this forum.

    Fortunately that has never been enforced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    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).
    I think a MUT with separate lanes for bikes in general, and pedestrians in general, more than does the trick. See for example

    https://ggwash.org/view/64387/gawk-a...-street-bridge

    This bridge trail should DEFINITELY allow ebikes.

    If we get something like that on Long Bridge, it would solve PART Of the ebikes from DC to NoVa problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    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.


    Strava has a (hidden) segment for the MVT from 4MRT to the 14th street bridge (which as it happens, is a place where ebikes are currently banned, and which I consider problematic for fast riding in general.

    My own PR on that segment is 16MPH. I suspect that was a day with perfect weather, wind at my back, etc.

    I am ranked 7670 out of 14000. IOW, near the middle. Now the speeds of the bottom thousand suggest miscoded runs, but you get well above 7MPH pretty quickly (number 12000 is 11.7 MPH - I am not a runner, is that really likely to be a run?)

    Note those are PRs, so most folks are riding more slowly than that most of the time. And those are Strava users - I am pretty sure the slower riders are less likely to be Strava users.

    It is of course quite possible that the MVT draws slower riders than the Custis does. And that weekday rush has a higher proportion of fast riders than say, weekends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Subby - I thought I told you that making jokes is not allowed on this forum.
    I choose to interpret the fervent hand gesturing from the athletes on this thread towards us ebike riders as representing a twist-throttle action, nothing rude oh no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    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.
    1. I completely agree we can and should grow non-ebike usage. But I'd put money on the real reason people don't bike more (in Arlington, at least) is because they "can't". The numbers from Europe and California are bearing this out -- most of the people on ebikes are people who would not be biking for those trips. That's where the real numbers are.

    2. Sure, but right now it's both too complicated and not a complete network. Case in point: crossing rivers.

    3. It's not just the NPS ban. We need a system where all the trails in the region have similar rules. People don't want to think that hard. ("Wait, I'm in NoVa now; I'm on a trail; but is it a NPS trail? NovaParks trail? Arlington trail? and once I cross the bridge, which kind of trail am I on?") Simple and easy: if it has pedals (and is class 1 or 2, if we go that way) it's allowed on trails. But obey the rules and don't ride too fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    1. I completely agree we can and should grow non-ebike usage. But I'd put money on the real reason people don't bike more (in Arlington, at least) is because they "can't". The numbers from Europe and California are bearing this out -- most of the people on ebikes are people who would not be biking for those trips. That's where the real numbers are.

    2. Sure, but right now it's both too complicated and not a complete network. Case in point: crossing rivers.

    3. It's not just the NPS ban. We need a system where all the trails in the region have similar rules. People don't want to think that hard. ("Wait, I'm in NoVa now; I'm on a trail; but is it a NPS trail? NovaParks trail? Arlington trail? and once I cross the bridge, which kind of trail am I on?") Simple and easy: if it has pedals (and is class 1 or 2, if we go that way) it's allowed on trails. But obey the rules and don't ride too fast.
    1. I would like to see more data. In the NL for example, I always hear most riding is quite slow, surely those aren't e bikers on all those urban bike lanes. I hear its different on trails in Germany, say, but not sure about numbers. Plus I think we will get a big boost in riding from at least South Arlington and Alexandria when the 15th street PBL gap is filled. What I tend to hear is "its too dangerous".

    2. agree about the river crossing. We have to improve the network anyway though, so that seems like a good way to spend effort. Note if you are CAPABLE of riding fast (ebike or human) but are WILLING to ride slowly (eg in a PBL) when necessary, the network is not THAT incomplete. Certainly far more complete than it is for the vast majority of interested but concerned cyclists.

    3. That can be addressed with signage (supplemented by maps and improvements to routing apps). I mean people seem to manage to understand that there is one segment of the WOD where horses are allowed, but no other trails where they are. That there are parts of DC and Alexandria where biking is not allowed on sidewalks (but wait, NPS walks are the exception!) and everywhere else it is allowed. There are wide walkways where biking is not allowed (like the riverwalk by Yards Park and the Navy Yard proper) but lots of similar places where it is allowed. Plus we have speed limits on some trails, but not on others, we have different laws about biking on LPI's, about contrinbutory negligence, perhaps soon about Idaho stops.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 08-10-2017 at 12:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    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...
    2. We can also grow legal ebike usage
    I appreciate that smarter people than me are doing research on this. The increasing number of commuter cyclists is encouraging, although the injury rates are sobering. I partly put a motor on my bike after 10 years of daily commuting by Metro train, to be able to bike up hill after work so I could get out in the open and build a little exercise into my routine, its also enabled me to go grocery shopping or take my daughter to a class or playground towing a child trailer. Reading this thread has been an education, as a commuter/family/utility pedelec cyclist the benefits of a low powered electric motor appear obvious whereas as @hozn astutely observed "there's also an entire athletic (and competitive) world of cycling that doesn't apply to e-bikes at all." I completely agree, competing doesn't come into it when I'm slowly climbing the hill from the grocery store with a load of diapers. At times the confusing regulatory landscape and cross talking about defining what is a bicycle/ebike have approached Pythonesque levels, but I've appreciated reading others opinions about how to solve practical infrastructure obstacles. I think about my 2 year old daughter and what kind of cyclist she will want to be when she is older, I'm getting her a balance bike for Christmas and already looking forward to taking her on the 4MRT training loop.
    Last edited by Dewey; 08-10-2017 at 01:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    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?
    "unfit" meaning able to generate enough power to pedal a bike at 20+ mph on the flats, or "unfit" meaning unable to pilot a bike safely for themselves and other trail users at 20+ mph?

    If the former, see next paragraph.

    If the latter, then turning someone with questionable bike handling skills into a 20+ mph trail user just by adding a technological red-herring is no longer a red-herring. It's dangerous and stupid.

    Just imagine how many more bike/ped altercations would take place if we threw a 500w motor into every CaBi. And what if CaBi started marketing their red-herring: "the biggest thing it can save is your most precious resource your time." ZOOOOOOM!!!

    As far as heavy loads: I'm pretty sure we have an adequate model for regulating vehicles carrying heavy loads while sharing roadways with smaller, lighter weight vehicles, e.g., motorcycles. Vehicle specific regulations, permitting, and licensing.

    Why does a cargo bike need to go 15mph up a hill, anyway?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tania View Post
    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).
    I believe it's called "taking the lane".

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    what do we do, get people to submit their strava feeds to get a special can use trail with this bike license?
    Yes, but they're only allowed to ride at HP.

    (was that funny enough to keep Judd reading?)

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