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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #811
    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    I don't think it's a reasonable argument, because it basically says "we're going to control volume by restricting access by physical ability." I don't think that's fair when you're talking transportation.
    That's an unreasonable argument. Nobody has advocated motorized wheelchairs or accessibility devices. I understand that trying to play the ADA card makes it easier to make unrelated things happen, but that's simply not fair when you're talking about the safety of a multi-use trail. Again, nobody (as far as I know) has any intention of banning low speed assistive devices, and it's disingenuous to portray devices that allow capabilities not generally available in current practice as simply "assistive".

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    That's an unreasonable argument. Nobody has advocated motorized wheelchairs or accessibility devices. I understand that trying to play the ADA card makes it easier to make unrelated things happen, but that's simply not fair when you're talking about the safety of a multi-use trail. Again, nobody (as far as I know) has any intention of banning low speed assistive devices, and it's disingenuous to portray devices that allow capabilities not generally available in current practice as simply "assistive".
    Yeah, I have two major pet peeves when e-bikes are discussed.

    The first is the whole "they are basically indistinguishable from normal bikes, honest!", which is maybe true if you're comparing edge cases (a very low power e-bike versus a relatively fit cyclist on a road bike), but obviously the entire point of an e-bike is that it adds power to allow you to go at a consistently higher speed. Pretending that widespread use of electric bikes on trails wouldn't raise average speeds is really disingenuous.

    The second pet peeve is when people trot it out as some sort of ADA assistive device, and obviously if you don't want e-bikes on all the trails you are against disabled people or something (this is a really common argument when discussing e-bike use on off-road trails). mstones response is better than anything I'd come up with, so see that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    That's an unreasonable argument. Nobody has advocated motorized wheelchairs or accessibility devices. I understand that trying to play the ADA card makes it easier to make unrelated things happen, but that's simply not fair when you're talking about the safety of a multi-use trail. Again, nobody (as far as I know) has any intention of banning low speed assistive devices, and it's disingenuous to portray devices that allow capabilities not generally available in current practice as simply "assistive".
    As someone who has successfully filed an ADA complaint to get something fixed on a trail, I enjoy using this argument even when it's of dubious merits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    obviously the entire point of an e-bike is that it adds power to allow you to go at a consistently higher speed.
    No, not the entire point for many (most) ebike cyclists. A 250w Class 1 pedelec motor helps me climb hills I cannot pedal up otherwise, helps me get going when stationary at a stop light/sign, and helps me tow my daughter's trailer while carrying heavy shopping, for me the point of an ebike is that it provides pedal assist, I disagree I am an "edge case" there are plenty of cyclists in the DC metro area who have similarly adapted their bicycle with an electric motor, or bought an ebike, for similar reasons, and most of us probably do ride at just a little above average bicycle speeds (studies have reported an average 2mph difference between class 1 pedelecs and pedal bicycles) but try to ride appropriate to the road/trail conditions and hopefully try to be a PAL. Some people have bought an ebike or an electric motorcycle to ride at high speed, as noted earlier in the thread some of these are commuters riding legal Class 3 ebikes, but I share your anger at inconsiderate speeding on trails, just as I'm angry at gangs of ATV hooligans riding on roads while ignoring traffic laws. I would like the Virginia general assembly to adopt a classification system for ebikes to give localities the tool they need to make nuanced application of the law to ebikes riding on trails or not.
    Last edited by Dewey; 11-02-2017 at 04:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    FTFY.

    (if it was around 4:15-4:25pm, it's the same dude I see every day...) He wears actual moto leathers. And he really doesn't like getting held up behind ped traffic on the 14th St. ped bridge.
    Has anyone ever gotten video of him to turn over to police. I've seen this guy a couple times before and he's going very fast on the MVT.

    There's another guy I see on the 4MR trail who rides a motorized bike who is similarly dangerous.

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    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
    I would like the Virginia general assembly to adopt a classification system for ebikes to give localities the tool they need to make nuanced application of the law to ebikes riding on trails or not.
    This is a complete fantasy. The police are completely incapable of enforcing a nuance between "classes" of ebikes, any more than they are capable of enforcing a trail speed limit. The actual options on the table are all, or nothing (with "nothing" including a wink at people using pedal assist in such a way that they blend in with people using non-motorized bikes).

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    This is a complete fantasy. The police are completely incapable of enforcing a nuance between "classes" of ebikes, any more than they are capable of enforcing a trail speed limit. The actual options on the table are all, or nothing (with "nothing" including a wink at people using pedal assist in such a way that they blend in with people using non-motorized bikes).
    1. At this point, I am not sure the police could easily tell a class 1 ebike from a human powered bike. OTOH if enough states pass this, perhaps standards could be established for appearance, to make class 3 ebikes more distinguishable from Class 1s.

    2. Even if police can enforce nothing, changing the law still matters, because of the effect on civil suits and insurance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    This is a complete fantasy. The police are completely incapable of enforcing a nuance between "classes" of ebikes, any more than they are capable of enforcing a trail speed limit. The actual options on the table are all, or nothing (with "nothing" including a wink at people using pedal assist in such a way that they blend in with people using non-motorized bikes).
    While I agree re: enforcement, I would hope that at least having strict rules on class-3 would encourage (require?) shops to tell customers that their purchase is illegal on the VA trails. ... Some would ignore this, but I suspect most riders now believe that the rules are open to some interpretation.

    And that would hopefully also put over-powered ebikes on the losing side of civil legal action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    If enough states pass this, perhaps standards could be established for appearance, to make class 3 ebikes more distinguishable from Class 1s
    I suspect many people who ride electric motorcycles or Class 3 pedelecs would be amenable, a lot of the DIY crowd on Endless Sphere use home built battery boxes or bags that fill the triangle and make a bicycle look a bit like a Motocross or Pit bike, some use repurposed ammo cans as battery boxes. The big three could take the lead here, if Trek, Giant and Specialized are brought in and asked to design something visually distinct for their Class 3 pedelecs, right now they sometimes look like MTB’s with wide/square frame tubes, sometimes you can’t tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    That's an unreasonable argument. Nobody has advocated motorized wheelchairs or accessibility devices. I understand that trying to play the ADA card makes it easier to make unrelated things happen, but that's simply not fair when you're talking about the safety of a multi-use trail. Again, nobody (as far as I know) has any intention of banning low speed assistive devices, and it's disingenuous to portray devices that allow capabilities not generally available in current practice as simply "assistive".
    I'm not making an ADA argument. On a regular bike, my husband has the ability to average 22mph on a trail like the Custis. I do not. On a Class 3 ebike, I would have that ability. Just because we have that ability does not mean that we exercise that ability -- we ride in a way that is safe. (In fact, I'm often the only person stopped at the reds on the Custis sidewalk in Rosslyn). The way I see it, you would ban me on the Class 3 ebike based on the ability to go 22mph, but not my husband on his road bike, who has the same ability. The distinguishing factor is whether the ability is physical or from the assist. (And, again, I don't want the ability because of my time on the trail, but because I ALSO have to ride on the roads).

    I will give you that the classification argument is much more reasonable, but I just don't think having the ability to go 28mph is a deal killer. Most adults on most bikes can pick up that speed with modest pedaling on the steep Custis downhills. And they should control their speeds, just as someone on a Class 3 ebike should control their speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    This is a complete fantasy. The police are completely incapable of enforcing a nuance between "classes" of ebikes, any more than they are capable of enforcing a trail speed limit. The actual options on the table are all, or nothing (with "nothing" including a wink at people using pedal assist in such a way that they blend in with people using non-motorized bikes).
    So who was asking whether anyone on the thread was advocating for a total ban? Here you go.

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