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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #931
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    I guess it was Class 2...
    You've made the mistake of importing the California over here, where it doesn't (yet) apply. We've been discussing the California system because many of us think it will become dominant. But it isn't there yet. The only think that applies across the US is the definition in federal law. Virginia currently has a definition of ebike that doesn't line up with the California system either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    lol

    The technology is really neat, I enjoyed learning about the sensors.

    At the end of the day, these are unlicensed vehicles.
    Yeah, at present even Class 1 pedelec riders need to sometimes fly under the radar so why some companies are pretty blatant about selling products like this that clearly fall outside legal ebike definitions doesn't help. There's some really helpful info on the web I used for DIY converting a pedal bicycle and learning about the electrical side, but there's also a lot of chest thumping BS from a minority who want to F this up for everyone including those of us for whom pedal assist has a legitimate application. Respectfully I disagree with your conclusions, ebikes that fall below a state's defined max power rating are not motor vehicles under the law, we need a classification system so we can prove compliance in the event of a liability case and so we can ride safely on bike infrastructure while following the golden rule/being a PAL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    My argument is this: Some people will bike only if they can go the speed limits on many roads (i.e. 25 mph), which is possible with Class 3 ebikes.
    I see your point, but I personally don't feel comfortable endorsing or encouraging the mindset that faster is safer. It's the opposite. As Vicegrip has pointed out, crashing at 25mph without restraint is very serious. Something like a third of motorcycle accidents involve no other vehicles, and involve speed/loss of control.

    Besides that, as a practical matter, scooters are already available that can go at the speed of car traffic, some of them with no license requirements, and at comparable cost to ebikes. So it's not like there aren't alternatives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    My argument is this: Some people will bike only if they can go the speed limits on many roads (i.e. 25 mph), which is possible with Class 3 ebikes. Class 3 ebikes should be allowed on trails FOR NOW because there are many routes that REQUIRE the use of a trail to safely get from A to B on a bike (exhibit A: how do you get to the Memorial Bridge? from anywhere in Virginia). I'm perfectly fine revisiting the policy for Class 3 ebikes after some amount of time to let the infrastructure catch up and to have more data to rely on.
    I really, really don’t buy this. If you are scared of riding with 25-ish mph vehicle traffic on surface streets, you have no business mixing it up with ped grandma on a MUT at 28mph.

    Your idea that turning car drivers into bike riders by adding speed to the cycling mode is flat out dangerous and negligent considering your position in the advisory community.

    You still haven’t given an opinion as to why an e-bike rider I see regularly wearing a full face helmet would do so. Does he recognize that the increased speed at which he regularly travels on narrow trails requires greater protection from injury? Could one possibly assume that traveling at speeds higher than average present greater than average danger or possibly require better than average skill to avoid collisions or crashes?

    Seriously, you need to drop your advocacy hat and wear a rawlsian veil for just a minute.
    Last edited by Harry Meatmotor; 11-16-2017 at 07:45 PM.

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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 dasgeh View Post
    My argument is this: Some people will bike only if they can go the speed limits on many roads (i.e. 25 mph), which is possible with Class 3 ebikes.
    Honestly, if they believe that, they're probably better off not biking. You can get seriously hurt going 25+ on a bike if you don't know what you're doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    Seriously, you need to drop your advocacy hat and wear a rawlsian veil for just a minute.
    And look at me learning shit on a Friday at work.

    Veil of Ignorance:

    https://hammeringshield.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/903/

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    And look at me learning shit on a Friday at work.

    Veil of Ignorance:

    https://hammeringshield.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/903/

    Wait, not everyone had arguments about Rawls and the veil of ignorance late nights in the dorm? I guess these days the young people argue about privilege (but see Rawls!) and identity instead.

  10. #938
    dasgeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    I really, really don’t buy this. If you are scared of riding with 25-ish mph vehicle traffic on surface streets, you have no business mixing it up with ped grandma on a MUT at 28mph.
    I do not think anyone should be going 28mph on an MUT near pedestrians. Period. Do I need to put that at the end of every post? I also think people are perfectly capable of slowing down to fit conditions -- e.g. there's a dip in the Custis west of the bridge to nowhere. Westbound, if you get up to about 10mph at the top of the hill, pretty much an adult bike can easily hit 28mph at the bottom (I've seen someone on a CaBi do it). A lot of people do this so they can carry the speed into the uphill. And yet, when there are pedestrians on the trail heading both directions, people brake going down the hill so they don't cause crashes. This is why I say that pretty much every bike is capable of these speeds, but we rely on common sense most of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    Your idea that turning car drivers into bike riders by adding speed to the cycling mode is flat out dangerous and negligent considering your position in the advisory community.
    You sound like all the naysayers who spoke against Capital Bikeshare. The evidence has not born you out here. More and more people are riding bikes, and they are not dying in droves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    You still haven’t given an opinion as to why an e-bike rider I see regularly wearing a full face helmet would do so. Does he recognize that the increased speed at which he regularly travels on narrow trails requires greater protection from injury? Could one possibly assume that traveling at speeds higher than average present greater than average danger or possibly require better than average skill to avoid collisions or crashes?
    The guy I pass most often wearing a full face helmet is riding a regular ol' mountain bike - no e assist. I believe I've seen the other guy once or twice. I figure both of them are grown ass adults who can make their own decisions. Maybe they also ride motorcycles so this is what's in their garage. Maybe they don't like to be cold (my first thought when I saw MTB guy, because it was during the polar vortex a few years back - seemed like a great way to stay warm). Maybe it's a joke with their S.O.

    I completely agree that crashing at 28mph is more dangerous than crashing at 20mph, which is more dangerous than crashing at 15mph, which is more dangerous than crashing at 5mph. Yes, people have to be responsible for their safety when they ride bikes, especially when they're going fast, whether that speed comes from going downhill or eassist. If you've heard my helmet rant, you've heard that I think everyone on an ebike should wear a helmet.

    But we're talking about where people riding these bikes should be allowed to go. I've explained my reasoning, and you may well disagree. You seem to be disagreeing by bringing up points that would indicate that you don't think Class 3 ebikes should be on roads, either, which is interesting, and a different position from what most posters have taken. It's also one I find fairly paternalistic. Do you have any data to back up the need for it? A few have mentioned crash rates for motorcycles, which, of course, can travel much faster than ebikes. Have you looked at crash rates for scooters, which are more limited? Have you looked at the location of motorcycle crashes -- are they happening no streets where you'd expect speeds to be under 30mph or over? I haven't looked at this stuff but would be interested.

    Oh, and one clarification: when I say "some people will only bike", readers seem to assume that these people are inexperienced riders -- never touched a bike, but will jump out of their cars for ebikes. I talk to tons of people who bike for recreation -- e.g. who are willing to bike on very low volume streets to a trait then bike on a trail. They are experienced riders. They just don't like riding without the power to accelerate if need be. So they would bike for transportation with an adequate assist (or so they say - these are based on my conversations with folks, which usually start as "them asking whether I biked today").

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    Going under the 14th St Bridge, two ebike riders passed. One rang his bell while the other did not call his pass. As the turn to the 14th St Bridge path came into view, I saw the non-pass caller ebike rider fall off, it looked like he took the corner too sharp. I asked if he was okay and he was, humbled perhaps. Karma!

  12. #940
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    You seem to be disagreeing by bringing up points that would indicate that you don't think Class 3 ebikes should be on roads, either, which is interesting, and a different position from what most posters have taken.
    I am one of the posters who thinks Class 3 ebikes should be on roads. I don't however think they should be ridden on roads by the kinds of riders who find riding on a road like Quincy or Key at 20MPH to be so intimidating that they would need to take a MUT instead, which is a big part of the case you have presented for allowing class 3 ebikes on MUTs' I would think the constituency for class 3 ebikes ideally would be "fearless" (not necessarily strong) riders who want to get places faster (but have the streetsmarts to be comfortable if they were slower) and perhaps people who want to be able to pick a route with a 35 or 40MPH speed limit, and prefer to not hold up traffic as much. (It may be there are not many such people, and if so, there may be no huge policy gain to allowing class 3 ebikes on roads - but since there is no danger or even discomfort to that policy to anyone but the (adult) riders themselves, I am not particularly eager to have a ban - after all we allow motorcycles and mopeds on roads- the MUT issue is different - another option, done in parts of Europe, is to require a license plate and/or a motorcycle type helmet for class 3 ebikes)

    Neither of those, IMO, require legalizing Class 3 on MUTs (again with the exception, in this area, of the Potomac River bridge issue, which I do not want to revisit) Of course we cannot by legislation prevent sales of class 3 Ebikes to people lacking such streetsmarts. But I don't think we should use them to justify allowing class 3 ebikes on MUTs.


    I want to note one other thing - the California classification does not only impact MUT usage. IIUC, in the Cal law, class 3 ebike riders are mandated to wear helmets regardless of age - while class1 and 2, like human powered, its not mandatory for adults. And in fact minors (under 16) are not allowed to ride a class 3 ebike at all - period.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 11-17-2017 at 09:36 AM.

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