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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #941
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post

    The guy I pass most often wearing a full face helmet is riding a regular ol' mountain bike - no e assist.
    I see this dude fairly regularly on the Custis (and almost always in the same spot, oddly enough). There are a couple of other people that I've seen on multiple occasions with full face helmets, even in the summer, riding just regular bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    But we're talking about where people riding these bikes should be allowed to go.
    I forget, did we ever address the issue of electric motorcycles? The lines between "e-bike" "e-scooter" and "e-motorcycle" are going to be blurry; even classes of current ebike are not very distinct.

    Should any of the above be allowed on paths, assuming they observe speed and safety norms -- even though they be capable of highway speeds? They are "perfectly capable of slowing down to the fit conditions", right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    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.
    CaBi is great!

    Motorcycles on MUTs are not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    The lines between "e-bike" "e-scooter" and "e-motorcycle" are going to be blurry;
    No they aren't. Existing laws cover these distinctions quite well. They could be better refined on the low end of the power spectrum (i.e. potentially lowering the power/assist threshhold in the definition of e-bikes, or more explicitly defining e-bike classes), but the legal distinctions between e-bikes and scooters/mopeds/motorcycles (regardless of power source) are very clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    Should any of the above be allowed on paths, assuming they observe speed and safety norms -- even though they be capable of highway speeds? They are "perfectly capable of slowing down to the fit conditions", right?
    There is zero ambiguity about this in current law.
    Last edited by TwoWheelsDC; 11-17-2017 at 09:56 AM.

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  7. #945
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    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'
    Just clarifying my argument, because you've misstated it: I think there are people who are uncomfortable on roads at slower speeds, but comfortable at higher speeds. Thus, there are routes that involve stretches of street that they would take on a class 3 but not on a class 1/2 ebike [assuming we end up with California classifications] and, given the realities of routes in our area, stretches where trail riding is necessary. Thus, if we don't allow Class 3 ebikes on trails. Those people will take the car for those trips.

    For example, if someone wants to get from near Virginia Highlands Park (near Pentagon City) to the State Department, they would need to go on Joyce or Eads and some trail. You could see how someone would want speed to keep up with traffic on those streets, but need to take a trail to get where they're going.

    And for the up-teenth time, I'm cool with this being a time limited thing, until we can build out infrastructure and get better data.

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    I'm talking about ambiguity in practice, not in law, and there is plenty of it.

    Of course advocates would like to call a vehicle with pedals that goes 28mph unassisted or with minimal rider input a bicycle. But if we're honest with ourselves, ebikes have as much or more in common with a scooter or moped as they do a pedal-powered bicycle, and in fact that's a large part of their appeal. It's the motor, but instead of using that word, we use an ambiguous abbreviation, "e".

    But to Dasgeh's point, if the heart of the matter is responsible users, what is the rationale for allowing Class 3 ebikes but not say, an e-scooter or motorcycle equivalent to say, 150cc or 350cc? Assuming they all operated "safely" (whatever that means), what's the problem?

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  10. #947
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Just clarifying my argument, because you've misstated it: I think there are people who are uncomfortable on roads at slower speeds, but comfortable at higher speeds. Thus, there are routes that involve stretches of street that they would take on a class 3 but not on a class 1/2 ebike [assuming we end up with California classifications] and, given the realities of routes in our area, stretches where trail riding is necessary. Thus, if we don't allow Class 3 ebikes on trails. Those people will take the car for those trips.

    For example, if someone wants to get from near Virginia Highlands Park (near Pentagon City) to the State Department, they would need to go on Joyce or Eads and some trail. You could see how someone would want speed to keep up with traffic on those streets, but need to take a trail to get where they're going.

    And for the up-teenth time, I'm cool with this being a time limited thing, until we can build out infrastructure and get better data.
    That is the same argument you made before. We are going in circles. This is getting silly. Most people don't live near trails. People settle for getting places by taking the lane on 25MPH streets, using infra that you consider unsafe (like the Eads St PBLs), going well out of their way, or taking a sidewalk. There are certainly people unwilling to do ANY of those things who are interested in riding. But many or probably most would not be willing to take a lane of an busy 25MPH or higher road because they could ride a class 3 ebike instead of a class 1 ebike. And of those, how many are going from Va to DC (the only place where you really have to go on a trail to get to, again assuming you won't take the lane on the Memorial Bridge)? How does that weigh against the real costs of allowing class 3 ebikes on the MUTs (which I have yet to see you acknowledge at all) ?

    As for temporary, why not get more info on how the Ca law is working in Ca and other states. Or adopt the Ca law here as a temporary thing? If the goal is getting more riders, is it so essential we get them now, rather than in two or three years?

    Why should we prioritize something that goes beyond what other states are doing, beyond what the EU does, beyond what the manufacturers call for, over all the other things we want out of Richmond?
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 11-17-2017 at 05:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    For example...
    Is there any example other than your personal issues with the current infrastructure?

    So far we've heard:

    Heavy bikes are hard to ride up hills, therefore, Class-3 e-bike panacea.

    You are entitled to travel at unsafe speeds on MUTs just like FREDs do, therefore, Class-3 e-bike panacea.

    Its difficult to keep up with your racer husband, therefore, Class-3 e-bike panacea.

    Riding on surface streets for some portion of your commute is the only way for you to commute by bike, therefore, Class-3 e-bike panacea.

    Your friends would totes stop driving cars if they could go 25+ mph on heavy use transportation infra that's already a mess, therefore, Class-3 e-bike panacea.

    What else?

    How 'bout you stop advocating for the NorthArl BMW crowd and their $5k e-bikes and instead, continue advocating for better infra?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    Is there any example other than your personal issues with the current infrastructure?

    So far we've heard:

    Heavy bikes are hard to ride up hills, therefore, Class-3 e-bike panacea.

    You are entitled to travel at unsafe speeds on MUTs just like FREDs do, therefore, Class-3 e-bike panacea.

    Its difficult to keep up with your racer husband, therefore, Class-3 e-bike panacea.

    Riding on surface streets for some portion of your commute is the only way for you to commute by bike, therefore, Class-3 e-bike panacea.

    Your friends would totes stop driving cars if they could go 25+ mph on heavy use transportation infra that's already a mess, therefore, Class-3 e-bike panacea.

    What else?

    How 'bout you stop advocating for the NorthArl BMW crowd and their $5k e-bikes and instead, continue advocating for better infra?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    the NorthArl BMW crowd and their $5k e-bikes and instead, continue advocating for better infra?
    Gillian leads family bike rides and invests time working to improve bicycle infrastructure for residents across Arlington county not just those who live north of route 50, I am grateful for all she and everyone who volunteers on local government bicycle advisory committees does for the local cycling community.

    There’s a wide range of prices for motor kits and complete ebikes, I live in Arlington but earn well below the median, we have a 10 year old Subaru bought used last year. I got into ebikes because after 10 years of taking Metrorail I was out of shape and wanted the pedal assist to get up hills after work. Last fall I spent $1500 to convert a bicycle I already owned with a Class 1 pedelec motor kit after a few false starts trying out then returning different motors and batteries, if I’d waited until I learned more I could have done it now for $750, there are cheaper complete ebikes but I like my sturdy steel bike and while I can do some of the motor/electrical maintenance myself, I rely on Papillon for servicing the bicycle components. I joined WABA and took a City Cycling Class, which I needed because I’m slow but I’m grateful the instructor didn’t mind I was riding a pedelec and just asked me to turn off the motor during the drills, I’m riding a couple of times a week which for me is the most I’ve ridden in years, although I’m a bad weather wimp I like being above ground out in the fresh air, I think my bike is starting to forgive me for 21 years of mostly sitting in sheds, for me it’s all about the pedal assist and utility cycling - it’s been really useful to be able to tow my daughter to class, the library, church, shopping, run errands, and I appreciate being able to get a little exercise pedalling around getting stuff done. I charge the battery for 2-3 hours every 20 miles or so, I’m asking Santa for a spring tune up, I find running an ebike to be quite economical, and a life changer.
    Last edited by Dewey; 11-17-2017 at 11:45 PM.

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