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Thread: ELF pedal electric car on W&OD

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    Default ELF pedal electric car on W&OD

    What do you think of the ELF pedal powered electric car that is always out on the W&OD between Vienna and Reston? I don't like seeing it out there because it's too big, blocks visibility, and the guy drives it like a maniac. I like the idea of the vehicle, but just don't think it should be on multi-use trails that specifically prohibit motorized vehicles. It's too bad there's no real home for it, though, because I wouldn't feel comfortable in one on the road, either.

    Call me a hypocrite, but I have no problem with electric assist bicycles as long as they stick to normal cycling speeds. I guess my big problem with the ELF is the size.

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    No real opinion other than it looks cool as sh!t.


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    I've seen plenty of recumbent trikes that take up almost as much space on the MUPs...

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    ShawnoftheDread is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Just shake your fist at him and tell him to "get a bike, ya freak!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcb203 View Post
    and the guy drives it like a maniac.
    I think that's where I consider the line to be. I ride my ebike on the MVT when I have to go somewhere in Crystal City/Alexandria, but I know that I'm breaking a rule to do it and so try to be extra conscientious. If this dude was riding conservatively and as politely as possible, I doubt we'd think twice about him beyond, "That's nifty looking. Bet it's nice in the rain and a pain in high winds."

    [strike]As someone else noted, the ELF isn't much wider than a fully pedal-powered bakfiets or recumbent. While I wouldn't want to come across any of those on the really narrow bridges/underpasses on the MVT, they should still be able to use a mixed use network safely.[/strike]EDIT: Someone else noted I'm wrong about the relative width.
    Last edited by 83(b); 11-03-2015 at 03:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcb203 View Post
    What do you think of the ELF pedal powered electric car that is always out on the W&OD between Vienna and Reston? I don't like seeing it out there because it's too big, blocks visibility, and the guy drives it like a maniac. I like the idea of the vehicle, but just don't think it should be on multi-use trails that specifically prohibit motorized vehicles. It's too bad there's no real home for it, though, because I wouldn't feel comfortable in one on the road, either.

    Call me a hypocrite, but I have no problem with electric assist bicycles as long as they stick to normal cycling speeds. I guess my big problem with the ELF is the size.
    I have been pondering this for a bit and figured I would give it some time and observation before commenting. I have watched and rode behind it a few times. One ride was for a long while after he came onto the W&OD at the Follin lane connector and headed west. Notes I have on this car. Don't know the driver and no grumpy on my part.

    When it is a bit ahead of you the car is very hard to see around. Planning ahead is tough.
    It has a bit of a time getting around people being passed. Interrupts the flow of things at times
    It has to over slow at times to maneuver.
    It takes up a full lane and any normal amount wiggle puts it in the other lane.
    The driver tends to take his 1/2 more in the middle whenever it is available.
    The driver is not always 100% courteous or I think better said is not always understanding of the disruption the car causes.
    It looks to me like it is being used more as a an electric car with pedals than a pedal car with elec assist if that makes any sense.

    My take is this. If there is only one it is an oddity but we should think of how it would be if 20% of the bikes were replaced with this car. I think it would be a royal mess. Sure on the clean wide straights on the west end of the W&OD it can fit but get inside the beltway on custiss or the like and you have real problems. Picture one going up and one going down the S curve of doom, working their way through the Roosevelt parking lot area or anywhere around national airport. 99.2% of the pavement in this area is intended primarily for cars. There are but a few strips of pavement that are intended and sized for meat / feet powered movement. An electric bike is different than an pedal assist electric car. Unlike the car the bike has the same working with others aspects of a regular bike but can make it so anyone can ride like they are fit.
    Last edited by Vicegrip; 11-03-2015 at 02:39 PM.

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    I've not come across it, but after looking it up online, I don't think anything that large and motorized should be on the W&OD. Its over 4' wide (which is wider than pretty much any recumbent trike on the market); considering lane widths on the W&OD vary from 4-5 feet, its almost impossible not to be taking up more than one lane. Its also 9' long and over 5' high and weighs, by itself, 160-200 pounds and is capable of motor-only speeds over 20+mph. Thats an awful big, massive vehicle for a MUP IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subby View Post
    No real opinion other than it looks cool as sh!t.

    Oddly, I think I'd hate to encounter an ELF on the trail even more than the jackass riding his gas powered scooter I encountered under 395 on 4MRT a few weeks ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by run/bike View Post
    I've seen plenty of recumbent trikes that take up almost as much space on the MUPs...
    Point me at a recumbent trike that is anywhere close to the dimensions of an ELF. Their website lists the footprint as 4'x9'. A brief look at trikes from popular mfgs like Catrike or ICE show their larger road trikes as about 2'-8"x6' or so, which is substantially smaller. And thats ignoring that a recumbent trike is all of 2.5-3' high, which is a height that is easy to see over for most people, whereas the ELF is 5'-1", which is only 5" shorter than a Ford Escape SUV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    Point me at a recumbent trike that is anywhere close to the dimensions of an ELF. Their website lists the footprint as 4'x9'. A brief look at trikes from popular mfgs like Catrike or ICE show their larger road trikes as about 2'-8"x6' or so, which is substantially smaller. And thats ignoring that a recumbent trike is all of 2.5-3' high, which is a height that is easy to see over for most people, whereas the ELF is 5'-1", which is only 5" shorter than a Ford Escape SUV.
    As another point of comparison, my Bakfiets is close to that long, but only half as wide.

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