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Thread: ELF pedal electric car on W&OD

  1. #11
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    It is cool, but (my opinion) it's just too wide for many of our trails, let alone a sidewalk. And perhaps too fast and powerful to play safely with bikes on those trails.

  2. #12
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    Food for thought from the ELF owner's website: http://www.solarbikecar.com/SolarBikeCar.aspx#tab-31

    Karl Mohle, Park Manager of the W&OD Railroad Regional Park sent this via email:

    "Upon reviewing the information on the Internet the ELF has an electric motor on it. As such motorized vehicles are currently not permitted on the trail. Furthermore the width of the ELF creates a safety hazard on the trail for users in the opposite lane. Here is a copy of the guidelines from our friends group website: www.wodfriends.org/accessibility/safety/
    He provides a rebuttal directly underneath this, but according to his own website, the ELF is not allowed on the trail although the law might be on his side.

    Another bit of food for thought: he has modified the ELF to go faster (this information is on that page).

    To be honest, I wasn't sure at first whether the ELF electric bicycle should be allowed on trails until I started researching the topic and running through this list in my head:

    Would you be okay with seeing the ELF electric bicycle in these locations?
    • W&OD Trail - kinda
    • Key Bridge sidewalk - no
    • 14th St Bridge path - kinda
    • Mount Vernon Trail - not really
    • Anacostia River Tributary Trail System - not really
    • Penn Ave protected bike lane - yes
    • 1st St NE protected bike lane - yes
    • Rock Creek Trail - no
    • C&O Canal Towpath - kinda
    • average suburban sidewalk - no
    • average city sidewalk - no


    After running down the list, my answers to places that ELF electric bicycles should be allowed: no on sidewalks, no on trails, and yes in bike lanes.

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  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobco85 View Post
    Food for thought from the ELF owner's website: http://www.solarbikecar.com/SolarBikeCar.aspx#tab-31



    He provides a rebuttal directly underneath this, but according to his own website, the ELF is not allowed on the trail although the law might be on his side.

    Another bit of food for thought: he has modified the ELF to go faster (this information is on that page).
    What a self righteous douchecanoe.

    This right here perfectly encapsulates why I will forever be opposed to anything motorized on MUPs. Because it's sold as "it's basically a bike, hardly any power at all, honest!" And then you get idiots like this guy basically driving their electric SUV down a MUP and claiming "I'm allowed to do this!"

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  6. #14
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    I think it should be made wider, no longer subject to the federal 20 mph limit on electric motors so it can be driven on any road like any other car, and officially classified as a motor vehicle (and not a bicycle/tricycle) - effectively banning it from MUPs forever (too wide and too fast).

    After these changes are made, I'd love to have one - as my next car.
    Last edited by GovernorSilver; 11-03-2015 at 11:12 PM.

  7. #15
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    Indeed, what a jackhole. I have passed this (oncoming) numerous times now and it is definitely too wide to stay in a lane on the W&OD, nevermind passing others. Or maybe it fits in a lane, but the owner has an SUV mentality and just drives down the middle of the trail.

    It looks like a fun vehicle to drive in the street. Isn't that the whole frickin point?

  8. #16
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    Wow. Just looked at his web site. Jackhole is right. In one place touts the law and the 20 mph bit and in another the gearing mods so he can maintain speeds well over.

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  10. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    This right here perfectly encapsulates why I will forever be opposed to anything motorized on MUPs. Because it's sold as "it's basically a bike, hardly any power at all, honest!" And then you get idiots like this guy basically driving their electric SUV down a MUP and claiming "I'm allowed to do this!"
    Yup. We've mostly agreed to ignore motors on bikes where you can't tell there's a motor, but defining that is so hard that it's just easier from a practical perspective to ban all motors in order to deal with this kind of idiot.

  11. #18
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    As said above, this guy is such a jackball. I wish I had not read his website, it just made me mad at how self focused he is. I have never seen him, but am fantasizing about purposely getting in his way over and over again. Especially after watching his video where he follows a rider and does bad passes with not enough of an opening.

    I do secretly hope he is uploading his rides to Strava.

    Adding my answer to each section:

    W&OD Trail - way out there during off hours
    Key Bridge sidewalk - no
    14th St Bridge path - no way, it is almost too narrow for two way bike traffic
    Mount Vernon Trail - no way, way too curvy and bumpy
    Anacostia River Tributary Trail System - actually it is wide, flat, great sight lines and so lightly used, might be about the best place to drive it over there, ride it and drive it home, plus the adjacent normal road would allow bikes to go elsewhere.
    Penn Ave protected bike lane - no way
    1st St NE protected bike lane - no way
    Rock Creek Trail - yes, but not inside the gates during weekends/holidays
    C&O Canal Towpath - no
    average suburban sidewalk - no
    average city sidewalk - no
    Last edited by Raymo853; 11-04-2015 at 09:24 AM.

  12. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    This right here perfectly encapsulates why I will forever be opposed to anything motorized on MUPs. Because it's sold as "it's basically a bike, hardly any power at all, honest!" And then you get idiots like this guy basically driving their electric SUV down a MUP and claiming "I'm allowed to do this!"
    You realize this is exactly the same argument opponents of good bike infrastructure make: there are some cyclists who run red lights/terrorize pedestrians/pass too closely and too fast on trails/are generally jack*holes and therefore we shouldn't do anything to make cycling safer!

    There are two very easy lines to draw with respect to e-bikes on trails: 1) measurable limits, like the current ebike standards, possibly adding a maximum width for all bikes on trails (that yes, in practice only get enforced when there is another violation or collision, but can be enforced nonetheless) and 2) regulate behavior: speed limits on trails, etc. The issue is not that normal ebike that the pregnant lady or kid-hauling dad is using on the trails, it's the crazy person riding a bike that's too big for the infrastructure and riding too fast/unsafely for conditions WHATEVER BIKE THAT CRAZY IS ON.

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  14. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    There are two very easy lines to draw with respect to e-bikes on trails: 1) measurable limits, like the current ebike standards, possibly adding a maximum width for all bikes on trails (that yes, in practice only get enforced when there is another violation or collision, but can be enforced nonetheless) and 2) regulate behavior: speed limits on trails, etc. The issue is not that normal ebike that the pregnant lady or kid-hauling dad is using on the trails, it's the crazy person riding a bike that's too big for the infrastructure and riding too fast/unsafely for conditions WHATEVER BIKE THAT CRAZY IS ON.
    Motor limits and speed limits are practically speaking impossible to enforce. It seems we either ban anything motorized (the current rule on the W&OD, whatever "I decide what the rules really are" ELF moron thinks) or we just accept that people are going basically drive electric cars on there, because something something technically ebikes.

    Seems easiest to just flat out ban motorized vehicles. Anything subtle enough to not draw attention to itself (like, what you and most other people on this forum ride) will be fine. People riding electric motorcycles and e-cars and stuff can be dealt with much more easily.

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