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Thread: ELF pedal electric car on W&OD

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymo853 View Post
    I will paste in one quote: I get a lot of thumbs-up from people while driving down the bike path."
    "...driving down the bike path."

    Is he sure he is seeing the right digit?

  2. #32
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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    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.
    Corollary to this thinking: MUPs are for everyone's enjoyment, but some cyclists insist on riding too fast and passing too close, ruining the path for others. Speed limits are practically speaking impossible to enforce, so we should either ban all bikes from trails, or accept that some people are going ride recklessly, because of something something technically laws only apply to roadways.

    Seems easiest to just flat out ban bikes. Anyone riding in a way that doesn't make others uncomfortable will be fine. People riding recklessly can be dealt with much more easily.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Dan View Post
    If this is allowed, maybe I can buy a Smart Car or original Mini Cooper and use those on the trails too? I'll shut the engine off on the downhills, and occasionally I'll open my door and kick with my feet so that it's a Human/Gravity/gas assist vehicle...
    Just for giggles:

    Smart car: 5'-1"x8'-10"x5'-1"
    Original Mini Cooper: 4'-7"x10'-0"x4'-5"
    ELF: 4'-1"x9'-0"x5'-1"

    The Elf is slightly narrower than the Smart FourTwo and Mini (6" narrower than a mini and a foot narrower than a Smart) but otherwise very similar in dimension.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Corollary to this thinking: MUPs are for everyone's enjoyment, but some cyclists insist on riding too fast and passing too close, ruining the path for others. Speed limits are practically speaking impossible to enforce, so we should either ban all bikes from trails, or accept that some people are going ride recklessly, because of something something technically laws only apply to roadways.

    Seems easiest to just flat out ban bikes. Anyone riding in a way that doesn't make others uncomfortable will be fine. People riding recklessly can be dealt with much more easily.
    This is just silly. The reason we have limited things to human power is there is a very hard limit to what human powered vehicles can do. Sure, someone who is very fit can go pretty fast on a road bike, but I strongly doubt that attainable speeds have changed much over the lifetime of bicycling, especially for your average cyclist.

    As soon as you add a motor to that, limits go out the window. You're only limited by the tech. Why don't we allow motorcycles on the W&OD? Or scooters? They aren't wider than a bike. Hell, just pave it wider and make it a road and let cars on it!

    Human powered is a nice, easy to enforce cutoff. I'm fine with e-assist that largely mimics an average bike, but the problem is that as soon as you open the "motor" door you start getting stuff the infrastructure is woefully inadequate to handle.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymo853 View Post
    Your scenario is so highly restrictive. Let me give another two:
    Yea, any real-life fact pattern is likely to be way messier. The reason I called it my nightmare is that I can know I did everything correctly (and maybe between Strava and witnesses could even prove it) but could still face potentially massive exposure because the ebike's illegality.

    One thing that just occurred to me--and that I'm frankly a bit afraid to go look into--is whether or not my illegally riding the ebike on the trail means that I'm no longer covered by my homeowners insurance's personal liability coverage. That at least protects me up to a reasonably high threshold and provides "free" access to the insurance company's ID lawyers. Frankly I've always counted on that part of my policy to protect against the nuisance settlement problem your hypos note. Going further down this depressing rabbit hole, my quick google research suggests that most health insurance policies won't cover an insured person's intentional illegal acts.

    I guess I'm off to review both sets of policies after all to see if, despite being insured to the hilt, getting into an accident on an ebike on a MUP might mean that I'm on my own for both my own injuries and the injuries of the person who actually caused the accident. I really don't want to believe that, if I pulled a typical "But I was confused officer!", I'd enjoy more insurance protection when driving my Nissan down the MVT.
    Last edited by 83(b); 11-04-2015 at 03:41 PM. Reason: English

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Corollary to this thinking: MUPs are for everyone's enjoyment, but some cyclists insist on riding too fast and passing too close, ruining the path for others. Speed limits are practically speaking impossible to enforce, so we should either ban all bikes from trails, or accept that some people are going ride recklessly, because of something something technically laws only apply to roadways.

    Seems easiest to just flat out ban bikes. Anyone riding in a way that doesn't make others uncomfortable will be fine. People riding recklessly can be dealt with much more easily.
    I'd be more afraid of a recklessly driven ELF on the trails than a recklessly ridden bicycle, due to the significant disparity in size.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 83(b) View Post
    Yea, any real-life fact pattern is likely to be way messier. The reason I called it my nightmare is that I can know I did everything correctly (and maybe between Strava and witnesses could even prove it) but could still face potentially massive exposure because the ebike's illegality.

    One thing that just occurred to me--and that I'm frankly a bit afraid to go look into--is whether or not my illegally riding the ebike on the trail means that I'm no longer covered by my homeowners insurance's personal liability coverage. That at least protects me up to a reasonably high threshold and provides "free" access to the insurance company's ID lawyers. Frankly I've always counted on that part of my policy to protect against the nuisance settlement problem your hypos note. Going further down this depressing rabbit hole, my quick google research suggests that most health insurance policies won't cover an insured person's intentional illegal acts.

    I guess I'm off to review both sets of policies after all to see if, despite being insured to the hilt, getting into an accident on an ebike on a MUP might mean that I'm on my own for both my own injuries and the injuries of the person who actually caused the accident. I really don't want to believe that, if I pulled a typical "But I was confused officer!", I'd enjoy more insurance protection when driving my Nissan down the MVT.
    Maybe this is a stupid or irrelevant question, but is it actually "illegal" or is just "against the rules"?

    For example, running a red light is an illegal act committed by the driver. There are specific provisions in the law that require drivers to obey traffic signals and call out the penalties for failing to do so. You can get arrested for it.

    On the other hand, I don't think we'd typically consider someone chewing tobacco in the batting cage, kicking their soccer ball into a fence, walking their dog with an 11-foot leash, or failing to repair their divots on the golf course to be committing an illegal act, and as far as I know there are no penalties called out in virginia law for doing so; but they are apparently all against park rules. I would assume that if you are asked to leave the park and refuse, you could be arrested for trespassing (an illegal act, which you would be committing once you've refused to leave), but I don't think failing to repair your divot on the golf course, by itself, could be considered "illegal".

    https://www.nvrpa.org/uploads/Files/RULESRevised.pdf

    So if you are caught riding your electric-assist bike on the W&OD, are you just breaking the rules of the park and therefore subject to being kicked out of the park, or are you breaking the law and subject to some sort of legal punishment?

    I'm not sure how much the if any distinction would matter in the event of a lawsuit, but is seems relevant if you are talking about insurance potentially not covering you for an "illegal" act.

  8. #38
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    A motor is a motor regardless of whether it is powered by gasoline or a battery, and the safety and other reasons for not having motorized vehicles on MUPs apply regardless of the kind of motor. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

  9. #39
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    I crossed paths with this guy on the W&OD in Vienna today. I was impressed that he did remain in his lane going around the corner in the pinball alley through the Vienna community center construction. I was even more impressed that he did this while texting/looking-up-directions/playing-candy-crush on his phone.

    ... I guess he has more in common with SUV drivers than merely his wide stance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    I crossed paths with this guy on the W&OD in Vienna today. I was impressed that he did remain in his lane going around the corner in the pinball alley through the Vienna community center construction. I was even more impressed that he did this while texting/looking-up-directions/playing-candy-crush on his phone.

    ... I guess he has more in common with SUV drivers than merely his wide stance.
    for real?

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