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View Poll Results: Miles from what vehicles should count for purposes of Freezing Saddles?

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92. This poll is closed
  • Allow miles by bicycles that are primarily motor-powered to count.

    5 5.43%
  • Allow miles by e-assist bicycles, but not by primarily electric bicycles, to count.

    36 39.13%
  • Not allow any miles by bikes with any sort of nonhuman power to count.

    51 55.43%
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Thread: eBikes and electric powered vehicles (including the Elf)

  1. #1
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    This poll is intended only to guide the organizers in determining whether there is a consensus on the issue. No guarantees are made that we will follow the majority vote, if no actual consensus emerges.

    Please read the discussion before voting. Three people so far have wanted to change their votes after reading the discussion. If this happens with you, please say so in a comment so that we can keep track.


    Someone who uses an ELF (and considers it a bicycle) has now put in a registration. I'm assuming he plans to use the ELF for his miles. We therefore need to determine what vehicles are permitted to be counted in the competition.

    My own inclination is to count miles by bikes that are primarily human powered, even if they have e-assist for uphills with a heavy bike and children aboard (and remember that one of our most beloved members uses such a bike), but not to allow anything that is primarily motor-powered. However, I'm not sure how we come up with a definition that would specifically cover this distinction.

    I'm therefore putting out a poll. If you want to allow miles by certain bikes with electric power but not others, can you please put something in the comments about what definition you'd use? If you want to allow bicycles that are primarily motor-powered to count, can you please put something in the comments about what definition you would use to distinguish them from motorcycles (assuming you don't want motorcycle miles to count for Freezing Saddles)?

    Note that this question deals only with which miles count, not with who is permitted to enter Freezing Saddles. Someone who wants to be on the Bunch O' Slackers, for example, can ride anything he or she wants (including a car), because the miles don't count anyway. And if we rule out motor-powered vehicles, someone who primarily rides a motor-powered bicycle could still participate, but only the miles on non-motor-powered vehicles would count.
    Last edited by cvcalhoun; 12-15-2015 at 04:26 PM.

  2. #2
    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    So you want us to vote on the concept vaguely, without defining the distinction?

    Just let people ride. This is a non-game with non-rules. And even if crazy ELF dude has registered, IIRC all the forum-ati agreed that it was great to have him out on the roads, though most objected to him on the trails.

  3. #3
    Amalitza Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by cvcalhoun View Post

    I'm therefore putting out a poll. If you want to allow miles by certain bikes with electric power but not others, can you please put something in the comments about what definition you'd use? If you want to allow bicycles that are primarily motor-powered to count, can you please put something in the comments about what definition you would use to distinguish them from motorcycles (assuming you don't want motorcycle miles to count for Freezing Saddles)?
    I'd like to suggest getting some input into this part *before* putting out a poll. Some people (not me) (dasgeh, hint) could provide a more accurate definition of different types of e-bikes and how they can be ridden and you could use those definitions (and explanations of them for those of us less knowledgeable) so we can have a more informed idea of what we're voting on.

    We still have 3 weeks before January 1. There's no rush to do a poll today.

  4. #4
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    Rule out any ELF miles without even getting into the motor. The thing is mostly enclosed. How can you properly freeze in an enclosed vehicle?

    Is there a clear distinction between primarily human powered with motor assist, and primarily motor powered with pedaling option? For me it's about the spirit - I want to include dasgeh, who uses e-assist because she has a giant bike full of children in a super-hilly part of VA. I do NOT want to include someone who does 80 miles a day without breaking a sweat because a motor is doing most of the work. I worry that it is tough to both make the distinction and to enforce it.

  5. #5
    ShawnoftheDread's Avatar
    ShawnoftheDread is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Can't we just be arbitrary and mean, and boot out anyone we don't want in our game? (Asking for a friend.)

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    As I suggested earlier, those using any motor assisted bikes or other vehicles can join the Bunch O' Slackers. We then avoid trying to divine differences between these vehicles, avoid any unfair comparisons with those riding solely human-powered bikes, and allow those with motor assisted bikes to still join in the non-game fun.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amalitza View Post
    I'd like to suggest getting some input into this part *before* putting out a poll. Some people (not me) (dasgeh, hint) could provide a more accurate definition of different types of e-bikes and how they can be ridden and you could use those definitions (and explanations of them for those of us less knowledgeable) so we can have a more informed idea of what we're voting on.

    We still have 3 weeks before January 1. There's no rush to do a poll today.
    Well, dasgeh among others can comment on the poll. But I'm reluctant just to ask certain individuals. There may be others in a position to comment on the distinction (and I've specifically asked for such comments).

    If a majority believe we shouldn't allow any miles with a vehicle with any e-assist, the definition becomes irrelevant. The same is true if a majority believe all miles should count. If e-assist vehicles are okay but not miles on motor powered vehicles, I'll go with a consensus of people who actually ride the things as to how to define them.

    I should also point out that the poll is scheduled to be up until December 24 (which is the same day registration closes). So it's not like we're rushing people. But if people are required to report miles on the registration form, they need to know what miles count. And for some, the definition may determine whether they participate on a team (or indeed at all).
    Last edited by cvcalhoun; 12-10-2015 at 06:00 PM.

  8. #8
    Amalitza Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    The thing is mostly enclosed. How can you properly freeze in an enclosed vehicle?
    Speaking as someone who has owned and driven a car with a broken heater through a Midwestern winter, let me assure you that you can in fact properly freeze in an enclosed vehicle.


    It doesn't help that the inside of the windshield tends to frost over unless you keep a window partly open to let the dry winter air blow over it...

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    Just pointing out that with e-bikes there is a big range--a 50lbs bike with a 550 watt motor is a very different beast than a 100lbs bike with a 175 watt motor. Zoom zoom!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    So you want us to vote on the concept vaguely, without defining the distinction?

    Just let people ride. This is a non-game with non-rules. And even if crazy ELF dude has registered, IIRC all the forum-ati agreed that it was great to have him out on the roads, though most objected to him on the trails.
    I would welcome guidance from you (and others who are familiar with e-bikes) on a distinction. But we did get comments to the effect that Freezing Saddles should count only exclusively human-powered miles. I disagree with that position. However, given that this is a leaderless organization, I'm not sure how to work out this issue without asking the question specifically. The best I could do was state my own position, and point out that totally ruling out e-assist would be a bad thing for "one of our most beloved members" (by which I meant you, of course, though I avoided naming either the ELF person who registered or you). This seems at least to be clear enough that so far, at least, the majority have voted in favor of allowing e-assist.

    And as stated above, I'm specifically looking for comments on whether there are any limits--and if so, how to define them. I would assume we're not counting motorcycle miles. (Although if the consensus is that we are, I'll go with that.) But with no definition at all, I don't know how we rule that out.

    And I assume that many people on the forum would agree that it is great to have someone on a motorcycle or in a Prius out on the roads (to the extent this replaces a less fuel-efficient alternative). But this does not necessarily mean they would agree that miles on such vehicles should count for purposes of this contest.

    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    I worry that it is tough to both make the distinction and to enforce it.
    As to making the decision, that's why I've requested input. As to enforcing it, we already require people to exclude their own miles on a trainer. But we don't have the capacity to enforce that, either. If we decide to exclude certain vehicles, we could handle that the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Kelley View Post
    Just pointing out that with e-bikes there is a big range--a 50lbs bike with a 550 watt motor is a very different beast than a 100lbs bike with a 175 watt motor. Zoom zoom!
    I agree. I'd like to include that 100 lb. bike with the 175 watt motor at a minimum. One of the reasons I put this out there was to get comments on where we draw the line (if in fact we want to draw one at all).

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnoftheDread View Post
    Can't we just be arbitrary and mean, and boot out anyone we don't want in our game? (Asking for a friend.)
    Well, anyone who is banned from this forum can't participate, because we've clearly stated that this forum is to be the primary method of communication. So that rules out one of the people we don't want in our game. But unless we are going to have a separate poll on whom to boot out (for heaven's said, NO!!!!), I figure we should keep this discussion to counting miles, not booting people out.
    Last edited by cvcalhoun; 12-10-2015 at 05:48 PM.

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