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What can the E-assist option bring for bicycle touring.

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What can the E-assist option bring for bicycle touring.

Old 07-25-16, 01:12 AM
  #351  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Uh oh...
You took a train? Why are you posting on a bicycle touring forum instead of interrail or similiar. By many definitions presented here (including yours) you're not bicycle touring at all.
Yeah he took a train, like I take a ferry to Wales. If I ride a motorcycle I'm not on a pedal cycle. As these E-assist bikes have both pedals and motors there's some confusion as to whether they are pedal cycles, motorbikes or something else.

I'm in the 'something else' camp.

Can we try to keep this thread out of the 'silly' camp?

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Old 07-25-16, 01:20 AM
  #352  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Uh oh...
You took a train? Why are you posting on a bicycle touring forum instead of interrail or similiar. By many definitions presented here (including yours) you're not bicycle touring at all.
I don't think anybody has ever claimed that getting a train ride for some portion of your bicycle tour means you're somehow "not on a bicycle tour". Out of many thousands of tour journals over on crazyguyonabike, just about everybody takes a car, train, plane or boat ride at some point. It's fine. As long as the main mode of travel is using your bicycle, then it's a bicycle tour. Where that line is, in terms of purity, is up to you, and I think most people are comfortable with that, assuming good faith.

I think most people also have an intuitive understanding that bicycles aren't supposed to have motors. At a gut level, disabilities aside, it just feels like cheating. You're supposed to do the pedaling yourself. It's just how it is.

If you argue that having a motor is the same as not having one, then what you end up with is a meaningless definition for "cycling". As the motors and batteries get better, the line between "assist" and "motorbike" will get more and more blurry, until you end up with the absurd conclusion that bicycles are conceptually no different from motorbikes.

To be clear, once again, I am not against e-bikes or e-assist in concept. What I, and some others here are saying in different ways, is that we don't feel that motorized bikes belong here under "bicycle touring". While there are some areas of overlap, e.g. camping, cooking, clothing etc, those aspects can very well be discussed without bringing up the fact that you are traveling using a motorized bike. So those discussions can very well happen here without any conflict. But if the main topic of the discussion is the e-bike aspect, then there is a separate e-bike forum for that.

It should be obvious by now that many people take issue with motors intruding into this particular forum. Trying to pretend that this contention is just going to go away will only guarantee more train wrecks like this one. The only way to avoid these conflicts is to avoid the subject, much like avoiding debating helmets, religion, politics, guns etc. Keep the e-bike discussions on the e-bike forum, where they belong. JMHO, of course.

Neil
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Old 07-25-16, 01:25 AM
  #353  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Uh oh...
You took a train? Why are you posting on a bicycle touring forum instead of interrail or similiar. By many definitions presented here (including yours) you're not bicycle touring at all.
I agree the train ride was not bike touring. It was transporting my bike and gear to another location. I needed to get to Martigny to see the Tour de France, so taking the train from Thun to Visp was the best option.
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Old 07-25-16, 02:06 AM
  #354  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
+1

Some of the best discussions come out of hotly contested issues.

For myself, I still don't ride an e bike but I've learned a bit more about them in this thread.
I've also given what the forum means to others some thought.
I've realized there is a sub set of people who use them because of medical issues who like onbike, have interesting stories.
I've looked into how they fit into adaptive cycling in my local region and found some related websites as a result.
I've learned there may be an alternate reason than the one I'm thinking as to why Doug may have a sports bra hanging off his panniers.

The problem with discussing this issue in binary terms, which encourages disparaging comments such as E-assist riders as being "lazy" etc. is that this may obscure the real picture. For example, I ride my E-assist Moulton TSR only when riding with my friends as this enables me to keep up and not slow them down. I do this as I wouldn't want them to be disadvantaged by my company. However when on my own I ride my other Moulton which is non-assist and then I ride at a more leisurely pace which suits my disabilities.

Things may not always be as simple as they may appear.
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Old 07-25-16, 02:25 AM
  #355  
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On my last tour (Spain) the guy I was with was younger (63) and much fitter than I am so often had to wait till I caught up but we've cycle toured together before and he knew what he was letting himself in for. He obviously wasn't willing to forego my scintillating company just to avoid the inconvenience.

Cycle touring is often about compromise.
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Old 07-25-16, 08:19 AM
  #356  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
I agree the train ride was not bike touring. It was transporting my bike and gear to another location. I needed to get to Martigny to see the Tour de France, so taking the train from Thun to Visp was the best option.
There is a difference between travelling with a bike and travelling by bike . Do you want strangers establishing that line for you?

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Old 07-25-16, 08:45 AM
  #357  
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Motorized definition:[/COLOR]

: to equip with a motor

source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motorize
And if we want to get into semantics, motor refers to an electric driven propulsion. SO, I can't use an e-bike, but a dirtbike, with its internal combustion engine, is just fine

Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Yes, because it makes logical sense that since a bike frame has a teeny little motor to help the pedal power, it is far closer to a motorcycle than a bike. Do you actually believe that, or are you being deliberately obtuse?

Originally Posted by alan s View Post
At the same time, I had taken a train under the Alps and ridden 50 miles or so mostly on quiet roads and bike paths. Point is, the electric motor bike tourers will hopefully recognize they are engaged in a different activity than bike touring. Sure, there are some similarities, but fundamentally, they are not the same thing.
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
I agree the train ride was not bike touring. It was transporting my bike and gear to another location. I needed to get to Martigny to see the Tour de France, so taking the train from Thun to Visp was the best option.
So, instead of just HTFU and pounding out the miles, you used a method to get you where you wanted to go faster than you could physically do on your bike? Huh. How can you say you were touring, if every last miles wasn't done under your own power? I mean, the TdF guys pedaled there, why couldn't you? I fail to see how them getting an assist in their pedaling is any different than you jumping on a train when talking about your tour. I suggest you stop calling it a bicycle tour, and start calling it a train-assisted bike tour.

Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
There is a difference between travelling with a bike and travelling by bike . Do you want strangers establishing that line for you?
Agree 100%. Although, I will offer that I personally don't care what others call my activities, if it bothers them far more than it bothers me that is a personal problem for them to sort out. I used a few trains and ferries on a credit card tour, both for convenience and because the Dutch have a hatred for bridges. Anyone on here is free to tell me what I did didn't fit their definition of touring, and my response is going to be the same unchanging "what sort of life do you live that you really care about what I call what I did", and moving on to more important things.
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Old 07-25-16, 08:52 AM
  #358  
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I think when one tries to draw an imaginary line in the sand as to what is and isn't "bike touring" they are immediately faced with the many ways they and others step over said lines. Or the argument of "I do it this way, why don't they" is presented. Both of these create contention for what ought to seem, obvious reasons.

If the argument is that bike touring demands self effort you have to look at what that means. Do you wash your own sheets in the hotel, steer the bus, sail the ferry? One can say those are silly counters but it's just as silly to think everyone defines what is a tour by how much effort one puts into pedaling. Some do love the feeling of biking (I do) but others have a more expansive motivation for touring (I do as well). For some it's being with friends or family, being close to nature, traveling through the landscape, photography, poking into small out of the way places, economics... and not manually putting 100% effort into each pedal stroke is not a deal breaker when other factors are considered. Some people see the double standards involved in drawing arbitrary lines, that not everyone agrees are valid anyway, and so contention occurs. It seems at least one mod said the discussion was allowed so perhaps that line is not so accepted as some would suggest.

The underlying notion of the "I do it this way, why don't they" argument is so blatantly flawed it is a wonder why anyone has to rebut it. If it wasn't repeated again and again perhaps it wouldn't need to be and less contention would result. BF is an international forum and intends to capture a wide variety of bike riders (including e bikes as they have a separate forum) so that they might tour on one is, I think, accepted as well. Just as some tour on road bikes, MTB's and folding bikes, all of which also have a separate sub forum.

The contention comes when some can't simply accept things that exist and aren't going away, like cell phones, which may or may not impact them. I think Neil's is a case of possible impact because he operates a site and has to consider overall what he might do and how others feel about it but others have no impact at all on their lives, other than it seems they define what they do by comparing and contrasting it to others.

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Old 07-25-16, 12:08 PM
  #359  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
There is a difference between travelling with a bike and travelling by bike . Do you want strangers establishing that line for you?
Not sure what you are saying. I consider it bike touring if I'm riding a bike for a vacation or overnight or longer trip. In this case, I had to be driven to the airport in a car, fly in an airplane, get picked up by the hotel shuttle, and take a couple trains to accomplish my goal of seeing the Tour de France and some of Switzerland. The same will happen in reverse to get home. This is part of bike touring. Most, if not all, people would agree. All bike riding was done under my own power, but transporting the bike, gear and myself was not possible door to door without using other means of getting around.
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Old 07-25-16, 12:47 PM
  #360  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Not sure what you are saying.
The act of taking a train while on a bike tour means you assisted your tour, to extend it in a manner that allowed you to do things you wouldn't have otherwise been able to do if you relied solely on a bike. It made it easier on you. The fact that you see no problem in using a train to supplement your legs means you did not do it under your own power, a train took you some distance to allow you to do something that you couldn't have done had you solely relied on your bike. It is not at all unlike someone using an ebike to assist their tour: you couldn't do what you wanted to do solely with a pedal powered bike, so you did something that allowed you to cheat on the distance.

Originally Posted by alan s View Post
This is part of bike touring. Most, if not all, people would agree. All bike riding was done under my own power, but transporting the bike, gear and myself was not possible door to door without using other means of getting around.
I'm sure we'd agree on the getting there and getting back bit. To me, it is a bit hypocritical to bash on others for using an ebike to extend their range/speed/abilities, when you use a train in the middle of your tour not even putting in that 70% effort that an ebike would require.
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Old 07-25-16, 12:51 PM
  #361  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
I don't think anybody has ever claimed that getting a train ride for some portion of your bicycle tour means you're somehow "not on a bicycle tour". Out of many thousands of tour journals over on crazyguyonabike, just about everybody takes a car, train, plane or boat ride at some point. It's fine. As long as the main mode of travel is using your bicycle, then it's a bicycle tour. Where that line is, in terms of purity, is up to you, and I think most people are comfortable with that, assuming good faith.

I think most people also have an intuitive understanding that bicycles aren't supposed to have motors. At a gut level, disabilities aside, it just feels like cheating. You're supposed to do the pedaling yourself. It's just how it is.
To me, if using an ebike is cheating, so is using a train to shorten the distance and effort required.

If one were planning a 1000 mile trip, and riding an ebike (assuming 70% pedaling required) for the whole thing or putting a bike on a train for 300 miles of it and riding the other 700, who really toured more? Your main mode is still a bike, so the guy that sat on a train for 300 miles should be the better tourer, right?
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Old 07-25-16, 12:54 PM
  #362  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
I've seen plenty of electric motor bikes here, but only one that appeared to be touring. The rest seemed like people just out for a ride, some with a pannier or two, and others just blasting along. I have no problem with anyone using them for whatever reason they desire. Thankfully they are not present at any of the campgrounds I've stayed at. Maybe hotels are their thing. If you can't get up the energy to push pedals, sleeping in a tent is probably also not something you are willing to suffer through.
You forgot the basics. They are pedaling a bicycle and getting exercise, might even doing errands. They're not sitting on the porch watching you go by. Unless you asked them how could you even hazard a guess as to whether they like to tent or not. I liked tenting when I did it, but I also like a real bed and shower and out of the BAD weather. Judge not lest ye be judged. Keep pedaling!
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Old 07-25-16, 01:03 PM
  #363  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
To me, if using an ebike is cheating, so is using a train to shorten the distance and effort required.

If one were planning a 1000 mile trip, and riding an ebike (assuming 70% pedaling required) for the whole thing or putting a bike on a train for 300 miles of it and riding the other 700, who really toured more? Your main mode is still a bike, so the guy that sat on a train for 300 miles should be the better tourer, right?
Who's calling touring on an E-Bike 'cheating', certainly not me.

Edit: Sorry, yeah see NG's 'feels like cheating' reference. Not an opinion I share. Using an E-Bike to tour isn't 'cheating' just not 'cycle touring', it's E-bike touring.

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Old 07-25-16, 01:21 PM
  #364  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
To me, if using an ebike is cheating, so is using a train to shorten the distance and effort required.

If one were planning a 1000 mile trip, and riding an ebike (assuming 70% pedaling required) for the whole thing or putting a bike on a train for 300 miles of it and riding the other 700, who really toured more? Your main mode is still a bike, so the guy that sat on a train for 300 miles should be the better tourer, right?
The mental contortions you guys are going through here is amazing.

As Alan said, the train portion of his trip wasn't a bicycle tour, but the bicycling part certainly was. If you did the same thing on an e-bike, then none of it would really be a bicycle tour, because it was all motorized. People do bicycle tours all the time and get trains etc to get to where they want to do their tour. Latching onto this as a way of somehow implying that "it's all the same" if you are riding a motorbike or a bicycle is just ridiculous.

It's really simple... bicycles aren't supposed to have motors. Otherwise they are ... wait for it ... motor cycles. Doesn't matter if they give you 30% "assist" or whatever euphamism you want to use - it has a motor, it's not a bicycle any more. So if you do a tour on one, you're not doing a bicycle tour, you're doing something that is part of the world of motorized travel. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you just admit it and don't try to come over here pretending that it's all the same with those of us who value this space as being one that is about self-propelled travel, free of motors.

I have laid out the argument about the slippery slope here several times, and nobody has refuted it. In essence, once you admit motors into the room, then it's going to be hard to draw lines as the motor and battery technology develops, all the way to machines that can effectively do ALL the work for you. They might have pedals, but I can guarantee that eventually, the pedaling bit will become entirely optional. This is not what bicycling is supposed to be about. It's MUCH easier to just draw the line at any motor at all, and say that on this side you have bicycles (no motors), and on that side you have the world of motorized bikes - e-bikes, e-assist, mopeds, motorcycles etc. Easy line to draw, and one that most will be able to grasp immediately.

JMHO, of course. No doubt this discussion will continue to froth until it is shut down, and that will be the same story with any e-bike discussion on the "bicycle touring" forum, because many people are offended at the idea of bringing motors into this sacrosanct space as if it doesn't matter and we should all just accept it. A lot of people ride a bicycle as a statement against motorized travel, and touring by bicycle for many is an explicit rejection of doing it by other means (like car, motorcycle etc). For most people, the effort required and the fact that you do ALL the work yourself is recognized at a gut level as being intrinsic to the whole idea. Breezing in here and telling us that if we talk about this then we're being overly competitive or heartless or whatever and just accept motorbikes as part of the discourse now is frankly rather offensive. It's a takeover bid, and I don't like it, and I think others feel the same, even if they don't want to take part in this flamefest. This is a place where we gather to talk about a certain activity, one that explicitly does NOT entail motors. And it's being hijacked, and that's wrong.

Nothing wrong with e-bikes, per se; they just belong on the e-bike forum, not here. If you're unable to pedal a bicycle yourself, then by all means go use e-assist or e-bike or whatever you want to call it, and go talk about it on the appropriate forum, not here.

Neil
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Old 07-25-16, 01:33 PM
  #365  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
The mental contortions you guys are going through here is amazing.

As Alan said, the train portion of his trip wasn't a bicycle tour, but the bicycling part certainly was. If you did the same thing on an e-bike, then none of it would really be a bicycle tour, because it was all motorized. People do bicycle tours all the time and get trains etc to get to where they want to do their tour. Latching onto this as a way of somehow implying that "it's all the same" if you are riding a motorbike or a bicycle is just ridiculous.

It's really simple... bicycles aren't supposed to have motors. Otherwise they are ... wait for it ... motor cycles. Doesn't matter if they give you 30% "assist" or whatever euphamism you want to use - it has a motor, it's not a bicycle any more. So if you do a tour on one, you're not doing a bicycle tour, you're doing something that is part of the world of motorized travel. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you just admit it and don't try to come over here pretending that it's all the same with those of us who value this space as being one that is about self-propelled travel, free of motors.

I have laid out the argument about the slippery slope here several times, and nobody has refuted it. In essence, once you admit motors into the room, then it's going to be hard to draw lines as the motor and battery technology develops, all the way to machines that can effectively do ALL the work for you. They might have pedals, but I can guarantee that eventually, the pedaling bit will become entirely optional. This is not what bicycling is supposed to be about. It's MUCH easier to just draw the line at any motor at all, and say that on this side you have bicycles (no motors), and on that side you have the world of motorized bikes - e-bikes, e-assist, mopeds, motorcycles etc. Easy line to draw, and one that most will be able to grasp immediately.

JMHO, of course. No doubt this discussion will continue to froth until it is shut down, and that will be the same story with any e-bike discussion on the "bicycle touring" forum, because many people are offended at the idea of bringing motors into this sacrosanct space as if it doesn't matter and we should all just accept it. A lot of people ride a bicycle as a statement against motorized travel, and touring by bicycle for many is an explicit rejection of doing it by other means (like car, motorcycle etc). For most people, the effort required and the fact that you do ALL the work yourself is recognized at a gut level as being intrinsic to the whole idea. Breezing in here and telling us that if we talk about this then we're being overly competitive or heartless or whatever and just accept motorbikes as part of the discourse now is frankly rather offensive. It's a takeover bid, and I don't like it, and I think others feel the same, even if they don't want to take part in this flamefest. This is a place where we gather to talk about a certain activity, one that explicitly does NOT entail motors. And it's being hijacked, and that's wrong.

Nothing wrong with e-bikes, per se; they just belong on the e-bike forum, not here. If you're unable to pedal a bicycle yourself, then by all means go use e-assist or e-bike or whatever you want to call it, and go talk about it on the appropriate forum, not here.

Neil
+1 Once again I agree 100% with Neil and all points in his clear and logical argument. I find it amazing that the eBike fan-boys don't get it.
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Old 07-25-16, 01:38 PM
  #366  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
It's really simple... bicycles aren't supposed to have motors.

I have laid out the argument about the slippery slope here several times, and nobody has refuted it.

JMHO, of course. No doubt this discussion will continue to froth until it is shut down, and that will be the same story with any e-bike discussion on the "bicycle touring" forum, because many people are offended at the idea of bringing motors into this sacrosanct space as if it doesn't matter and we should all just accept it. A lot of people ride a bicycle as a statement against motorized travel, and touring by bicycle for many is an explicit rejection of doing it by other means (like car, motorcycle etc).

I guess the real question is who said bicycles aren't supposed to have motors? Is it a law or something or just what a private citizen believes is true for them. If so, another citizen is free to feel differently. Who's right?

I thought the slippery slope argument was refuted when it was shown that you have an e bike article on your own site, that discusses how to convert a conventional bike and your site has not faltered as a result. Seems compelling.

And, should an international touring forum's (not really a sacrosanct space) content be determined by the biases of people who want to make statements against motorized travel, explicitly reject it (seems political) and, if so, how do you square the circle of discussing taking a train or ferry as part of it?

See, the problem with drawing arbitrary lines in the sand is that it is immediately pointed out how people cross them all the time because those lines don't really exist or people think what they are doing is the exception to the rule.
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Old 07-25-16, 01:56 PM
  #367  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
The mental contortions you guys are going through here is amazing

....


It's really simple... bicycles aren't supposed to have motors. Otherwise they are ... wait for it ... motor cycles. Doesn't matter if they give you 30% "assist" or whatever euphamism you want to use - it has a motor, it's not a bicycle any more. So if you do a tour on one, you're not doing a bicycle tour, you're doing something that is part of the world of motorized travel. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you just admit it and don't try to come over here pretending that it's all the same with those of us who value this space as being one that is about self-propelled travel, free of motors.

...

I have laid out the argument about the slippery slope here several times, and nobody has refuted it.

...

JMHO, of course. No doubt this discussion will continue to froth until it is shut down, and that will be the same story with any e-bike discussion on the "bicycle touring" forum, because many people are offended at the idea of bringing motors into this sacrosanct space as if it doesn't matter and we should all just accept it.

...

Nothing wrong with e-bikes, per se; they just belong on the e-bike forum, not here. If you're unable to pedal a bicycle yourself, then by all means go use e-assist or e-bike or whatever you want to call it, and go talk about it on the appropriate forum, not here.
So, it is not contortion to suggest that there are fewer differences between an ebike and a fully dressed Harley or a BMW GS than a touring bike and the exact same frame with a pedal assist motor on it?

At the end of the day, on his tour he used a non-bike method to get around. According to the oh so helpful advice I've heard here, he either needs to HTFU or stop calling his tour a bike tour, because he couldn't do what was required under his own power. He should have just missed the TdF if calling it a bike tour is what he wants to do, or planned better or took more tim. Note, this is not my personal opinion, but it is utterly hypocritical to bash others that for whatever reasons they think they need an ebike while you and others you support ride a friggin' train!

I don't have much time for slippery slope arguments. They are used when someone can't argue the issue int he present. If we ever get to the point where people on full out mopeds, with wrist throttles and no pedaling required, are calling themselves bike tourists, maybe I'll jump on board with your argument. We aren't.

I likewise have little time for people who choose to quell discussion on topics they don't like by name calling and general hatred until it gets shut down, instead of doing the sensible thing and ignoring the thread. If this is something that is truly threatening to you, to the point where you'll argue on it to get the threads closed, it speaks more to you being the one with an issue than anyone riding an ebike.

I don't understand how starting a new forum so people who hate something don't have to see it. It seems far easier for those people to grow up, than to have everything fragmented down to such specificity that you have two active users agreeing with one another in each of your hundreds of sub forums.
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Old 07-25-16, 01:58 PM
  #368  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I guess the real question is who said bicycles aren't supposed to have motors? Is it a law or something or just what a private citizen believes is true for them. If so, another citizen is free to feel differently. Who's right?
That's what we are trying to hash out here. The e-bike is obviously a disruptive technology, one that blurs the lines and creates gray areas where none existed before. I think it's dangerous for that reason, because of the slippery slope argument (see below).

I thought the slippery slope argument was refuted when it was shown that you have an e bike article on your own site, that discusses how to convert a conventional bike and your site has not faltered as a result. Seems compelling.
No. Back in 2007, e-bikes were in their infancy, and not really practical for touring, due to weight, lack of range, etc. It was more of a curiosity than anything else. Over the last ten years they have progressed to the point where we are seeing more mass adoption, more capability, more range, more power, so they are being talked about more. But we are not at that critical point yet which I am talking about in the "slippery slope" argument, whereby the technology is so capable that it can provide all or most of the work, over large distances. The end of the slippery slope is in the future still, but we're already seeing the effects of the acceleration of technology, by the people here who seem to think it's just fine to say you are doing a "bicycle tour" on a machine that has a motor on it. The fact that the end of the process (fully capable e-bikes that can do all the work, with the pedaling being optional) hasn't happened YET is not a refutation of my argument, any more than the fact that the world as we know it hasn't ended YET is a refutation of anthropogenic climate change.

And, should an international touring forum's (not really a sacrosanct space) content be determined by the biases of people who want to make statements against motorized travel, explicitly reject it (seems political) and, if so, how do you square the circle of discussing taking a train or ferry as part of it?
I'm not making an argument AGAINST motorized travel, I'm just saying that for many, bicycling is an explicit expression of trying to get away from that. The fact that we all have to live in the modern world and take various forms of transportation to get to our tours is a red herring. I rode my bicycle from coast to coast back in 1998, and then I took a train back to NYC from Oregon. I don't regard that as cheating in any way, since I completed the tour I wanted to do (riding from coast to coast), and then I wanted to go home. Trying to portray this as somehow opening the door to motors on bicycles as being "all the same" is the sort of contortion that I expect to see from desperate lawyers in courtrooms, not regular people on a bicycle touring forum.

See, the problem with drawing arbitrary lines in the sand is that it is immediately pointed out how people cross them all the time because those lines don't really exist or people think what they are doing is the exception to the rule.
The thing is, motors is NOT an "arbitrary line in the sand". Saying "no motors" will AVOID arbitrary lines in the sand, e.g. "no more than 300 watts" or whatever metric you want to say is the line between "ok" and "not ok" for this forum. Because that line does exist; I doubt very much that anybody would want to pretend that tours on ATV, motorbike or car would be ok to discuss here. So there is a line somewhere. Saying that "some motors are ok but not above x power" or whatever is the very definition of "arbitrary line in the sand". Saying "no motors" is a very clear, definite, easy to understand line in the sand that will not shift, due to developing technology or changing laws.

Neil

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Old 07-25-16, 02:04 PM
  #369  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I guess the real question is who said bicycles aren't supposed to have motors? Is it a law or something or just what a private citizen believes is true for them. If so, another citizen is free to feel differently. Who's right?

I thought the slippery slope argument was refuted when it was shown that you have an e bike article on your own site, that discusses how to convert a conventional bike and your site has not faltered as a result. Seems compelling.

And, should an international touring forum's (not really a sacrosanct space) content be determined by the biases of people who want to make statements against motorized travel, explicitly reject it (seems political) and, if so, how do you square the circle of discussing taking a train or ferry as part of it?

See, the problem with drawing arbitrary lines in the sand is that it is immediately pointed out how people cross them all the time because those lines don't really exist or people think what they are doing is the exception to the rule.

Put a motor on a bicycle and you're a cheater according to the Tour de France officials:
Tour de France officials will scan participants' bikes to check for cheaters.


From a NY Times article:
A grueling cycling race is somewhat less grueling if your bike is a motorcycle. Understanding this, some cunning cyclists may be turning the sport into Nascar on two wheels by surreptitiously giving their bikes a motorized boost.

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Old 07-25-16, 02:14 PM
  #370  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
So, it is not contortion to suggest that there are fewer differences between an ebike and a fully dressed Harley or a BMW GS than a touring bike and the exact same frame with a pedal assist motor on it?
You share 50% of your DNA with a banana. Does that mean we're all fruit?

At the end of the day, on his tour he used a non-bike method to get around. According to the oh so helpful advice I've heard here, he either needs to HTFU or stop calling his tour a bike tour, because he couldn't do what was required under his own power. He should have just missed the TdF if calling it a bike tour is what he wants to do, or planned better or took more tim. Note, this is not my personal opinion, but it is utterly hypocritical to bash others that for whatever reasons they think they need an ebike while you and others you support ride a friggin' train!
You use other forms of transportation to get to and from your tour. That doesn't detract from or invalidate the tour you do, whatever you want to call it. The transportation you choose to take around the tour is separate from the tour itself. I did a coast to coast tour, and then I took a train home from Oregon to NYC. Does that mean I didn't do a bicycle tour? No. But if I had done the tour on a motorbike, then THAT would mean I didn't do a bicycle tour. I feel silly having to explain this, but you're trying to make it into an issue to here we are.

I don't have much time for slippery slope arguments. They are used when someone can't argue the issue int he present. If we ever get to the point where people on full out mopeds, with wrist throttles and no pedaling required, are calling themselves bike tourists, maybe I'll jump on board with your argument. We aren't.
The whole point is that once you are at that point, then it'll be too late to go back. See also: Boiling the frog. The whole point of considering "slippery slope" scenarios is that you are trying to think ahead to what will happen if we continue down a certain course. You try to stop yourself before you get into trouble. I am saying something that is actually very simple: Technology has a way of improving over time, and so I can envisage a point where the e-bike has improved to such a level whereby it can provide most, if not all of the work. Then we would be at the point where people would be talking about going on a "bicycle tour" where they are not actually having to do any pedaling at all. Maybe you're ok with this idea, but I care about definitions and I don't think that is what "bicycle touring" is supposed to be about. It would be much clearer if we simply said that "bicycle touring" means no motors, and if people want to discuss e-bikes or e-assist or whatever you want to call it, then go do that on the appropriate forum.

I likewise have little time for people who choose to quell discussion on topics they don't like by name calling and general hatred until it gets shut down, instead of doing the sensible thing and ignoring the thread. If this is something that is truly threatening to you, to the point where you'll argue on it to get the threads closed, it speaks more to you being the one with an issue than anyone riding an ebike.
Disagreement is not hatred. We are arguing about a categorization issue, whether or not certain discussions belong in this forum or over on the e-bike forum. Telling people to "just ignore it" is akin to spammers telling us to "just ignore" their junk in our inbox. It is not harmless, it increases the noise level and decreases the usefulness of the forum to those of us who come here for focused discussions. Not every thread has a descriptive subject, so often you have to click down before you really know what the discussion is about (and also, some discussions go off the original point of the thread starter). So if the signal to noise ratio decreases due to more discussions about motorized travel here in this forum that is supposed to be about non-motorized bicycle touring, then that is a negative result in my book.

I don't understand how starting a new forum so people who hate something don't have to see it. It seems far easier for those people to grow up, than to have everything fragmented down to such specificity that you have two active users agreeing with one another in each of your hundreds of sub forums.
Hate... grow up... these are not helpful. Nobody is hating, and saying people who disagree with you are children is not a good way to win an argument.

Also, I don't think we would be talking about fragmentation into hundreds of sub-forums. With the dichotomy between "motors" and "no motors", there would really just be two branches. Which we already have. I see no reason why anybody on the e-bike forum would object to talk about touring on an e-bike there, so I don't believe any further sub-forums would be necessary.

Neil
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Old 07-25-16, 02:20 PM
  #371  
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eBikes being called out as motorcycles by the BLM

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has posted updated guidelines to their website putting electric-powered bicycles in the same category as gas-powered vehicles, effectively banning them from numerous trails in and around the Utah mountain bike mecca.
Moab BLM bans electric bikes on non-motorized trails

From the same article:

While motor-assisted bicycles are now not allowed on mountain bike trails, they are permitted on any motorized route open to motorcycles and off-road vehicles. This includes portions of classic trails like Porcupine Rim, where e-bikes are permitted on the “Jeep road” sections, but not the singletrack.
Motor-assisted bicycles are now CORRECTLY being called out as motorcycles!
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Old 07-25-16, 02:27 PM
  #372  
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Two wheeled vehicle + 100%-human-pedal-power == A Bicycle

Two wheeled vehicle + a motor + a human rider == A Motorcycle
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Old 07-25-16, 02:30 PM
  #373  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
The e-bike is obviously a disruptive technology, one that blurs the lines and creates gray areas where none existed before.

...
To you, perhaps. To me, they are something that someone else uses, that I have no real desire to use, but which affect me in ABSOLUTELY NO WAY. Hardly disruptive or worrysome, that in some slippery slope future I will be forced into them and given no choice but to ride the exclusively.

Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Put a motor on a bicycle and you're a cheater according to the Tour de France officials
And when I am in an established bicycle race with rules detailing allowable equipment, I will agree they are cheating and not allowable. Then again, likely so are a lot of things you may find on touring bikes, like disc brakes. When someone is spending their vacation in a manner they choose, that I am in no direct competition with or have really any interaction at all, they aren't "cheating" because there are no rules to follow. No different than if I decided I wanted my doctor to get me on EPO to pound out my after work bar runs a bit faster, it is not illegal until I decide to enter a race which is under the control of a sanctioning body that deems it illegal.
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Old 07-25-16, 02:42 PM
  #374  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
When someone is spending their vacation in a manner they choose, that I am in no direct competition with or have really any interaction at all, they aren't "cheating" because there are no rules to follow.
Ok, so then by your logic it would be fine for people to discuss motorhomes, kayaking, hiking, big game hunting, deep sea fishing, knitting, or any other activity that people might choose to do on their vacation. Because it doesn't affect you if I want to talk on this forum about bungee jumping, does it? Just ignore it.

See where that line of reasoning gets you?

Topics are important, as are definitions of topics. Should the topic of "bicycle touring" include bikes with motors? I think not, and moreover I think it matters.

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Old 07-25-16, 02:52 PM
  #375  
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Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
You share 50% of your DNA with a banana. Does that mean we're all fruit?

You use other forms of transportation to get to and from your tour. That doesn't detract from or invalidate the tour you do, whatever you want to call it. The transportation you choose to take around the tour is separate from the tour itself. I did a coast to coast tour, and then I took a train home from Oregon to NYC. Does that mean I didn't do a bicycle tour? No. But if I had done the tour on a motorbike, then THAT would mean I didn't do a bicycle tour. I feel silly having to explain this, but you're trying to make it into an issue to here we are.

And if you did a coast to coast tour, but hopped on a train for the Rockies, what would you call that?



The whole point is that once you are at that point, then it'll be too late to go back. See also: Boiling the frog. The whole point of considering "slippery slope" scenarios is that you are trying to think ahead to what will happen if we continue down a certain course. You try to stop yourself before you get into trouble. I am saying something that is actually very simple: Technology has a way of improving over time, and so I can envisage a point where the e-bike has improved to such a level whereby it can provide most, if not all of the work. Then we would be at the point where people would be talking about going on a "bicycle tour" where they are not actually having to do any pedaling at all. Maybe you're ok with this idea, but I care about definitions and I don't think that is what "bicycle touring" is supposed to be about. It would be much clearer if we simply said that "bicycle touring" means no motors, and if people want to discuss e-bikes or e-assist or whatever you want to call it, then go do that on the appropriate forum.
Technology has already progressed well past that point. We've had motorcycles for a hundred years, and the lowly pedal bike has yet to disappear. I'm not worried that it is going away anytime soon, at least not due to ebikes. To me, the amount of time I spend getting worried about what people on ebikes call their touring is nil. What I do care about is people calling them out, while being fine with spending their own bike tour on a train for the parts they won't accomplish under their own power.

Disagreement is not hatred. We are arguing about a categorization issue, whether or not certain discussions belong in this forum or over on the e-bike forum. Telling people to "just ignore it" is akin to spammers telling us to "just ignore" their junk in our inbox. It is not harmless, it increases the noise level and decreases the usefulness of the forum to those of us who come here for focused discussions. Not every thread has a descriptive subject, so often you have to click down before you really know what the discussion is about (and also, some discussions go off the original point of the thread starter). So if the signal to noise ratio decreases due to more discussions about motorized travel here in this forum that is supposed to be about non-motorized bicycle touring, then that is a negative result in my book.
Again, to you. I click on dozens of threads a day over this and other forums that I glance at, see that it interests me in no way, and move on. Until the site institutes some sort of limit on the number of threads that can be going at any one time, it does not decrease the usefulness of any other thread that may be going. Noise ratio? Again, it takes literally seconds to know what is useful or interesting and what is not. For someone wasting time to decrease the usefulness of a thread they had nothing constructive to add to, increasing the noise ratio of the good information that could have been shared, it is a bit of a silly argument.

Hate... grow up... these are not helpful. Nobody is hating, and saying people who disagree with you are children is not a good way to win an argument.
Yes, because HTFU and "stop being lazy" are such loving terms, and things "go discuss ebikes on a motorcycle forum" is not acting childish.

Also, I don't think we would be talking about fragmentation into hundreds of sub-forums. With the dichotomy between "motors" and "no motors", there would really just be two branches. Which we already have. I see no reason why anybody on the e-bike forum would object to talk about touring on an e-bike there, so I don't believe any further sub-forums would be necessary.
My touring bike is a C&V. Should I only talk about it there? Or, perhaps, does it make MUCH more sense for me to ask questions about racks, bags, packing suggestions, where to stealth camp, how to carry enough water, here? You are all acting as if ebikes are some sort of magical machine that makes all of the touring aspects go away. The difference between grandma on an ebike and Froome on his bike is that he is still going faster and farther most days. It isn't jumping on a Gold Wing for a 400 mile day on the interstate, it is still effectively the same dang thing when all is considered.
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