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Electric speeders on the local MUP

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Electric speeders on the local MUP

Old 06-14-19, 05:49 PM
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Joe Bikerider
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Electric speeders on the local MUP

I ride regularly on the Contra Costa Canal trail and it's perpendicular friend the Iron Horse Trail. Contra Costa County, East Bay Area, California. (whew). The last couple days I've experienced several dangerous encounters with E-things. First was a couple of young boys riding powered scooters weaving in and out of pedestrians. Schools out lets go?! They both looked to have very large batteries, maybe legal but certainly not legal behavior. Next was another young man who sped past me on a fat bike with tons of power and no apparent need to pedal as he sped past. Third, a middle aged man who maybe could have pedaled but instead just zoomed up the slight hill into and through the tunnel under I680. Two other E bikes passed me at speed. I know there are so many people saying they are just keeping up with their age and blah blah blah. But I don't ride to be on a motorcycle track. This is now out of control and I'm sick out it.. Incidents have be reported to the EBRPD. Regards.
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Old 06-14-19, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
I know there are so many people saying they are just keeping up with their age and blah blah blah. But I don't ride to be on a motorcycle track. This is now out of control and I'm sick out it..
Indeed, I'm lucky so far this is only an issue in urban lanes that don't accomplish much anyway (in one uphill stretch of which the average two wheel speed is now visibly faster than the adjacent cars; when the later are not suffering from congestion) and so far only a rarity on the trails that are actually enjoyable to ride.

But while electric motorcycles are a great idea as a replacement for the internal combustion variety, there's going to have to be a reckoning about the difference between "bicycles" and "motorcycles".

Probably, things that can use bike infrastructure need to be legally required to have firmware limiting them to pedal cycling speeds; not athletic cyclist speeds, but average person speeds. Otherwise it isn't about leveling the playing field; it's about taking over the cycling infrastructure for light motorcycles, and that soon leads to making it uncomfortable for average people on pedal bikes.

It's probably better to limit the e-things specifically, and not have general speed limits (at least except in specific problem zones), as those who can get into the high teens or twenties by muscle power tend to at least have experience to match, and are at least accomplishing something with some redeeming merit.

Ideally this would go hand in hand with making the roads themselves safer, so that they're a more reasonable option for the light e-motorcycles (with registration plates) - and also remain an allowed option for fit vehicular pedal-cyclists.

Last edited by UniChris; 06-14-19 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 06-14-19, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
I ride regularly on the Contra Costa Canal trail and it's perpendicular friend the Iron Horse Trail. Contra Costa County, East Bay Area, California. (whew). The last couple days I've experienced several dangerous encounters with E-things. First was a couple of young boys riding powered scooters weaving in and out of pedestrians. Schools out lets go?! They both looked to have very large batteries, maybe legal but certainly not legal behavior. Next was another young man who sped past me on a fat bike with tons of power and no apparent need to pedal as he sped past. Third, a middle aged man who maybe could have pedaled but instead just zoomed up the slight hill into and through the tunnel under I680. Two other E bikes passed me at speed. I know there are so many people saying they are just keeping up with their age and blah blah blah. But I don't ride to be on a motorcycle track. This is now out of control and I'm sick out it.. Incidents have be reported to the EBRPD. Regards.
Ding, ding... ding... We have a trifecta... Having said that, I am still , 100% for E-Assist bikes being "regarded legally as bicycles", BUT, that one would still |NEEDS/MUST have to pedal to get anywhere, with motors small enough to NOT be able to do the job all by themselves... ... How hard IS that to accomplish,...??? Well here in N. America it seems nearly impossible, and yet over in the E.U. it has been the case for decades... a sensible compromise has been already reached, with pedaling effort, and motor assistance combined, to still keep the E-Assisted bicycle a bicycle, (legally) anyways... and, Even morally up to a point...
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Old 06-14-19, 08:19 PM
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I rode by someone on a MUP about 10mph faster than they were walking. Then went back on the correct side and passed another walker coming the other way. All seemed completely safe and within the normal. They may be in their walking forum or HOA meeting discussing how these crazy people on bicycles are flying around on their neighborhood MUP and it is dangerous. Imagine the horror if someone on a bike loses control or isn't paying attention hits someone walking!!!

Obviously there are limits. Not everyone will agree on what they are. You are in a bicycle forum that probably most people ride self powered bikes. You'll get a general opinion that reflects that fact.

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Old 06-14-19, 08:54 PM
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The proletariat would have us believe that the e-bike is a none issue and that current legislation has already accounted for its proliferation. I guess they have yet to experience one that didn't get the memo face to face.
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Old 06-14-19, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I rode by someone on a MUP about 10mph faster than they were walking.... They may be in their walking forum or HOA meeting discussing how these crazy people on bicycles are flying around on their neighborhood MUP and it is dangerous.
There are two critical problems with this analogy.

First, there's a lot more kinetic energy involved in a 24 mph e-motorcycle vs. a 14 mph pedal bike, than there is in a 14 mph pedal bike vs a 4 mph pedestrian. And it's not the weight; kinetic energy varies as the square of the velocity. Even in a low differential velocity case, if one or both spill, they're hitting the ground (or an obstacle) at their net velocity, not the differential velocity. And obviously in a head-on case, it's worse.

Next, the skills of the person on the 14 mph pedal bike are far more likely to be suited to that speed than the skills of the person on the 24 mph e-motorcycle are suited to theirs; also the design of the path is more likely to be safe at that speed.

Ultimately though, it's about what the paths are *for*. The fundamental idea has always been human powered movement; the only exception being powered wheelchairs. Motors that replace what is no longer there are one thing; motors that enable something utterly new quite another.

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Old 06-15-19, 12:01 AM
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It's not an analogy, it's a real world argument that a non powered bike gets too. I'm not for a 24 mph anything on a MUP with people walking. You'd have a hard time convincing people getting hit by a bike or rollerblader (thought those were a thing of the past was but recently seems to have picked back up) at 14 is much better than getting hit by an ebike, powered skateboard or hoverboard at 14.

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Old 06-15-19, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
You'd have a hard time convincing people getting hit by a bike or rollerblader (thought those were a thing of the past was but recently seems to have picked back up) at 14 is much better than getting hit by an ebike, powered skateboard or hoverboard at 14.
If the e-bike were only going the same speed as the pedal one it wouldn't be very different. But the reality is that they're operated faster; especially faster than that same rider could operate a pedal one, which means a far greater likelihood of getting into a situation beyond their ability to safely manage. Twice in the past decade I've been hit while walking by grossly incompetent (but fortunately as a result) slow moving cyclists riding in a prohibited time or place; if they'd had motors they wouldn't not have been moving slowly enough that I could walk away annoyed but completely uninjured.

Comparing the original 10mph difference between getting hit at 14 mph vs 24 mph, it is in fact almost three times better in terms of energy. Perhaps even more in terms of outcome, which differs drastically depending on if someone knocked over in a collision has an opportunity to protect their head as they fall.

But at slower speeds the collision is also much less likely given the increased time for the rider to react. Which is good, because of course a collision at any speed is still a bad thing that should not be happening.

Many e-bikes also add the problem of having no drivechain noise, decreasing pedestrian's traffic awareness in a legitimately shared space or giving no warning if it is being operated in an illicit place or direction.

Last edited by UniChris; 06-16-19 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 06-15-19, 01:59 PM
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Ive been noticing this in my area as well.

Seems every week there are more and more E mountain bikes on the MUP and with them the typical bad MUP behavior, now just magnified by instant acceleration and higher speeds.


The world is constantly changing, now just faster then every..... Soon I'll be passed by lol, opps already happened.....
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Old 06-15-19, 05:01 PM
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You don't need a database of to see that this is a recipe for disaster. I predict a series of incidents and accidents before this is all brought under control.
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Old 06-16-19, 09:15 AM
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I don’t see it getting under control anytime soon. I just now took a look at Electricbikereview.com. Most of the reviews include text about how very fast the bike is. On our boards here there’s a lot of “I can’t go as fast as I used too, I need an ebike”. But in the real world it’s all about “buy this and go fast”. And that’s exactly what people are doing.

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Old 06-16-19, 10:47 AM
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You can't legislate intelligence. Very seldom do I end up using a public path. When I have I have always made other users aware of my presence. People walking there dogs, PBPs and all manner of critter on 25 foot leads. Skaters, skateboarders and scooters. Not to mention bicyclists who take no effort to let people they pass know they are approaching. Now we have added electric to the mix. In CA there are class 1, class 2 and class 3 ebike classifications. The law limits the class 1 and class 2 to 20mph of assist the law limits class 3 to 28mph of assist. According to law class 3 is not allowed on public paths and many bike lanes. These laws mean very little to many people. You can't legislate intelligence. Why do you think we have police patrolling are roads for miscreant road users. I personally don't have a problem with ebikes. It is the miscreant people using them. I avoided public paths before ebikes were a thing. A blind corner in Germany and two ladies blocking the path was my first indication that public paths were not good for riding a bicycle on. Then there was the PBP opposite the owner evidently doing his thing in the weeds. It was his 25 foot lead that was the problem. We have a major people problem her. Because it is a MUP there should be a posted speed limit. There should be fines and there should be bicycle cops patrolling for miscreant people. Personally I like the open road it is less complicated.

Last edited by Rick; 06-16-19 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 06-16-19, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
I don’t see it getting under control anytime soon. I just now took a look at Electricbikereview.com. Most of the reviews include text about how very fast the bike is. On our boards here there’s a lot of “I can’t go as fast as I used too, I need an ebike”. But in the real world it’s all about “buy this and go fast”. And that’s exactly what people are doing.
They want to go fast?...great. I have no problem with that, just the locations to where they intend to do so. As I've said before, you won't find an elite cyclist going full bore on the sidewalk (or at any speed for that matter), he knows better. These new "robo" cyclist, on the other hand, have no such limitations.
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
You can't legislate intelligence. Very seldom do I end up using a public path. When I have I have always made other users aware of my presence. People walking there dogs, PBPs and all manner of critter on 25 foot leads. Skaters, skateboarders and scooters. Not to mention bicyclists who take no effort to let people they pass know they are approaching. Now we have added electric to the mix. In CA there are class 1, class 2 and class 3 ebike classifications. The law limits the class 1 and class 2 to 20mph of assist the law limits class 3 to 28mph of assist. According to law class 3 is not allowed on public paths and many bike lanes. These laws mean very little to many people. You can't legislate intelligence. Why do you think we have police patrolling are roads for miscreant road users. I personally don't have a problem with ebikes. It is the miscreant people using them. I avoided public paths before ebikes were a thing. A blind corner in Germany and two ladies blocking the path was my first indication that public paths were not good for riding a bicycle on. Then there was the PBP opposite the owner evidently doing his thing in the weeds. It was his 25 foot lead that was the problem. We have a major people problem her. Because it is a MUP there should be a posted speed limit. There should be fines and there should be bicycle cops patrolling for miscreant people. Personally I like the open road it is less complicated.
NO MORE GOVERNMENT

Cycling is among other things, a recreation. Therefore, we want to keep as many laws and regulations out of the picture. Unlike driving cycling is not a privileged and we want it to stay that way. That's why its up to us to be preemptive, and to keep all cycling safe and under control without the need for intrusive government legislation to come in an control everything. If not us, who then?
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Old 06-16-19, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Cycling is among other things, a recreation. Therefore, we want to keep as many laws and regulations out of the picture. Unlike driving cycling is not a privileged and we want it to stay that way. That's why its up to us to be preemptive, and to keep all cycling safe and under control without the need for intrusive government legislation to come in an control everything. If not us, who then?
The problem with this of course is that the people who share these concerns aren't the people who are the problem.

Across wide differences in perspective, "government" most likely is the only viable answer - community norms only work when there is a community, and there really isn't one between pedal and throttle electric folks.
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Old 06-16-19, 05:54 PM
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NO MORE GOVERNMENT

Cycling is among other things, a recreation. Therefore, we want to keep as many laws and regulations out of the picture. Unlike driving cycling is not a privileged and we want it to stay that way. That's why its up to us to be preemptive, and to keep all cycling safe and under control without the need for intrusive government legislation to come in an control everything. If not us, who then?
I understand this and to much government intervention can create another kind of problem. Look what happened in New York City. I believe they have banned the use of all electric bikes of any kind. Some of the food delivery people were using 2500w and up ebikes. It quickly got out of control. It was dangerous. 40mph plus and on the sidewalk.

The problem with this of course is that the people who share these concerns aren't the people who are the problem.

Across wide differences in perspective, "government" most likely is the only viable answer - community norms only work when there is a community, and there really isn't one between pedal and throttle electric folks.
I am looking at a long bike for grocery hauling. You can coast to the store at 46mph on my touring bike. I manage between 3.5mph and 6mph on the way back home. I will not purchase an ebike with a throttle. It has to be pedal activated. This is my personal restraint to keep me exercising. Most people want a throttle and the largest electric motor or motors they can get. I saw one with front and rear 5000w hub motors. The police have allot on there plate. They leave everybody alone unless someone does something stupid. Once enough people make trouble there will be problems for all of us. Ebikes are here to stay, Bosch opened up a plant in CA a few years ago and other ebike companies are here also.
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Old 06-16-19, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
They want to go fast?...great. I have no problem with that, just the locations to where they intend to do so. As I've said before, you won't find an elite cyclist going full bore on the sidewalk (or at any speed for that matter), he knows better. These new "robo" cyclist, on the other hand, have no such limitations.NO MORE GOVERNMENT

Cycling is among other things, a recreation. Therefore, we want to keep as many laws and regulations out of the picture. Unlike driving cycling is not a privileged and we want it to stay that way. That's why its up to us to be preemptive, and to keep all cycling safe and under control without the need for intrusive government legislation to come in an control everything. If not us, who then?
Do we...??? Driving, IMO should be a "privilege" that needs to have been earned... JMO...
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Old 06-16-19, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I understand this and to much government intervention can create another kind of problem. Look what happened in New York City. I believe they have banned the use of all electric bikes of any kind. Some of the food delivery people were using 2500w and up ebikes. It quickly got out of control. It was dangerous. 40mph plus and on the sidewalk.
It's actually the other way around; they were banned before they existed; the actual issue is that they've never met the safety equipment requirements for registration as motor vehicles, though they clearly are (and have been interpreted to be such), therefore they are illegal - not as "e-bikes" (though of course that is the wording popularly used), but rather as unregistered electric motorcycles.

And that ban is not really being enforced; they're all over the place, going the wrong way, making pedestrians on sidewalks dodge them (personal experience!), etc, there's enough lip service to enforcement to ruin the occasional delivery guy's day and wipe out a week's wages, but not enough to actually replace an industry-wide illegal practice with a legal one; which to an extent out of competitiveness would require that everyone go legal. This isn't a case of "police officer sees illegal behavior and stops it" but rather that a few officers are assigned to go somewhere and confiscate throttle e-bikes (or write bike red lights or whatever) and ignore whatever unrelated violations not on the day's specific agenda they see while doing so.

Ironically the delivery folks suffer from that inconsistency as much as anyone. If there were a near-certainty of being stopped anytime they rode something illegal past a cop, they'd have stayed on a legal footing and not be in the mess they're in where their boss (and the customers while ordering) demand one thing but the city (and the very same customers when not thinking of food) through the police demand another.

I will not purchase an ebike with a throttle. It has to be pedal activated.
Good for you. And those actually are legal here (there were some in one share fleet pulled over braking issues, and just saw some from another uptown yesterday). It's been argued the illegal electric motorcycles dominate delivery because they are cheaper; the reality is that pedal assist probably wouldn't be competitive in the current delivery market where the race to the bottom of app based ordering has made it unreasonably inexpensive to order from restaurants unreasonably far away.

If delivery fees were consistent with pedal power, that wouldn't solve everything, but the current situation would be toned down quite a bit.

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Old 06-16-19, 10:37 PM
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I ride on the road so e-bikes are a non issue for me
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Old 06-16-19, 10:58 PM
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I've found them much more an issue while trying to walk in my neighborhood than on any rides, but that's because there's not a lot of delivery business along on the trails, and the kind of recreational usage of the light motorcycle sort that the OP is encountering is fortunately still small here.
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Old 06-17-19, 01:02 AM
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An EMP burst could be good clean mad scientist fun...

Somebody will look funny at you if you do though.


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Old 06-17-19, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
I ride on the road so e-bikes are a non issue for me
The MUP I ride is a couple miles longer (and slower) to work and back than it would be for me to use the road. However, three lanes of vehicular traffic at 50 MPH, with no shoulders can ruin your day in a hurry. I tried the road once and was honked at 5 times. Not necessarily by the person directly behind me, but by the happy folks two or three cars back who were mad that they were being slowed up and could not see that there was a cyclist ahead. Also, people in their cars do dumb things when approaching a cyclist from the rear...like make sudden stupid lane changes that further enrage other drivers in those lanes who end up hating on the cyclist for even being on the road in the first place.
Once, while riding the road, a couple young guys in "tuner" cars came racing up behind me. The first driver switched lanes suddenly behind me and the driver immediately behind him did not see me and had to cram on his brakes, locking his tires. Few things will make you jump on the pedals like a car skidding up directly behind you in full lockup.
Thankfully, no crash or injury.
I have thought about some alternate road routes to work, but the infrastructure here is so under built that all the reasonable alternate routes are also being used by a lot of traffic. So, I have resigned myself to MUP use wherever possible.
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Old 06-17-19, 12:00 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
it's not the weight; kinetic energy varies as the square of the velocity.
I'm going to push back a little here, because I've seen heavy cargo bikes on crowded bike paths. The motors make it possible to carry much bigger loads at high speed, and the weight matters even though it's not squared. I believe it's a linear relationship, so if you double the weight, you double the kinetic energy. Some of these machines are listing capacities of 300 pounds of cargo in addition to rider and 70 pound weight of bike. That's well in excess of 500 pounds.
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Old 06-17-19, 01:56 PM
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don't forget skateboards!

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Old 06-17-19, 05:11 PM
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Some of these machines are listing capacities of 300 pounds of cargo in addition to rider and 70 pound weight of bike. That's well in excess of 500 pounds.
I am going to purchase a Yuba Mundo Lux which is the Version 5. It has a cargo payload of 200kg. This is 440lbs. I doubt that I will ever load it up with that much weight. I am going to put a Heinzmann cargo bike motor on it. I will put the front hub version on it. I need the torque not the speed. It puts out 600watts and 111 max torque. at 25km. Hardened steel gears in an oil bath. GVW of around 700lbs.

It's actually the other way around; they were banned before they existed; the actual issue is that they've never met the safety equipment requirements for registration as motor vehicles, though they clearly are (and have been interpreted to be such), therefore they are illegal - not as "e-bikes" (though of course that is the wording popularly used), but rather as unregistered electric motorcycles.
From reading some blogs I believed that they were banning any kind of bicycle with an electric assist. Some of these so called advocates are one sided in the stories they tell. I believe an ebike should be as useful as a regular bicycle. It does not need to be powered at 40 plus mph. People have no business on a public path being dangerous. The root of the problem on these MUPs is people who do not care until there is calamity.
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Old 06-18-19, 05:43 AM
  #25  
rydabent
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Dont blame the e-bikes, blame the fool riding them. They are the same fools that speed and weave in and out thru traffic on the hiways.
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