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Ebikes and bike path infrastructure

Old 03-08-21, 09:57 AM
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Pahana
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Ebikes and bike path infrastructure

Last week I and my wife rode on a bike path that I've been riding for 20 years. I've stayed away for most of the pandemic because it was built in the 1980s and is narrow at best. But we wanted a change where we ride and went there for a 4 hour trip. I understand that the pandemic has brought more people to cycling and that accounts for the increase in traffic but many of the people were on ebikes. This path was not made for ebikes or road bikes for that matter. I take my Brompton for this ride because I don't want to go too fast as it is narrow with lots of turns. I saw a lot of people who without ebikes would not be riding. I'm not against ebikes but something needs to be done to account for the increase in riders and speed on this particular path. I'm wondering if others experienced similar issues. Some of these bikes were more motorcycle looking than bicycle looking. There are many other places to ride where these types of bikes would be no problem but cities need to look into old bicycle infrastructure and make changes to include the increase in ebike use.
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Old 03-08-21, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
There are many other places to ride where these types of bikes would be no problem but cities need to look into old bicycle infrastructure and make changes to include the increase in ebike use.
Sounds like the perfect opportunity for you to contact the authority, agency or whatever that has jurisdiction over the trail and voice your concerns.
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Old 03-08-21, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
This path was not made for ebikes or road bikes for that matter.
Why not?
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Old 03-08-21, 10:32 AM
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There are several people in my area who go tearing around my local MUPs with Amazon-bought e-fatbikes with throttles and defeated limiters. They're not pedaling and pass you at 28 mph with no warning. I personally love e-bikes but I feel that if you're not pedaling, using a throttle and pushing 30 mph in basketball shorts, you're on a motorcycle not a "bike".

There's a guy who lives one town over who is infamously and continually breaking KOMs on Strava on a throttled/delimited e-bike. I'm not sure what's more pathetic: this guy, or how annoyed people get because he "stole their KOM".
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Old 03-08-21, 11:03 AM
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Uh-oh! Someone used the "M" word.
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Old 03-08-21, 11:11 AM
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if it has a motor, it need a license plate and should be ridden in normal traffic
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Old 03-08-21, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
Last week I and my wife rode on a bike path that I've been riding for 20 years. I've stayed away for most of the pandemic because it was built in the 1980s and is narrow at best. But we wanted a change where we ride and went there for a 4 hour trip. I understand that the pandemic has brought more people to cycling and that accounts for the increase in traffic but many of the people were on ebikes. This path was not made for ebikes or wheel chairs for that matter. I take my Brompton for this ride because I don't want to go too fast as it is narrow with lots of turns. I saw a lot of people who without ebikes would not be riding. I'm not against ebikes but something needs to be done to account for the increase in riders and speed on this particular path. I'm wondering if others experienced similar issues. Some of these bikes were more motorcycle looking than bicycle looking. There are many other places to ride where these types of bikes would be no problem but cities need to look into old bicycle infrastructure and make changes to include the increase in ebike use.
putting E-tolls on the path might limit it
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Old 03-08-21, 11:13 AM
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In my neck of the woods, if it has a throttle or deregulated, it's legally a motorcycle. Riding an uninsured, unregistered motorcycle on a bike path means a suspension of your driving license plus a hefty fine if caught (which is unlikely unless you ride like a dick on a bike path which isn't quite designed for motorcycles). I think it's quite fair.
​​​​​​
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Old 03-08-21, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
Last week I and my wife rode on a bike path that I've been riding for 20 years. I've stayed away for most of the pandemic because it was built in the 1980s and is narrow at best. But we wanted a change where we ride and went there for a 4 hour trip. I understand that the pandemic has brought more people to cycling and that accounts for the increase in traffic but many of the people were on ebikes. This path was not made for ebikes or road bikes for that matter. I take my Brompton for this ride because I don't want to go too fast as it is narrow with lots of turns. I saw a lot of people who without ebikes would not be riding. I'm not against ebikes but something needs to be done to account for the increase in riders and speed on this particular path. I'm wondering if others experienced similar issues. Some of these bikes were more motorcycle looking than bicycle looking. There are many other places to ride where these types of bikes would be no problem but cities need to look into old bicycle infrastructure and make changes to include the increase in ebike use.
Accept change or fight against it. Pick one.
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Old 03-08-21, 11:44 AM
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Passed by two e-bikes on Mills Ave in Claremont, CA yesterday going up a shallow grade doing about 20 mph. Young guys not pedaling. Don't really care but I will never understand why not just get a nice touring motorcycle and really enjoy the road?
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Old 03-08-21, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Passed by two e-bikes on Mills Ave in Claremont, CA yesterday going up a shallow grade doing about 20 mph. Young guys not pedaling. Don't really care but I will never understand why not just get a nice touring motorcycle and really enjoy the road?
As has now been pointed out many times, e-bikes are less expensive and probably less maintenance, than a low end motorcycle, although cheap scooters are in the same price (and power, ironically) range.

Also, there's no 1) insurance requirement; 2) licensing requirement; 3) gear requirement (many states have helmet laws).
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Old 03-08-21, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
In my neck of the woods, if it has a throttle or deregulated, it's legally a motorcycle. Riding an uninsured, unregistered motorcycle on a bike path means a suspension of your driving license plus a hefty fine if caught (which is unlikely unless you ride like a dick on a bike path which isn't quite designed for motorcycles). I think it's quite fair.
​​​​​​
Interesting. Illinois defines the standard three classes of e-bikes but does not seem to treat them differently. The e-bike "rules" here are vague, set a the local ordinance level and are essentially unenforceable. I've honestly had very few issues with e-bikes on the local limestone path network, likely because e-bikes are still not that common and the network is gigantic. I suspect this will become more of an issue when e-bikes become less expensive and more popular with kids.
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Old 03-08-21, 01:26 PM
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I live off of a MUP like you describe. Older, curvy, lots of kids, lots of advanced age folks walking hand in hand, etc... I've seen it, and also those pesky one-wheeled thingamabob electric things.

I feel everybody could abuse the trail rules as a user, no matter the vehicle. So try not to judge on that alone.

I think all we can do is participate in our municipalities. Make friends with folks involved in local cycling with connections to representatives. Then voice a concern a new challenge has arisen that needs attention. Nothing nasty, just a new challenge to figure out. Maybe a small use study in-person to observe trail user types. Then update the rules and infrastructure of trails seeing the traffic changes.
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Old 03-08-21, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
if it has a motor, it need a license plate and should be ridden in normal traffic
If it travels at the speed of a bicycle, weighs as a bicycle and handles like a bicycle, why not treat it like a bicycle?
Not all ebikes are created equal.
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Old 03-08-21, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Not all ebikes are created equal.
That fact is often overlooked (or not known) by some who post in e-bike-related threads.

Someone commuting in town on bike share e-assist bike is not the same as the delivery guy riding the throttle-activated e-bike doing 30 mph and popping up onto the sidewalk to get around stopped traffic.
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Old 03-08-21, 02:06 PM
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Certainly, most older multi-use paths weren't built with higher-speed riding considered. IMO, it's really about the reasonable speeds of mixed-mode occupancy on such paths.

Most of the e-bikes that I've seen around are going flat-out. At speeds more appropriate for city streets than MUPs.

I'm all for bikes of all kinds, including e-bikes, using MUPs. Just so long as the "basic speed law" is upheld by all. The moment it's not, that driver or rider can be a danger to everyone else, e-bike or not.

JMO
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Old 03-08-21, 02:19 PM
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I don't like bikes therefore they need to be regulated differently..'cause <-- the bike internet
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Old 03-08-21, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Branko D View Post
(which is unlikely unless you ride like a dick on a bike path).​​​​​​
There you go - the issue isn't the ebikes, it's the dicks. We need to find a way to prohibit dicks from using the bike paths.
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Old 03-08-21, 03:42 PM
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In my state we classify e-bikes into 3 categories. Categories 1 and 2 are allowed on MUP and other places regular bikes are allowed (sidewalks provided there's no safe alternative in the road). Cat 3 bikes (those with motors that provide assistance beyond 20 and up to 28mph while pedaling) are not allowed on MUP's even though they're still classified as an e-bike.

All bikes, 2 and 3 wheeled with a motor less than 750 watts are considered e bikes. Class one is a pedal assisted bike that provides assistance up to but not past 20mph. Class 2 are bikes that propel the vehicle up to 20mph but not beyond and they do not have to have pedals. For instance those lime scooters people zip around town on. Since they don't go over 20mph and have 2 wheels they're allowed on MUPS.

I'm guessing your state has some sort of regulation and laws just like this.

Stay safe out there.
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Old 03-08-21, 03:56 PM
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the governing answer is to increase the speed limit & wider pavement.

What will happen is an increase of blind spots, more speed bumps to cause an accident & usb charging stations.
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Old 03-08-21, 10:21 PM
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I quit using MUP’s but not because of ebikes. In my area they are the least of the problem . I finally figured out that I was the problem. I was expecting the path to be good for cycling, it was not. It is for parents who are teaching children how to skate, walking three abreast while having conversations, walking dogs with 15 foot leashes, and the occasional bike rider with ear buds while snaking back and forth to the music in an “s” pattern. I am much happier now that I don’t use them. Around here, all “bike” paths are MUP’s!

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Old 03-09-21, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
Last couple of times on a trail, I've seen a guy on an e-bike with aero bars, huge headlight like a freight train doing 30+ without pedaling. I'm not sure how that is considered exercise at least soft pedal and fake it.

.
if its a mountain bike trail, the exercise is likely similar to that one gets riding a Honda XR200 trail bike. When ridden briskly, there is significant exercise.

if said gent is riding like a goon on an MUP or similar path though, he deserves to come home with 40 ticks aboard after every ride
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Old 03-09-21, 09:46 AM
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Last week, we dropped something on the bike path, and had to go back and look for it, except we wallked instead of riding. Hate to say it, but been riding it for 10 years and it's the first time I ever walked this section. OMG, all those pesky bikers passing me w/o calling out. You can't hear them til they almost knock you down.
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Old 03-09-21, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Doc_Wui View Post
Last week, we dropped something on the bike path, and had to go back and look for it, except we wallked instead of riding. Hate to say it, but been riding it for 10 years and it's the first time I ever walked this section. OMG, all those pesky bikers passing me w/o calling out. You can't hear them til they almost knock you down.
try that on the freeway. Those cars scare the heck out of you with those sudden honks!
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Old 03-10-21, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
Last week I and my wife rode on a bike path that I've been riding for 20 years. I've stayed away for most of the pandemic because it was built in the 1980s and is narrow at best. But we wanted a change where we ride and went there for a 4 hour trip. I understand that the pandemic has brought more people to cycling and that accounts for the increase in traffic but many of the people were on ebikes. This path was not made for ebikes or road bikes for that matter. I take my Brompton for this ride because I don't want to go too fast as it is narrow with lots of turns. I saw a lot of people who without ebikes would not be riding. I'm not against ebikes but something needs to be done to account for the increase in riders and speed on this particular path. I'm wondering if others experienced similar issues. Some of these bikes were more motorcycle looking than bicycle looking. There are many other places to ride where these types of bikes would be no problem but cities need to look into old bicycle infrastructure and make changes to include the increase in ebike use.
Why not just let people ride what they want too.
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