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View Poll Results: Is a bicycle essentially a low powered motorcycle like an aging Vespa motor scooter?

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  • Yes, and riding them in traffic is very comparable. Cyclists have no more need for special facilities than do Vespa riders.

    10 12.82%
  • Yes, and Vespa riders need as much help as cyclists in traffic and should be allowed to use cyclist facilities too.

    2 2.56%
  • No, there are significant differences that make riding them in traffic different. See below.

    60 76.92%
  • Other. See post for clarification.

    6 7.69%
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  1. #26
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    The dynamics of traffic riding between the two are radically different. The two modes of transport only share a wheel count.
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    It looks silly when you have quotes from other forum members in your signature. Nobody on this forum is that funny.
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    Why am I in your signature.

  2. #27
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    But... I've learned a lot and refined my opinions and one may find that other forums also have tedious topics that similarly affect the A&S forum.
    Tedious isn't the issue. Sure, every forum has its tedious discussions/issues, and the obligatory newbie posts are necessary but tedious to long-time readers. That's not the problem here. This is more akin to photography forums were you inevitably have Canon-vs-Nikon people who twist every discussion into an equipment war (until they get warned, and usually later banner, by a moderator).

    Its been this way since the old BBS days. For every 100 lurkers you have 10 regular contributors and one or two people sabotaging discussion. Come to think of it, that applies to peer support/discussion groups too (I facilitated those for years).

  3. #28
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patc
    Tedious isn't the issue.
    I see your point, but riding in traffic is perhaps the number one Safety issue for cyclists, so it it bound to be the topic most discussed and debated and one can not discuss riding in traffic without talking about cycling styles and facilities.
    Al

  4. #29
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    But... I've learned a lot and refined my opinions and one may find that other forums also have tedious topics that similarly affect the A&S forum.

    Al
    I agree with al. The debate can be fun. And if you actually read opposing viewpoints, you can learn. Like Al, I've "refined" my position. Before I started researching, I shared the common assumption that bike lanes were universally good for cyclists. After seeing how scientifically hollow that assumption was, I switched to the other extreme.

    The truth is in the middle. Places like Portland that put bike lanes on 25 mph roads are just nuts. It is just as extreme to say that cyclists can't share a 25 mph road as it is to say that cyclists can share the interstate. Bike lanes can be very helpful on high speed, low interesection roads and on bridges and the like.

    Anyway, no one is forced to read any thread they don't want to. I tire of the debate sometimes. Then I spend more time on the commuting forum or just doing other things. Maybe others who tire of the topic can do the same thing.

    As to the thread topic, Serge is mostly right (he's usually mostly right). Bikes are a lot like low-powered scooters--on parts of my commute, I can cruise close to 30. Bikes aren't the same as low powered scooters, but they're close.

  5. #30
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CastIron
    The dynamics of traffic riding between the two are radically different. The two modes of transport only share a wheel count.
    For crying out loud, I'm not suggesting we compare riding a bicycle with riding a Ducati.

    I even inserted a space between "motor" and "cycle" in the title and OP, but apparently the significance of that, and all the words I carefully chose to make clear I wasn't talking about regular motorcycles, was missed.

    Let me try this. If we put cycles on a continuum based on power, from the most powerful on one end to a child cyclist on the other, can we divide this continuum up into sections, where the traffic dynamics of operating in traffic any member of a given section are all very similar?

    So maybe we have 500cc and up bikes in the section at the upper end, then 250-500, then 150-250, then 100-150, 50-100, and under 50. Would Lance Armstrong and his ilk on a bike fit in any of these groups?

    More importantly, how much difference is there from one group to the next? In particular, how much difference is there, and how significant is it, between riding a cycle powered by a human-made motor from the section at the lowest end of our continuum versus riding a bicycle powered by a human motor in the same traffic?
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 11-04-05 at 03:44 PM.

  6. #31
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    From Monty Python's THE ARGUMENT CLINIC



    The man enters the room. Mr Vibrating is sitting at a desk.
    Man Is this the right room for an argument?
    Mr Vibrating I've told you once.
    Man No you haven't.
    Mr Vibrating Yes I have.
    Man When?
    Mr Vibrating Just now!
    Man No you didn't.
    Mr Vibrating Yes I did!
    Man Didn't.
    Mr Vibrating Did.
    Man Didn't.
    Mr Vibrating I'm telling you I did!
    Man You did not!
    Mr Vibrating I'm sorry, is this a five minute argument, or the full half hour?
    Man Oh ... Just a five-minute one.
    Mr Vibrating Fine (makes a note of it; the man sists down) thank you. Anyway, I did.
    Man You most certainly did not.
    Mr Vibrating Now, let's get one thing quite clear. I most definitely told you!
    Man You did not.
    Mr Vibrating Yes I did.
    Man Didn't.
    Mr Vibrating Yes I did.
    Man Didn't.
    Mr Vibrating Yes I did!!
    Man Look, this isn't an argument.
    Mr Vibrating Yes it is.
    Man No it isn't, it's just contradiction.
    Mr Vibrating No it isn't.
    Man Yes it is.
    Mr Vibrating It is not.
    Man It is. You just contradicted me.
    Mr Vibrating No I didn't.
    Man Ooh, you did!
    Mr Vibrating No, no, no, no, no.
    Man You did, just then.
    Mr Vibrating No, nonsense!
    Man Oh, look this is futile.
    Mr Vibrating No it isn't.
    Man I came here for a good argument.
    Mr Vibrating No you didn't, you came here for an argument.
    Man Well, an argument's not the same as contradiction.
    Mr Vibrating It can be.
    Man No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements to establish a definite proposition.
    Mr Vibrating No it isn't.
    Man Yes it is. It isn't just contradiction.
    Mr Vibrating Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    Man But it isn't just saying 'No it isn't'.
    Mr Vibrating Yes it is.
    Man No it isn't, Argument is an intellectual process ... contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.
    Mr Vibrating No it isn't.
    Man Yes it is.
    Mr Vibrating Not at all.
    Man Now look!
    Mr Vibrating (pressing the bell on his desk) That's it. Good morning.
    Man But I was just getting interested.
    Mr Vibrating Sorry the five minutes is up.
    Man That was never five minutes just now!
    Mr Vibrating I'm afraid it was.
    Man No it wasn't.
    Mr Vibrating I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to argue any more.
    Man What!?
    Mr Vibrating If you want me to go on arguing you'll have to pay for another five minutes.
    Man But that was never five minutes just now ... oh Come on! (Vibrating looks round as though man was not there) This is ridiculous.
    Mr Vibrating I'm very sorry, but I told you I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid.
    Man Oh. all right. (pays) There you are.
    Mr Vibrating Thank you.
    Man Well?.
    Mr Vibrating Well what?
    Man That was never five minutes just now.
    Mr Vibrating I told you I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid!
    Man I've just paid.
    Mr Vibrating No you didn't.
    Man I did! I did! I did!
    Mr Vibrating No you didn't.
    Man Look I don't want to argue about that.
    Mr Vibrating Well I'm very sorry but you didn't pay.
    Man Aha! Well if I didn't pay, why are you arguing ... got you!
    Mr Vibrating No you haven't.
    Man Yes I have ... if you're arguing I must have paid.
    Mr Vibrating Not necessarily. I could be arguing in my spare time.
    Man I've had enough of this.
    Mr Vibrating No you haven't.

  7. #32
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    As to the thread topic, Serge is mostly right (he's usually mostly right). Bikes are a lot like low-powered scooters--on parts of my commute, I can cruise close to 30. Bikes aren't the same as low powered scooters, but they're close.
    Since I never wrote or implied that bikes are the same as low powered scooters, I guess I'm more than mostly right this time... ;-)

    First of all, my comparison, despite the thread title, is really not in the vehicles/devices themselves, of course, but in riding them in traffic. In particular, I'm interested in comparing and contrasting when one would wheel which wheeled wonder where and why (try repeating that quickly 5 times!).

  8. #33
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sen Rensho
    Man: I've had enough of this.
    Mr Vibrating: No you haven't.
    Thanks for posting this. One of my all time favorites! (of course)

  9. #34
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Actually in some respects you are close... I for instance believe road engineers should ride "a 1961 Vespa scooter in dire need of a tuneup" to get a feel for how some of their road designs work for cyclists.
    I think the motorcycle analogy works much better to understand "vehicular" cycling than "driving like a car", of course.
    I think you have a good point here... I rented a low powered scooter in France and could not get over the feeling of how much being in traffic on that thing was similar to being on a bike. The only difference was that I wasn't sweating. The other difference was in the way it handled... as one sits upon the seat rather then putting the thing between your legs... I couldn't shift my weight about as one does on a bike or a true motorcycle.
    Last edited by genec; 11-04-05 at 03:48 PM.

  10. #35
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Since I never wrote or implied that bikes are the same as low powered scooters, I guess I'm more than mostly right this time... ;-)
    I didn't mean to say that you said that . . . . OK the syntax is getting to weird. I basically agree with you. They are not the same, but they are close.

  11. #36
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Gene, see you tomorrow morning!
    (we're taking a Road 2 class)

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Thanks for posting this. One of my all time favorites! (of course)
    No it isn't!

  13. #38
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    How would you know whether something is one of my all time favorites or not?


  14. #39
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Gene, see you tomorrow morning!
    (we're taking a Road 2 class)
    Gee, you'll get to see my other bike...

  15. #40
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    A 150cc scooter is freeway legal in California. My Vespa can go 70. It's faster than my old VW bus.

    No, they are not the same.

    Is a bicycle an old VW bus?
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  16. #41
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    I didn't realize Vespas were 150cc.
    Are they all that big?
    Anyway, I was picturing something less powerful, street legal, but not freeway legal.

    And the question isn't are they the same, but how is riding in traffic different, and why?

  17. #42
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    I looked it up, when I said Vespa, I was thinking of their lower end stuff, like the 50cc ET2.

  18. #43
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    A 150cc scooter is freeway legal in California. My Vespa can go 70. It's faster than my old VW bus.

    No, they are not the same.

    Is a bicycle an old VW bus?
    Loaded up, it's really hard to tell the difference between my bike and a VW bus, cept the VW engine eats nuts and my 'engine' eats pie.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  19. #44
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    The Vespa ET2 Limited 49.5 cc delivers 1.99 bhp and has a top speed of 24 mph.

    Now, that's what I'm talking about.

    Enough with all the "that's a stupid question" and "bicycles are not Harleys" (or 150 cc Vespas) DIVERSIONs.

    How does riding one of those low-power 2 BHP motor cycles in traffic compare to riding a bicycle in traffic?

    Do owers of Vespa ET2 LTDs need their own advocacy group to lobby for special segregated facilities for them?
    If not, why do cyclists need them, but these guys don't?

  20. #45
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Where did you find that the ET2 only has a top speed of 24 mph? I went to several sites, and it's listed as 39 mph. They also listed it at 5.9 BHP.
    No, a motor scooter is not like a bicycle. The difference in speed between them and traffic is the deciding factor.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  21. #46
    JRA
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    My Vespa can go 70. It's faster than my old VW bus.
    Just about anything is faster than an old VW bus in need of a tune-up.

    My old VW bug could go 70, too. The big problem was that the wind could literally blow it off the road.

    Is a VW bus like a horse and buggy?
    "It may even be that motoring is more healthful than not motoring; death rates were certainly higher in the pre-motoring age."- John Forester
    "Laws cannot be properly understood as if written in plain English..."- Forester defending obfuscation.
    "Motorist propaganda, continued for sixty years, is what has put cyclists on sidewalks." - Forester, sociologist in his own mind
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  22. #47
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head

    Enough with all the "that's a stupid question"
    Why?

  23. #48
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    If the scooter is low powered enough to be power limited, then they are similar to bicycles. By "power limited" I mean essentially that they slow down when climbing and can only accelerate up to a certain speed on the flat. Speed is dependent on the terrain. You would ride your Vespa ET2 similarly to a bicycle. I had a classmate one time who had something like this and on certain hills (in Seattle, mind you), he had to jump off and run beside it.

    If the scooter has enough power to move at essentially constant speed over any terrain, then it is speed limited (by the operator) and is very different from riding a bicycle and more like a car.

    That said, a low powered scooter has less of a need for exclusive facilities because the power output is more constant over the population of scooters and is not reliant on the conditioning of the rider. I should also point out that the lowest power scooter still has a top speed of 25 mph, while relatively few cyclists can boast of holding 25 mph for significant periods of time on level ground.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  24. #49
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    The Vespa ET2 is not slow enough to make a good comparison to a bicycle. I cannot go 24 on my bicycle unless I'm going downhill.

    Nevertheless, people who have small motor scooters (and I used to have a small scooter like this one) self-segregate to the most appropriate roads they can find. They typically avoid roads where the speed differential is too high. Every road I ride a bike on has a high speed differential.
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  25. #50
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    The Vespa ET2 Limited 49.5 cc delivers 1.99 bhp and has a top speed of 24 mph.
    Where did you find that the ET2 only has a top speed of 24 mph?
    I didn't find that the ET2 only has a top speed of 24 mph.
    I found that the ET2 Limited has a top speed of 24 mph.


    http://www.vespausa.com/products/etf...fm?movie=specs

    Move your pointer over the word ENGINE POWER. You will see the following data show up in the box:

    5.1 bhp, 40 mph max speed

    Vespa ET2 Limited
    1.99 bhp, 24 mph max speed

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