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The Future of Bike Advocacy

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The Future of Bike Advocacy

Old 11-12-22, 04:32 PM
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work4bike
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The Future of Bike Advocacy

This is an article about e-bikes, but I'm putting it here in lieu of the ebike forum, because I'm wondering how the popularity of ebikes will affect bike advocacy in the future, given that they are on a very upward trend in popularity. I guess there could also be a discussion about safety WRT ebikes and the difference with traditional bikes, but for now I'm more concerned with advocacy. I'm dead set against ebikes for myself, but I wonder if most non-cyclist make a distinction between traditional cyclists and these crazy non-cyclists on ebikes.

P.S. I know there is a place for ebikes and I've seen a few people, mostly older folks that use ebikes in a very practical manner and observe rules of the road; however, I see way, way more ebikes that are zipping by and are a total hazard on the roads. I'm addressing those idiots who are in the majority (at least in my local area).

https://www.yahoo.com/news/e-bikes-a...100029448.html

Excerpt:

E-bikes are affordable, practical and good for the planet. But is America ready for these speedy cycles?


Kyle Bagenstose, USA TODAY
Sat, November 12, 2022 at 1:12 PMAmerica has hosted its fair share of heavyweight transportation fights.

Canals gave way to freight trains. Freight trains gave way to big rigs. Horses gave way to cars.

Now cars will give way to ... the e-bike?

In one corner are those who swear, "Yes." They'll tell you on a cost-per-mile equivalent, bicycles powered by electric motors can get thousands of miles to the gallon compared to a typical gas-powered car. E-bikes also efficiently transport a rider from point A to B with zero carbon emissions, similar to an electric car but at a fraction of the price. They are the future, proponents say. Just wait and see.

“For years I’ve been saying the e-bike is going to be as ubiquitous as the smartphone,” said Mike Radenbaugh, founder and CEO of Rad Power Bikes, the largest U.S.-based e-bike company. “Everything we’re doing is to create a true car replacement … to help stoke this consumer revolution that’s underway but has not hit the tipping point yet.”

In the other corner are no shortage of detractors. Some cite safety; studies suggest higher rates of serious injury for e-bike riders. Others note environmental concerns about battery production and disposal. Perhaps most prominent are those who say e-bikes just don't fit in on American roadways, where their typical top speeds of about 20 mph can irritate slower pedal-powered bicyclists and faster car drivers alike.

“The e-bike is a monstrosity,” declared an article in The Atlantic, a recent flashpoint in the battle over the e-bike.

So which is it: segue to the future, or another doomed Segway?
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Old 11-13-22, 01:57 PM
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Sorry, but you've so loaded this discussion by making a bunch of dubious assertions about the prevalence of "idiots" that there really doesn't seem to be much point in engaging in this discussion.
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Old 11-13-22, 02:22 PM
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Yeah, I really need to stop thinking of the idiots when I post on here

BTW, after reading this article on the same subject, I got a feeling that maybe this ebike thing will just be a fad that fades away eventually, in which case this is all a moot point...hoping for that

https://www.theatlantic.com/technolo...ercise/671305/

The E-bike Is a Monstrosity


Neither bicycle nor motorbike, the two-wheeler’s future demands an identity of its own.
By Ian Bogost


But I’ve been trying to live with one, and brother, I’ve got some bad news. These things are freaks. Portraying e-bikes as a simple, obvious, and inevitable evolution of transportation (or even of bicycling) doesn’t fully explain these strange contraptions. The same was said of Segways, and then of Bird scooters, and both flamed out spectacularly.Bikes have always worn many helmets: cycling as exercise, cycling as leisure, cycling as sport, cycling as transit. These roles often conflict with one another. The commuter sneers at the spinner, who pedals pointlessly to nowhere. The leisure-rider spurs the Lycra-racer, who endangers pedestrians and inspires drivers to hate cyclists. E-bikes continue, and worsen, that disorder by jumbling up aspects of bicycles and motorcycles.

Strapping a motor to a bike turns out to alter more than just speed and exertion. It produces a chameleon that takes on, under various conditions, both the best and worst features of a variety of transportation technologies. The result is less an evolution of a two-wheeled machine than a pastiche of the many things such a device represents. It’s a monster made from bicycles and motorbikes.

Here’s what I mean: A bike can be exerting to ride, which is both a feature and a defect. Biking to the store or office offers an opportunity to move one’s body instead of spreading it into the seat of a car (or even a train). Depending on distance and terrain, biking can raise your heart rate, making it an effective workout. But working out can make you sweaty and smelly, a feature incompatible with using a bike for commuting (or even errands).
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Old 11-13-22, 02:29 PM
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If the trend is large enough, it will increase advocacy for infrastructure. Perhaps to the point that it's much more successful. I don't see the trend as being nearly large enough to have any impact where I live.
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Old 11-13-22, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
If the trend is large enough, it will increase advocacy for infrastructure. Perhaps to the point that it's much more successful. I don't see the trend as being nearly large enough to have any impact where I live.
In Jacksonville it's hard to know what the trend is as of today. There definitely has been a huge increase in these bikes and for a while the trend was upwards, but I'm thinking maybe it has plateaued, but will have to wait and see. If the price starts dropping I could see another upward trend....to be continued

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Old 11-13-22, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
BTW, after reading this article on the same subject, I got a feeling that maybe this ebike thing will just be a fad that fades away eventually, in which case this is all a moot point...hoping for that
Hula hoops, Frisbee's and Rollerblades were fads. They were pastimes. An E-bike can actually get you through a 15 mile commute without breaking a sweat. Could a Skateboard (even powered) or Rollerblades do that? Do you really think someone who has dropped $4K on a Trek Allant 8s is just going to ... go back to riding their Trek hybrid because YOU hate e-bikes? America has the least active cyclists of any developed country. Get over yourself. NO kind of cycling is exactly huge here. It just seems like e-bikes are taking over and putting all our lives in mortal danger. People who aren't triggered by the thought of someone else not doing something they should be doing don't really see many cyclists of any kind on the road. The Pearl clutching is just so cringy. E-bikes are here to STAY and will only improve in range, speed, weight and economy. Who can't see that?
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Old 11-13-22, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
...I'm wondering how the popularity of ebikes will affect bike advocacy in the future...
I currently own only three bikes, none of them are motorized and none of them have burned down my house. Very unlikely they ever will. So if for some reason I can't pedal a bicycle I'll get a wheelchair. And if I ever live in an apartment or townhouse again my advocacy will be directed at my neighbors NOT owning eBikes.

"These bikes when they fail, they fail like a blowtorch," said Dan Flynn, the chief fire marshal at the New York Fire Department. "We've seen incidents where people have described them as explosive — incidents where they actually have so much power, they're actually blowing walls down in between rooms and apartments." -NPR

FDNY investigated 174 battery fires, putting 2022 on track to double the number of fires that occurred last year (104) and quadruple the number from 2020 (44). So far this year, six people have died in e-bike-related fires and 93 people were injured, up from four deaths and 79 injuries last year. -NPR

But I guess electric cars catch fire as do gasoline powered vehicles, generally not in people's kitchens or bedrooms. I'm not really a hater of eBikes, just can't imagine ever owning one myself. As for advocacy, motorists might hate them less than most cyclists if they can keep up with traffic, at least on 20-35 mph streets.
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Old 11-14-22, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
...because YOU hate e-bikes?...
I thought I made it clear, I don't hate ebikes. I don't even hate ebike riders. I hate the irresponsible idiots that zip around on ebikes who don't know the first thing about rules of the road. This is the majority of ridders around here and judging by all the news articles, my area is not an aberration. I could post some links, but I'm sure you can find them on your own.
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Old 11-14-22, 07:48 AM
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Infrastructure follows demand. How much demand e-bikes will create still remains to be seen. If they do catch on a lot more, Strava KOMs will become an even bigger cluster.
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Old 11-14-22, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas View Post
Infrastructure follows demand. How much demand e-bikes will create still remains to be seen. If they do catch on a lot more, Strava KOMs will become an even bigger cluster.
Infrastructure induces demand.

-mr. bill
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Old 11-14-22, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I thought I made it clear, I don't hate ebikes. I don't even hate ebike riders. I hate the irresponsible idiots that zip around on ebikes who don't know the first thing about rules of the road. This is the majority of ridders around here and judging by all the news articles, my area is not an aberration. I could post some links, but I'm sure you can find them on your own.

You're seriously asserting that your own observations and newspaper articles show that the majority of riders are "irresponsible idiots who don't know the first thing about the rules of the road"? Sorry, but that's complete e-bike hating BS.

You set this up as an e-bike bashing thread, hollow disclaiming to the contrary notwithstanding.
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Old 11-14-22, 05:31 PM
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I would agree that the majority of ebikes I see are driven by people who are not abiding by the rules of the road. Most generally salmoning.

But it's a small number of riders in one section of town. There are probably recreational ebike riders in the suburbs who ride more safely. I would guess that people who were bicycle riders before they got an ebike are much more likely to follow the rules of the road. Transportation riders who got an ebike because they have no car or don't have a DL are less likely to be be familiar with appropriate practices. And those are the only riders I tend to see.
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Old 11-15-22, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
This is an article about e-bikes, but I'm putting it here in lieu of the ebike forum, because I'm wondering how the popularity of ebikes will affect bike advocacy in the future, given that they are on a very upward trend in popularity. I guess there could also be a discussion about safety WRT ebikes and the difference with traditional bikes, but for now I'm more concerned with advocacy. I'm dead set against ebikes for myself, but I wonder if most non-cyclist make a distinction between traditional cyclists and these crazy non-cyclists on ebikes.

P.S. I know there is a place for ebikes and I've seen a few people, mostly older folks that use ebikes in a very practical manner and observe rules of the road; however, I see way, way more ebikes that are zipping by and are a total hazard on the roads. I'm addressing those idiots who are in the majority (at least in my local area).

https://www.yahoo.com/news/e-bikes-a...100029448.html

Excerpt:
One solution is to put speed limits on MUPs, AND INFORCE THEM!!!! Cyclist are always screaming for cars to "share the road" they need to "share the MUP"!! MUPS should not be training routes for racers. They are for the use of everyone from little Susie on her side walk bike, old people with walkers, dog walkers and bikes. I for one try to limit my speed on the MUPs to 15MPH. And that includes my E-trike.
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Old 11-15-22, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
One solution is to put speed limits on MUPs, AND INFORCE THEM!!!! Cyclist are always screaming for cars to "share the road" they need to "share the MUP"!! MUPS should not be training routes for racers. They are for the use of everyone from little Susie on her side walk bike, old people with walkers, dog walkers and bikes. I for one try to limit my speed on the MUPs to 15MPH. And that includes my E-trike.

My favorite MUP has great sight lines, so I can go from 22 mph to safe little Susie passing speed in plenty of time to keep everyone comfortable. The interaction with the family as I pass is usually a pleasant exchange and sometimes the highlight of a ride. One time, I had to come to a full stop when a kid actusally rode for the first time without training wheels, much to the delight of his parents. They turned to me and apologized for having to stop, and I said "are you kidding? It was an honor to see that."

BTW, I think it's hilarious that Mr. "Government b'crats wanting to take your money" guy is proposing enforced speed limits on bike paths. You realize that means imposing fines, right?
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Old 11-16-22, 12:46 PM
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Propaganda for the E-BIKE Act was going around recently, and it starts with the supposition of the environmental impact if "15% of today's carbon-emitting car trips were made by electric bicycles (e-bikes)". The result would be impressive, but 15% seems like a hugely unrealistic number. The suburb in which I live lags behind the metropolitan area in terms of cycling infrastructure, which in turn lags behind much of the nation. You'd have to have some kind of utopian cycling community to hit 15%.

That got me thinking about basically this question you've proposed. If e-bikes increase ridership, would that result in more priority on infrastructure? Or would lack of infrastructure hold back e-bike adoption? I finally decided the answer is both; some people will wait for infrastructure to be viable for e-bike commuting, while other people will embrace the technology and then push for more infrastructure. The next question is whether the pressure for increased infrastructure will be strong enough and result in fast enough deployment that e-bikes will survive as a mainstream means of commuting, or if it will fail and just be another class of bicycle for existing bicycle enthusiasts.
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Old 11-16-22, 06:11 PM
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Having a motor would certainly make bike commuting more attractive to some. But even with that and better infrastructure, the weather remains a big issue in much of the country. In northern regions, even when there's no snow relatively few people who aren't already dedicated are going to want to commute by bike when it's cold. And even here in the South we have a lot of mornings in the 40s. That's too cold for me. Summer is better in much of the country, but here on the gulf coast I have about a 40% chance of hitting a thunderstorm at some point on my evening commute (which is by car). So 15% on average year round would be a tough nut to crack even over a long term.
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Old 11-17-22, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You're seriously asserting that your own observations and newspaper articles show that the majority of riders are "irresponsible idiots who don't know the first thing about the rules of the road"? Sorry, but that's complete e-bike hating BS.

You set this up as an e-bike bashing thread, hollow disclaiming to the contrary notwithstanding.
> a lot of Ebikers are new to "bicycling" and just hop on their new "toys" and haul tail all over the place... not too unlike folks who buy motorcycles and leave the shop with no situational awareness that motorcycling aint like driving a car so while the OP did make assumptions of idiocy there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that the american streets are rife with idiocy .....................................that is not to say that there aint a few good guys out there but
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Old 11-17-22, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jack pot View Post
> a lot of Ebikers are new to "bicycling" and just hop on their new "toys" and haul tail all over the place... not too unlike folks who buy motorcycles and leave the shop with no situational awareness that motorcycling aint like driving a car so while the OP did make assumptions of idiocy there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that the american streets are rife with idiocy .....................................that is not to say that there aint a few good guys out there but

I'm calling bs on this, there's no comparison between a 20 mph ebike and a motorcycle. My anecdotal evidence is I just don't see the kind of riding you're describing.
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