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The Bike Snob NYC goes full retrogrouch...

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The Bike Snob NYC goes full retrogrouch...

Old 09-26-23, 11:35 AM
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The Bike Snob NYC goes full retrogrouch...

.
...I always knew Eben had it lurking deep inside, but he's finally been pushed over the edge.

Roadies Are Fighting for Your Right to Suffer Uphill

As a recovering roadie and simple equipment enthusiast, I too have long taken it for granted that roadies have been ruining cycling and ruining bikes. Just because wider tires are in style doesn’t mean that the ethos of road riding is suddenly about comfort, convenience, and compatibility. If anything road bikes are more proprietary and less accessible than they’ve ever been: frame “modules” with dedicated stems and seatposts; internally routed brake hoses; dainty fittings that strip if you so much as breathe on them without a torque wrench.
...
But I started commuting regularly again after a long break. I saw extent to which motorized contraptions have taken over the bike lanes, and my attitude started to change. Sure, the plastic blobs with remote control shifters we persist in calling road bikes may seem far removed from the metal bikes with metal cables I cherish so much—but at least the roadies are still on human-powered bikes. For everyone else, pedaling has become a formality, and in turn more and more people seem to be abandoning the bike entirely in favor of various forms of “micromobility,” which is the word we use to pretend this miscellany of e-scooters and e-motorcycles and e-skateboards and e-shoes (oh, they’re coming, just you wait) makes any kind of sense.
.


Now, to be clear, I begrudge nobody their preferred form of transport, whether it be a 19th century pennyfarthing or a 21st century electric unicycle. It’s just that I happen to be a cyclist, and as such I have a vested interest in the continued existence of the traditional bicycle, as well as the network of dedicated lanes, paths and trails that has developed around it. So when I’m riding through the bike lanes of the city with all these contraptions whizzing by me like I’m in some sort of Jetsons hellscape, the Pas Normal-clad broadie on his Cervélo who looks like he’d rather be in a wind tunnel than on the bike path seems positively quaint—and therefore endearing—in comparison.
I like the part about the "Jetsons hellscape". It evokes a very vivid image of what many of my rides around town have become.

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Old 09-26-23, 12:04 PM
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That's terrific! (E-shoes?!?) Thanks for sharing. Where I live, there are some nice routes, including dedicated, paved bike paths, so on a nice day, the peloton is out in force. And while I wish more of them had bells and/or wouldn't blast through busy areas like the color of their jersey depended on it, I feel more affinity--even affection--for them than the 45 km/h e-bikes (the kind that go so fast they require a license here) that by all rights belong on the road and yet, due to a quirk of nomenclature, "share" the bike paths with those of use relying on our own power.
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Old 09-26-23, 12:07 PM
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I only come across true pedal-bikes on the lonely mountain passes and the empty expanses of wine country roads here in Santa Barbara anymore.
I can safely say that it is 80% e-bike. Can't blame them.
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Old 09-26-23, 12:20 PM
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I like Eben but this grouchiness doesn't even make sense.

1. The existence of e-bikes and scooters does not mean that the traditional bicycle or bicycle trails and lanes are going to disappear. In fact the increase in trail/lane usage just means more infrastructure will be built and maintained.
2. From what I can tell, for most e-bike riders the situation is not "I used to ride a normal bike and now I ride an e-bike". Many of these people would not have ridden at all. So we begrudge this technology that brings people to outdoor exercise because...we don't like getting passed by e-bikes?
3. In urban and suburban areas, less car rides means less combustion engine emissions means cleaner air and safer roads for cyclists. Good trade off for dealing with increase one or two-wheeled traffic.
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Old 09-26-23, 12:54 PM
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My point of view is that if it has a throttle, it belongs on the street. The learning curve for ebikes is steeper and more abrupt when they aren't the king of the road. Respect for what's around you is more urgent.
I have, and enjoy riding my old bikes, on our extensive system of dedicated bike/ walking paths around my town. I've been hit from behind by an ebike out of control and it caused real damage that will take a lot of time, energy and money to repair on my 30s Armstrong.
I've seen clusters of people bowled over and run off the path. I've seen ebike riders and regular cycle riders hit the weeds because of speed and in- ability.
At a minimum, I think insurance should be required for ALL motorized/ engine propelled vehicles.
The craze is outstripping the infrastructure and is only going to get worse.
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Old 09-26-23, 01:18 PM
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Bigger menace than eBikes are all the eScooters and eSkateboards and such on the trails. I don't think there's any motivation to license or insure those things, or require operator safety tests.
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Old 09-26-23, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
I like Eben but this grouchiness doesn't even make sense.
...I guess it only makes sense depending on your own perspective. I'll try to explain.

Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
1. The existence of e-bikes and scooters does not mean that the traditional bicycle or bicycle trails and lanes are going to disappear. In fact the increase in trail/lane usage just means more infrastructure will be built and maintained.
...no one is saying they are (or will be) disappearing. Only that they are becoming increasingly dangerous to use due to speed and inexperience. I know that "the infrastructure will expand now" is commonly put forward as an argument in favor of e-bikes. I see no evidence of it thus far, and there are some practical limits on doing so in places like NYC.

Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
2. From what I can tell, for most e-bike riders the situation is not "I used to ride a normal bike and now I ride an e-bike". Many of these people would not have ridden at all. So we begrudge this technology that brings people to outdoor exercise because...we don't like getting passed by e-bikes?
...again, personal anecdote is not convincing evidence of this "e-bikes will get more people on bicycles" argument. It's another point that is commonly put forward by the makers and sellers of electric bicycles, but frankly, a bicycle is a bicycle, in terms of weather and exposure to the elements. If we're trading anecdotal evidence, the only people I know here with e-bikes did, indeed, buy them as a replacement for pedal power. And they haven't gotten rid of their cars. I don't presume my experience is definitive, but I'd like to see some hard numbers on all these "new riders" who are being turned out by the hundreds and thousands.



Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
3. In urban and suburban areas, less car rides means less combustion engine emissions means cleaner air and safer roads for cyclists. Good trade off for dealing with increase one or two-wheeled traffic.
...great. All these new riders, who have left their cars at home, can ride their e-bikes at 30mph in the street, with the rest of the motorized traffic. I'm all for it.
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Old 09-26-23, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat
...Can't blame them.
What? Of course you can blame them. I would.
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Old 09-26-23, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
Bigger menace than eBikes are all the eScooters and eSkateboards and such on the trails. I don't think there's any motivation to license or insure those things, or require operator safety tests.
...there's something now that I can only describe as an electric unicycle. Those I've seen on these are going full throttle, and they ride in full motocross protective gear. They go by me like I'm standing still.

EXTREME PERFORMANCE: This electric unicycle one wheel is specially designed for professional riders, having a powerful 2200W motor boosting up to 31mph max speed and a climbing power for slopes of up to 35-degree, as well as a high-capacity 1500mAh battery with a range of 75 miles.
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Old 09-26-23, 02:26 PM
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Over time I've come to appreciate living in what's considered a lower economic region as there are few cyclists and if there are any battery operated two wheel vehicles with riders on top at all that's news to me. There's likely more battery powered mini vehicles for kids sold around here.

If you add a battery powered motor to a frame on two wheels and a steering device , now you have a motorized vehicle. Same class as a battery operated motor-cycle or car. It's that simple. They don't belong on trails or paths dedicated to human powered walkers, runners or cyclists. No more so than gasoline powered motorcycles are allowed. Just because it may a "low power" motorized cycle doesn't mean it isn't one.

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Old 09-26-23, 02:51 PM
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If an engine burns fuel and a motor is operated by external energy (air, electricity, whatever) then the sign of " NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES" should apply to all motorized vehicles. Stay off the path with such a sign with your “micromobility" device.
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Old 09-26-23, 03:41 PM
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What about electric wheel-chairs? Should they be restricted to where there is car traffic?
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Old 09-26-23, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro
What? Of course you can blame them. I would.
I rode one. Holy smokes. Unless you are in the masochist class (such as myself) an e-bike is just the way of human nature. No kid will take a conventional bicycle over an electric one given the choice.
A pedal bike around here is for whacked out roadies, day laborers, and the homeless.

Ok, I am exaggerating, but only just a little bit.
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Old 09-26-23, 04:02 PM
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Already seeing ebikes on bike paths contrary to state rules- so many that I expect a collapse of that set of laws.

I expect regulation of ebikes that can surpass 24mph coming- license plates for you- which will curtail kids under 16 using them.

this happened to mopeds in CA decades ago.
that helped kill that market.

we live in interesting times
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Old 09-26-23, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
What about electric wheel-chairs? Should they be restricted to where there is car traffic?
...how fast does this hypothetical electric wheelchair travel ? Does the operator have some experience and skill in handling it ? Are we talking Stephen Hawking here ? Or are we talking one that can hit the blinding speed of 8-10mph ? There's one guy here in a power wheelchair who I see routinely riding in the street, I think because he doesn't want to deal with the sidewalk ramps at intersections. Or maybe just because he can. I never stopped and asked him.
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Old 09-26-23, 05:44 PM
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Boy, e-biking is just not something that fusses me at all.

They’re all over town here in Ann Arbor, but for whatever reason, I don’t experience all the bad behavior or the speed hungry, reckless e-mobs.

That’s not to say all’s perfect, only that it doesn’t affect me and it doesn’t seem pervasive. I’ve recently ridden through New York, and e-biked in Mexico City and Paris. Last week I was walking Firenze, Genova, and Aosta. I’m downtown Detroit fairly regularly. So I’m not provincial, yet I just don’t see the problem in any of those places, either.

I really hope that the grouches don’t blow this up out of proportion and create a situation where people can’t freely choose ebikes as an alternative transportation mode. Nothing is perfect, but the human capacity to adapt is boundless.
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Old 09-26-23, 06:04 PM
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The problem, as I see it can be summed up as: "All of the speed, none of the skill." A pedal cyclist, even a fast-ish one at say 20plus mph, probably took a lot of time and effort to get to that level of fitness and likely picked up skill & a healthy respect for the stakes involved in travelling at that speed. A 28+ mph (25 before any real effort is applied) or a 40mph mail order kit hobbiest very likely has no idea how much energy a 60 pound bike & 250 pound rider has at 40 mph or the consequences to themselves anyone unfortunate enough to be walking their dog on a 20 foot wonder-walker. If they did, they'd be going the 20-ish pace the pedal cyclist is going.

The seasond cyclist isn't salmoning or sidewalk riding either like the inexperienced e-bike rider. He is probably riding where car drivers are looking because he is aware of the risks to himself that the e-bike rider is not.

At a minimum, a sustained investment in a public education campaign is warrented. Get enough people educated & peer pressure will guide the desired behaviour.

Licenses are dumb. Cycling is not dangerous. Being an unskilled idiot is.

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Old 09-26-23, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by base2
The problem, as I see it can be summed up as: "All of the speed, none of the skill." A pedal cyclist, even a fast-ish one at say 20plus mph, probably took a lot of time and effort to get to that level of fitness and likely picked up skill & a healthy respect for the stakes involved in travelling at that speed. A 28+ mph (25 before any real effort is applied) or a 40mph mail order kit hobbiest very likely has no idea how much energy a 60 pound bike & 250 pound rider has at 40 mph or the consequences to themselves anyone unfortunate enough to be walking their dog on a 20 foot wonder-walker. If they did, they'd be going the 20-ish pace the pedal cyclist is going.

The seasond cyclist isn't salmoning or sidewalk riding either like the inexperienced e-bike rider. He is probably riding where car drivers are looking because he is aware of the risks to himself that the e-bike rider is not.

At a minimum, a sustained investment in a public education campaign is warrented. Get enough people educated & peer pressure will guide the desired behaviour.

Licenses are dumb. Cycling is not dangerous. Being an unskilled idiot is.
Best response in the entire thread.
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Old 09-26-23, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
What about electric wheel-chairs? Should they be restricted to where there is car traffic?
Not just any StrawMan, but a mobility challenged StrawMan.
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Old 09-26-23, 07:40 PM
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There are laws about ebike use on bike lanes. It is not a free for all.

https://www.bosch-ebike.com/us/every...s-ebike-system
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Old 09-26-23, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
I’ve recently ridden through New York, and e-biked in Mexico City and Paris. Last week I was walking Firenze, Genova, and Aosta. I’m downtown Detroit fairly regularly. So I’m not provincial, yet I just don’t see the problem in any of those places, either.
Paris officially the first city in Europe to ban e-scooters. What are the rules in other countries?
Bidding au revoir to what has become a divisive sight on our streets, Paris officially banned rented electric scooters (or e-scooters) from September 1, becoming the first European city to do so five years after being one of the first to adopt them.

A rising number of injuries and three fatalities spurred on a public vote in April in which 90 per cent of those who took part (only 8 per cent of those eligible to take part) voted in favour of a ban.
...not e-bikes, but the somewhat troublesome e-scooter demographic. Do you have public e-scooter rentals in Ann Arbor ? It's pretty hard to miss them here in Sacramento. They end up lying around all over the place.
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Old 09-26-23, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by iab
There are laws about ebike use on bike lanes. It is not a free for all.

https://www.bosch-ebike.com/us/every...s-ebike-system
...there is literally zero enforcement of those laws where I live and ride. I honestly don't see how a place, with so many other pressing issues for law enforcement personnel, is ever going to find the resources to come at this through enforcement.
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Old 09-26-23, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...there is literally zero enforcement of those laws where I live and ride. I honestly don't see how a place, with so many other pressing issues for law enforcement personnel, is ever going to find the resources to come at this through enforcement.
I think speeding cars should be a priority, nearly nothing is being done about that. Texting while driving is another priority, imo. I can keep going. Why are ebikes your top priority?
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Old 09-26-23, 08:09 PM
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Had to chuckle at the e-shoe comment. Took a group through San Francisco today and we sat at Ft Point watching an e-surfboard buzz around the breakers. Not an ebike advocate but I ride with older cyclist that have converted and they are aware of the conflicts that can arise. While crossing the GG bridge with the tourist they stayed below 15 on a 10mph limit. A guy riding his decked out homer was weaving around us and the tourists like we had invaded his personal space. I guess what I'm saying is that it's the rider, not the bike. Most of the Eastbay parks have opened up the trails to e-assist bikes. I got to believe it is because those who are in charge ride them.

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Old 09-26-23, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531
Not just any straw man, but a mobility challenged straw man.
​​​​​​
The most famous kind!

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