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Just heard something that concerns me . . .

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Just heard something that concerns me . . .

Old 10-18-18, 07:48 AM
  #1  
Rootman
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Just heard something that concerns me . . .

Before it's mentioned, I do ride MUPs, not exclusively, but a lot. For a lot of the area it's the only 'safe' car free place to ride for long distances. I'm not here to argue the validity of MUPs vs roads. We are also seeing increased patrolling of the Razorback Greenway (RBG), cops on bikes and on 4 wheelers. I like this because it tends to make it feel like a safer environment. So there IS some enforcement presence.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A while back I posted about a guy I ride with saying I was 'cheating' by riding an ebike. He has since stopped chapping my a$$ about it, or so I thought.

He said that he heard on the news that there was a 'growing movement' to get all ebikes banned from the Razorback Greenway in NW Arkansas - where we live. ALL ebikes, no distinction at all between types. We chatted about it and I again reminded him of the different classes, and class 1 (what I ride) was just another bike, but with assist that ONLY helped when pedaling. Now, dismissing the fact that he is probably just trying to goad me into another argument, has anyone else heard such a thing? For the RBG or anywhere else? Were they successfully at banning them?

I can can see perhaps banning class 2 or 3 for speed concerns and because the offer a true throttle only assist (or an alternate of with PAS). They could be of concern considering the nearly 30 mph speed (or more) they can attain in the USA. At issue is how do you enforce a 'class only' ban? How does an officer determine what is what other than taking the riders word for it? Especially for home made conversions.

I can also see we may be heading for trouble with increased motor wattage, battery voltages and WH ratings as well as dropping prices. Like anything in America 'too much is not enough' of anything. Will this trend toward ebike hot rods cause a nationwide concern and possible ban? If these riders insist on using the MUPs it may very well lead to a ban on them.

Anyone know of anything brewing?

Last edited by Rootman; 10-18-18 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 10-18-18, 09:24 AM
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In OC, CA, local jurisdictions can have separate laws, and some bike paths, which would normally be legal for Class 1 & 2 bikes, have signs saying "no electric bikes". OEM bicycles produced after 1/1/17 were supposed to have their classification visibly indicated on the frame, but I don't think all companies are adhering to this requirement. There's been no activity for DIY, which will be a can of worms IMO. Just to see what it would be like and since I already had a 52V battery that I was using for a BBS02 and plenty of bike parts, I purchased a 48V, 1000w, DD kit for $200. The resultant is a bike that goes 33+ mph, so that could be a problem. Locally, all of the county parks prohibit eMTB's by order of the superintendent. Many treat these ordinances like speeding, jaywalking or similar situations where you "pay your money and take your chances".

Last edited by 2old; 10-18-18 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 10-18-18, 06:08 PM
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It looks like a lot of different people use this MUP and you have a mix of walkers, bikers, and kids in strollers. Anyway, at the bottom of the page is the lady that likely has influence on the rules. Northwest Arkansas Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan - About

Write her a nice letter. Tell her how you enjoy the parkway and want to keep access for responsible riders. Good luck.
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Old 10-18-18, 06:37 PM
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As a pedal cyclist... I find it a bit odd to be passed by an e-biker. Many who are just coasting.

Nonethless, for practical consideration, cars move easier, and it is safer for all types of cyclists to be on road shoulders and bike lanes. Except, of course, one must be careful at intersections.

Likewise, locally we have some major bicycle arterials provided by MUPS, where one can go for miles without street crossings, traffic lights, or driveways. Whether the pedal cyclists like it, it is safest to get the e-bikers onto the protected infrastructure.

The issue, of course, is to keep speeds down to a reasonable speed, especially around pedestrians.

I'd encourage the community to enforce safe cycling (slowing around pedestrians).

And, if fast E-Bikers become a problem, then impose speed limits. I don't care if your E-Bike is capable of hitting 50 MPH, as long as you ride it under 20 MPH on the trails.

While 20 MPH is also a reasonable limit for the pedal cyclists, most are pretty naturally limited to not much over that, and enforcement isn't needed unless it becomes a problem.
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Old 10-19-18, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
As a pedal cyclist... I find it a bit odd to be passed by an e-biker. Many who are just coasting.
. . .
And, if fast E-Bikers become a problem, then impose speed limits. I don't care if your E-Bike is capable of hitting 50 MPH, as long as you ride it under 20 MPH on the trails.

While 20 MPH is also a reasonable limit for the pedal cyclists, most are pretty naturally limited to not much over that, and enforcement isn't needed unless it becomes a problem.
Funny, it's me that usually gets passed by roadies. I tend to still go slow, at least slower than most. I just like the long slow rides and enjoy myself. I use the assist mainly for hills.

This trail actually has an over all speed limit of 15, and it's only posted in one section in Fayetteville. A lot of riders don't pay attention to it, and ebikes appear to be the minority. I've actually seen very few out there.
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Old 10-19-18, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Funny, it's me that usually gets passed by roadies. I tend to still go slow, at least slower than most. I just like the long slow rides and enjoy myself. I use the assist mainly for hills.

This trail actually has an over all speed limit of 15, and it's only posted in one section in Fayetteville. A lot of riders don't pay attention to it, and ebikes appear to be the minority. I've actually seen very few out there.
And that may well be part of the key... let the roadies ride at 20 MPH as long as they are being safe about it.

But, keep your e-bike under 15, and encourage other E-Cyclists you see to also follow the rules.

Perhaps go to a local council or city bike advocacy meeting and suggest they post signs.
E-Bicycles
Follow Trail Rules
Keep Speeds under 15 MPH
Yield to pedestrians and other cyclists

That would make it clear that you are welcome, but also must abide by trail rules.

I'm one to believe that regulation should be used to fix problems, rather than to create problems. And, if the E-Cyclists can ride safely on the trails, then the trails are the safest place for them.

I'm fine with keeping noisy gasoline powered motorcycles and mopeds off of the trails.
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Old 10-19-18, 12:39 PM
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Had an interesting ebike encounter yesterday. I was riding the Glenwood Canyon bike trail. Since the tourists are mostly gone it appears the budget for upkeep has run out. There were many sections with bushes and limbs overgrowing the path, which is only 6 feet wide. On one such section I saw a woman approaching on an ebike. She was going uphill and not pedaling so I knew what was going on. The passable part off the trail was less than 5 feet wide. I moved far to the right and she persisted in staying right in the middle of the trail, still going about 15mph, but with a very scared look on her face. I was taking brush on my right leg and we still only missed by 6" or so. Maybe an ebike isn't the best place to start learning to ride.
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Old 10-20-18, 04:22 PM
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Uphill, she'd have only been doing 10mph. 250w doesn't go far.

You don't fall off many times before you learn. And they're quite simple - soon as you pull a brake lever or stop pedalling, the motor stops. So she was just being an idiot.
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Old 10-24-18, 03:02 PM
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How do you know she only had 250W on tap?

Regulate the paths to 15 mph. Bikes, skates, ebikes, skateboards, Segways, etc. Not gas powered bikes or motorcycles.

A wise rider will know they can go faster if the path is empty just like a wise driver.

We allow 200 mph cars on the roads but regulate them to a speed limit. Do the same with bike/nature paths.
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Old 11-01-18, 06:29 AM
  #10  
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Michigan allows Class 1 ebikes on all MUPs by default unless specifically prohibited. I don't see this as much of a problem since the bikes that most pedestrians complain about are the groups of young hardbodies riding their MTBs or whatever at 20mph or more (never giving warning to people they're passing!). In addition to riding my bike on these rail-trails, I also walk and run on them and have been just as annoyed when on foot as any other non-biker.

Of course, when I'm on my bike (I don't have an ebike yet), I also get annoyed at pedestrians taking up too much of the trail width when I'm trying to pass (and yes, I have a bell on my bars). :-)
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Old 11-01-18, 09:28 AM
  #11  
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California has multiple classes based on speed and pedaling. A 20mph max speed on an e-bike on pathways is reasonable to me as it is merely as fast as many young folks on their road bikes. My adult son actually rides faster than that most of the time, as he uses the bike for his exercise. I've owned a dedicated e-bike, and I've got a friction drive (easily removed kit when I ride flats) for my current bike because everytime I push on hills, I suffer knee pain after, which then keeps me off the bike. I've torn meniscus but am not quite ready for knee replacements so I just muddle through. My bike is my only transport and also my chosen form of exercise and I am miserable when I miss even a day. So the motor drive on hills is what keeps me riding; I turn it on just for hills and then turn it off. That said, even I have a momentary mental twinge when I see someone on an e-bike and they aren't pedaling - they're using it as a slow motorcycle - but I remind myself it is one less car and get over it. As long as they don't exceed 20 mph, and they make some attempt to ride sensibly, I can deal with them on the pathways. There was a time everyone rode single speed and then a few had multiple gears.....we didn't ban them.
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Old 11-01-18, 05:14 PM
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On our local trail during the afternoon commute, the fastest bikes on it are not ebikes; they are serious "racers", clocking around 30 mph. My ebike will do 28mph flat out, and I can not keep up with them - don't even try; a bit slower feels a LOT safer.
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Old 11-02-18, 07:17 AM
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I'm seeing a lot more e-bikes on our local MUPs, and it's encouraging because there are many more folks challenged by age or disability able to enjoy riding. I expect that if there were a movement to ban them, there would be a huge outcry.
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Old 11-02-18, 08:36 AM
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Disturbing to me is that some of the bike paths in "OC" have signs specifically excluding e-bikes. Surprisingly, at least one has very light to no "traffic".
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Old 11-02-18, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Disturbing to me is that some of the bike paths in "OC" have signs specifically excluding e-bikes. Surprisingly, at least one has very light to no "traffic".
Follow up with the City or County and find out why. A lot of times, it's because one person contacted them and so they went ahead and posted. Or they put them up without understanding anything about the different types of e-bikes. Do a little educating and you might be able to effect some positive change. Good luck.
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Old 11-14-18, 10:25 PM
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eBike Registration

Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Before it's mentioned, I do ride MUPs, not exclusively, but a lot. For a lot of the area it's the only 'safe' car free place to ride for long distances. I'm not here to argue the validity of MUPs vs roads. We are also seeing increased patrolling of the Razorback Greenway (RBG), cops on bikes and on 4 wheelers. I like this because it tends to make it feel like a safer environment. So there IS some enforcement presence.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A while back I posted about a guy I ride with saying I was 'cheating' by riding an ebike. He has since stopped chapping my a$$ about it, or so I thought.

He said that he heard on the news that there was a 'growing movement' to get all ebikes banned from the Razorback Greenway in NW Arkansas - where we live. ALL ebikes, no distinction at all between types. We chatted about it and I again reminded him of the different classes, and class 1 (what I ride) was just another bike, but with assist that ONLY helped when pedaling. Now, dismissing the fact that he is probably just trying to goad me into another argument, has anyone else heard such a thing? For the RBG or anywhere else? Were they successfully at banning them?

I can can see perhaps banning class 2 or 3 for speed concerns and because the offer a true throttle only assist (or an alternate of with PAS). They could be of concern considering the nearly 30 mph speed (or more) they can attain in the USA. At issue is how do you enforce a 'class only' ban? How does an officer determine what is what other than taking the riders word for it? Especially for home made conversions.

I can also see we may be heading for trouble with increased motor wattage, battery voltages and WH ratings as well as dropping prices. Like anything in America 'too much is not enough' of anything. Will this trend toward ebike hot rods cause a nationwide concern and possible ban? If these riders insist on using the MUPs it may very well lead to a ban on them.

Anyone know of anything brewing?
In my state, there is no classification for ebikes. So, no ebike is knowingly registered as an ebike, to reiterate. So, police cannot enforce biking laws on ebikes like reflectors, lights, horns, etc. ebikes dont exist in law. My Tern eLink D7i does not exist nor tons of other ebikes on the roads here. There is no anti throttle law here so, I had my ebike store install a throttle, which I need. My ebike store sells ebikes with no limit on power and speed. Its the wild wild west here, but prices are the limiting factor for speed ebikes beyond senior, commuter and mountain ebikes. Power and speed costs money.
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Old 11-19-18, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Before it's mentioned, I do ride MUPs, not exclusively, but a lot. For a lot of the area it's the only 'safe' car free place to ride for long distances. I'm not here to argue the validity of MUPs vs roads. We are also seeing increased patrolling of the Razorback Greenway (RBG), cops on bikes and on 4 wheelers. I like this because it tends to make it feel like a safer environment. So there IS some enforcement presence.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A while back I posted about a guy I ride with saying I was 'cheating' by riding an ebike. He has since stopped chapping my a$$ about it, or so I thought.

He said that he heard on the news that there was a 'growing movement' to get all ebikes banned from the Razorback Greenway in NW Arkansas - where we live. ALL ebikes, no distinction at all between types. We chatted about it and I again reminded him of the different classes, and class 1 (what I ride) was just another bike, but with assist that ONLY helped when pedaling. Now, dismissing the fact that he is probably just trying to goad me into another argument, has anyone else heard such a thing? For the RBG or anywhere else? Were they successfully at banning them?

I can can see perhaps banning class 2 or 3 for speed concerns and because the offer a true throttle only assist (or an alternate of with PAS). They could be of concern considering the nearly 30 mph speed (or more) they can attain in the USA. At issue is how do you enforce a 'class only' ban? How does an officer determine what is what other than taking the riders word for it? Especially for home made conversions.

I can also see we may be heading for trouble with increased motor wattage, battery voltages and WH ratings as well as dropping prices. Like anything in America 'too much is not enough' of anything. Will this trend toward ebike hot rods cause a nationwide concern and possible ban? If these riders insist on using the MUPs it may very well lead to a ban on them.

Anyone know of anything brewing?
People for Bikes is going around the country passing uniform laws on e-bikes. It's passed in Tennessee and I think it passed in Arkansas. It allows Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on greenways and trails unless the city council has passed an ordinance to restrict them. Razorback greenway is a really nice route. I'm glad to see it's completed now. I've been on it several times.

https://peopleforbikes.org/our-work/e-bikes/
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Old 11-26-18, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by tn_roadie View Post
People for Bikes is going around the country passing uniform laws on e-bikes. It's passed in Tennessee and I think it passed in Arkansas. It allows Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on greenways and trails unless the city council has passed an ordinance to restrict them. Razorback greenway is a really nice route. I'm glad to see it's completed now. I've been on it several times.

https://peopleforbikes.org/our-work/e-bikes/
I guess whether you are a commuter, leisure rider, mountain or roadie, the type doesnt matter for ebikes so long as you comply with ebike laws? Do standard bike laws apply to ebikes or are there additional laws?

On my island state we have no ebike laws and no registration option. Therefore, ebikes have no compliance for reflectors, lighting, dingers or anything else. We are home free! No speed laws, bike lanes, sidewalks, hand signals or tickets. But it looks like a bike, smells like a bike and rides like a bike. Whats wrong with this picture? I guess ebikes are privileged or elite.
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