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  1. #1
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    JeffCo Transportation supports e-bikes on paths

    Littleton e-bike proponent says time is right for technology - Your Hub

    "DeBauge recalled being challenged on a bike path recently by what he
    called some bike riders who said his bike was motorized and therefore illegal
    on the path. He assured them federal regulations allow use of a bike with
    one horsepower or less and working pedals, because it’s classified as a bike,
    not a moped.

    The South Suburban Parks and Recreation District bans motorized vehicles
    on its trails, said Jamie DeBartolomeis, marketing specialist for the district,
    but it seems a gray area in other municipalities.

    Will Kerns, Jefferson County Transportation Planner said he isn’t aware of
    an special regulation on e-bikes, and is in favor of anything that gets
    people out and riding."


    If this is JeffCo policy... I can't wait to see e-bikes on Apex.

  2. #2
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    I don't see an issue with allowing ebikes on bike paths or trails, as long as the riders are respectful. "Legal" ebikes in the US have a 20 mph top speed limit. A regular bike can exceed that. The speed limiters can be defeated easily, but that can be dealt with on a case by case basis.

    I agree that if it gets people on their bikes, it is good.

    BTW, there are an estimated 150 million ebikes in China now.

    China

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    I don't see an issue with allowing ebikes on bike paths or trails, as long as the riders are respectful. "Legal" ebikes in the US have a 20 mph top speed limit. A regular bike can exceed that. The speed limiters can be defeated easily, but that can be dealt with on a case by case basis.

    I agree that if it gets people on their bikes, it is good.

    BTW, there are an estimated 150 million ebikes in China now.

    China
    Yes, but China is now attempting to regulate them because of the problems they are causing.
    Chinese Electric Bike Boom Causing Problems - BikeRadar
    Commentary | The E-Bike menace needs regulating | China Car Times - China Auto News

    Speaking from personal experience, the bike paths are not safe as it is.
    You are 4-5x more likely to be injured on a bike path than on the road.
    Why make it less-safe with inexperienced "e-bikers" who simply twist a
    throttle and go? No, the bike path is no place for e-bikes IMHO.

    Eliminate the narrow, twisty, serpentine bike paths, the blind corners going
    under bridges, non-signed intersections and replace them with something
    safe that is designed for speed and I would agree with you. But sharing an
    8' wide path with e-bikers who can do 20mph but don't have the experience
    or respect for that kind of speed is just plain dangerous.

  4. #4
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    Can we draft off them?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Eliminate the narrow, twisty, serpentine bike paths, the blind corners going
    under bridges, non-signed intersections and replace them with something
    safe that is designed for speed and I would agree with you. But sharing an
    8' wide path with e-bikers who can do 20mph but don't have the experience
    or respect for that kind of speed is just plain dangerous.
    You just described a road. And, I agree, multi-use paths are dangerous, as are on-street bike lanes. They set a bad precedence and encourage dangerous behavior.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    You just described a road. And, I agree, multi-use paths are dangerous, as are on-street bike lanes. They set a bad precedence and encourage dangerous behavior.
    He also described a lot of bike riders. Especially the racer bois that think they have the right to ride as fast as they can on a crowded bike path. The worst be behavior I've seen comes from kitted out people with self-entitled attitudes that anyone "lesser" then them better get the hell out of the way.

    The danger I see from adding ebikes to the MUPs comes from congestion. Getting people out on bikes is good... dealing with the congestion then becomes mandatory.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Yes, but China is now attempting to regulate them because of the problems they are causing.
    Chinese Electric Bike Boom Causing Problems - BikeRadar
    Commentary | The E-Bike menace needs regulating | China Car Times - China Auto News

    Speaking from personal experience, the bike paths are not safe as it is.
    You are 4-5x more likely to be injured on a bike path than on the road.
    Why make it less-safe with inexperienced "e-bikers" who simply twist a
    throttle and go? No, the bike path is no place for e-bikes IMHO.

    Eliminate the narrow, twisty, serpentine bike paths, the blind corners going
    under bridges, non-signed intersections and replace them with something
    safe that is designed for speed and I would agree with you. But sharing an
    8' wide path with e-bikers who can do 20mph but don't have the experience
    or respect for that kind of speed is just plain dangerous.

    How do you feel about sharing an 8' wide path with a road biker who can do 25mph?

    How is it any different than sharing the interstate with a car that can go 150mph? There are rules for using either a path or a road. If the user breaks the rules, punish them. If they are within the rules, who cares what the potential is?

    A friend of mine rode the Moonlight Classic with us a few years ago on an ebike. Not a single person even noticed. His ebike is a pedalec, which means it only assists pedaling, you can't just twist a throttle and go. Other than a slight whirring noise when he pedals, it looks and rides just like any other bike. He has removed the 20mph limiter and it will assist you to infinity, and I have gone over 35mph for a couple of miles with the same effort as riding a mountain bike 20mph on pavement. It is pretty cool.

    In his case it makes the difference between a bike hanging in the garage or one that actually gets used. Why should anyone care whether a bike going 15mph on a path or trail is being fully human powered or not?
    Last edited by honkinunit; 02-12-2012 at 10:48 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    He also described a lot of bike riders. Especially the racer bois that think they have the right to ride as fast as they can on a crowded bike path. The worst be behavior I've seen comes from kitted out people with self-entitled attitudes that anyone "lesser" then them better get the hell out of the way.

    The danger I see from adding ebikes to the MUPs comes from congestion. Getting people out on bikes is good... dealing with the congestion then becomes mandatory.
    I agree. That is why the speed limit on most bike paths is no more than 15mph. The problem you point out is another example of the failure of multi-use paths.

  9. #9
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    I think we should ban all bikes from paths and make walkers wear helmets so they dont hurt by speeding trail runners. You know safety first.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    How do you feel about sharing an 8' wide path with a road biker who can do 25mph?
    I think it sucks... not because I have to share, but because the paths are
    designed with little attention paid to just how fast people can and will ride
    on the path.


    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    How is it any different than sharing the interstate with a car that can go 150mph? There are rules for using either a path or a road.
    You're missing the point. IMHO the "bike" paths are unsafe due to the design, or
    lack thereof. They are designed by landscape architects in many cases.
    Are roads designed by landscape architects? No.

    Example) About 5 years ago I was at a trail seminar where some guy was
    lecturing(Landscape Architects) on how to slow bikes down on a bike path
    before they cross a driveway or intersection so that the cars had more time
    to see them.

    They were telling everyone that the best way to slow bikes down was to
    create a serpentine path (chicane) right before the crossing. I protested
    and got booed by the crowd. I think any of us who spend time in the
    saddle can figure out the obvious safety flaws in such a design. But that's
    SOP for path design, "Let's put an obstacle in the path to slow them down".
    It's stupid and it's what they teach non-riders.

    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    In his case it makes the difference between a bike hanging in the garage or one that actually gets used. Why should anyone care whether a bike going 15mph on a path or trail is being fully human powered or not?
    Look I'm not attacking e-bikes. What I want to see is more attention paid
    to rider safety and paths built for bikes, not toys. We need to grow up and
    governments need to stop treating us like kids.

    Yes, I'd like to see roads dedicated to bikes/scooters/e-bikes. Forget
    these paths. Give us safe roads without cars. Build paths wider/straight
    and ped-free. Let's grow up.

    If you've ever been to Rock Creek Pkwy in DC on the weekend, that's what
    I'm talking about. They put up barricades on the weekends at the
    intersections and cars cannot enter. It's a road open to bikes, peds,
    etc... we need more of that. More bike "routes". More safe passages
    through cities that aren't closed off by HOA's and covenant communities.

    With that said, I raced as a Cat 3 for a number of years. I regularly did
    300+ mile weeks, but rode the path only when I had to, like getting across
    a highway that had an unsafe street crossing. I do know what's it's like
    to be a roadie, in JeffCo too.

    I've also been severely injured by a roadie riding a MTB on the path.
    T-boned at an unsigned intersection. Took a front wheel up under my rib
    cage. Broken ribs front and back, ruptured spleen, injured kidneys,
    intestines, stomach. 3 visits to the ER. I almost died. Masters career over
    before it even got started and I'll be on medication for the rest of my life. I
    get it... that some other people never do. "It's the other guy you have to
    look out for." Really, it is.

    I've almost been hit going through there so many times now I ride on the
    road instead. So this is why I think what we call "bike" paths is just
    stupid. Throwing another high speed user group on them is just... dumb.

  11. #11
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    eBiker w/ aerobars... It's only a matter of time.

  12. #12
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    As long as you wear your heart rate monitor, what's the problem ?

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    The problem is the definition people use to declare electric motor bicycles as a bicycle is a statute that defines which agency has the authority to regulate. In this case it is the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). Manufactures have grabbed onto the 750 W, 20 MPH, and functioning pedals. This is what we now have being marketed as "bicycles".

    I can't post a link so go to x-tremescooters.com and go to the electric bicycle tab.

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    I don't see any pedals on those scooters. A modest EMP blast will separate the bicycles from the bicycle-posers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter View Post
    I don't see any pedals on those scooters. A modest EMP blast will separate the bicycles from the bicycle-posers.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter View Post
    I don't see any pedals on those scooters. A modest EMP blast will separate the bicycles from the bicycle-posers.
    I know, but they are there. They have “functioning” pedals like mopeds did in the 70’s (if you are old enough to remember those ).

    The manufacture is clearly marketing these scooters as bicycles.

  17. #17
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    I've sold about 100 ebikes over the past 4 years. If my sample is representative of the "average" ebike owner, then it's a non issue. These folks tend to be older(50 to 70 yrs), and on the non-aggressive side of riding. Most of these folks would never get close to riding 20mph, I doubt most of them go much over 10mph.

    Many of them have some medical issue that stops them from getting their heartrate up, and are SO excited to be able to ride with friends again. I've had several come back from a test riding literally in tears, knowing that they can actually ride again. Keeping these people off of bike paths would be silly, they are not a danger.

    Of course like any group there are exceptions. But if my sample is about average, I would say hi and smile to any ebikers you see, they are friendly folks.
    Kona Wo for Fat Biking, Ibis HD3 for Trail Shredding, Merckx Road bike for collecting dust

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaj View Post
    I've sold about 100 ebikes over the past 4 years. If my sample is representative of the "average" ebike owner, then it's a non issue. These folks tend to be older(50 to 70 yrs), and on the non-aggressive side of riding. Most of these folks would never get close to riding 20mph, I doubt most of them go much over 10mph.

    Many of them have some medical issue that stops them from getting their heartrate up, and are SO excited to be able to ride with friends again. I've had several come back from a test riding literally in tears, knowing that they can actually ride again. Keeping these people off of bike paths would be silly, they are not a danger.

    Of course like any group there are exceptions. But if my sample is about average, I would say hi and smile to any ebikers you see, they are friendly folks.
    Currently, my "demographic" observations are similar to yours. That Optibike isn't terribly far removed (aside from price) from the typical e-bike. Like most things, it's only a matter of time before smaller, cheaper, more powerful motors/batteries trickle down. Yeah there's some sort of legislation governing what can be on the path but really? (trying not to whip up a slippery slope argument).

    That being said, and this is a pie in the sky kinda statement - I'd much rather force more bikes/ebikes onto the roads. Make the city/county planners implement "proper" options for cyclists.

    Mixing trailer pushing soccer moms, iPod laden runners & oblivious walkers (all of whom have a right to the trail) with Commuters on fast, heavy & silent rides doesn't really seem like a smart move.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    Mixing trailer pushing soccer moms, iPod laden runners & oblivious walkers (all of whom have a right to the trail) with Commuters on fast, heavy & silent rides doesn't really seem like a smart move.
    Huge problem around Confluence park and along Cherry Creek, but in Jeffco? Besides the odd Saturday/Sunday afternoon along Clear Creek and Ralston I don't remember heavy traffic being an issue on JeffCo MUPs. I am always amazed the few times I use C470 or Bear Creek to get somewhere how few users there are.

    I do remember scooter/moped gangs in the 80s, packs of hoodlums riding around at 20mph terrorizing neighborhoods. Always cracked me up. How there weren't more head injuries with those knuckleheads is beyond me.

  20. #20
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    Thumbs up on e-bikes on paths.

    Two thumbs down on e-bikes on trails.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaj View Post
    These folks tend to be older(50 to 70 yrs), and on the non-aggressive side of riding. Most of these folks would never get close to riding 20mph, I doubt most of them go much over 10mph.
    Wouldn't this make for MORE dangerous bike path users?
    Just kidding.

    The real question is how would they do at the dirtjumps? Just think, no more pedalling back to the start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SecretAgent23skidoo View Post
    Wouldn't this make for MORE dangerous bike path users?
    Just kidding.

    The real question is how would they do at the dirtjumps? Just think, no more pedalling back to the start.

    I'm sure this one would be just fine:

    Stealth Electric Bikes USA | Electric Bike | Electric Dirt Bike | Electric Motorbike

  23. #23
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    Just need to send out the dawg to make sure they are being safe.

    Cartman The Dawg-the actual video - YouTube

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post

    These things recharge when coasting?
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    Very cool!

    Speed
    « USA » Mode Engaged : 20 mph
    « Competition » Mode Engaged : 50 mph

    Weight
    Weight : 116 lbs (env. 53kg)

    I've been thinking about a new Moto but after looking at EV's over the past few days I may just jump the shark and go EV so I can be one of the first to terrorize the local hikers. I still like the Zero. (Look at the rear sprocket size on this thing!)

    And I really do like the idea of commuting on one of these (if the bike paths weren't so freaking dangerous). I wonder if they come with a horn?

    EDIT:

    Check these bad boyz out...


    Last edited by UncleTrail; 02-15-2012 at 04:14 PM.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    These things recharge when coasting?
    lurn tew reed...

    "BATTERY. The high rate lithium cells and custom built battery management system monitors every one of the 1000 charge and discharge cycles. Charge time is just 2 hours at any 110V or 240V household outlet. Activate the Regen Button to prolong the life of the brake pads and stay on your bike for longer by converting braking energy into electrical energy fed back into the battery pack to extend your range."
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaj View Post
    I've sold about 100 ebikes over the past 4 years. If my sample is representative of the "average" ebike owner, then it's a non issue. These folks tend to be older(50 to 70 yrs), and on the non-aggressive side of riding. Most of these folks would never get close to riding 20mph, I doubt most of them go much over 10mph.

    Many of them have some medical issue that stops them from getting their heartrate up, and are SO excited to be able to ride with friends again. I've had several come back from a test riding literally in tears, knowing that they can actually ride again. Keeping these people off of bike paths would be silly, they are not a danger.

    Of course like any group there are exceptions. But if my sample is about average, I would say hi and smile to any ebikers you see, they are friendly folks.
    From what I’ve seen on the trail I would agree with you. If someone has a mobility issue they would follow under the revised DOJ ADA ruling on “power driven mobility devices”. The language is very vague and one may not need to have a “disability” in the traditional sense.

    Given that, and despite what we have seen on the trails, the manufactures are marketing scooters as bicycles.

  28. #28
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    We called these things "mopeds" when I was growing up.

    Allowing them to be labelled as bicycles will just add ammunition to the SOS Boulder crowd and their ilk. Don't we already have enough trouble trying to get non-cycling folks to differentiate between bicycles and motorized vehicles as it is? Now every time we mention "bicycles" we'll have to explain that we aren't talking about the motorized type of bicycle.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter View Post
    We called these things "mopeds" when I was growing up.

    Allowing them to be labelled as bicycles will just add ammunition to the SOS Boulder crowd and their ilk. Don't we already have enough trouble trying to get non-cycling folks to differentiate between bicycles and motorized vehicles as it is? Now every time we mention "bicycles" we'll have to explain that we aren't talking about the motorized type of bicycle.


    I had a Puch.... 12yo, no helmet, 35mph on the street, cops didn't care. I cruised everywhere on that thing.


    BTW bike paths can be fun.


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