ebikes on rail trails from both sides...

Rail Trails are special places, increasingly used by families with small children and pedestrians in my area. Small groups of spandex riders at 25 mph present a hazard the same way ebikes can.

Some rail trails are sanctuaries where you can listen to the wind in the leaves and the rushing water in nearby streams and no houses are in sight. I often ride them on a regular bike and while climbing a mile long shallow uphill grade with other riders we were overtaken by two heavy ebikers who were on loud knobby fat tire bikes. Needless to say, the other riders didn't appreciate the way that dispelled the magic and forced everyone to quickly form a tight line to make room.

If you were climbing Half Dome, would you be pleased to make room for some grinning fool zipping by you on a whirring electric winch?

I also see riders on the same trail on ebikes who are clearly just getting back to being on a bike and would not be willing or perhaps able to ride a regular bike. This is wonderful and they make me smile as much as the scenery does. Clearly they should have unfettered access.

We need to share these limited resources and the human solution is to ride with respect on trails and encourage others to do the same while allowing ebike riders to travel at higher speeds when they exit the trail and join cars on county highways.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Your rail trail is much different than my local one. Ours is a combination of dirt and crushed rock. There are lots of twigs, walnuts, berries and also the washouts and ruts. No way road cyclists want to ride it. Very limited to children, especially those on training wheels. It’s actually more mtb trail than what you describe. An extension in the city is called a Greenway. It’s paved, but also has aging sections where tree roots bulge the pavement. So there are just limited sections that meet your description, which also limits conflict.
 

dblhelix

Active Member
Needless to say, the other riders didn't appreciate the way that dispelled the magic and forced everyone to quickly form a tight line to make room.

If you were climbing Half Dome, would you be pleased to make room for some grinning fool zipping by you on a whirring electric winch?

I also see riders on the same trail on ebikes who are clearly just getting back to being on a bike and would not be willing or perhaps able to ride a regular bike. This is wonderful and they make me smile as much as the scenery does. Clearly they should have unfettered access.

We need to share these limited resources and the human solution is to ride with respect on trails and encourage others to do the same while allowing ebike riders to travel at higher speeds when they exit the trail and join cars on county highways.
Forming a line to make room for either an acoustic or an ebike is standard practice on trails. Not getting your point here. Slower traffic keeps right.

Often there’s a posted speed limit that is ignored by acoustic/electric cyclists alike, true, but it’s not an ebike-specific issue.

Not sure I would call the grinning fool a fool, either. Sounds like he’s enjoying his electric winch.

I disagree that a special class of rider deserves unfettered access.

Of course all should ride “with respect” but it sounds to me as though you resent letting an whirring ebike pass to your left at any speed.

I strongly disagree that ebike “speed” is intended for joining cars on county highways. In fact, this is one of the reasons I don’t repeat manufacturer’s exaggerated claims for top assisted speed.

I’m hoping this is just some light trolling or parody.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
My experience with rail trails is that if you get more than a couple of miles from a trailhead the population on the trail, even on a busy holiday weekend, goes to nearly zero.

I have also had full days of riding on rail trails where I didn't see another person.

So there's plenty of room for e-bikers out there, and if you want to be left alone to go crazy in peace solitude is also abundantly available.
 

iskjone

New Member
The attached photo was taken yesterday on the Down East Sunrise Trail about five miles north of its western trail head in Ellsworth, Maine. Like all trails here in Maine once you get few minuets in traffic is non-existent. This Rail to Trail corridor runs for a whopping 90 miles to Machais, Maine and is in supper condition because of local ATV and snowmobile groups. This day I pass a group of four wheeled ATVs off to the side socializing. I waved, many of them smiled,and waved back. Life is Good...share the trail.
 

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Not hogging up a trail as a riding group is a common courtesy, not something to get upset about because somebody wants to overtake you. By the by, a handlebar bell is a nice thing to have to alert those bicyclists and trail walkers of your approach.

Myself, the Delaware & Raritan Canal in NJ and the D&L Canal in PA are quite crowded in certain sections, especially on the weekends. At every turn when passing someone, I am not going much faster then they are. More often then not, I am at a walking speed, to not upset the trail walker out there walking their dog or pushing a baby carriage... If I am being overtaken, to the right side of the path I go. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself is what I subscribe to.
 

elliot friedman

Active Member
Really, why shouldn't there be. Any ebike should be allowed anywhere a regular bike and biker could go no matter what class it is. Common sense should prevail when coming upon crowded area. Courtesy is the rider's responsibility. It has nothing to do with the mode of transportation. If complete control of the bike can't be maintained at all times then you shouldn't be riding near other people.

The first mile of my daily coastal excursion (~10 miles) can, at times, be very congested with people walking their pets, joggers, other bikers and dreamers who just stop in the middle of the lanes staring into space and their surroundings. Now I have to maneuver around all of these obstacles and sometimes at a walking pace. I'll also say about one quarter of the path's width is marked for wheeled pedestrians where two people could just about ride pass each other. Not everyone adheres to those designations so they have to be taken into consideration as well.

I recently had a nasty fall directly related to the congestion of this section where 3 people were just standing abreast each other in the middle of the path including the bike section. To avoid them I went around them but they were also blocking someone biking around them in the opposite direction. To avoid him, I rode off the path, and at that point I should have just stopped. I tried to reenter the path but at too shallow an angle and landed on the asphalt. Bruised knee, injured rib and a huge hematoma near my elbow that hasn't completely healed almost 4 weeks later.

If you choose to ride on a crowded path, and it doesn't get much more crowed than here in NYC, you have to understand these circumstances. If it means slowing down to a snail's pace, the rider should be able to control the vehicle whether it's an e-bike, regular bike, motorized skateboard, roller skates, hovercraft or jet pack.

I'm a member of the Rails to Trails Conservancy who have accomplished some awesome reconstructions on many of the abandoned railway thoroughfares. There's efforts being done at this time, to complete an east/west "Great American Rail Trail" tying many of the already established ones together.

Here's a link showing the work so far:

 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Rail Trails are special places, increasingly used by families with small children and pedestrians in my area. Small groups of spandex riders at 25 mph present a hazard the same way ebikes can.

Some rail trails are sanctuaries where you can listen to the wind in the leaves and the rushing water in nearby streams and no houses are in sight. I often ride them on a regular bike and while climbing a mile long shallow uphill grade with other riders we were overtaken by two heavy ebikers who were on loud knobby fat tire bikes. Needless to say, the other riders didn't appreciate the way that dispelled the magic and forced everyone to quickly form a tight line to make room.

If you were climbing Half Dome, would you be pleased to make room for some grinning fool zipping by you on a whirring electric winch?

I also see riders on the same trail on ebikes who are clearly just getting back to being on a bike and would not be willing or perhaps able to ride a regular bike. This is wonderful and they make me smile as much as the scenery does. Clearly they should have unfettered access.

We need to share these limited resources and the human solution is to ride with respect on trails and encourage others to do the same while allowing ebike riders to travel at higher speeds when they exit the trail and join cars on county highways.
I'm not sure of your point. Are you saying 2 "grinning fools" on fat tire e-bikes upset you because you were passed? Or others in your group became upset because their tires were noisy? Holy cow. If that was the worst thing that happened to me in the course of a day, I'd consider it a pretty good one.