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

Well-Known 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

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.
 

Attachments

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.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
This happened in my area recently and an acquaintance who lives nearby alerted me to it (articles linked below). He told me that roadies use the MUP for training and this particular accident involved a bike club based out of a local church. He had heard that the cyclist called out "passing left" but then the pedestrian turned into the path of the cyclist. The pedestrian has died from head injuries.

My rear-brake rotor on my R&M is making some noise after I had to lock-up on our greenway last week. I'm on the MUP headed home, about 15 mph in that section, and there was a woman jogging in my lane with her back to me and she was wearing headphones (the bike lanes are separate from the pedestrian lanes and both are clearly marked - pedestrians mostly ignore the markings). As I went to pass her on the left using the oncoming bike lane, she decided it was time to turn around and head back the other direction. She turned right into me. I locked and skidded (I think I posted this elsewhere on the forum). It was a close call. Maybe 15 mph was too fast. Jogger was definitely ignoring the markings and displaying complete lack of etiquette. The circumstances involving the fatality sounds very similar in that the pedestrian was hearing impaired (in my case the jogger had headphones, in the fatality hearing aids) and turned into the cyclists. No report of how fast the cyclist was going.


 

elliot friedman

Active Member
I'd say most of the issues involved are joggers and walkers not paying attention to the marked lanes of the paths. Rarely are they observed on the the local paths near me.
But I'm not biased in any way.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I'd say most of the issues involved are joggers and walkers not paying attention to the marked lanes of the paths. Rarely are they observed on the the local paths near me.
But I'm not biased in any way.
This is my experience on my greenway where the paths are marked and separated. But also I've seen bikes going too fast given the amount of foot traffic (and sometimes families with little kids on bikes). I didn't clarify this in my post above about the pedestrian that was killed by a cyclist but: I don't think the paths are separated and marked on that trail where the accident occurred (just going on what I've been told - but I haven't been on it myself). I think it is a single MUP.
 

elliot friedman

Active Member
I agree Over50. I'm surprised how fast some of the bikers go in congested areas. As I mentioned above, there's a strip for the better part of a mile that is always busy on my daily ride. Wouldn't bother me if there was a speed limit posted for that stretch. Would bother me either if summonses were issued to those exceeding the limits. On occasion patrol vehicles, whether from the parks department or actual NYC police dept., have cautiously driven through this area. Once spotted, I'm sure all inhabitants at that time are on their best behavior.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Basic speed law: Able to stop in the ASSURED clear distance ahead. This applies to something, anything, being driven. It's not rocket science, and it has NOTHING to do with lane usage or entitlements. It's way more about common sense and safety.

If you are coming up behind somebody, and they have not acknowledge your presence, they should be passed at a speed not much faster than the one they are moving at. No differently than you would pass somebody with a dog bouncing off the end of it's leash from one side of the trail to the other. The "speed limit", if there is one, should have nothing to do with this. It's about due diligence and a high degree of caution in a situation that might/could/will get ugly if things go sideways.

Total sympathy for all those involved, but I feel not enough was done to prevent it.
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
When I say "on the left" about 1/4 of the time the pedestrian jumps to the left. Not something they train on when they learned how to walk. So I keep passing speed down to what the brakes can handle. And I keep my hands on the brake handles when I'm passing a pedestrian.
 

MechaNut

Active Member
My rear-brake rotor on my R&M is making some noise after I had to lock-up on our greenway last week. I'm on the MUP headed home, about 15 mph in that section, and there was a woman jogging in my lane with her back to me and she was wearing headphones (the bike lanes are separate from the pedestrian lanes and both are clearly marked - pedestrians mostly ignore the markings). As I went to pass her on the left using the oncoming bike lane, she decided it was time to turn around and head back the other direction. She turned right into me. I locked and skidded (I think I posted this elsewhere on the forum). It was a close call.
I've been in two near misses (one caused me to dump my bike) this summer due to pedestrians with headphones being completely oblivious to their surroundings. That's why I put a horn on my bike. I start with the bell and "on your left/right". If they continue to act oblivious I hit the horn. Pedestrians are just as responsible for maintaining awareness as everyone else when using a MUP.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
This happened in my area recently and an acquaintance who lives nearby alerted me to it (articles linked below). He told me that roadies use the MUP for training and this particular accident involved a bike club based out of a local church. He had heard that the cyclist called out "passing left" but then the pedestrian turned into the path of the cyclist. The pedestrian has died from head injuries.

My rear-brake rotor on my R&M is making some noise after I had to lock-up on our greenway last week. I'm on the MUP headed home, about 15 mph in that section, and there was a woman jogging in my lane with her back to me and she was wearing headphones (the bike lanes are separate from the pedestrian lanes and both are clearly marked - pedestrians mostly ignore the markings). As I went to pass her on the left using the oncoming bike lane, she decided it was time to turn around and head back the other direction. She turned right into me. I locked and skidded (I think I posted this elsewhere on the forum). It was a close call. Maybe 15 mph was too fast. Jogger was definitely ignoring the markings and displaying complete lack of etiquette. The circumstances involving the fatality sounds very similar in that the pedestrian was hearing impaired (in my case the jogger had headphones, in the fatality hearing aids) and turned into the cyclists. No report of how fast the cyclist was going.


Thank you for posting these links @Over50 , really sobering.
 

iskjone

Member
I astonished by the load of elitist crap that some analog bikers spew. What exactly are eBike supposed to be cheating at? Having fun, getting fit, promoting bike safety or keeping cycle shops in business for another generation? It’s not a rage, it’s the future and it started with the first big front wheeled analog bikes in the early 1900s.
 

baxterblack

Member
E-Bikes allow for a much better-shared trail experience, here is why:

Bikes SHOULD slow down to anticipate the unknown... for example, a toddler walking or with a new bike. The truth is you don't know if or when a child or a family with a leashed dog will "stray" even a few feet.

Most acoustic regular / road bikes take higher risk while passing on the left when oncoming trail pedestrian/biker traffic is present. Why? Because they don't want to give up the momentum that they have created.

Ebiker's tend to slow down and create a safe transition point because they are assisted in recovering momentum.

Speed enforcement is the key if there are concerns, not the potential restriction of Class 1 Ebikes.

The same can be said , although a huge generalization, that E-Bikes tend to slow and stop to help others or check on something that seems "off " on some rural areas of rail trail , for the same reasoning that the momentum lost can be regained.
 
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Oberst

Member
Tonight on Cheaters. A man “Steve” tells his wife “Beth” he is cycling. She notices some things that raise concern. Their power bill has gone up .50 cents per month. He comes back from “rides” and still has energy.

She starts looking through his Strava and notices his rides are much too fast and long distance.

The final straw: she finds electric bike review on his bookmarks.

Come along as Beth confronts Steve.