Keeping it Legal for the Common Good, Staying Within the Legal Classes

Djangodog

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Claremont, NH
Through various activities, I have seen the Government implement tighter restrictions and penalties, not because the average participant was acting badly, but because of the few that were pushing the boundaries, and the authorities pushed back. Unfortunately, when the pendulum swings back, it swings through and past the center.

I get that people want to go faster. I would find some of the European rules, (25 Km/hr), to be a bit of an over reach, but in general, we don’t get to choose which laws we can ignore. I am all for civil disobedience, but not for flying under the radar. Laws can be changed, and there is a right and a wrong way to bring about those changes. The wrong way often results in less freedom.

During the 1980s, the FAA decided that too many private pilots were endangering too many commercial aircraft and people on the ground. The result was that those “cowboys” pushed the FAA to further restrict the airspace that the average private pilot could make use of. Now with all the “yahoos” showing off on YouTube with their STOL and Bush Pilot antics, they are once again putting themselves in the FAA’s cross hairs.

My concern is that if we abuse the regulations that exist, we will cause the restrictions to become tighter and the penalties to become more severe. In my opinion anyway, progress isn’t about going faster or being more powerful, (that already exists and it’s called a motorcycle). I think of progress as greater range, lighter weight, better handling, better, e-bike specific components etc…

These are my opinions and I am quite sure that some others will strongly disagree. To me anyway, it is an important topic and worth the ruffling of some feathers. “your freedom ends where the next person begins”.

Please try to be constructive in your responses. If you have a different point of view, please share it. I am not saying that my point of view is correct, just that it reflects my concerns for the future of e-bikes.
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
People riding at 30 mph on pedestrian walkways has caused me to be unable to carry groceries to summer camp at 8 mph. 8 mph up a hill is fabulously dangerous - not. 1300 w geared hub would do the job, now outlawed. And I'm 160 lb. What about 300 lb men? Motors have hall effect sensors in it, it would have been easy to limit speed to 25 mph or 18 mph. No, we get a watt limit passed in ~30 states. Those 2000 w dd motors are still widely available for scaring pedestrians & injuring children, but supply of 1300 w geared hubs has totally dried up in the US.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Current laws are based on knee jerk reactions to an industry that was in the process of springing up overnight, for the sole purpose of having something in place. Makes no difference how much sense it makes, they have something they can wrap their arms around/argue about. Most, including the LEO's, know the current laws are confusing at best, often make little sense, and are very difficult to enforce - so there is little effort in that direction.

Don't ride like a jack a$$ and in the vast majority of cases, you'll be fine.....
 

Gordon71

Well-Known Member
Current laws are based on knee jerk reactions to an industry that was in the process of springing up overnight, for the sole purpose of having something in place. Makes no difference how much sense it makes, they have something they can wrap their arms around/argue about. Most, including the LEO's, know the current laws are confusing at best, often make little sense, and are very difficult to enforce - so there is little effort in that direction.

Don't ride like a jack a$$ and in the vast majority of cases, you'll be fine.....
Very very true BUT there are always those that will ride like one and the resulting accidents will lead to tighter restrictions.
 

Djangodog

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Claremont, NH
People riding at 30 mph on pedestrian walkways has caused me to be unable to carry groceries to summer camp at 8 mph. 8 mph up a hill is fabulously dangerous - not. 1300 w geared hub would do the job, now outlawed. And I'm 160 lb. What about 300 lb men? Motors have hall effect sensors in it, it would have been easy to limit speed to 25 mph or 18 mph. No, we get a watt limit passed in ~30 states. Those 2000 w dd motors are still widely available for scaring pedestrians & injuring children, but supply of 1300 w geared hubs has totally dried up in the US.
Regulations dreamt up by bureaucrats alone are often reactive and don’t make a lot of sense to the people that they are meant to regulate. Hopefully the Industry will be responsible and lend good guidance to the regulators. As with any activity, the participants are it’s ambassadors. If we act like a bunch of yahoos, then we can expect to be treated as such.
 
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Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Regulations dreamt up by bureaucrats alone are often reactive and don’t make a lot of sense to the people that they are meant to regulate. Hopefully the Industry will be responsible and lend good guidance to the regulators. As with any activity, the participants are it’s ambassadors. If we act like a bunch of yahoos, then we can expected to be treated as such.
<-- This. There are several reasonable trails close to my house that are novice to novice-intermediate, and are currently mixed use. Very few eBikes or bikes. I always slow way down to pass dogs (on leash) and children, if anyone says anything to me, I always have a friendly word in reply. If anyone looks startled or offended by my presence, I get off and walk-- if it's someone elderly (meaning older than me) I will sometimes walk by and ask them how they're doing, comment on the sunset, etc. (Of course, there are days I have the trail to myself.) On the little rock gardens, I let ALL the pedestrians and dogs ascend before going up myself.

Easy for me to say-- with the occasional rare exception/moment of bad judgment, I like interesting terrain, but not cheating death.

When I was 22-45 years old, I was more of a hothead, much less reasonable, not as nice in situations when I should have been more accommodating.
People riding at 30 mph on pedestrian walkways has caused me to be unable to carry groceries to summer camp at 8 mph. 8 mph up a hill is fabulously dangerous - not. 1300 w geared hub would do the job, now outlawed. And I'm 160 lb. What about 300 lb men? Motors have hall effect sensors in it, it would have been easy to limit speed to 25 mph or 18 mph. No, we get a watt limit passed in ~30 states. Those 2000 w dd motors are still widely available for scaring pedestrians & injuring children, but supply of 1300 w geared hubs has totally dried up in the US.
Yeah, watt limits are ridiculous. I'm okay with the three-class system so long as it is based on speed on level ground. As for the throttle/no-throttle part of it, I don't completely understand that. I might be fine with two classes just based on speed. But interested to hear everyone's thoughts.
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
I think the 25km/h limit in the EU is understandable based on the fact their cycling infrastructure is far better and more widely used than us heathens in the Colonies. 😄
At least in the cities it is.
For me I'm happy with my mid drive capped at 32km/h assist. When I first got an ebike (late 2018) I was interested in de-restricting it. I never followed through with that as I found it to be all I needed anyway.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Petaluma, CA
People are riding these on multi-use paths and in bike lanes.
In contrast here is one of my bikes.
 

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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Very very true BUT there are always those that will ride like one and the resulting accidents will lead to tighter restrictions.
I might actually be fine with tighter restrictions that make sense, that are well thought out with some logic behind them. It's this crap we're faced with now that I find so objectionable. Tighter restrictions may allow us more freedom? Or just do what Florida and a few other places have done. They eliminated any differences between where analog and e-bikes can be used. Clear, simple, and nobody complaining but the clown suit riders. Works fine for me....
 
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Gordon71

Well-Known Member
<-- This. There are several reasonable trails close to my house that are novice to novice-intermediate, and are currently mixed use. Very few eBikes or bikes. I always slow way down to pass dogs (on leash) and children, if anyone says anything to me, I always have a friendly word in reply. If anyone looks startled or offended by my presence, I get off and walk-- if it's someone elderly (meaning older than me) I will sometimes walk by and ask them how they're doing, comment on the sunset, etc. (Of course, there are days I have the trail to myself.) On the little rock gardens, I let ALL the pedestrians and dogs ascend before going up myself.

Easy for me to say-- with the occasional rare exception/moment of bad judgment, I like interesting terrain, but not cheating death.

When I was 22-45 years old, I was more of a hothead, much less reasonable, not as nice in situations when I should have been more accommodating.

Yeah, watt limits are ridiculous. I'm okay with the three-class system so long as it is based on speed on level ground. As for the throttle/no-throttle part of it, I don't completely understand that. I might be fine with two classes just based on speed. But interested to hear everyone's thoughts.
I never understood the throttle part either but the only time I use mine is for a second when starting from a full stop when I'm in a higher gear. I would use it to get home if either I injured myself in some way that made peddling difficult or the highly unlikely event that my chain broke. On the trails I ride it is class 1 only so I always stop at the entrance and unplug my throttle converting the bike to class 1. However early on when I was just getting used to the bike I stopped on an upgrade on the trail in I think 3rd or 4th gear. I made the mistake of trying to start peddling but couldn't get it rolling, lost my balance and tipped over. Not a scratch on the bike but did lose a quarter size patch of skin on my left arm. Next time I'll turn around and go back to the bottom first, if there is a next time, but at least in that instance the lack of a throttle made the bike more dangerous.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Until speed restrictions are imposed and enforced on pelatons of roadies on mixed use trails, going after ebikes is just pure pandering by going after low hanging fruit but not really addressing the real problem...excessive speed on mixed use byways.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
Until speed restrictions are imposed and enforced on pelatons of roadies on mixed use trails, going after ebikes is just pure pandering by going after low hanging fruit but not really addressing the real problem...excessive speed on mixed use byways.
Here in Toronto (and lots of other areas in Canada), most mixed use paths have a speed limit of 20kph. (not that they're enforced much).

The worst violators are not e-bikes, but roadies, e-scooters, and monowheels, though I'd take all of them over the clueless joggers & instagramming pedestrians who have zero situational awareness. :)
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Here in Toronto (and lots of other areas in Canada), most mixed use paths have a speed limit of 20kph. (not that they're enforced much).

The worst violators are not e-bikes, but roadies, e-scooters, and monowheels, though I'd take all of them over the clueless joggers & instagramming pedestrians who have zero situational awareness. :)
"Situational awareness" is likely stellar there as compare to what we frequently run into in Florida. You REALLY need to be careful as you have no idea what they might do. This made worse by the fact they could be deaf....and are often very easily startled.....

This brings anything to do with safety squarely on YOUR shoulders.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Petaluma, CA
Some "bikes" have pedals like a t-rex has arms. There are just pretending to be bikes when they are motorcycles. It is so true about situational awareness. There are people ripping on OneWheels with ear plug-buds. Folks are spaced out with "smart" phones.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
This brings anything to do with safety squarely on YOUR shoulders.
Indeed!
I know people in this form defend wearing earbuds or even over-the-ear headphones, and that's fine, but from my experience, joggers (and people who rent the city bikes here in Toronto) with said headphones do NOT have pass-through audio enabled. :)
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Indeed!
I know people in this form defend wearing earbuds or even over-the-ear headphones, and that's fine, but from my experience, joggers (and people who rent the city bikes here in Toronto) with said headphones do NOT have pass-through audio enabled. :)
Nor do they realize the danger. They each need to have the crap scared out of them big time. THEN they may be more aware....