No E-Bikes on Singletrack Trails, According to New Bill in Washington State

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by guns_equal_freedom, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. guns_equal_freedom

    guns_equal_freedom Long timer

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    #1
  2. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

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    It's such bullshit. I don't buy the reason that ebikes tear up the trail more than Mountain Bikers do. The MTB'ers did their share of tearing up trails over the hikers. With their fragile egos, they just can't handle getting passed by other riders getting a little assistance. At least let riders over certain age ride the trails - for some it opens up a lot of opportunities to get into nature that's not open to them otherwise. What's next, no e-Motorcycles?
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  3. markwoodlief

    markwoodlief Long timer

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    its most definitely an ego thing. As an owner of an ebike, i constantly get shit for riding it. I'm approaching 50 and just don't have the energy or desire to peddle my fat ass up some of the hills around here.
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  4. ca.gearhead

    ca.gearhead Adventurer

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    At least it' not California, yet. Moved from there in January and bicyclist are able to share the road (No big deal) but the cars have to give a 3 foot buffer to the cyclists even when they ride side by side (illegal) and are riding in the MIDDLE of the lane at 10mph (or less) down the hill on a 45mph road. No way to legally get around them and they won't get out of the way. They create a problem and the motoried vehicles suffer because they (cyclist) cannot follow the laws.
    Became law after cyclists were hit because they were hogging the road and not being responsible, but because they don' have safety protection in an accident everyone else suffers. Glad I am not there any more.
    Wonder what it would take to repeal the E-bike law? They makes the outdoors available to those who could not do so before or are no longer able to due to disabilities/ handicaps. Maybe put a "cheater" motor on a pedal bike n go from there (like the cyclists do in races [illegally])... Fight them with there own tricks.
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  5. WetSideRider

    WetSideRider Long timer

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    A little more detail to fuel the discussion.

    SB 6434 created three categories of electric-assisted bicycles based on highest speed they can achieve.

    • Class 1: The motor provides assistance when a rider is pedaling and stops assisting when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 mph.

    • Class 2: The motor can propel the bicycle without pedaling but does not assist when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 mph.

    • Class 3: The motor assists when the rider is pedaling and stops when the bicycle reaches a speed of 28 mph. It also has a speedometer.

    Riders must be at least 16 years old to operate a Class 3 e-bike. There is no age restriction for slower e-bikes.

    Class 1 and Class 2 bicycles can operate on a “shared-use path or any part of a highway designated for the use of bicycles,” the bill says. However, local jurisdictions and state agencies may impose their own additional limitations.

    Class 3 bikes are not permitted on a shared-use path, like a sidewalk or bike trail, unless a local jurisdiction specifically allows it. Otherwise, they must stay on the street.

    Obviously, the bill also addresses "natural surface" trails, not just paved and gravel trails.

    The law also restricts the motor output for all classes of e-bikes to no more than 750 watts.

    All e-bikes are defined as pedal assist. I assume that means no motor assist unless the rider participates. Stop pedaling, no power to the machine, either mechanical or muscle.

    I think Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are probably near equivalent to pedal only bikes in terms of potential trail damage. Type 3 e-bikes, and those modified for even more power production will produce more trail damage than a pedal only bike. I also see a problem with enforcement of e-bike usage by type. They all "look" about the same, even those that produce 1200 watts of power and provide ability to power assist at the level of a decent dirt bike.

    I don't think mountain biker ego enters into a real discussion of the issue. Spend some time on trails in the urban areas of Washington, like Tiger Mountain, Duthie Hill, Galbraith Mountain, etc. Those places are well loved by the MTB community and are groomed and maintained far better than any motorcycle trails I'm aware of, and most hiking trails. The MTB community is active in developing relationships with land management and communities and cooperates with those entities to control rogue trail building and design sustainable trails. I share their concern that all that effort could be jeopardized by even a modest amount of abuse by e-bike riders who have only a desire to replicate a motorcycle style experience on a mountain bike trail and no desire to participate in the maintainance and trail building community.
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  6. Ned1

    Ned1 Long timer

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    ^^good info
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  7. Ned1

    Ned1 Long timer

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    Different physics when you mix ebikes with acoustic bikes, especially in the commuter space in a dedicated bike trail environment like I hit on my 1.75hr ride into the city for work.

    Envision pedaling an acoustic along in a veritable crowd of others then a n00b on a pedelec blazes into the mess, crosses a few wheels, cuts a few people off and then blazes off again only to repeat again and again. Mayhem typically ensues because said n00b knows nothing about the niceties the traditional pedal crew *sort of* abides by and at the same time the traditional crew doesn't understand the velocities and necessary mental math to calculate trajectories and deal with the oncoming or passing squirrel n00b who's running 28mph the whole time.

    It's a precarious time right now and the laws getting implemented are a messy first try that'll need several rounds of refactoring.

    End of the day, one less car is a good thing. But what a shitshow to achieve that goal...
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  8. WetSideRider

    WetSideRider Long timer

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    Luckily I don't have to dice with commuters most of the time on the pedal bike. The e-bikes I see during mid day rides are mostly class 2 fat tire bikes. Those are pretty easy to deal with as you can hear them coming quite a distant away, and they are only marginally faster than a well spun pedal bike, at least under the control of the average trail rider. Most of the time.

    Urban bike paths are really no place for 20+ mph speedsters, pedal or electric. You are frequently dealing with tottering four year old kids with a clueless parent or squirrel distracted pitbulls on an almost invisible retractable leash and it's similarly distracted owner. I have one friend with a three week hospital stay attributable to playing ricky racer on the Sammamish River trail and tangling with a leashed but marginally controlled dog. Not worth the Strava KOM as a trade off.

    Another interesting new experience is coming to Seattle with the advent of electric bike rentals by the hour. Even during off hours the rental bikes are relatively common on the trail now, always marginally ridden without a helmet. Now we'll see class 1 e-bikes handled the same way. Oh joy.
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  9. TigerTanker

    TigerTanker Husqurducycle

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    Only one solution. Kill all humanoids.
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  10. peterman

    peterman cop magnet

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    You spelt Warshington wrong.
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  11. BobcatSig

    BobcatSig Single Track Beater

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    It's not an ego thing. It's getting ahead of the curve. Or, in this case, getting caught up.

    As battery and e-motor tech get caught up, the power that those things will put down will very much tear up the trails. Maybe not now, but they will.

    Moreover, where does one draw the line between an e-bicycle and an e-motorbike?

    My real beef is that an e-bike is not that far removed from a motorcycle and yet, those e-bikes can go anywhere that a bicycle can and we still don't have lane splitting and filtering!? In a way, it's cheating only because they have an e-motor.
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  12. dowdell

    dowdell Farkle Addict Supporter

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    hmmmm....
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  13. Ned1

    Ned1 Long timer

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    ^^ Actually, no, the ebikes can't go wherever they want. Fortunately...

    I don't have a beef with the technology at all. But unless the rider has some experience riding a spark plug or acoustic bike, they are likely to ride into situations that generate contention. There's a way to go about it, that's all...
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  14. tempus fugit

    tempus fugit Time Flies...

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    What is the reason for the contention?

    I don't ride bicycles much so these are observations from a likely misinformed dirt biker. I ride dirt bikes in an area that is popular with downhill mountain bikes. The bikes have a lot more riders and a lot more trails. They are allowed to use our trails (although most of them don't), but we are not allowed to use their trails. They maintain their trails and even do some maintenance on our trails sometimes which is cool. They have a lot of people. We all get along mostly and since we are in the same vicinity there are opportunities to talk to each other occasionally. I have noticed that the e-bikes and conversations about them are on the rise.

    The bikers come in 2 categories: those that pedal up and ride down versus those that shuttle up. The shuttle people are generally pretty hard core action sports types on downhill bikes and are just there to fly. They load their bikes into a truck at the bottom and haul ass back up to the top. Generally, they don't care what anyone else does as long as nobody gets in their way. The pedal people definitely have a disdain for e-bikes. When I say e-bikes I mean the pedal assist types so no power unless you are pedaling. The don't generate enough power to roost up a hill. I get the feeling that the pedal people don't like the e-bikes because they think it's cheating. They think that people should earn their downhill runs by pedaling and there seems to be a pecking order as to who is in the best shape. They log their rides on Strava so that they can compare time, average speed, vertical, etc. Strava keeps track of the top dog, a title that is no doubt an accomplishment, and one that is vigorously defended by calling out cheaters.

    One of my conversations was with a senior citizen on an e-bike. He has mountain biked all his life there but his knees don't allow it anymore. He pedals to the top on roads and rides trails to the bottom once a week or so. He said he gets shit constantly because he rides an e-bike but he does not intend to stop. So what's the difference between this guy who pedals up on roads and rides to the bottom versus the shuttle people? Why not be more inclusive especially with people who need a little help?
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  15. thejrod

    thejrod Been here awhile

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    Hate the user, not the tool. Asshats can ride like that on any bike.

    I've done some MTB, and I enjoy it. With the current crop of e-assist bikes out there, there's so little difference to the damage done to a trail vs pedal bikes. Most of the trails I ride (Pilchuck) are fireroad up, blaze down the single track. Some single track is fun going up (if it's built to go both directions). But an e-bike really won't tear it up anymore than a pedaler with poor technique.

    MTB'ers are a finicky bunch, but gotta give them credit for their ability to assemble and maintain and fight for their trails. But they (as a general group) are damn anal. They like their full-suss bikes, but also have to have perfectly groomed and smooth trails, and refuse to ride if it's raining. Fuck that - I have a mountain bike to ride..... in the mountains!

    With the advancing of battery technology, there will be a point when an e-bike is actually just a motorcycle. Drawing that line will be important for sure, but right now it seems pretty obvious that an electric assist bicycle is not the same thing as an Alta.
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  16. Ned1

    Ned1 Long timer

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    ^^ mmmm, if you were in said situation day in and day out you'd be shaking your head like I do.

    OALA
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  17. tempus fugit

    tempus fugit Time Flies...

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    I see. So the e-assist gives a novice rider capabilities that they are not ready for? That makes sense I guess, especially for street riding. Kinda like a novice moto rider getting a 1000cc sport bike.
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  18. Ned1

    Ned1 Long timer

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    ^^ ding ding ding, we got a winner!
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  19. thejrod

    thejrod Been here awhile

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    It's the difference between what... manually hitting 20mph or hitting 25mph assisted? :)


    Bicyclists are an anal bunch. ;)
    It's a toy. Not a 200 horsepower racing machine.
    If riders aren't being courteous or following the rules of the road, I don't see how 350w of electric power affects that. More skill does not make one less of an asshat.
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  20. tempus fugit

    tempus fugit Time Flies...

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    I know. The 1000cc sport bike comparison was, in part, being facetious. As if. I mean, we're talking bicycles fer Christ sake. 28 mph. Please.

    The funny part is to someone somewhere this is really serious shit.
    #20
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