DahonElectric wrote:Thankfully though, there's no movement yet that I know of in Vancouver against ebikes, but I do know some regular cyclists here are against them including some of my cycling friends.
I believe some sort of legislation is needed simply to control abuse by either sides of the fence. TCU said that limiting the power of ebikes promotes safety. I think educating bike safety should be mandatory for all cyclists. There's Canbike, but who in the forum actually took it? The same 600w to 1000w that can help a less than fit and heavy cyclist up the hill can be equally used to get over a bridge at 40 to 50km/h or on the flats at much higher speed -- and yes I see quite a few in my town on narrow pedestrian lanes speeding as though they're late for a date!! I mean, just read the discussions here among ebikers who claim they can do 60 to 70km/h! A regular car can do that too! If you let an ebike on to bike lanes, what's stopping a car driver doing the same and what's stopping a car driver buying an ebike simply as the means to speed from home to work? It's a public road after all and car drivers can claim that heh look, if an 500w to 1000w ebike can go as fast as a car can, why couldn't I! Soon, everybody wants to drive on bike lanes and you can see the implication here. Bike lanes are created so cyclist don't have to compete against motorized vehicles. I think the fear of the Toronto Cyclist Union can be slightly justified. I'm also starting to see powerful ebikes on our bike lanes too, ridden thankfully by some responsible riders so far. I do know that ebikes are here to stay as people are aging and it is a great solution going around town.
You're quite right that it is difficult to enforce speed let alone cyclist standing off the saddle (yes in Vancouver, it is against the law to stand on the saddle! -- fine $109!), but sometimes a law or legislation is needed otherwise, anyone can do anything they want on public roads, be it on bike lanes or otherwise.
Bike lanes are created for the convenience of drivers. They're a great place to double park and those paint lines keep pesky bicycles out of the way.
I've found the "sharrows" glyph more effective and comfortable than a solid line in the door zone.
Vancouver's general crackdown on scofflaw cyclists, beginning July 1st, is counterproductive at a time when the city is tying to cut its toxic spewage. It's hard to believe the mayor was a bicycle commuter. He must have been one of those uptight anal jerks who never learned to negotiate traffic instead of going by rote like he was stuck in a car. Following the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law makes more sense on a bike. The laws, penalties, enforcement and infrastructure is car centric. None of it directly relates to the reality of riding a bicycle.
NFW am I sitting behind a stopped lane of stinking scuds if there's room to pass on the right or left. NFW am I standing dabbed at a red light when there's not another vehicle in sight. NFW am I dabbing at every stop sign if I can time my ROW at 2 kmh with traffic-savvy drivers. Some caged boneheads figure it's their job to ensure bicyclists make a full, put your foot down, stop. Others are just texting and forget that it's their turn to go. Basically they all get stupid around bikes figuring the bicyclist is going to do something weird. I'd rather they be extra attentive to bikes but wish they'd treat me like a vehicle instead of an addled child. They tend to forget about us altogether come winter.
The whole outcry in the local press against scofflaw cyclists would be easier to swallow if I didn't experience drivers' daily predictable and blatant violation of traffic control devices, including physical barriers. Too often I see cars turning when turns are restricted. If the cops want to know where they can write twenty or more tickets per hour, they should call me. They might nail three bikers and the other 17+ would be cagers. I'm more likely to signal my turns than the Audi/SAAB/BMW/H2 t*rds and cell phone zombies.
My bike is illegal. It starts in the >500 W but <1000 W grey area of the legislation as it's currently written. There's no motor cutoff when the brakes are applied. I don't have a kill switch. The bike does have the required bell at all times plus lights at night. . . with or without batteries.
AFAIK, riding out of the saddle is okay as long as you're still "astride" the bike. Standing on the saddle or top tube is goofy and riding out of control.
I did 52.9 kmh off the saddle of the Xtracycle today. I was astride the bike tucked in on the rear deck. The throttle was off.
My favourite work-around for using short stretches of sidewalks or crosswalks is to use the bike like a kick scooter. When doing this one is neither "astride" the bike nor pedalling it. It reads to me that it could be 218 dollars in fines for riding on the sidewalk while not astride the bike. Four hundred thiry-six dollars if it's night and you don't have a light or bell. You can leave your helmet at home for another $29.00.
There's something screwy going on here.