I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
pullin-gs   100 W

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I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by pullin-gs » Jul 19 2019 4:05pm

I was talking with a park ranger at my half-way point of my ride (road bike) today.
An older gentleman with a nice E-Bike pulls up beside us. The park ranger asks him if it is peddle assist.
The owner says it will do peddle-assist or can be used with a throttle.
The ranger says that E-Bikes are not allowed on path if they have a throttle.....even if they are capable of peddle-assist.
I rode off at that point. Not my battle. I felt bad for the guy. He was just poking along, not riding aggressively or dangerously.
Anyway, if I ever get asked "is that a peddle-assist trike" I know what my answer is going to be when riding of FL bike trails. :D

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by flat tire » Jul 19 2019 4:27pm

It's just the guy's job. The best thing that other rider can do is smile, nod, apologize, and keep breaking those stupid laws as soon as he's out of sight. Like anything else ebikes are misunderstood. When it comes to riding them fun places it's our job to make a total mockery of the law while staying under the radar.

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by wturber » Jul 19 2019 9:03pm

pullin-gs wrote:
Jul 19 2019 4:05pm
I was talking with a park ranger at my half-way point of my ride (road bike) today.
An older gentleman with a nice E-Bike pulls up beside us. The park ranger asks him if it is peddle assist.
The owner says it will do peddle-assist or can be used with a throttle.
The ranger says that E-Bikes are not allowed on path if they have a throttle.....even if they are capable of peddle-assist.
I try to make sure I know more than the authority (ranger, LEO, etc.) That helps me know how to answer. That said, nobody has hassled me in any way yet.
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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by AHicks » Jul 20 2019 6:43am

The problem is the ranger is right. Throttles are a no-no on Florida's fast expanding number of bike path miles with a very high percentage of senior riders. I've never heard of an enforcement though. To my way of thinking, that tells me the rangers don't even think the law is right - unless maybe there is some obvious abuse.

So if I'm asked, my bike is strictly pedal assist.......

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by LeftieBiker » Jul 20 2019 6:49am

The problem with PAS-only laws is that they make it hard for disabled riders - the ones who benefit most and most legitimately from e-bikes - to ride. If I had to pedal that first crank revolution unassisted every time (especially crossing roads and highways) I wouldn't be able to ride as much. A decent compromise would be a throttle that only worked up to 5 or 8MPH, at least on bikes with multiple PAS levels...

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by AHicks » Jul 20 2019 7:04am

The best reason currently available for a badly needed change to current law, and the one I'm sure is on the ranger's minds when it comes to enforcement of the status quo-

"The problem with PAS-only laws is that they make it hard for disabled riders - the ones who benefit most and most legitimately from e-bikes - to ride."

The current law flies in the face of the logic Florida (and many more local communities) is/are using to spend all the money (a lot of it!) currently being spent to improve, maintain, and expand the system. Much of it, I'm sure, is aimed at increased tourism. Increasing activity level among seniors (where the tax dollars are coming from!) makes that money spent much more of a win-win.

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by furcifer » Jul 20 2019 8:29am

Maybe just call it a potentiometer that varies the amount of pedal assist.

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by donn » Jul 20 2019 8:56am

Riders never have any significant input into this stuff, am I right? I mean, we're nominally represented by People For Bikes, but that looks to me like an industry group, and they're happy as long as there are consistent rules that allow them to sell stuff. They push "model legislation" that's oriented towards pedal-assist-only, in "class 3", and legislatures are happy to go along with that. It wouldn't take anything off their ability to sell their wares if laws here and there were revised to allow every "class" to use a throttle, but there's effectively no one to advocate for that.

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by wturber » Jul 20 2019 9:20am

LeftieBiker wrote:
Jul 20 2019 6:49am
The problem with PAS-only laws is that they make it hard for disabled riders - the ones who benefit most and most legitimately from e-bikes - to ride.
That is a problem with PAS laws for sure. But I disagree that it is the "most legitimate" though I'd expect that it would carry the most political weight these days. I see no legitimacy in the notion any person should be required to pedal as a trigger to power an ebike motor. IMO ebike regulations should come down to a matter of maximum bike weights and maximum speeds. And the speeds should be set locally and should vary depending on the path, lane, sidewalk, road etc. Enforcement is relatively simple. People's safety is reasonably balanced with freedom (assuming reasonable limits are established.)

But getting back to the real world, if I were disabled and had to deal with a PAS law that made it hard to impossible to cycle regularly, I would first try to give my bike a super low "granny" gear to help me get the bike going. If that were insufficient, I'd implement a "walking speed" or "handlebar" assist that is available on some systems that basically gives you a walking speed assist via throttle. And if that wasn't either enough or practical, I'd have a throttle available and would deal with the consequences as they came.
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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by wturber » Jul 20 2019 9:24am

donn wrote:
Jul 20 2019 8:56am
Riders never have any significant input into this stuff, am I right? I mean, we're nominally represented by People For Bikes, but that looks to me like an industry group, and they're happy as long as there are consistent rules that allow them to sell stuff. They push "model legislation" that's oriented towards pedal-assist-only, in "class 3", and legislatures are happy to go along with that. It wouldn't take anything off their ability to sell their wares if laws here and there were revised to allow every "class" to use a throttle, but there's effectively no one to advocate for that.
I agree. My bet is that the legislation is crafted to pass legislatures. Keep in mind that mopeds are typically limited to 25 mph AND the generally need registration and insurance. So how in the heck does 28 mph fly for ebikes? I dunno, but I'm betting that some arguments about improving fitness etc. work some kind of psychological magic on legislatures.

The P for B legislation is probably typically better than what it replaces for most people. But that doesn't make it particularly good IMO.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by john61ct » Jul 20 2019 10:47am

The fundamental flaw, from which all such silliness flows, is that legislation is driven primarily by the interests of industry and secondarily the bureaucracies.

What would be in the interests of the general public is often given lip service only.

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by donn » Jul 20 2019 11:21am

Another way to put it would have been, We electric bicycle riders have passively allowed People For Bikes to represent us, and have never made any collective effort to influence legislation ourselves.

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by wturber » Jul 20 2019 12:03pm

donn wrote:
Jul 20 2019 11:21am
Another way to put it would have been, We electric bicycle riders have passively allowed People For Bikes to represent us, and have never made any collective effort to influence legislation ourselves.
This is correct. And I'm as guilty as anyone. The P for B legislation had stalled in 2017 and I knew it. I had planned on writing some letters, but never got around to it. Nine months later the legislation passed. It is actually fine for me in its current guise, but it creates potential problems for Amberwolf who was actually better off under the old law because the old law didn't define maximum wattage. Realistically, it will be quite some time before new legislation has a chance in AZ. Though motorized scooters may provide an opportunity sooner than otherwise.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by donn » Jul 20 2019 1:53pm

wturber wrote:
Jul 20 2019 12:03pm
I had planned on writing some letters, but never got around to it.
Don't feel too bad about that. I don't know AZ, but if it's like here, wouldn't have made the tiniest shred of difference. There might be a way to work towards improvement in the long haul, though.
wturber wrote:
Jul 20 2019 9:20am
But getting back to the real world, if I were disabled and had to deal with a PAS law that made it hard to impossible to cycle regularly, I would first try to give my bike a super low "granny" gear to help me get the bike going.
So here's a question, that for me kind of gets to the point of "pedal assist only." Are they (any of them) adjustable, so that the slightest pressure will get the motor going? The pedal assist version of a super low granny gear, even so you could practically mime pedal?

I could imagine working something like that with a hand control, so the pedal assist could get a very responsive on a start, and then you might back it down for a while and get almost no assist, or turn it back up to blast up a hill.

I don't know, I've never used pedal assist, so I have no real idea whether such a control would solve any problems. That's only half the point, though. However desirable it may or may not be, it would be an implementation of "pedal assist only" that's only superficially different from a throttle, from the point of view of anyone writing legislation to govern such vehicles. If that already essentially exists (?), that's a nice place to let the air out of this stupid idea.

My guess is that 1) if you could make it work, it would actually be kind of nice. The one thing that hasn't really grown on me about using a throttle, is that it's more complicated to surge up / coast down, with legs and thumb controlling two different power sources. That I guess is the virtue of pedal assist, it's simpler because it's all legs - and with that extra control, you'd have roughly the flexibility of the throttle.

... but that 2) it might be tricky to make the sensor that sensitive, and still be reliable.


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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by Volt_Ampere » Jul 20 2019 2:08pm

If it makes a big difference I would just remove my throttle since I never use it anyway.

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by john61ct » Jul 20 2019 2:21pm

Is there a centralized compendium of limit rules?

Hopefully worldwide and ideally accepting various geolocation codes. . .

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by docw009 » Jul 20 2019 3:17pm

I've been going down to FL for a few weeks in January, bringing our ebikes. Hmm, that's too bad.

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by DAND214 » Jul 20 2019 3:47pm

I moved down from Chicago NW suburbs 14 months ago. Have logged 7000 miles so far and the only ones asking if it's electric are bikers. I pedal most the time but have only throttle. 99% miles have been on bike paths thru Starky woods and the Suncoast Hwy 589. Have seen rangers but never was stopped or asked by others if it was pedalelectric
Mongoose.jpg
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I sure wish I could meet some other E-bikers to ride with. Have seen them but not in position to contact them. All the ones I have seen do not appear to be pedaling!

Dan

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by AHicks » Jul 20 2019 3:51pm

docw009 wrote:
Jul 20 2019 3:17pm
I've been going down to FL for a few weeks in January, bringing our ebikes. Hmm, that's too bad.
Just go for it. They aren't going to persecute an out of stater/tourist for sure. That would potentially undo a lot of hard earned tourist dollars in very short order. We're snow birds and have been using our e-bikes down there for several years now, on both state and county park trails. I've yet to see, read, or hear of anyone even being stopped for having a throttle equipped bike.

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by LeftieBiker » Jul 20 2019 4:13pm

So here's a question, that for me kind of gets to the point of "pedal assist only." Are they (any of them) adjustable, so that the slightest pressure will get the motor going? The pedal assist version of a super low granny gear, even so you could practically mime pedal?
The super low gear (which my EZIPs have) doesn't solve the problem. PAS systems rely on sensors on the front crank, and you always have to pedal at least 1/4 revolution (and usually more like one revolution) of the crank to activate it. I've never owned a bike with a torque sensing system, but that expensive option might work. Just limiting the throttle to less than (or no more than) 10MPH is the easiest, least expensive solution.

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by markz » Jul 20 2019 4:42pm

1) Avoidance
2) Fake Pedaling
3) Hard of hearing, cant hear sorry
4) Say "Yes, yes its purely peddal assist"
5) Avoid
6) Fake Pedal

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by donn » Jul 20 2019 5:32pm

LeftieBiker wrote:
Jul 20 2019 4:13pm
Just limiting the throttle to less than (or no more than) 10MPH is the easiest, least expensive solution.
That might be satisfactory - but without limiting the pedal assist to 10mph also. I guess this would mean, the controller interprets throttle inputs over a range from say 0 to 30% voltage, depending on the rpm/V, wheel size, etc. ... not being a controller whiz myself. Maybe that be a good deal for the simpler cadence controlled pedal assist, if one of its problems is getting the motor to kick in right off.

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by wturber » Jul 20 2019 7:05pm

donn wrote:
Jul 20 2019 1:53pm

So here's a question, that for me kind of gets to the point of "pedal assist only." Are they (any of them) adjustable, so that the slightest pressure will get the motor going? The pedal assist version of a super low granny gear, even so you could practically mime pedal?
Mine is a KT system (LCD 5 and such) and it is almost that way. But it doesn't operate on pressure. It merely responds to pedal rotation. So you need to get that first stroke going on your own. Hence my recommendation of having a "granny" gear. Once you are going, you simply dial in the assist level you desire. In my case, each of the five levels differ by about 175 watts. You could essentially faux pedal and get full power out of the bike. So yes, it is superficially pretty similar to a regular throttle in that you don't gave to put in much effort.

The KT also has a "handlebar" mode. You might be able to enable that to get a low speed roll going and then let PAS take over.
donn wrote:
Jul 20 2019 1:53pm
My guess is that 1) if you could make it work, it would actually be kind of nice. The one thing that hasn't really grown on me about using a throttle, is that it's more complicated to surge up / coast down, with legs and thumb controlling two different power sources. That I guess is the virtue of pedal assist, it's simpler because it's all legs - and with that extra control, you'd have roughly the flexibility of the throttle.
When you ride a regular bike, you take the wind and inclines that the world is throwing at you and then adjust your gears accordingly. With the five level PAS system, you are effectively just dialing in a "tailwind" or "downhill" . So I just set my PAS to the level that combines with the wind and terrain to get me the speed I want given the amount pedal effort I want to make. That means I run levels 2, 3 & 4 most of the time. Level 1 Is pretty much reserved for moderate downhills. I never use level 5 because my throttle will function while I'm pedaling and I can always get any power above my current level with a quick twist. People often think that Class 3 means "no throttle". But that is not what Class 3 legislation says.

Class 3 electric bicycle” shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with
a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that
ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28
miles per hour.


Even though my PAS system is a crude cadence based system, my bike still seems very bicycle-like. Probably because I almost never draw more than 700 battery watts. The main difference is that it is very heavy and doesn't toss around easily and it is a fair bit faster than a regular bike.
Last edited by wturber on Jul 20 2019 7:39pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: I saw a park ranger call out an e-bike rider on FL bike path.......

Post by furcifer » Jul 20 2019 7:25pm

I'm using the BBSHD without pedal assist. I don't know about the rest of the motors but I find pedal assist dangerous. If I do happen to leave PAS on it tends to turn on when I don't want it. And the chain falls off all the time, I don't want my pedal assist coming on when I've got my fingers between the chain and the chainring.

If you had an electric motor that operated like it was PAS in a factory it would be considered very dangerous. From an OSHA perspective PAS would probably be considered illegal. You should never be able to put your fingers in between the drive and a "live" motor.

My guess would be that as electric motors become more popular, and people with PAS start chopping off the tips of their fingers, the law might be reconsidered.

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