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Video lets you go behind the bars for a zippy e-bike commute

Posted by on March 21st, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Every day, rain or shine, Paul Turner blasts through his 19-mile commute from his home on the Sandy River in Troutdale to his office on Marquam Hill in southwest Portland. Aboard his electric-assisted bike, the journey takes him about an hour and ten minutes. He recently captured the highlights of his ride with a GoPro on-board camera and shared it on YouTube.

One of the seemingly obvious benefits of electric-assist bikes is how they expand the range of a bike commute. There’s no set definition for a long bike commute; but my hunch is that most people will start to look at other options once the distance gets beyond six or seven miles one way. My commute is about four miles each way and it takes me about 20-25 minutes depending on various factors (about the same time for the average American commute, regardless of mode).

For Paul Turmer, time is only one factor that figures into his choice to ride an e-bike instead of a standard bike, a bus, or a car. Here’s more from Paul:


“I ride up Terwilliger and Campus Drive – no Tram for me – 38 miles round trip. The advantages are obvious, takes an hour and ten minutes from my back door near the Sandy River to my office door which is a good 30-45 minutes better than the best TriMet can do, and an hour better than I can do on a non-assisted bike. I leave when I want and I don’t mess with transfers or waiting other than at stop signs and stop lights. Driving the same distance would save me some 15-20 minutes but not having to deal with parking at OHSU, the cost of gas, and rush hour traffic made the e-bike an easy choice. Compared to the alternatives the $2500.00 for the bike was a bargain from where I sit – it’ll be all paid for in less than a year. In 6 months I’ve logged over 2000 miles and I expect to get 10-15000+ miles.”

Paul says even with his motor running, he’s not always the fastest person in the bikeways; but he faster than most. One problem he has is that his speed is so much greater than other riders on hills, that he’s forced out of the bikeway and into other traffic to avoid them. He’s also noticed that there are added dangers that come with the rapid acceleration e-bikes provide. “So far I’ve been right hooked once in part because the driver, who knew I was there, did not expect me to go so far so fast and I got clobbered.”

Ride along on Paul’s commute by watching his video above or on YouTube.

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Comments
  • spencer March 21, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    how much exercise does one get w/ E- assist? If I lived that far away I’d totally get an Ebike, i just dont know when I’d exercise.

    The speed differential with other riders is a huge problem w/ mass use and our infrastructure. His right hook story is exactly the reason I commute my 7 miles on a mountain bike rather than on my road bike. I find that I dont surprise drivers as much going 12 mph on knobbies vs 18+ mph on skinnies.

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    • dan March 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      I completely agree – I don’t bother taking my road bike for my 4 mile commute because it creates an unsafe speed differential. I get a better workout pedaling around my piggish MTB anyway, and worry less about locking it on the street.

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      • spare_wheel March 21, 2014 at 5:43 pm

        i’m pretty sure i’ve dropped paul on my plastic pedal cycle manufactured by a basque anarcho-syndicalist mondragon cooperative. never would have been able to do that on the mtb…

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    • Capizzi March 21, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Passing other bicyclists on the right with the difference in speed is asking for trouble. I think there are times it is appropriate and safer for everyone to go slower and in line, especially through intersections and on/off bridges.

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      • mike March 21, 2014 at 11:50 pm

        Did you say “pass on the right”? Where have I heard that before. So, if a bicycle turns into another bicycle does that equal a “right hook”?

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      • John Lascurettes March 22, 2014 at 10:10 am

        He wasn’t passing on the right, he was in a right-turn-only lane (and in one shot in an adjacent lane on a 1-way street). Yes, I have a huge problem with cyclists passing on the right inappropriately, but he wasn’t doing that here from what I saw.

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        • Robert Burchett March 22, 2014 at 10:36 am

          In a right-turn-only lane he should turn right, no? What is legal about using that for a passing lane? Special bike exclusion? Tacky at best.

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          • John Lascurettes March 22, 2014 at 12:14 pm

            The video never showed him coming back over into the bike lane. You’re assuming he didn’t turn right there. There’s not enough shown to know if he turned right or merged back into the bike lane. You’re projecting your own bias here.

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            • Cory Poole March 23, 2014 at 9:21 am

              Unless he went around the block again, he merged back into bike lane.

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            • spare_wheel March 23, 2014 at 12:45 pm

              the video showed him on the hawthorne bridge ramp next.
              occam’s razor.

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              • John Lascurettes March 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm

                Fair enough. I’m not familiar enough with Hawthorne (Broadway commuter here). I apologize.

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                • John Lascurettes March 23, 2014 at 3:42 pm

                  And yes, then – it was tacky and technically illegal (crossing back over the solid white line).

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    • bArbaroo March 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      Some e-bikes require the rider to pedal. You can get plenty of exercise on an e-bike

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    • Robert Burchett March 22, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Some people will get _more_ exercise on an E-bike because they’ll wind up doing stuff they never did with an assist. This of course does not include those who just pull the little throttle trigger and never pedal at all.

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      • eli bishop March 23, 2014 at 12:09 am

        same with throttle. that’s how i got started.

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  • Indy March 21, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Wonder what it’s like hitting a pedestrian on the Hawthorne at ~15-20 mph?

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    • dan March 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Probably something like this:

      whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, SPLAT “Look where you’re going!”

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  • Glenn March 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Crimany! Some of those bike lanes are absurdly narrow! I thought our infrastructure in Washington state was pretty poor, and it is, worse than Portland’s. But the bar isn’t very high obviously.

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    • spare_wheel March 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      that is an artifact of the wide-angle gopro lens. all those bike lanes are 5-6 feet wide. the green lane on madison is 6 feet wide and looks quite narrow but there is more than enough room for two cyclists to ride side by side.

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      • Miss Forpe Stubb March 22, 2014 at 8:36 am

        The bike lane on Terwilliger before the Sam Jackson Park Rd. turn (as seen in the video) is really narrow. and on a curve. and traffic is fast. and the bike lane often fills with gravel, fallen rock, and blackberry canes. I don’t know if it’s 5-6 feet wide, but it never felt wide enough. (not to mention the quick move into the left turn lane just after a curve that has to be made if you’re continuing on Terwilliger up the hill — which you will be because Sam Jackson up is not exactly an option). I now ALWAYS take the wide sidewalk up Terwilliger rather than the bike lane. It’s so much nicer! And I breathe a lot less exhaust.

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  • Buzz Aldrin March 21, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Sounds like properly passing right-turning drivers on the left, rather than the right side, regardless of what the bike lane tells you to do, is even more important for faster e-bikes….

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  • Spiffy March 21, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I think I recognize a stretch of the I-205 path…

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  • IanC March 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Was the video sped up or is that how fast he was really going?

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  • Portland's One Stop Electric Bike Shop March 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Paul! Really fun to see you enjoying your eZee Sprint GTS! Do you mind if we link to your video from our website at http://www.ebikestore.com?

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  • dave March 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Wow. I never thought I’d be the cranky “Slow down!” guy, but that was absurd in a couple places. Blasting down the springwater or 205 path with nobody around is one thing, but the Hawthorne bridge? Passing people on the right at double their speed? Just because the motor burns electrons instead of gasoline doesn’t mean it’s not a motor vehicle.

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    • Ben Fleskes March 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      I concur. Just because you can go that fast, doesn’t mean you should. In some places, his speed should be half what it was and passing on the right, not such a good idea.

      I take my ebike from SW Portland to Wilsonville each day (22 miles round trip). For most of the route I’m able to comfortably go 15-20 mph. But some portions, like through Cook Park, I slow down to 5 mph because of pedestrians. But on the bike lanes, I usually have them too myself since I only see 1 or 2 other bicyclist each day on my commute.

      One day last summer, I had a dentist appoint in inner SE Portland. So I rode my ebike to the dentist and then out to work (Wilsonville) and then back home at the end of the day. Close to 50 miles for the whole day. Thanks to an ebike, that kind of trip is possible. However, riding across the Hawthorne bridge and through SE Portland, I had to drop to normal bike speeds, simply because of all the bike congestion in the bike lanes. Anything faster would not of been responsible. Or alternately, I simply hold my lane in traffic since I can pretty easily keep up with traffic in town. Since I’m used to only seeing a couple of bikes during the day, riding into town is a bit stressful. To mitigate the stress, I simply slow down.

      So in summary, just because you can go fast doesn’t mean you should.

      Ride well,

      Ben
      fellow ebike rider and commuter

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      • John Lascurettes March 22, 2014 at 10:14 am

        The only places he passed on the right, he was in another vehicle lane (as in one that cars also routinely pass on the right. Nothing wrong with that. I concur on shooting past the pedestrian on the Hawthorne though (I hope there was an audible there).

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  • mike March 21, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    At what point does this turn into a motorized vehicle?

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    • GlowBoy March 22, 2014 at 8:41 am

      Mike, it turns into a motor vehicle if the motor assist is capable of more than 20mph. E-bikes are clearly defined under the law.

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      • John Lascurettes March 22, 2014 at 10:21 am

        I’ve got a workmate that lives farther out and rides an e-assist bike who I sometimes run into on our commutes in. Invariably we ride side by side chatting on the greenway streets (him running the full 20mph most of the way); but when it comes to needing to be single file as we get closer to downtown, I tend to leave him in the dust. It surprises me every time, I don’t think I’m that fast, but clearly I’m regularly topping 20mph under nothing but human power.

        These incredulous calls for eBikes to be out of the bike lane and such are unfounded. I’m still in the bike lane – except for when I have to pass an eBike ;)

        Though I agree, the mix zone on the Hawthorne is terrible, and a person on an eBike should mellow the heck out there.

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  • Al from PA March 22, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Like I’ve always said–e-bikes are closer to motor scooters, should be licensed and drive on the road with the other motorized traffic.

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  • Mike Quigley March 22, 2014 at 6:26 am

    My round trip commute from Junction City to Eugene is about 35 miles round trip, half on rural roads. No problem with a Kalkhoff pedal assist. Want more exercise, just turn off the motor or pedal harder. The motor matches your pedal force.

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  • Mossby Pomegranate March 22, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Gotta love BikePortland…only here does the guy get bashed for riding his clean, efficient e-bike. And riding mountain bike on the road for fear of being “too fast”? Give me a break.

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    • dan March 24, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Not so much fear of being too fast, as it starts to feel kind of silly. Like if you had a race-tuned sports car that you bought to race at PIR, why would you drive it to the office? My road bike is far from the fanciest thing out there – Cannondale Caad 10 – but it just feels like overkill for a 4 mile commute.

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    • spencer March 24, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      no fear, just plain fact, altercations and near misses are vastly reduced between myself and drivers of cars when i’m going slower on a mountain bike.
      As for other bike riders, i find that i dont have to leave the bike lane nearly as often because i’m not going 10 mph faster than them all the time.

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      • spare_wheel March 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm

        have you personally experienced collisions because you were cycling at higher speeds or are you just imagining the danger a la walter mitty.

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  • TOM March 22, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Isn’t there any speed control ? is it just “off” or “full speed” ?

    I think he’s asking for trouble , the “riding on a cyclists right , right hook when the bike turns” scenario seems very possible.

    Geez, slow it down in the bike lane or move over with the cars, else this video may get used in an injury case against you. :(

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    • GlowBoy March 22, 2014 at 8:49 am

      From what I’ve seen, most e-bikes have variable power control. The only “on/off” mode ones I’ve seen are lower-model models in the 250W range (which, coincidentally, is all I’d want). Also, many of them only apply power when you’re pedaling, so slowing down is as simple as slowing down would be on a normal bike.

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    • spare_wheel March 22, 2014 at 9:25 am

      vehemently agree. if someone is riding faster than 20* they should exit the bike lane and run with the bulls. it’s also more fun than terrorizing vulnerable road users!

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      • John Lascurettes March 22, 2014 at 10:26 am

        … including when the motor vehicle lane is rated at 35mph (which means they’re going 45mph+)? I do 20mph+ in the bike lane and I have an ordinary commuter bike with no power but my own. I do come out to pass other cyclists, but there is no top speed limit to the bike lane other than the posted speed limit and, by definition of the law for eBikes, no power assist over 20mph. But they could still pedal faster if they’re so inclined.

        And he never passed another cyclist on the right except in another travel lane in the video.

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        • spare_wheel March 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm

          this is bike portland, not bike hell la. if you are moving close to the speed of motorised traffic you should not be buzzing vulnerable road users in the bike lane. be a mensch and take the freaking lane.

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          • John Lascurettes March 23, 2014 at 3:40 pm

            I just said I’m sometimes doing 20-ish in a bike lane with traffic doing 35-45 next to me. How is that “close to the speed of motorized traffic”? I don’t buzz people in the bike lane, I pass in the next lane over, but I come right back. Be a mensch and don’t assume I buzz people.

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            • spare_wheel March 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm

              i was referring to turner. mr. turner was doing 20+ in a bike lane on a road posted at 25 mph. being passed by someone doing 25 in a bike lane freaks out slower riders.

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  • GlowBoy March 22, 2014 at 8:47 am

    My interest in e-bikes is so I can shorten my commute to Beaverton by riding up over the West Hills at “normal bike” speeds. It is NOT so I can blast around other cyclists on the right. I don’t think this video is a very good ad for e-bikes. Over and over again it sure makes it look like he’s going TOO fast for conditions.

    I do wonder, as e-bikes get more popular, if we’ll wish we’d ended up defining e-bikes as limiting the electric assist to 15 mph instead of 20.

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    • Robert Burchett March 22, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      I spent the day Friday working on an E-bike (I was able to make my 30 minute commute with the power off, thank you). I think that the 250 watt maximum used in some jurisdictions makes a lot of sense. That’s a sustained output greater than most people can produce. The bike I was using had 4 power levels and the top two were superfluous.

      There’s been a news story lately about e-bike riders being more likely to be in accidents (exercise left to the reader). I can believe it.

      It’s likely that most working cyclists will be using electric assist five years from now–10,000 NYC food delivery people can’t be wrong. I think that wide use of e-bikes is one of the more hopeful current trends and I’ll be working regularly on one within the year. However this video is definitely not a good commercial for power assist in a bike lane.

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  • Doug Rosser March 22, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Whoa! Settle down kids. I think the wide angle of the camera lens is making his relative speed look higher than it actually is. Not a fan of passing on the right, but I admit I do it occasionally myself.

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    • John Lascurettes March 22, 2014 at 10:33 am

      There are only two spots he passes a cyclist on the right in the video where he is in a separate travel lane: once in a right-turn-only lane and other on a downtown one-way street with multiple lanes of travel (and he changes his lanes as he overtakes the cyclist). I don’t know why people are up in arms over this – it’s all copacetic (and I’m somebody that does get all bent when someone passes me on the right outside of the bike lane).

      As far as passing cars on the right, he’s only doing that while in a bike lane. Again, cars pass us on the left all day long but when they get all bunched up because of traffic, we’re the ones that are supposed to slow down too? I don’t think so.

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      • Doug Rosser March 22, 2014 at 11:24 am

        Silly me, I meant passing other cyclists on the right.

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        • John Lascurettes March 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm

          But he never did that in the video except when he was in a distinct and separate vehicle travel lane. All copacetic.

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          • Robert Burchett March 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm

            Has the commenter been hired to represent the rider in some way?

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            • John Lascurettes March 23, 2014 at 3:47 pm

              Nope, just saw everyone complaining that the guy was “passing on the right” when it appeared he never actually did in the video. Someone else explained that the in the video where he was in the right-turn-only lane was just before the Hawthorne (a bridge approach that is not part of my commute) which meant he did come back over into the lane. I apologized for my misunderstanding of that (and I do again). And if the rider did indeed do that, not only is it tacky – it’s illegal (crossing over the solid white line once goes from dashed to solid).

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              • Jeff March 25, 2014 at 1:25 pm

                Passing others on bikes on the right at that spot on the approach to the Hawthorne is done every day without incident. It all ends with the big fat green box that gets filled up on nearly every light cycle. And I say this as someone who frequently gets passed on the right at that spot (I tend to slow down when I know I can’t make the light.)

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  • JEFF BERNARDS March 22, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Were riding pedal assist e-bikes here in Slovenia, they’re awesome. We shopped all over town today, where we could have used the car, we didn’t. I was going pretty fast and when I turn around Natasa is right behind me, she loves it too. If lowering your carbon foot-print matters to you the E-bike is the perfect solution. It’s converting night time wind energy into next day transportation, gold.

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  • Gumby March 22, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    With great power, comes great responibitity. I ride an e-bike (ecospeed)15 miles each way to work. I rode over 5000 miles last year. I definately have to take into account that I am sometimes traveling faster than a traditional bike would. This means that I spend more time in the travel lane and have to watch my speed where pedestrians are present. Drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists may not recognize that I’m traveling faster than what they are used to. My maximum speed, though, is actually about the same as when I rode my standard bike – about 36mph going down hill. I get more excercise than when I rode my standard bike, because it takes less time to ride and so I ride every day. I don’t have to pedal, but it’s boring not to.

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  • TOM March 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    nice how he edits out going airborne over the speedbump and boxing himself in behind a bus while passing cyclists. :)

    How well does it stop from 20 MPH ? (in the wet)

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  • Robert Burchett March 22, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    JL says that I’m biased? What is the bias of a working bike messenger, and do you owe this guy money or what?

    Who thinks that dude slowed to yield to the bus, took the right, crossed MLK (+3 minutes), and got on the Hawthorne Bridge from the Esplanade? Nope, not likely.

    So, nice edit, but I think the little bouncy tune doesn’t really go with the visual. Maybe ‘Ride of the Valkyries’.

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  • Robert Burchett March 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    How many people believe that rider who shot the video (no names mentioned) slowed behind the bus, made the right, took a left on Main, waited to cross MLK, took two stops on the way down to the Esplanade, went up the ramp, yielded to bikes and pedestrians, and merged onto the Hawthorne Bridge side path? Excuse me, I do not.

    If this were a federal case there is probably some other video that hasn’t been edited to omit evidence of traffic violations, and passing in a turn lane is a letter-and-spirit violation as far as I can see it.

    And, how can a person say another person is biased and not be moderated? What is my bias supposed to be?

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  • Schrauf March 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    The video is obviously not all at live speed. Some sections have been sped up. Plus, with the distortion from the GoPro wide angle lens others have mentioned, everything looks closer and faster.

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    • Cory Poole March 23, 2014 at 9:25 am

      I seriously doubt any portion of the video was sped up. But I would agree as a go pro owner that the wide angle does make it look like you are going very fast even when you are not.

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  • TOM March 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Schrauf
    The video is obviously not all at live speed. Some sections have been sped up. .

    so which ones are sped up ? the cadence on the cyclists that he passes look normal … the music gets sped up, maybe that’s what’s confusing you ?

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  • maxadders March 23, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Outrageous. Do we really have to share the street with someone who thinks Einstein Bros makes good bagels?

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  • Paul Turner March 23, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Well, this was surprising…

    Just a few comments in reply.

    No clip in this video was sped up (the clip of me picking up the sewer pipe was slo-mo), distortion from the GoPro makes it look like I’m going faster. From last Friday’s commute my average speed over 38.8 miles was 18.7 MPH, top speed was 31.5 MPH (going down Sam Jackson, wheeee!) For contrast, the average speed of the Tour de France is ~25MPH. I wear a helmet mounted GoPro every day – like a dashboard cam.

    About my use of the right hand lane on the approach to the Hawthorne, note the broken white stripes on either side of the bike lane, in that spot it is perfectly legal for a car to go from the left lane to the right lane across the bike lane and vice versa. If a car can do it, so can I. Now, I do use the bus only lane further back, I should not do that but I have plenty of company – see the video below.

    I have yet to get air going over speed bumps, if I could I would – my other bike is a KLR-650.

    I do not like riding on multi-use paths with my e-bike but like in the case of the Hawthorne Bridge it is unavoidable (suggest a different route across the Willamette that does not mix peds and bikes) – in the beginning I rode the Steel Bridge and did the waterfront but the mix of sleeping bags, gawkers, walkers, joggers, segways, skate boards, slow bikes, fast bikes I gave it up. I much prefer riding in traffic lanes – my favorite part of the route is the Lincoln/Harrison Bike boulevard – now that is an urban bike route done right. Last fall Portland did a bunch of re-paving so the riding surface is nice and smooth (unlike the Burnside/Ankeny corridor). Eastbound on Lincoln/Harrison has a lot of elevation gain where my e-bike really works – westbound there’s not much difference between a person-powered-bike and an e-bike. I hope the new Orange Line bridge has better separation of bike and pedestrian traffic.

    It could be the case that if all rode assisted bikes where momentum wasn’t such a precious thing there could be better observance of traffic laws, like stopping at signs. I could put together a video running several minutes consisting of nothing but bikers running stop signs, I should do that. Additionally e-bikes could equalize speeds where you would not have conflicts with riders with greatly varying abilities. You can see this in the video below.

    I pedal all the time so in the 2 hours I’m riding each day I get plenty exercise.

    East of I-205 is Montana, there’s lots of biking infrastructure but very few commuters on bikes and in the past 6 months I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of bike commuters I’ve seen on Halsey between Troutdale and I-205. E-bikes could really make a difference out here – usually I don’t see bikes until I get west of Mt Tabor. Downside is I’m next to traffic going 45MPH a lot of the way.

    Here are some Hawthorne Bridge approaches – get a load of the guy in red in the 4th clip, I’ll bet he hit ~30MPH at the rumble strips.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZIW8zkxhDg&feature=youtu.be

    tl;dnr – I promise in the future to contain my irrational exuberance and will be better behaved at the west bound approach to the Hawthorne Bridge and at other places especially downtown.

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    • pengo March 23, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      30 mph on the rumble strips? Inconceivable. His bicycle would surely have been rent asunder by the harmonic resonance.

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    • spare_wheel March 24, 2014 at 9:02 am

      “top speed was 31.5 MPH (going down Sam Jackson, wheeee!)”

      “I could put together a video running several minutes consisting of nothing but bikers running stop signs, I should do that.”

      It’s amusing that you are griping about “bikers” running stop signs in the same post where you are bragging about speeding on your motorized bicycle in an area clogged with hospital patient and emergency vehicle traffic.

      PS: I personally support both rolling stop signs and bombing down hills.

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    • Ty March 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Nice video! E-bike is definitely a nice alternative to human powered bike and still able to share the same infrastructure.

      I didn’t see anything controversial in your ride either other than riding on busy roads with not enough separation from traffic due to skinny bike lanes, but obviously that’s not always avoidable. I know, riding your KLR, you are used to being around traffic, but, having also ridden street and dirt bikes the last 20 years, cars don’t see you on a bicycle nearly as well as a motorbike, despite all the blinkies. They will often assume that you will be as slow as those other bicycles you passed too.

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  • Paul Turner March 23, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    John Lascurettes
    And yes, then – it was tacky and technically illegal (crossing back over the solid white line).
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    I’ll go with tacky but illegal? See W-2 below and think about that the next time you are in the Vista tunnel eastbound going for Salem and decide to go to Seattle.

    WB: A white broken line shall be used when crossing of the lane line markings with care is permitted.
    • W-2: A wide solid white line shall be used when crossing of the lane line is discouraged. Typical applications include; separating thru lanes from left and right turn lanes, bike lanes, in tunnels or on bridges having narrow lane widths, and interchange areas where lane changing disrupts traffic flow.
    • NDW: A double solid white line shall be used when crossing of the lane line is prohibited. Appropriate regulatory signs should be installed (OR22-15: NO LANE CHANGE AHEAD, OR22-16: NO LANE CHANGE NEXT XXXX FT., and/or OR22-17: NO LANE CHANGE NEXT ½ MILE).

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    • John Landolfe March 24, 2014 at 10:22 am

      It is a time-honored tradition on BikePortland for our hyper-analytical fellow commuters/commenters to turn any seemingly fun video into a Rubik’s cube of traffic etiquette analysis.

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    • dan March 24, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Full disclosure, I also pass on the right when approaching the east ramp to the Hawthorne Bridge. I do this with full knowledge that it’s rude at best and a traffic violation at worst. In my partial defense, I give a _lot_ of room, maybe 6 feet, to the person I’m passing.

      What can I say, I’m motivated to hit the light at Grand…

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    • spare_wheel March 24, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      passing vehicles on the right is certainly legal (and something i do fairly often). however, in the posted video you passed multiple cyclists as they were nearing an intersection and you were entering a turn lane. it’s 100% illegal to use a right turn lane as a passing lane. imo, it is also very rude to pass on the right in an intersection where a cyclist reasonably expects that there would be no through traffic coming from the right.

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      • dan March 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm

        Well…given the bike box at Madison and Grand, it’s not unusual (or unexpected?) for bikes to pass other bikes on the right in the intersection. I’m not sure what else you would do there when starting from a stop.

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  • Joe March 24, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I’d always wonder who was pulling away from me on e-bike.. things move lol

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  • Red Dawg March 24, 2014 at 10:07 am

    homey on the recumbent e-bike with the LED light tower is more than courteous on Barbur… but we all are to each other on that road.

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  • CaptainKarma March 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Maybe motorized bikes should have liability insurance (just like mo-peds, which are – motorized bicycles)? Time & statistics will tell.

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    • Paul Turner March 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      My Insurance agent tells me I’m covered for liability and damage to myself through a combination of my home owner’s policy and car insurance. I don’t know the details.

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  • Paul Turner March 25, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Just for the record. The bike is an eZee Spring GTS, front wheel drive, 350w motor. Has an 8 speed internal hub which can be shifted up or down at a complete stop. I purchased the bike with a 36v, 15 ampH battery but upgraded to a 20 ampH ($825.00 – maybe 30 mile range) – eZee has a 28 ampH battery in the works. The bike is longer than regular bikes and does not fit well on some MAX trains – not sure it fits on the front rack of a bus. Total weight is ~50-60 pounds. The bike is very solidly constructed and is designed as an e-bike as opposed to a conversion or kit. I’m going to have the front brake replaced with larger rotor and pads – braking from 20+ MPH takes a toll on brake pads. I keep a charger at home and one at work – charge from near complete depletion is ~3 hours.

    Our media guy tells me the last 3-4 of segments of the video were sped up to fit the time allowed. I usually pull Terwiligar at 18-20 MPH but on the very steep Campus Drive I drop to 8-10MPH.

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  • Nat March 31, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Here’s a non e-bike commute from outer-southeast to downtown. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj7bMWRGaJU

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