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The Monday Roundup: Stationless in Seattle, future of bike racing, fixies on trial, and more

Posted by on August 21st, 2017 at 12:56 pm

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No driverless cars: Post-Charlottesville, Lloyd Alter of Treehugger wants us to remember that, “Cars don’t kill people — people kill people.”

On a similar note: There’s a new Twitter account, @AbsentDriver, that tracks the phenomenon of these robotic vehicles that apparently think and act without input from humans.

Smart speed bumps: A few countries are testing a high-tech speed bump filled with “non-Newtonian liquid” that’s soft when hit at slow speeds and hard when hit at high speeds.

E-bike essay: A wonderful rumination in the New Yorker on the moral and mobility dilemma that electrified bicycles represent.

Latest from Seattle: Ofo is the third company to launch a stationless bike share system in Seattle.

Incrementalism sucks: Transportation isn’t the only field in our region that is stuck in the mire of incrementalism. This must-read from Design Week Portland shares a lack of boldness and leadership that is very similar to the problems we have with bicycling and transit.

A new tour: Portland resident and bike touring advocate Laura Crawford of Path Less Pedaled fame has moved to Missoula, Montana for a new job as U.S. Bicycle Route System coordinator with the Adventure Cycling Association.

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Future of U.S. bike racing: VeloNews opines on the recent Colorado Classic stage race and thinks its innovative format offers a more compelling future for the sport.

Better train service: Amtrak has boosted frequency and raised the speed of their Portland to Seattle route.

Dangerous bike racks?: The city council in Greenville, Ohio inexplicably voted to remove bike racks due to safety concerns.

Racks popular in L.A.: Meanwhile the city council in Burbank, California (near Los Angeles) likes bike racks so much they’ve voted to continue a pilot program.

Bike share partisanship: The Trump Administration had a Capital Bikeshare station removed from White House grounds. The station was installed under Barack Obama in 2010.

Bike lanes in black neighborhoods: When it comes to planning for bicycle access in neighborhoods, racial profiling and crime fears are among the top three biggest concerns from black and latino Americans.

Fixies in court: A London man who collided with and killed a woman while bicycling on a fixed-gear bike without a front hand-brake was forced to defend his actions in court. The case reminds us of the 2006 Portland case where a judge ruled against a fixed-gear bicycle rider.

Another way cars kill: If cars are the “weapon of choice” for terrorists than cities should designate more carfree spaces in crowded urban areas.

On a happier note: Police in Akron Ohio gave an 89-year-old man a bicycle after his was stolen.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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42 Comments
  • Spiffy August 21, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    first list broken due to missing letter L at the end.

    https://www.treehugger.com/cars/cars-dont-kill-people-people-kill-people.html

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    • Mick O August 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Not only that: “people, kill people.” with the comma, it reads like an imperative statement!

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  • bikeninja August 21, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    As if there was not enough reasons to dislike Trump already, getting rid of a bikeshare station is like kicking a puppy. Kind of reminds me of back in the 1980’s when Reagan removed the Solar Panels that Jimmy Carter installed on the White House.

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    • Stephen Keller August 21, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      I’m not sure I agree. A more charitable interpretation might be that no one in the current administration was using this station, so the bikes were redeployed to other, more accessible (and profitable) stations, and the station itself was then removed. I know Trump-bashing is popular sport, and I probably have as dim a view of the man as anyone, but not every change signals a conspiracy of darkness.

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    • wsbob August 22, 2017 at 11:08 am

      No need to fret about the removal of a bike rack on white house grounds. The way he’s handling the office, likely is giving many people reason to fret that the pres himself is the next to be removed from white house grounds.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Laura congrats on your new job! (Cannot think of a better candidate.) The Portland area will miss you and Russ…I remember when y’all blew into town 9 years ago as it if were yesterday…

    …and perhaps you can help Oregon get its route recognized as a part of the US BRS…I was surprised Oregon was missing one as shown in the video clip with your job announcement. Washington State is listed…

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  • Todd Boulanger August 21, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Sadly I am not too surprised at Greenville (OH) city council removing Dero’s “Bike Bike” racks due to an injury and threat of litigation…there are two primary problems with the design of this rack that I have seen since its installation in the 1990s (Honolulu and other places): novice bicyclists often do not recognize that it is a bike rack so they do not park at it…and since it is an art rack that is not highly utilized by bike parking this then allows many pedestrians to try to “ride” it thus the higher chance of personally inflicted injury than a staple rack would create. I hope the Greenville City council installs replacement racks such as the simple staple rack.

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    • Stephen Keller August 21, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      Agreed. Artifice is good as long as it doES not overpower function. These go too far.

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    • Caleb August 23, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      Not once have I ever looked at one of those racks and thought they were anything but racks for locking up bikes. Granted, I may have an advantage over others in the sense I never stopped riding a bicycle in my youth, but still, removing these racks for safety seems akin to removing streets, because people die during their misuse. Seems education could make them useful again. But as long as they’re replaced with something safer, I wouldn’t complain any further.

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  • B. Carfree August 21, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    RE Amtrak: Good for PDX and Seattle that there are going to be a couple more trains. I loudly applaud this.

    Meanwhile, those of us south of PDX and north of Sacramento are in a train wasteland. ODOT lopped off the late train from PDX to Eugene a couple years back, so we can no longer do a single day round-trip to Seattle (personally a bummer since my favorite bike shop/frame builder is in Seattle). Prior to that the train to Medford disappeared just as I heard it existed.

    Don’t get me started on the “service” of the Coast Starlight. Oh heck, I’m started. I just returned from Davis last week. That train needs to arrive in Sacramento less than an hour behind schedule in order to be able to make up the time during the night run to Klamath Falls. Unfortunately, Amtrak decided to cash in on the Eclipse, without warning us, by adding two private cars to the rear of the train in Oakland. It took them over an hour to hook up, which meant we missed that magic less-than-an-hour-late window and thus continued to lose time along the way since the train had lost its slot on the tracks.

    I do wish we would grow up and realize that we need complete train service. It’s so bad that on those occasions when I choose to not ride my bike between Oregon and California (done that dozens of times), I may resort to flying, which will undo much of my effort to not create unnecessary greenhouse gases.

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    • Chris I August 22, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Given the population density south of Portland, we are fortunate to have anything.

      And a clarification on the Amtrak Cascades service changes. These have not happened yet, and are not expected until the end of the year. They need to finish the trestle work in Tacoma, along with a few other small projects. These changes will shave about 10-20 minutes off of your average trip, and will greatly increase reliability. New, lower-emission engines should also be active in the next few months.

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  • B. Carfree August 21, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    While I certainly wish Ms Crawford well in her new position at ACA, I am somewhat opposed to the whole concept of a bike route system for two reasons. First of all, it will have multiple points of absolute failure, where unprepared cyclists foolishly fall for the PR and head into the lion’s den. Just ride some of the ACA routes here in Oregon and you’ll see what I mean (especially if you don’t carefully select your time of day and day of week). Nothing kills cycling like thousands of horror stories from people who were expecting to have a wonderful time.

    Second of all, it invariably creates an attitude that cyclists not on the route are where they don’t belong. We can see this in cities all across the nation where there are official bike routes, often with substandard designs, and those of us who ignore them get harassed for riding on parallel roads (sometimes even when we live or work on those roads).

    Personally, when I tour I try to stay as far from ACA routes as possible. I find that people are much more accepting of cyclists on the road on lightly cycled routes, perhaps because no one has a horror story of someone on a bike behaving badly.

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    • Dave August 23, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Agreed, I’m an ACA member and have ridden a number of their tours; I have also spoken to the main route person and advised him to read this blog on a regular basis as a kind of road report to see if they really want to recommend places like 101 along the Oregon Coast, for instance.

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  • Kathy August 21, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    We have a pair of bike racks in my neighborhood very much like the ones removed in Greenville, Ohio. They are frequently used. In fact, they are two of the better bike racks in my city which is full of wave racks and wheel benders. When I am walking with grandchildren and at least one of them is not in use, they love to climb on them and sit on them.

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  • K'Tesh August 21, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    On the subject of the bike racks in Greenville being removed. I can only imagine what some kid being sat down on that (as is) must feel like, and for boys it’s bad… Girls? I think it would be worse. OUCH!

    The solution is simple. Remove the bike seat shaped thin metal, and replace it with pipes welded into place. If they must have the bike seat shape, weld thin metal under it to give the shape.

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  • K'Tesh August 21, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    I can see how the bike racks in Greenville could be a safety hazard. Children being sat down on those must be in a lot of pain, as it closely reminds me of the Medieval torture device known as “The Horse”. Thin metal pressed into a sensitive area, for boys it’d be bad enough… For girls? WORSE!! OUCH!!!

    I tracked down the manufacturer, Dero, and made this suggestion… Remove the thin metal seat shape, and replace it with welded pipe. If they need to preserve the bike seat shape, weld that under the “seat”. Now we just need to see if there’s a fix coming down the pipe.

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    • K'Tesh August 21, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      Sorry about the near duplicate message… Chrome froze, and when I got it back up again, the first message appeared to be lost.

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    • Kyle Banerjee August 23, 2017 at 5:50 am

      One simple alternative is for them to not sit on things that hurt. This style of racks is common in some areas, and I’ve never heard of them being removed for a reason like this.

      Life is full of hazards, it’s obvious you’re not supposed to sit on them — and that it will hurt if you try. If anything, protecting people from stuff like this will make them less safe because they won’t have a chance to learn to avoid hazards that could really hurt them.

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      • K'Tesh August 25, 2017 at 4:03 pm

        Let’s see you try to teach kids not to sit on something that looks like it’d be fun to sit on. They look fun, they are colorful, and look safe to sit on, until you actually try. I suspect the reason Greenville removed them is that a parent thought it’d be a fun thing to photograph Jr on at Jr’s request. This happy kid’s expression then changed to pain and tears because of a less than gentle landing on that shape. While it may have been the parent’s fault, they needed a way to pass the blame off to someone else.

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  • 9watts August 22, 2017 at 9:57 am

    The reflective article on electric bikes was excellent.

    These sentences spoke to me:

    “On a bike, you know where the hills are, you know how to time the lights, you calibrate for the movement of cars in traffic, other bikes, pedestrians. The electric bike was a new velocity on the streets.”

    “When you keep introducing more and more power and speed into that equation, it goes against the philosophy of slowing cars down—of traffic calming—in order to make things more livable,”

    “I think there should be a very simple classification: human-powered or not human-powered.”

    What might have helped the author sort out his feelings about e-bikes are the ruminations of Ivan Illich, as well as the widely observed attraction of what Amory Lovins calls energy slaves. Getting someone else to do the work for you, whether by stuffing amp hours into an E-bike battery or gasoline into a fuel tank is seductive, and ultimately something we must continue to wrestle with, resist, seek to understand better.

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    • Eric Leifsdad August 22, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      Next thing he’ll be complaining about human-powered velomobiles silently passing at 30mph.

      It does everyone a disservice to equate e-bikes to gas-powered cars. The fraction of a horsepower, and sub-1kWh battery packs are nothing compared to 75kWh tesla, which is over 4x the efficiency of a gasoline engine car. And costs as much as 40 e-bikes.

      Beyond getting enough exercise, you can’t grow the extra food you would need in the same space taken up by the solar panel that would charge the battery.

      Maybe at some point none of us will have any electric motors, but until we get past all of these free parking lots that the vast majority of people use cheap gas to drive to, e-bikes are a good thing.

      People complaining about e-bikes zipping past in bike lanes are really saying that they prefer getting right-hooked by minivans.

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      • 9watts August 23, 2017 at 7:52 am

        “People complaining about e-bikes zipping past in bike lanes are really saying that they prefer getting right-hooked by minivans.”

        Why measure all possibile solutions against the automobile? The least sustainable, most violent, most expensive mode of transportation? I’d think treating the bicycle as the gold standard, measure other candidates against it would be a more useful, more interesting, more productive conceptual approach.

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  • eCargo Rider August 22, 2017 at 10:42 am

    I think the author’s bias was forefront, and is a sometimes bias in the cycling community that ebike riders may face in the future.

    These sentences spoke to me:

    “I grew up as a bike rider in Manhattan, and I also worked as a bike messenger, where I absorbed the spartan, libertarian, every-man-for-himself ethos:”

    “I laughed and told him about a ride I took across the Manhattan Bridge the previous night, where several electric bikes flew by me. It was not, I insisted, an ego thing about who is going faster.”

    “It’s a cheat!”

    9watt — you add that we must resist “energy slaves”? Whoa nelly!

    This is a much different philosophy that that espoused by the likes of the former BTA when “one less car” was the goal.

    Rigid acceptance of human-powered only? Interesting.

    This gives no regard for the people whose commutes are too long or too hilly — giving them a binary choice between car and bike means that they must take the car.

    This gives no regard to the injured, the disabled, or those trying to get in shape if they want to use technology to assist them in participating in the cycling community.

    This gives no regard of the mom or dad who want to take two (or more) kids to school, and shop, and pick them up, but may not have been training for months to stay in “human powered only” shape — or, heaven forbid, live on a hill.

    It reminds me of the proliferation of running 10 years ago with the introduction of the run/walk strategy. The “runners” felt that the change was bad because more people were (in their minds) “cheating” and clogging up “their” races.

    It’s very sad when any community is divided with an “us” and “them” and interesting to see when the lines are drawn.

    Will it be ebikes v. bikes going forward?

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    • 9watts August 22, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Thanks, eCargo Rider, for your reply.

      “9watt — you add that we must resist ‘energy slaves’? Whoa nelly”

      Yes. I do believe that. Can you articulate how you disagree?

      “This is a much different philosophy that that espoused by the likes of the former BTA when ‘one less car’ was the goal.”

      Although I was once a dues paying member of the BTA, why should there only be one voice that champions bikes or criticizes automobility?
      One fewer car, or better fuel economy used to be laudable goals, but we’ve long since eclipsed those as history races on. These are now unfortunately obsolete or worse, distractions from the much deeper challenges we now face.

      “Rigid acceptance of human-powered only? Interesting.”

      That is not what I wrote. I am for keeping track of what it is we’re talking about; not losing sight of what the full costs are or may be of adopting this or that strategy, technology, technical system. Then there is the pesky matter of whether what we’re debating here are individual choices & preferences, or constraints that dictate what we, collectively, can afford.

      “This gives no regard for the people whose commutes are too long or too hilly — giving them a binary choice between car and bike means that they must take the car. This gives no regard to the injured, the disabled, or those trying to get in shape if they want to use technology to assist them in participating in the cycling community.”

      But that is hardly what is happening here. I don’t think the author or I have any interest in castigating individuals or classes of people for who E-assist may serve a very immediate purpose. Is your list a good reflection of the demographics of how cars have been adopted? Electric vehicles, kitchen machinery, cordless tools? Of course not. We all respond to the allure of getting something for free, of letting someone else do the work. That attraction is what I was highlighting, its risks and history.

      “This gives no regard of the mom or dad who want to take two (or more) kids to school, and shop, and pick them up, but may not have been training for months to stay in ‘human powered only’ shape — or, heaven forbid, live on a hill.”

      You’re misunderstanding my project, the scales at which I think this topic deserves to be explored. For most of human history people (not all but most people) tackled all of those tasks you enumerated without fossil fuels, without electricity. And while they did transition to relying on animals for these tasks at some point, the introduction of fossil fuels has saddled us with a more complex and irreversible set of challenges that demand our attention. Appealing as you are here to frailties and the physical challenges (some of which have arisen precisely due to our over-reliance on those fossil fuels for everything from changing the TV channel to kneading bread) of human powered transportation as a way to make the conversation go away doesn’t serve a purpose I can subscribe to. Better to ask questions, interrogate the awkward or uncomfortable and see where this takes us.

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  • eCargo Rider August 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Did you just call ebike riders “energy slaves” using your computer to argue on the internet about the ills of an electric based society? 😉

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    • 9watts August 22, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      No I did not.
      Amory Lovins’ term describes the inanimate fossil fuels, however transformed, as energy slaves. See here:
      https://www.outsideonline.com/1911501/energy-literacy-part-ii-why-less-energy-more

      As for the fact that I am typing this on a computer, sure. Statistically it is also likely that you and I own or at least use automobiles and perhaps even the occasional airplane. The fact that our society is organized, has been organized, around cheap fossil fuels for more than a century is a fundamental, inarguable fact, but that doesn’t mean, to quote Voltaire’s Pangloss, that ‘everything is for the best and that man lives in the best of all possible worlds.’ We can interrogate how it is that we got here; whether our current set of circumstances benefit us in the long run, and if not, organize or at least articulate how to change course. Or do you disagree?

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  • eCargo Rider August 22, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    “An ebike might not be able to replace your car for some uses, but when comparing the environmental impacts, there’s really no question. If you use an ebike as a replacement for driving a car, you are absolutely helping to curb your CO2 footprint and may even be more efficient than pedaling a traditional bicycle depending on your diet.”

    ” A study by the European Cyclist Federation showed the overall carbon footprint of ebikes as nearly identical to traditional bikes, stating that a cyclist produces 21g of CO2 per kilometer traveled whereas ebike user produced about 22g of CO2 per kilometer, compared with 101g by bus and 271g by passenger car. One reason why the numbers between ebikes and traditional bikes is so close is that an ebike user expends less energy while riding than a traditional bike rider, and so they will theoretically be consuming less carbs, which reduces their carbon footprint.”

    https://electricbikereview.com/guides/environmental-cost-ebikes-vs-cars-motorcycles/

    Food for thought when you are putting weight on your scales for “your project.”

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    • 9watts August 22, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Thanks for continuing to weigh in. I am familiar with those claims.

      This is exactly the kind of argument, rationalization, special pleading one might expect around a(nother) encroachment of a motorized variant into what had been a non-motorized domain. I am not in a position to judge each of those claims, but will draw your attention to this study, which concludes something a little different:
      http://www.eurobike-show.com/eb-wAssets/daten/rahmenprogramm/pdf/LifeCycleAssessment_DelDuce_englisch.pdf
      (see slides 22-30 in particular)

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  • wsbob August 22, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    The New Yorker article on the phenomena of e-bikes and some of the ways they’re changing life in the city, is good.

    E-bike functionality is amazing, and it gets better and better…more travel range, better aesthetics. The writer raises an important point in observing how availability to use e-bikes changes the pace of travel many people have come to associate with, and are comfortable with, using and in the presence of bikes powered only by muscles,inertia and gravity. I myself don’t at present, particularly like the pace of biking and the numbers of people using that easy technology, that increased popularity of e-bike is likely to bring about.

    I think though, there is reason to consider that increased, wider use of e-bikes won’t be allowed be allowed to overwhelm people using exclusively muscle powered bikes, as people biking today tend to be overwhelmed by much of motor vehicle traffic. As I think the writer essentially says, e-bikes, given the power assist they offer their riders, are more equipped to be used in the lanes with motor vehicles, than are people powering their bikes with only muscles, inertia and gravity.

    Yesterday on my way up the hill from the Beav for the great solar phenomena, on Raab Rd (near Sylvan), uphill, a guy on a klunky bike zipped by me, cranking away on my road bike. Friendly guy, he called out with a smile in passing, I’m cheating! This is an electric bike!”. I called back ‘That’s ok…I don’t feel too bad being passed, since it’s an electric bike!’. Thing is for me, my legs feel good, and I feel good, when they’re working. Much better than sitting. I’ve ridden scooters and motorcycles, small stuff, but for me, that means of travel is essentially the same inactive form. I’d rather be riding and working some, rather than just sitting there feeling my muscles stiffen up.

    I expect that many people, a lot of them very out of shape, are going to take to e-bikes. Because they’re out of shape and not feeling good, it seems likely to me that they’ll be bringing along with them on e-bike travel, much of the same irritable impatient state of mind characterizing some of the people that are the worst at driving because of how that activity can leave people feeling unless they prepare against succumbing to it.

    By the way…if any of you reading here, ride the north side Sunset Hwy MUP, and you happen to be passed by or notice a guy riding his gas powered e-bike, please definitely try get a description and file a report. Last time I saw him, about a month ago, he was wearing a hi-vis yellow safety vest. Big guy, going too fast.Signs on the path entrances announce a 250 buck fine for riding such a machine on the path.

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  • eCargo Rider August 22, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Those slides seem to say what I’ve been saying — one less car, one more ebike makes a huge difference. Would a bike be better? Sure.

    But, when a bike isn’t practical and the option is ebike or car? The ebike is so good — on so many levels.

    I don’t know you — obviously. But you seem to be on the same side of this overall argument. Less cars on the road is a good thing.

    But, unless you are seeking some sort of Thoreauian absolute naturism, I don’t understand the conflict. Riding a bike (like using electricity for the internet) is also a specific environmental choice that you are making. I assume you use rubber tires and tubes and assorted bike lubricants. I assume your bike was manufactured somewhere, by someone using machinery.

    If you really wanted total energy purity, obviously, you’d walk.

    But that would be too far to walk. It would take too much time. [You might reply.] A bike is more practical. [You might argue.]

    Where we differ, clearly then, is where we each draw the line.

    What I’ve been saying is that ebikes are better than cars and are a fantastic alternative when biking isn’t a viable option.

    In the great “energy scheme” of things, every ebike trip that avoids a car trip is a win for the environment in general. Not to mention the benefit to the individual who would have otherwise been in a car.

    You seem to be saying that ebikes are ALSO part of the problem and not a good alternative to cars (because riders of ebikes are also “energy slaves,” I suppose.)

    Do you see how the argument is a bit like a vegan shaming a vegetarian?

    [A cow doesn’t care who “wins” that particular argument, by the way.]

    Applying this to the larger cycling community: If ebike riders are shunned as “cheaters” and “energy slaves”, can you see how that might discourage people from getting out of their cars and reducing their footprint? Do you see how this type of shaming will lead to more cars on the road?

    What’s your end goal?

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    • 9watts August 22, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Let’s recall where we began. Someone in a magazine discussing e-bikes by noting how they are dissimilar physically & culturally from their human powered relatives. I agreed with that sentiment, though it is worth noting that the author drifted quite a bit from any sort of absolutist perspective as the article proceeded. I introduced Ivan Illich and Amory Lovins by pointing to other dimensions of this comparison, suggesting the importance of context and constraints.

      Your point seems to be largely that when compared with cars e-bikes are from an environmental perspective more like bikes than not, and that is a valid point I do not and would not disagree with. I’m just focusing on different dimensions.

      (a) Can we afford to blithely go in this direction, allow the humble, human powered bicycle to be turned into a motorized version given what we know about the seductiveness of such a shift, and the possible constraints that might make this a problematic direction to go, all the while considering this to be ‘an environmental’ thing?

      (b) How are arguments made and deployed around this kind of technical change? Have we seen this kind of thing before? Who gets to define the boundaries of the discussion? Who wins, who loses?

      You and many others like to focus on the infirm, the physically challenged or the fecund and suggest that this is a liberating technology that meets real needs. While no doubt also true, there is a lot more going on, and I think we might both agree that the most significant thing about e-bikes (when it comes to scale, demographics, ecological impact) is not the infirm, but probably wealth and uneven distribution of resources. As a society we will most likely continue to mine and refine and manufacture ever more complex, seductive machines as long as we can wrest control of those resources and make profits. Quite apart from the fuel-to-power-them, shoes and bikes can be made without fossil fuels, and were once. E-bikes, no. These are large, complex technical systems. It won’t be easy to go back to using local, renewable materials and energy sources to build and maintain shoes and bikes, but it could be done.

      You asked: “What’s your end goal?”

      Honest accounting, wide-ranging conversations, an end to fossil fuel subsidies, climate compatible consumption patterns.

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      • Eric Leifsdad August 22, 2017 at 10:09 pm

        When an e-bike costs the same $1k as an annual bus pass (subsidized) or the operating cost of a very beat-up old car, I don’t think the wealth argument works.

        And that’s the retail price, not the operating cost. I spend far more on brake pads than electricity to charge my e-bike, and that’s even while paying extra for clean power. With better regen braking systems, one might save the brake pads and come out ahead over the life of the motor.

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    • Pete August 22, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      LMAO – nice analogy. BTW, you won’t win, but thanks for making sense.

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    • 9watts August 22, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      “every ebike trip that avoids a car trip is a win for the environment in general.”

      Not necessarily.
      If we are in overshoot, and some people think we are, continuing to deplete what is left at a slower rate is not a win.

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  • 9watts August 23, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Charlie Alliston convicted of causing bodily harm but acquitted of manslaughter:
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/23/ex-courier-charlie-alliston-convicted-for-mowing-down-kim-briggs-on-his-track-bike

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    • Kyle Banerjee August 23, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Alliston allegedly shouted at Briggs to “get out of the way” twice before their heads knocked together….

      [Alliston] “It is a pretty serious incident so I won’t bother saying she deserved it. It was her fault but she did not deserve it.”

      In other words, despite the ped being clearly visible and there being tons of reaction time, he just mowed her over and dodged the manslaughter charge. Just be glad this guy doesn’t drive.

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    • wsbob August 23, 2017 at 11:59 pm

      Good, well reported and written story…thanks for posting the link. I don’t claim to know a lot about U.S. law, but I know next to nothing about UK law. Tough deliberation for the UK jury. A very poignant quote about the Allistion, rider of the bike, from judge for the trial.

      He was estimated to be riding 18 mph, and started to swerve away from her when he was approximately 22 ft away. But still, he somehow was unable to avoid colliding with her. What say local fixed gear riders reading here? No mention in the story whether Alliston attempted to lock up his rear wheel with the cranks. Or did I miss such a mention?

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      • Kyle Banerjee August 24, 2017 at 9:58 am

        From the article: Alliston told the court that if he had had a brake, “I wouldn’t have had enough time to pull it. It was a few split seconds prior to the impact, which caused the impact, so a brake at the time wouldn’t have made a difference.”

        Anyone who can’t execute an evasive maneuver at 18mph from a distance of 22′ (particularly in a busy urban environment) is either riding beyond their skill level, needs an equipment adjustment, or both — based on Alliston’s quote, it appears both apply.

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        • wsbob August 24, 2017 at 1:52 pm

          bannerjee..thanks for the input. I’d love to hear more from people locally, that ride fixed gear, about whether they believe stopping their bike within those parameters is feasible. I’ve never ridden one myself, but I’ve personally ridden with someone that does, and have seen them deliberately lock up their wheel for braking…on a steep short downhill with a stop sign at the intersection…so I have some confidence effective emergency braking can be done by someone experienced in riding fixed.

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  • wsbob August 24, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    By the way: Not in the Roundup, but because no one else has, I just want to mention the ads that have been running on bikeportland for the Lumos smart helmet. Glad to see that helmet being pitched on this weblog. Wish someone reading here, besides me, would report in comments that they’ve at least gone to a local store that carries them, and tried it out…Bike Gallery in Beaverton has them.

    Many people aren’t going to be able to afford it at 200 bucks…myself included…though there are more expensive bike helmets. Seems to me though, the helmet design has some good ideas. Not all of its ideas may be good, but some. Quite a few people just strap a bike light to the top of their helmet for cheap and easy…who cares about the dork factor? Lumos to me, definitely looks better on that count.

    The controls for the helmet functions…on/off, turn signals, work well and fairly easy. Not convinced the turn signals will be effective, or the brake light…but maybe. If I ever see one in use at night on the street. Good ideas often get improved upon.

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  • SAM jonas August 25, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    eCargo Rider
    Those slides seem to say what I’ve been saying — one less car, one more ebike makes a huge difference. Would a bike be better? Sure.
    But, when a bike isn’t practical and the option is ebike or car? The ebike is so good — on so many levels.
    I don’t know you — obviously. But you seem to be on the same side of this overall argument. Less cars on the road is a good thing.
    But, unless you are seeking some sort of Thoreauian absolute naturism, I don’t understand the conflict. Riding a bike (like using electricity for the internet) is also a specific environmental choice that you are making. I assume you use rubber tires and tubes and assorted bike lubricants. I assume your bike was manufactured somewhere, by someone using machinery.
    If you really wanted total energy purity, obviously, you’d walk.
    But that would be too far to walk. It would take too much time. [You might reply.] A bike is more practical. [You might argue.]
    Where we differ, clearly then, is where we each draw the line.
    What I’ve been saying is that ebikes are better than cars and are a fantastic alternative when biking isn’t a viable option.
    In the great “energy scheme” of things, every ebike trip that avoids a car trip is a win for the environment in general. Not to mention the benefit to the individual who would have otherwise been in a car.
    You seem to be saying that ebikes are ALSO part of the problem and not a good alternative to cars (because riders of ebikes are also “energy slaves,” I suppose.)
    Do you see how the argument is a bit like a vegan shaming a vegetarian?
    [A cow doesn’t care who “wins” that particular argument, by the way.]
    Applying this to the larger cycling community: If ebike riders are shunned as “cheaters” and “energy slaves”, can you see how that might discourage people from getting out of their cars and reducing their footprint? Do you see how this type of shaming will lead to more cars on the road?
    What’s your end goal?
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    Exactly, ebikes are the future. Like it or not. 15% increase in ebike sales year over year while regular bike sales are holding or slumping. History has taught us that americans always choose the faster machine in the end for transportation options. This is true with fast cars, street racing motocycles, “racing” road bikes….and now e-bikes.

    America like to go fast and pity the guy in the rear view mirror in the “slow” econo car. BTW, this is what e-bikes folks think of you guys when you get dropped in those bike lanes. Best to get use to being slotted down on the hierarchy…again.

    I’m old enough to remember the hatred towards mtn bikes. Where are the mtn bike haters all these years later? Certainly not same people who are now respected members of our cycling community.

    This is where these ebike haters are going…going away in the face of progress and will be shunned because you don’t know any better. Best to be inclusive rather than exclusive because now we know how much of an asset mtn bikes brought to our community.

    See ya later haters….

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