Support BikePortland

The Monday Roundup: Oprah’s e-bike, California’s driving problem, e-scooter fatality, and more

Posted by on December 3rd, 2018 at 9:48 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the Ruckus Warehouse Sale, this Saturday December 8th.

Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past week…

You get an e-bike! And you get an e-bike! One of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” this year is an electric bike that she loves because it allows her to pedal up to 20 mph.

William Shatner likes them too: The entertainer credits his “magic” e-bike for helping him stay fit and creative well into his 80s.

Guerrilla bus stop benches: An anonymous artist and transit activist in Los Angeles is giving people a place to sit by installing unsanctioned wooden benches at bus stops.

Seattle bike share: Deeming dockless bike share a big success, the City of Seattle is expanding their program and expects to have up to 20,000 bikes on the street by this coming spring.

Too much driving: California’s climate change regulator released a new report saying the state isn’t meeting its goals because of the, “state’s inability to curb the amount of driving.”

Bike to fly: The venerable NY Times reported on how biking to the airport is a thing people actually do. The article featured a tidbit about Portland via a quote from yours truly.

Advertisement

The men/women ‘cross chasm: The cyclocross world is aflutter because the men’s races are losing viewers (because the same guy wins every time) while the women’s races have never been more popular or exciting.

U-Dub goes cargo: The University of Washington uses a fleet of five electric cargo bikes to deliver all inter-campus mail and packages. The move has made the campus safer, cleaner, quieter, and more efficient.

Be an e-scooter tycoon: Think you can manage an electric scooter fleet better than a public agency? Bird will now sell any small business operator a fleet of scooters and all they pay is a 20 percent licensing fee.

Death by scooter rider: An elderly woman in Spain was hit and killed by a man riding a scooter.

Tweet of the Week: Our friend Steven Mitchell (who got harassed by a truck driver a few weeks ago), shared this great footage of a very common occurrence in Portland…

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

186 Comments
  • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 10:27 am

    Bike to airport?

    Cute, but let’s get real. It is almost 2019. We need to be done with airports, airplanes, and the rest of this climate juggernaut.

    Recommended Thumb up 12

    • bikeninja December 3, 2018 at 11:14 am

      It is amazing that we continue to put so much money and effort in to something that has such a short useful time horizon as commercial air travel for the masses. The cost of airplane tickets is incredibly sensitive to oil prices and any large increases will price most people out and cause the industry to collapse. In addition our great petroleum wonder “fracking” produces a type of oil that is too light to be refined in to Jet fuel. We can debate all day about the economics of electrifying our fleet of cars, trucks, buses and trains but anyone who understands the thermodynamics of commercial aviation knows that it is a creature of cheap and abundant petroleum. Any other practical energy source is either too expensive or has too low an energy density to make it even remotely possible for ordinary people to fly to Disney World or Hawaii. Our national policy of neglecting the construction of a widespread network of electrified passenger rail will one day turn out to be an economic and social disaster.

      Recommended Thumb up 19

      • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 11:34 am

        +++

        Recommended Thumb up 2

      • PS December 3, 2018 at 1:10 pm

        “It is amazing that we continue to put so much money and effort into something that has such a short useful time horizon as,” electricity, progressive society, large scale agriculture, computers, the internet, buildings, households, procreation, education, living, etc., etc., etc. Everyone is fully aware that “on a long enough time horizon, the survival rate of everyone/everything falls to zero”. So what, we should have a electrified national rail network to fend off economic and social disaster?!? I guess most people would have to get along if they were stuck on a train together for three days.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • bikeninja December 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm

          I am not sure comparing the future time horizon of commercial air travel for the masses to large scale agriculture or electricity is fair or accurate. Commercial air travel for the masses probably has a decade or less left while the rest of the things on your list should be around for 50 years or more. It would be more accurate to compare dumping resources in to air travel in 2018 to building a network of giant, high tech, buggy whip factories in 1908.

          Recommended Thumb up 7

          • PS December 4, 2018 at 11:55 am

            I guess it depends on how you define “the masses”, but air travel that looks and feels much like it does today, is not going anywhere in 10 years. I get that businesses are renown for throwing good money after bad, but the cost of a new plane today requires some belief the status quo is sustainable over the life cycle of that plane. Couple that with the technological advances in the efficiency of modern day planes and it is naive to think it is going to disappear. Folks constantly lament how planes don’t fly faster than they did 30 years ago, there is a lot of physics behind that, but they are also flying the same speed they did then using considerably less fuel, that is progress and many believe it will continue.

            Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Pruss2ny December 6, 2018 at 8:25 am

        I know at this point i’m feeding a fed horse, but while “we” debate the longevity of air travel and whether or not 1 person shud take a trip to europe…keep in mind as india/china come on line, this line of arguing seems more and more infantile. India has opened 2 new airports a month for the last 18mos and has immediate plans to open another 100.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Huey Lewis December 3, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      I’m flying to Europe for the first time in the spring. Gonna meet some of my wife’s family. Should we not? How do we go if not by air?

      Recommended Thumb up 10

      • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 3:25 pm

        “Should we not? How do we go if not by air?”

        Not sure if your question is meant seriously.
        I’m guessing not.

        But it is a reasonable question in 2019, and one some people are/have been taking seriously:
        http://www.gazettenet.com/opinion/10531107-95/marty-nathan-one-grandmothers-carbon-based-life-choice

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • Huey Lewis December 3, 2018 at 3:45 pm

          Cool choice by the doctor that has globetrotted all over the planet. I’m going to Europe and I won’t feel guilty about it. Sometimes I’m with you but then sometimes I think you’re really out of touch.

          Recommended Thumb up 20

          • Q December 3, 2018 at 3:49 pm

            Just because someone doesn’t feel guilty for an action doesn’t mean it’s a responsible decision.

            Recommended Thumb up 9

            • Huey Lewis December 3, 2018 at 4:05 pm

              So I should feel bad for getting to see Europe?! We have reached the point that travel, unless by foot or bicycle, is irresponsible?

              Recommended Thumb up 9

              • Matt S. December 3, 2018 at 4:50 pm

                I say, live your life however you want! People cry sustainability, but for how long — until the sun goes supernova? What about the current generation, I feel like I’ve already been screwed with the modern day economy. I wish it was hunter gather society where we ran after our prey and lived an egalitarian life among one another. If there’s anyone to blame, blame previous generations for making us drive cars and work in cubicles. Do whatever makes you feel happy. The future generation will figure it out…

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Pete December 3, 2018 at 5:51 pm

                Yes, but frequently forcing network packets through high-powered data centers isn’t…

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Pete December 3, 2018 at 6:01 pm

                Oh, and scroll down to learn that only certain bicycles, for certain uses are acceptable.

                Recommended Thumb up 6

              • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 11:11 am

                “So I should feel bad for getting to see Europe?”

                Yes. Just as I feel bad every time I get in my car. It’s a bad decision that we should feel guilty about. It’s the lack of guilt that got us into these problems.

                Recommended Thumb up 5

              • John Lascurettes December 4, 2018 at 3:32 pm

                Matt S. Our sun will never go supernova. It’s not big enough. It will go red giant in around 5 billion years. That is to say, our sun is about middle aged.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 3:52 pm

                http://y5b.com/

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Huey Lewis December 3, 2018 at 4:38 pm

              So just so we can all be sure, you and 9Watts have never been on a road trip? Went with the fam to Disneyland as a kid? Never been to Europe unless you swam/floated? Asia, going the same way, swimming or floating? Right? Or you have but it’s now irresponsible for others to do so? Basically a different take on FYGM.

              I’m clearly letting you two get to me more than you should but some of the takes in here are *outrageous* and why I only check in to BP about once a week anymore, if that.

              Recommended Thumb up 12

              • pruss2ny December 3, 2018 at 7:57 pm

                HL…enjoy europe.
                as someone who has flown almost 3mm miles over the last 10yrs, if they come for someone, it’ll be me, not you.

                Recommended Thumb up 6

              • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 10:18 pm

                “So just so we can all be sure, you and 9Watts have never been on a road trip? Went with the fam to Disneyland as a kid? Never been to Europe unless you swam/floated? Asia, going the same way, swimming or floating? Right? Or you have but it’s now irresponsible for others to do so? Basically a different take on FYGM.”

                Is this about me or my past travel habits? Your past travel habits? I don’t think so.
                Let me remind you that this started by you asking about a planned trip: “Should we not?”
                If you weren’t interested in serious answers you shouldn’t have asked.

                “some of the takes in here are *outrageous* ”

                Like I said, you brought that one on yourself.

                Recommended Thumb up 8

              • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 11:17 am

                It doesn’t matter who has been on a road trip. You asked if you should go, or go by another means. You got many answers. This is about what you asked for, not about trying to assuage your transportation guilt by pointing out that others have done the same thing.

                I don’t think you should fly to Europe. I’ve flown in the last year. Those statements don’t cancel each other out.

                Your FYGM comment is useless and inflammatory. I’m surprised it wasn’t moderated.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

            • PS December 4, 2018 at 11:58 am

              Jesus, the dude isn’t a sociopath for wanting to go see family in Europe and taking a plane to get there. Sorry Huey Lewis, you don’t live in the utopian society these guys do where it takes 3 months to get to Europe by boat and when you get there you die of the plague before you even see family.

              Recommended Thumb up 10

              • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 3:54 pm

                Jesus, nobody said he was a sociopath. But I’m saying right now to stop putting words into people’s mouths.

                Recommended Thumb up 4

          • Middle of the Road Guy December 4, 2018 at 9:52 am

            Go and don’t think twice. it’ll give you some good perspective of what we could do better as well as how good we already have it.

            Recommended Thumb up 4

        • Huey Lewis December 3, 2018 at 4:40 pm

          How should we go if not by air? I’m serious about that. I’m wondering if you think it’s perfectly reasonable to never travel off the continent again.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • Huey Lewis December 3, 2018 at 8:20 pm

            Pruss2ny. Ha, thank you. I hope no one comes to get you.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 11:19 am

            “I’m wondering if you think it’s perfectly reasonable to never travel off the continent again.”

            I think that.

            Recommended Thumb up 5

            • Pete December 5, 2018 at 8:07 am

              It’s called a “carbon offset”… you can be mine.

              Recommended Thumb up 4

              • 9watts December 5, 2018 at 9:21 am

                Are you the Pete-who-posts-here who lives in the Bay Area?

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Pete December 5, 2018 at 10:49 am

                Sometimes.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

        • B. Carfree December 4, 2018 at 12:21 pm

          The question of whether or not one should fly is one I have asked myself. I have longed to spend a year in Europe for almost as long as I can remember, but I just can’t bring myself to fly. Obviously, there’s no way to ride there and my spouse gets motion sickness, so a boat is out of the question.

          I can live without Europe. The climate changing emissions of a single pair of flights isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still more than I’m willing to emit for mere entertainment and recreation.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty December 4, 2018 at 3:36 pm

            That plane is flying with or without you. In most cases, your seat would be filled with another customer (perhaps paying a slightly cheaper fare), but even if not, your contribution to CO2 emissions is the additional fuel it takes to carry you and your stuff.

            If you displace a heavier person with more baggage, you might actually be reducing emissions!

            Recommended Thumb up 6

            • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 3:56 pm

              In your scenario the plane would be flying empty if everybody suddenly got a conscience.

              Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 4, 2018 at 4:01 pm

                The plane has passengers to pick up in Europe, so it probably would be. And if the airlines finagled things so the plane could stay grounded, your lone ticket wouldn’t make it fly, so you can’t really take credit for the CO2 savings, since your action changed nothing.

                Enjoy Europe!

                Recommended Thumb up 5

              • soren December 5, 2018 at 9:19 am

                in hello, kitty’s reality, markets are only impacted by demand when they are not arguing with someone on the internet.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2018 at 9:42 am

                The demand of a single passenger is unlikely to convince an airline to change its flight network. It is possible that you would be the “tipping point” passenger, but the probability is exceedingly low. If you think you have the power to control whether a plane flies with your decision whether or not to buy a ticket, you are either highly deluded or have a private jet.

                Recommended Thumb up 4

              • 9watts December 5, 2018 at 10:16 am

                I think we can confidently say that we’re all glad that kind of thinking did not prevail at lunch counters and on buses in the sixties.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2018 at 10:21 am

                Uh… we’re not talking about organized action, we’re talking about an individual making a single decision about whether to take a trip or not, independent of others. The impact on CO2 emissions based on what that individual decides is likely to be de minimis.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • 9watts December 5, 2018 at 10:26 am

                Hardly.
                You are the one who insists on individualizing actions like this. It would be just as easy, and certainly more interesting, to instead view individual actions as usefully aggregated into movements that have the power to effect real change. To draw courage, meaning, purpose from not being the only one to grapple with these questions.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • soren December 5, 2018 at 10:40 am

                I am talking about organized action. There are growing movements that seek to limit or replace airplane trips.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • 9watts December 5, 2018 at 10:51 am

                The crucial step that Hello, Kitty fails to appreciate (or is in denial about?) is how we get from individual actions (I refuse to yield my seat to a white person) to a movement *inspired by* the courage of the individual(s). Social movements are not a figment of our imagination; they have existed throughout time, and are often the primary (only?) means by which beneficial change comes about.
                Eight hour work day, minimum wage, civil rights, etc. all came about, not because fat cats felt generous but because scrappy people with no (individual) power refused to cooperate with an unjust system and forced concessions.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2018 at 10:49 pm

                I don’t “individualize” the actions; they are inherently so. The choice isn’t between going to Europe or building a political movement, it is between going to Europe or not going to Europe. It already is an individual choice — no one has to make it so.

                Measure the CO2 emitted under the go and no go scenarios, subtract, and you’ll get the impact of your decision.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 5, 2018 at 11:02 am

              Sure, we can talk about building a political movement; I’d be all for it. But that’s not what this conversation has been about. Heretofore it has been about someone wrestling with their guilt about flying. I would further argue that even in the face of a larger group movement, a single individual decision is unlikely to have any meaningful impact one way or the other.

              The truth is, as much as you all look up to me and try to emulate my behavior, unless I post about it on Twitter and try to build a larger movement around it, as airlines have demonstrated their ability to fill all available seats on their long haul flights, my decision to take or not to take a vacation will impact emissions not at all; or, since I travel light, would likely result in a slight net savings.

              PS Today I am observing total abstinence from international travel. You can check to see how many international flights did not depart from PDX as scheduled due to low passenger counts that would have flown had I bought a ticket. You can thank me whenever.

              Recommended Thumb up 4

              • 9watts December 5, 2018 at 11:08 am

                But your role here, consistently discouraging anyone from thinking of their action as having *any* larger significance, serves to make the emergence of such a movement that much less likely. If everyone copied your stance a movement never emerges.
                Your conception of movements is or appears to be that they are sudden, binary things. They exist or they don’t; yesterday there was no movement, today there is a movement. But it is all much messier and more gradual than that.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2018 at 6:57 pm

                If you don’t imbue your action with larger significance, it’s simply not taking a trip. The fact is that as individuals, our actions don’t matter much. It’s only by getting a large number of people together that it can have an impact.

                When I’m deciding if I want to visit my brother for Christmas, I may feel guilty about CO2 emissions, but I am not weighing whether to try to start a political movement with my decision. However, I would encourage anyone who does have the energy to start that movement to do so, or, as Soren alluded to, someone may already have done so without informing me.

                What I am saying, clearly, is that your individual decision on what to do in this regard is likely to have a near zero impact on CO2 emissions.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Rivelo
      Rivelo December 4, 2018 at 5:14 am

      Sometimes, though, ya just gotta get places. I mean, don’t go crazy with it, or anything.

      Pull quote from below link:

      “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

      Recommended Thumb up 9

      • Brian December 4, 2018 at 6:03 am

        But butter is such a superior choice.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Rivelo
          Rivelo December 4, 2018 at 6:57 am

          Try this sometime.

          https://miyokos.com/collections/vegan-butter

          Recommended Thumb up 4

          • Brian December 4, 2018 at 9:58 am

            Will do. Vegan cheese is starting to be much better, as well.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 11:23 am

            It seems odd that they add living organisms to it. I simply use Earth Balance.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Brian December 4, 2018 at 12:51 pm

              Any Butter > Earth Balance

              Recommended Thumb up 3

            • soren December 5, 2018 at 9:05 am

              is it any weirder than eating the purified lipids of dead organisms?

              if you eat earth balance, i’d recommend the organic variety because it’s sourced from palm oil from south america (e.g. no deforestation, no slash and burn, no planting on peat, fairer wages, and traceable).

              Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Jon December 4, 2018 at 7:19 am

        Actually I believe deciding not to have children is the best way to reduce carbon emissions.
        https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/children-carbon-footprint-environment-climate-change-adoption-birth-pregnancy-a8469886.html

        Recommended Thumb up 15

        • Middle of the Road Guy December 4, 2018 at 9:54 am

          Exactly 🙂

          Recommended Thumb up 3

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty December 4, 2018 at 3:38 pm

          If meat is bad and children are bad, I’m guessing eating children is really bad.

          Recommended Thumb up 5

          • B. Carfree December 4, 2018 at 5:51 pm

            Wait, I thought it was good because it eliminates future meat-eaters. Darn, another diet fad up in smoke.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Lester Burnham December 4, 2018 at 7:43 am

      Are you being serious or just exercising your unlimited posting privilege here? What do you want people to do? Never leave crappy Portland?

      Recommended Thumb up 7

      • 9watts December 4, 2018 at 8:28 am

        You guys crack me up. I’m not giving or withholding permission. Guy asked for advice and I gave what seemed to me the best reply.

        Recommended Thumb up 7

        • Cold Worker December 4, 2018 at 12:19 pm

          But you never gave an alternative to air travel. Guy asked you to provide that but you couldn’t or wouldn’t….probably because you folks in here railing against airplanes have lost touch with reality. Airplanes are a thing. We didn’t make them. Sometimes people need to travel. An airplane is the only reasonable way sometimes.

          Recommended Thumb up 6

          • 9watts December 4, 2018 at 3:04 pm

            “But you never gave an alternative to air travel.”

            That is correct.

            “Guy asked you to provide that…”

            He did.

            …but you couldn’t or wouldn’t….”

            Is it up to me to supply alternatives that will pass muster?
            What if stowing away on a container ship isn’t likely to pass muster?
            What if there aren’t many (any) convenient alternatives?
            Is that also my fault?
            Some of you seem never to have heard the phrase ‘shoot the messenger’.

            “probably because you folks in here railing against airplanes have lost touch with reality.”

            Are you now defining reality?
            Because I can think of two very incompatible realities which this exchange highlights beautifully:
            (1) political reality (we could also call it convenience or entitlement) which asserts that we will not, under any circumstances, stand for anyone taking away our right to travel by air whenever we wish!
            (2) biophysical reality (we could also call it limits) which suggests that many of our most cherished habits (procreating, driving, eating meat, flying) must be reexamined, curtailed, or even abandoned, if we hope to have anything like a habitable planet left to do anything on in a decade or two.

            “Airplanes are a thing.”

            Yep. And so is climate change. You may not like the implications, but I am not responsible for your antipathy to the concept.

            “We didn’t make them.”

            Huh?

            “Sometimes people need to travel. An airplane is the only reasonable way sometimes.”

            Sometimes people need to step back from all the creature comforts they think they are forever entitled to, no matter the circumstances.
            I didn’t and don’t think anyone here suggested it wasn’t ‘reasonable,’ in the context of polite conversation, but the problem of our collective and more importantly cumulative determination to push against and then deny all limits is that sooner or later the chickens come home, someone has to pay the piper… you get my drift.

            Recommended Thumb up 6

            • Cold Worker December 4, 2018 at 3:10 pm

              Allow me to speak for everyone in proximity to you; you are truly an exhausting and self righteous downer.

              Recommended Thumb up 15

              • Toby Keith December 4, 2018 at 7:47 pm

                Thank you! It needed to be said.

                Recommended Thumb up 8

              • soren December 5, 2018 at 9:14 am

                Climate change denial.

                Recommended Thumb up 4

            • Pete December 5, 2018 at 6:23 pm

              Calling him out on unrealistic expectations is not “climate change denial”. I continue to make the point that every time you post here you’re increasing demand on (mostly fossil-based) power generation just based on packet traffic, let alone the device you’re using to post.

              Geez, the self-righteousness on here has grown to absurd levels. It’s a freaking bicycle blog!

              Recommended Thumb up 6

          • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm

            If you care about the environment then there’s no good way to get across the ocean. We’re not saying don’t do it. We’re saying be aware that it’s a horrible thing to do and you should feel guilty about doing it. We do lots of things we’re guilty about. The guilt means we’re human.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • PS December 5, 2018 at 1:12 pm

              These blanket statements are hilarious. Forget getting across the ocean, how about producing clothing, shelter, energy, etc. You must be super guilty all the time.

              Recommended Thumb up 9

              • soren December 6, 2018 at 8:51 am

                Strawman.

                Even the statement above specifically states “we are not saying don’t do it”.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

            • Pete December 5, 2018 at 6:24 pm

              If you care about the environment then you shouldn’t own or use electronics!!

              Recommended Thumb up 4

              • 9watts December 5, 2018 at 8:03 pm

                As several commenters have noted (both seriously and derisively), most activities we engage in today have carbon or climate footprints. The fact that we are discussing the climate risks of, among other topics, continued air travel through the medium of the Internet and consumer electronics—which like everything else have their own carbon footprints—doesn’t as you seem to suggest invalidate the conversation, or conclusions we may draw from these exchanges.
                The gotcha tone some bring to bear here seems intended to willfully bury the deeper and troubling challenges of our present moment.
                What if, instead of lobbing gotchas at each other, gleefully shooting the messenger again and again, we allowed ourselves to grapple with this subject in good faith, acknowledge the struggles of trying to live with or even meet these at times overwhelming and certainly daunting challenges we didn’t ask for, may or may not deserve, but have to face anyway?

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Pete December 5, 2018 at 9:10 pm

                The ‘gotcha’ tone is coming directly from people condemning others for activities they’ve themselves chosen not to participate in because of some perceived ‘higher impact footprint’… it is literally the ‘greener than thou’ attitude that many of us are sick of, and much of it is hypocrisy (if you hadn’t gotten my point).

                Recommended Thumb up 4

              • 9watts December 5, 2018 at 9:28 pm

                Getting hung up on what you perceive as hypocrisy is I think preventing you from constructively joining in or redirecting the conversation in more productive directions. You may have noticed that I don’t think at this late stage we can afford to ignore the subject of how to find a way out of this mess.
                So as I see it we are stuck, and need to find ways to talk about this. What do you suggest?

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Pete December 6, 2018 at 7:25 am

                I suggest you don’t propose “political movements” that selectively focus on the actions of others while ignoring the impacts of your own. That is not a “perception” of hypocrisy. If you or the others refusing to fly order goods online, you’ve caused packages to be flown and driven with diesel power. Now argue that your individual choices may impact less than those of others, and voila… you’re keeping score.

                And while you may believe you’ve engaged HK and others in productive conversation, you still have yet to educate any of us how, for example, I could get to a meeting at my headquarters in Paris from the US west coast by anything other than airplane… without losing my job, anyway.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Pete December 6, 2018 at 7:28 am

                Oh, or by using eBike…

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Pete December 6, 2018 at 7:33 am

                The data centers we’re pumping packets through also use my company’s wind farms, if you want to turn the conversation from problems to solutions. I work mostly from home and I have no children… we can start adding up our scoresheets but I’m sure others are more interested in hearing about bicycle riding by now.

                (And to your previous irrelevant question, I split my time between California and Oregon).

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • 9watts December 6, 2018 at 2:17 pm

                I’m sorry you saw it as irrelevant.
                I asked because there have been other Petes here at times, and I’ve always enjoyed your comments on bikeportland; but was taken aback by some of them in this thread, and realized it might be another Pete. Sorry for giving the wrong impression.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Pete December 6, 2018 at 4:10 pm
  • Steve Scarich December 3, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I think Oprah’s endorsement says all you really need to know about who wants to ride e-bikes….people who really don’t want to exercise, but want to jump on the next carbon consuming bandwagon. Consuming, because I am willing to bet that all the costs of building and servicing these bikes, and then them getting tossed in the river, far outweighs any carbon savings.

    Recommended Thumb up 15

    • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 10:39 am

      Bingo!

      Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 3, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Your broad generalization of people who want to ride e-bikes and your assumption of their motivations for doing so are gross.

      Recommended Thumb up 43

      • BikeRound December 3, 2018 at 11:08 am

        Maybe Steve Scarich exaggerated the point, but the fact of the matter is that most people who ride an e-bike will ride it like a motorcycle and will get little to no exercise out of the process. If their e-bike trips replace trips that they would have taken by car, then this may still be somewhat of a beneficial transformation, but if they are scaring away from riding regular bikes or walking, then this could very well turn into just another public policy fiasco where even places like the sidewalk become unwelcoming places for active transportation options. And while cars currently certainly kill far more people than e-bikes, e-scooters, and similar devices, we are at the beginning of the end of the self-driven automobile era, whereas we are just at the beginning of this electrifying every gadget phase. Self-driving cars–and we are not even going to be using this clunky phase for too much longer as it will be self-understood that cars drive themselves–will almost completely eliminate traffic deaths from vehicular crashes.

        Recommended Thumb up 13

        • Steve Scarich December 4, 2018 at 9:58 am

          They have become very popular in Bend, especially in the summer for tourists. I pay attention as they zip by (I will not ride a bike in Bend proper; too dangerous, so I walk everywhere), and I would say, anecdotally, that somewhere between 10 and 20% are pedalling these machines.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

      • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 11:23 am

        Jonathan,
        I don’t often agree with either Steve from Bend or the fellow in the Middle of the Road, but you might agree that the trope that e-bikes are for the infirm is a convenient cover for a myriad of reasons, motivations, interests, demographics. That line, which you endorse, is no more and no less of a simplification than what Steve said, and I would argue, perhaps statistically less accurate.

        Recommended Thumb up 8

        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 3, 2018 at 11:29 am

          The way he wrote it was very rude and unwelcoming IMO. That’s what I’m getting at. I really don’t appreciate broad generalizations like that… especially ones that clearly echo some of the anti-e-bike feelings I read from a lot of people on the internet. The idea that people are “cheating” or that they get one because they “don’t want to exercise” is just mean IMO.

          Recommended Thumb up 15

          • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 11:41 am

            When confronted with arguments critical of e-transport, you and others are quick to deploy the ‘but old people’ retort. That in my view is the same type of generalization. The only difference is that it attempts to exonerate the whole endeavor by championing a class of putative users who we might feel empathy for. Old people are surely no more representative a demographic of ebike users than are those Steve has in mind, or do you know something that suggests otherwise?

            Maybe this would go better, we would hear each other more readily if you allowed that e-mobility is (also) opening up doors to all sorts of monkey business, to demographics whose use patterns could easily be appreciated as problematic, and to many flavors of green-washing.

            Recommended Thumb up 12

            • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 3, 2018 at 12:17 pm

              I deploy many different retorts to criticisms of e-transport. It depends on the context. And I have never taken the position that all e-transport is good transport. I am free to pick and choose my arguments and I enjoy doing so (as do you!).

              And I think you’ve totally got me wrong in this comment. I’m not “exonerating the whole endeavor”. Obviously I much prefer non-electrified transport.. But that doesn’t mean I can’t see the potential benefit and value of e-bikes. It’s possible IMO to defend and advocate for e-bikes without thinking they are the end-all, be-all solution to all our problems. I think they have a very strong place on our roads and they are amazing products that can change lives in many of the same ways purely pedaling bikes can.

              To be clear: I like e-bikes and think they are worth advocating for; but I am not naive. I obviously understand they pose their own perils and I’m not opposed to discussing those as well. Eyes wide open.

              Recommended Thumb up 11

              • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 12:29 pm

                As for not ‘exonerating the whole endeavor,’ it was what I perceived as defensiveness on your part that led me to infer that. Happy to learn I was wrong.

                Recommended Thumb up 4

              • soren December 3, 2018 at 1:32 pm

                “I obviously understand they pose their own perils”

                I would like hear more about these “perils”.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 3, 2018 at 1:47 pm

                the perils of e-bikes in my opinion include: the materials needed to make the batteries, the energy needed to charge the batteries, the increased ease of going 20 mph in the hands of people without the experience of riding at those speeds, the drivers who will be poor judges of a riders’ speed when they see people in regular clothes on an upright bike going 20 mph when all of their lived experience tells them people like that only go 10-12 mph and that 20 mph is only possible for a lycra-clad racer, the lack of joy/self-confidence/well-being that comes with feeling your muscles and heart grow after you’ve gotten over the physical hump of riding a non-e-bike, the added cost of e-bikes which puts cycling further out of reach for many people, and so on.

                Recommended Thumb up 8

              • soren December 3, 2018 at 2:28 pm

                “the energy needed to charge the batteries”

                i assume then that you are just as concerned about the “perils” of riding a conventional bike because doing generates about the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as riding an e-bike.

                “the lack of joy/self-confidence/well-being that comes with feeling your muscles and heart grow after you’ve gotten over the physical hump”

                just because you enjoy some particular form of athletic activity does make those who do not enjoy this leisure activity a peril (e.g. dangerous, risky, or hazardous).

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 3, 2018 at 2:58 pm

                you are stretching very far to be critical of my views soren.

                Yes I am concerned about the GHG required to produced/ride/consume a standard bike. Never said I wasn’t.

                I’m not saying people who ride e-bikes are the problem. Not at all. I’m just sharing my opinions about concerns I have with e-bikes in general.

                Recommended Thumb up 4

              • soren December 3, 2018 at 3:26 pm

                Just in case it’s not clear, I’m specifically objecting to use of the word “peril”.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 11:36 am

                “the increased ease of going 20 mph in the hands of people without the experience of riding at those speeds”

                My experience has been that people will still go as fast as they feel safe. Inexperienced cyclists don’t get on an e-bike and crank it all the way up to go fast. They get on it and go slow. And they’re able to bike with other people not on e-bikes. My wife on her e-bike is still slower than me, and I top out at 15 MPH. But when I get on her e-bike I’m rarely under 20 MPH. I feel confident going that fast no matter what type of bike I’m on.

                “the lack of joy/self-confidence/well-being that comes with feeling your muscles and heart grow after you’ve gotten over the physical hump of riding a non-e-bike”

                You’re likely in better shape than those riding e-bikes. I took one to Vancouver and back a few weeks ago and it was not an easy trek. Yes, it was easier than when I do it on my non e-bike, and it was much faster. I was sweating at times. I was going slow up hills at times. I got a workout that day greater than I’d had in months of riding my non e-bike all over town. I experienced a great joy in how dead tired I was when I got home.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

          • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 11:59 am

            “or that they get one because they ‘don’t want to exercise’ is just mean IMO.”

            It may sound mean to a booster, but what if, at base, it is also accurate?

            Surely the primary (and uncontroversial) difference between a bike and its e-relative is that the latter eliminates the exercise/effort quantum the buyer of that bike is unwilling or unable to afford. Electrification is all about substituting the work of someone/something else for our own, shifting work from our own muscles onto often large, complex technical systems we don’t understand and aren’t in control of.

            How would you suggest we reconcile these two impulses?

            Recommended Thumb up 9

            • soren December 3, 2018 at 2:41 pm

              “is that the latter eliminates the exercise/effort”

              first of all, oprah’s bike is a pedelec which, by definition, does not eliminate exercise/effort . secondly, i assume that you not only ride an old-fashioned muscle-powered bike but also hand-wash your clothing since washing machines eliminate even more “exercise/effort” than the dreaded climate change-causing e-bike.

              to paraphrase jonathan:

              few things beat “joy/self-confidence/well-being that comes with feeling your muscles and heart grow after you’ve gotten over the physical hump of handwashing your clothing”.

              zen and the art of hand washing your clothing!

              Recommended Thumb up 4

              • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm

                thou shalt read more carefully.

                I said nothing about eliminating exercise/effort. I said it “eliminates the exercise/effort quantum the buyer of that bike is unwilling or unable to afford.”

                But I agree with you about hand washing clothes. The analogy is valid, and to the extent that we have opted for the easy/electric variant (I have, though I know folks who hav not) we need to own up to it.

                Recommended Thumb up 8

            • Matt S. December 3, 2018 at 3:49 pm

              What if you ride the ebike, longer and faster than a conventional bike. Aren’t you burning the same amount of calories. It takes some energy to sustain a pedal assist ebike at 20 mph for an hour.

              Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Steve Scarich December 4, 2018 at 9:53 am

            I just re-read my post, and fail to see how my comments are gross and ‘rude and unwelcoming’? Come on, Johathan, if you are that sensitive to disagreement, you are either in the wrong business, or have become way too thin-skinned. btw, the fact that so many readers agree with me should give you pause to examine your reaction.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 11:42 am

              I just re-read your post and it’s your opinion so it can’t be rude and unwelcoming. It would only be that way if it didn’t start with “I think”.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 4, 2018 at 1:51 pm

              That’s the way I felt when I read them. And yes, I am thin-skinned about some things. I don’t think being an unfeeling robot with no sensitivities would make me a better journalist. And just FWIW I don’t always judge the success of my comments based on what other people think of them. My feelings are my own. Thanks.

              Recommended Thumb up 5

            • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 4:09 pm

              “btw, the fact that so many readers agree with me should give you pause to examine your reaction.”

              You got 14 votes to Jonathan’s 37 right now. I don’t think you want to take that bet.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

            • Gary B December 5, 2018 at 10:51 am

              They were rude and unwelcoming. You told me that I got an e-bike because I don’t want to exercise, that I just jumped on a bandwagon (i.e., didn’t make a rational decision), and implied that I may throw it in the river when I’m done. You told other current and potential e-bike users the same.

              I’m not sensitive and I’ll handle your ignorance just fine, but I’m shocked you need me to explain how it was rude.

              Recommended Thumb up 4

      • mran1984 December 4, 2018 at 12:46 am

        I ride a bicycle. I do not agree with your support of MOPEDS, motorized scooters and those who do not operate them properly. Gross? That was cute.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Middle of The Road Guy December 3, 2018 at 10:50 am

      But they think they are doing something beneficial.

      I think the same argument can be applied to EVs, really. There are not many real carbon friendly processes that involve some kind of energy conversion. Sometimes, the oldest vehicle is still the least worst over the long term, since there is only one manufacturing process involved.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 10:54 am

        If Steve Scarich, Middle of The Road Guy, and 9watts agree….

        I won’t speak for the others here, but I think we should appreciate the electrification of everything with a healthy dose of skepticism. This is not the 1930s, after all, when electrification was new and wonderful and most of us were dazzled by the bright lights, the glitter, the wonder of it all.
        Today we know something about the costs of increasing demand for electricity (which is what electrifying transport entails).

        Recommended Thumb up 8

        • John Lascurettes December 3, 2018 at 11:24 am

          Even if an e-bike were run off of throttle control 100% of the time, it’s still a much more efficient power-to-weight ratio to burn through the stored energy since we’re talking about moving hundreds of pounds, tops, instead of thousands of pounds for moving one person.

          While I don’t think throttle-controlled e-bikes should be banned completely (because some motility-need users might need them), I’d certainly like to see pedal-assist only bikes be the predominately used.

          I’d also love to see someone develop a smarter wheel (a la Copenhagen Wheel) that would be smart about “stealing” kinetic power when coasting downhill such that it would recharge the battery that way.

          Recommended Thumb up 7

          • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 11:32 am

            “Even if an e-bike were run off of throttle control 100% of the time, it’s still a much more efficient power-to-weight ratio to burn through the stored energy since we’re talking about moving hundreds of pounds, tops, instead of thousands of pounds for moving one person.”

            We should be cautious about always comparing whatever newfangled thing is before us (e-scooter, e-bike, hover board, Segway) with the automobile. Many of these devices are cool, sexy, fun, etc, but we should not automatically assume that they are substituting for an auto. They could be instead substituting for a bike or a pair of feet or for staying home. Just because something is *better than a car* doesn’t make it salutary, environmentally safe, worthy of subsidy or promotion. It may be salutary, environmentally safe, etc. but not automatically in reference to how much less awful it is than a car.

            Recommended Thumb up 11

            • BikeRound December 3, 2018 at 12:45 pm

              Exactly. E-bikes could become a substitute for the walking that people currently do.

              Recommended Thumb up 4

              • John Lascurettes December 3, 2018 at 2:08 pm

                I’ve considered getting an e-bike for some time, specifically a cargo bike with e-assist, just so I could extend the range of my casual rides without getting sweaty, to be able to run errands to stores like a nursery to pick up plants or soil, and to be able to haul my dogs places that are beyond walking distances. Right now, all those things involve car2go, a bus, or a Lyft — all things that objectively take more fossil fuels to do. None of those are replacing walking trips.

                I think many of you are going from one extreme view on this to the opposite. My view is that people aren’t going to get out of cars unless you start offering them easy or fun alternatives (or make using a car more painful). Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of better. Who knows, some of those people going from car to e-bike might just like it so much that they’ll adopt the n+1 habit of bike ownership and buy some pedal-only bikes. Taking the perfect-or-nothing approach just means the change doesn’t happen until we reach catastrophe — and even then, people aren’t going to change their attitudes overnight.

                Recommended Thumb up 15

              • soren December 3, 2018 at 2:43 pm

                Fixed it for you:

                “Exactly. Bikes could become a substitute for the walking that people currently do.”

                Recommended Thumb up 3

        • Middle of The Road Guy December 3, 2018 at 11:39 am

          I’m writing this day down on the calendar and will celebrate it in years to come!

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 11:51 am

            Or perhaps, borrowing a line from Claude Rains in Casablanca, this is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

            Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Chris I December 3, 2018 at 12:42 pm

          Then we must be in an echo chamber?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 12:45 pm

            Only until Hello, Kitty shows up… 😉

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 4, 2018 at 3:41 pm

              Wait.. what did I miss???

              Recommended Thumb up 2

              • 9watts December 4, 2018 at 5:24 pm

                E-bike skepticism led to a surprise love fest; the risk of an echo chamber.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Pete December 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm

          It’s absolutely hilarious that you’re posting this comment on the Internet, on a site funded in part by ad networks, no less.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

    • soren December 3, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      “Carbon Consuming bandwagon”

      I note that you failed to provide any evidence to support this flamboyant “opinion”.

      I’ve also noticed that the idea that alternative transportation modes that do not involve “exercise” is somehow problematic (e.g. “cheating”) is often associated with relatively fit men who view themselves as experienced cyclists. I’m truly mystified by this weird coincidence.

      To the best of my knowledge, most studies report that pedal-assist e-biking has similar lifetime greenhouse gas emissions as conventional cycling ( even accounting for the lifetime CO2e emissions associated with manufacture of the battery and associated drive*):

      “For each kilometre cycled, pedelecs therefore have CO2e emissions of about 22 grams, in the same range as those of a normal bicycle. “

      https://ecf.com/sites/ecf.com/files/ECF_CO2_WEB.pdf

      *someone invariably claims that these studies are not accounting for lithium mining despite the fact that i explicitly wrote that they were. (according to “experienced cyclist” lore, tiny little lithium ion batteries generate more greenhouse gas emissions than the biggest V8 HEMI dually.)

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 2:15 pm

        “according to ‘experienced cyclist’ lore, tiny little lithium ion batteries generate more greenhouse gas emissions than the biggest V8 HEMI dually.”

        This is silly.

        You and I have disagreed in past comments here not about V-8s, but about how these studies compare metablic rates of (a) cyclists, (b) pedelec riders, and (c) drivers, because the way they calculate this, it is the differential amounts of food consumed by these three groups that makes all the GHG emissions difference, which as I’ve said before seems highly suspect to me.
        https://bikeportland.org/2018/04/10/oregon-begins-process-to-legalize-electric-assist-bikes-in-state-parks-274847#comment-6891164

        Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Ryan December 3, 2018 at 3:04 pm

        The only time I think someone is “cheating” on an e-bike is when sweat is flowing into my eyes near the top of a hill, like when I’m climbing up Mt. Scott on the way to my in-laws in Happy Valley, and someone on an e-bike cruises comfortably by on their way home. However, once I’ve crested the hill and had a chance to get my breath back a bit that thought of “cheating” turns into “you know, it would be really nice to have that option on days that I don’t want to turn myself inside out just to go have dinner with family after work.” And then when I get to their house I start browsing websites looking at e-bikes for sale (after showering, of course).

        Recommended Thumb up 15

        • soren December 3, 2018 at 8:05 pm

          i fervently hope that in 50 years human-powered cycling will largely be a pursuit favored by people who love tweed and covet lugged steel frame bikes.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 4:18 pm

        “For each kilometre cycled, pedelecs therefore have CO2e emissions of about 22 grams, in the same range as those of a normal bicycle. ”

        I like that “same range” wording. What’s their range? Because the e-bike is still 37% more CO2e by their own numbers (16 vs 22). That’s not withing MY same range.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • soren December 4, 2018 at 6:14 pm

          Not 16.

          To summarize the impacts of production, maintenance and operation phases, the life cycle inventories of a bicycle reveals that bicycles release about 21 grams of CO2e per passenger kilometre travelled.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Bay Area Rider December 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      But of course studies done do show positive exercise benefits for people who are using peddle assist bikes but hey no reason to believe the scientific studies.

      https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/07/06/the-surprising-health-benefits-of-an-electric-bike-2/

      Recommended Thumb up 8

      • Ryan December 3, 2018 at 3:40 pm

        Ah, come on now… Everyone knows that a scientific study is only as good as its ability to reinforce my previous uninformed/misinformed biases! 😉

        Recommended Thumb up 7

      • John Lascurettes December 3, 2018 at 6:27 pm

        Where do I sign up for one of these peddle-assist bikes? I’m looking to sell my wares. 😉

        Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Dave December 4, 2018 at 7:51 am

      I can’t scoff at such a huge cultural influencer as Oprah riding ANY kind of bike. I hope that she ends up doing an occasional spot of “Hey drivers, don’t be such insane homicidal pigs to cyclists” on her show. Do I think she’ll ever ride a mechanical bike? Maybe. Ride one on something like STP or the Davis Double? Probably not. But a high profile, visible, generally well regarded person riding any. kind of bike is a very good thing in my book.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Topher December 3, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I ride an ebike and I’m one fit fellow! Mostly ride one to collect Strava KOM’s and maintain my cat 6 peloton lead in the days commute. See ya in the bike lane, braaaaaap!!!

    Recommended Thumb up 10

  • Champs December 3, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    I don’t think I would have gone to Marianne Vos and Katie “F’n” Compton for quotes about dominant athletes making races boring. Not without being crushed into a singularity by the weight of that irony, anyway.

    You don’t need a long memory to even go back to Kristin Armstrong or Jeannie Longo…

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Chrystal December 3, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I love the transit activist story in CA!

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Steven Mitchell video.
    Fun to watch, but I think this highlights precisely one of the key reasons people stuck in their metal boxes sometimes resent those on bikes, because they are so unencumbered, so free, so immune to the frustrations of automobility that invert the lie sold in all those car ads.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • Matt S. December 3, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      I couldn’t tell how fast Mitchell was going, but his speed seemed a little dangerous for the given congestion? I understand, it’s our right to ride unencumbered and as fast as we like in the bike lane, but this video highlights how a rider can potentially create an unsafe situation for themselves by not properly modulating their speed. Cars were entering the bike lane – which is illegal – and creating an even dangerous situation, but if that was me, I’d be riding a little more defensively (slower). Also, there were no other bike commuters around which suggests the route in the video may not be a common of a route for cyclists to ride?

      I may be totally off base, what do people think?

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • John Lascurettes December 3, 2018 at 2:13 pm

        He did pass another cyclist in the video (just one though that I saw). The unencumbered speed to should be anywhere between the speed limit and what the rider feels comfortable and confident with. With experiences comes the ability to read the “body language” of the cars controlled by the people driving them.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

        • Matt S. December 3, 2018 at 9:57 pm

          And then when a car dangerously passes, the cyclist can yell, curse, and flip the driver off. The other day I watched a cyclist riding S on Vancouver Ave, just S of Lombard. The guy was cruising, a car turned right, right in front of him. This was a right hook. But what struck me funny was the cyclist didn’t slow down at all. It was almost as if the cyclist was willing to run into the driver to prove a point. Then the cyclist had the gal to flip off the driver. It was the worst defensive riding I’d ever seen. The driver was clearly in the wrong, but I thought the cyclist’s behavior was odd. I just don’t ride like that. I assume when traffic is backed up, eventually a car will enter the bike lane. I always assume cars are going to right hook if I’m riding in their blind spot. I ride defensivly with safety in mind.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 9:57 am

            “It was almost as if the cyclist was willing to run into the driver to prove a point.”

            And we all should if we can. If you’re fit enough to take a hit from a bad driver then you should do it. I stopped getting out of the way of bad drivers in my car long ago. I don’t want to enable them to continue their bad driving farther down the road where they might hit somebody that won’t recover. I still occasionally have to swerve while on my bike, but you can be sure some part of me (foot or fist) will pound on your vehicle if I somehow manage to avoid you.

            Again, most of us would rather cower. And yes, that’s intentionally accusatory. We have let motor vehicles dominate and it needs to stop.

            Recommended Thumb up 6

            • John Lascurettes December 4, 2018 at 11:22 am

              Ditto.

              Recommended Thumb up 4

            • Matt S. December 4, 2018 at 8:06 pm

              I consider a bike commuter riding in a cars blind spot to be bad bike riding behavior, even if they aren’t aware, because they should be aware. Just as a car driver should look over their shoulder as they merge across the bike lane, even if they haven’t been trained to do so (example, they never had to in their home town because there were never any bike riders on the streets), because they should be aware. There can’t be a double standard. It takes some training to be aware of riding in a cars blind spot, just as it takes training to be aware of bikes riding in a cars blind spot.

              I’d bet you’d be sad if you smashed your prized commuter into a car just teach that person a lesson….

              Recommended Thumb up 1

      • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 2:16 pm

        We were not watching his speed; like in the silent movies of the twenties, everyone’s movements were sped up.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • Matt S. December 3, 2018 at 3:37 pm

          I suspect he was going 10-15 miles an hour or faster, along frustrated-erratic drivers coming into the bike lane, eeek.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Middle of the Road Guy December 4, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Ever notice that all of the ads with big SUVs tearing through a snowstorm never actually have any snow on them?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Liz Jackson December 3, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Super curious if 9watts or Steve Scarich have ever sold e-bikes and if not how they know the purported majority of who’s buying/using them…? I’ve sold e-bikes for 3 years and started off solidly against them…I now believe in their usefulness wholeheartedly, yet am ~shockingly~, still able to recognize that just like all new tech, we face a lot of challenges to iron out and it’s not yet reached a perfect state.

    But honestly, the majority of people to whom I’ve sold e-bikes are a varied group of folx consisting but not limited to folx with injuries, parents looking to tote kids and stuff up hills, people that crashed or were hit one time and are now super scared to be in traffic unassisted, people that never really got the hang of riding a bike because of balance issues, self-employed folx that need to tote their tools or wares, folx commuting from North Portland to Tigard, E T C. A lot of people that buy e-bikes realize that they’re actually better at riding a bike than they previously believed and in that case e-bikes can serve as the “gateway drug” to more serious unassisted riding.

    Have I ever sold a bike to someone who proudly planned on never taking it off Turbo mode? For sure, those people exist, but that’s been maybe one person, in my personal experience (other shops have difference experiences). To say that the biggest reason people use e-bikes is that they’re lazy or power hungry is just not reflective of reality and also appears to be a feeling mostly generated by the hot mess of dockless e-scooter pilots that while have a lot of problems, proved that people are hungry to get out of cars.

    Recommended Thumb up 14

    • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      “if not how they know the purported majority of who’s buying/using them…?”

      I would not claim to know the statistics; all I mean to suggest here is that the boosterist claims deserve tempering, if only because we’ve been down these roads before (with previous rounds of electrification: kitchen appliances, hand tools, grooming equipment, music listening, telephony, home office equipment, etc.).

      “I’ve sold e-bikes for 3 years and started off solidly against them”

      I’m curious what caused you to initially be ‘solidly against them’?

      “…I now believe in their usefulness wholeheartedly, yet am ~shockingly~, still able to recognize that just like all new tech, we face a lot of challenges to iron out”

      I don’t think I was saying a lot more or less, except that I don’t see this ironing out leading to a perfect balance of Panglossian Progress.

      “and it’s not yet reached a perfect state.”

      Can you point to another technology that has followed this path? Where over time things get ironed out, and reach a perfect state? I’m curious to hear more about this trajectory.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Mick O December 3, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    So-called traditional bikes are for slovenly sloths who are too lazy to run and enjoy spewing the 1 short ton of carbon generated for every $1,000 spent by manufacturers to make bicycles.

    Sure they are “better” than cars, but compared to feet they are just whiny cheaters.

    Recommended Thumb up 9

    • Matt S. December 3, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      I worked for a company that organized an annual bike commute challenge in the summer. I ran into work all 22 days. I was chastised by my coworkers that my mode of commute didn’t count. I figured the whole point of the program was to challenge people to commute to work using zero fossil fuels. HR approved my commute option.

      Recommended Thumb up 9

      • Dave December 4, 2018 at 7:53 am

        You should have been given double credit! FWIW, I’m very much a non-runner, just a **inappropriate word deleted by moderator** who needs a bike with derailleurs to get up any kind of a hill.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Andrew Kreps December 3, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    The ride to the airport article is correct about the perspiration. I’ve been riding to PDX forever now, and since the backscatter scanners were installed, I always get patted down. It turns out the sweaty spots on your shirt are enough to create a hotspot in the scan. Or in my case, a couple of dozen of them.

    I do take issue with them calling it a “nascent phenomenon” since I’ve been doing it for a decade and a half and I know I wasn’t the first one.

    I’m sure glad they finally noticed, though.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • pdx2wheeler December 3, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    I welcome anyone to try my e-bike ride and tell me it’s for people who don’t want exercise! Saying ebikes are for people who don’t want to exercise is pure stupidity! I’ve logged 5,000 miles this year and enough elevation gain to climb Everest 13 times. If not for an e-bike I’m in my car…

    Recommended Thumb up 15

    • 9watts December 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      We need data, not anecdotes.

      Some people no doubt haul thousands of pounds of lumber and materials in their station wagons every week. But that – to take the analogy a bit further – tells us nothing about the probability that at least in the Metro area there are simultaneously thousands of folks with large pickup trucks who are carrying nothing to speak of around in their beds. Both are true, but without a study of the matter, we will just keep whistling in the wind.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

      • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 11:56 am

        “We need data, not anecdotes.”

        They gave you both. What a rude statement. That line could be used to respond to many people here, including you. These comments are for both opinion and information. They relayed a personal experience and gave their data from that. They also extended an offer you didn’t accept before berating them.

        Would you throw that same retort in the face of William Shatner after he told you how many miles he’s enjoyed on his e-bike that he could do before?

        Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Josh G December 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Super interested in E-Bikes and hope to save some money to purchase one. Or perhaps convert an existing bike with a kit instead.

    E-bike would vastly extend my bicycle range and reduce the number of auto trips further.

    People bashing E-Bikes I think is very short-sighted, and not something I would expect to see on a Bicycle blog.

    Recommended Thumb up 11

    • I wear many hats December 3, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      I’m an ardent racer, commuter, mountain biker, and adventurer, and haven’t yet gotten an e bike, but i’m often driving my dog to the dog park, and I’m holding onto an old frame to convert so that I can pedal myself and dog places without the car. E bikes have a place, even if the tech curmudgeons cry foul.

      Recommended Thumb up 10

      • dan December 3, 2018 at 4:02 pm

        I tow a 75-pound dog in a Burley Tail Wagon – as long as your dog isn’t much bigger than that, I would say no e-bike is needed! I struggled for the first week or two of towing him up Harrison/Lincoln from Ladd’s Addition, but once my legs got used to it, it was smooth sailing. Side benefit that I no longer get sore legs at the start of the snowboarding season because my quads are much stronger than they used to be.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • I wear many hats December 3, 2018 at 5:06 pm

          There are 15% grades in SW. The majority of commuters (myself not included) in my ‘hood are E bike commuters. My fixed and SS bikes grow cobwebs in the hills because its irrational to ride uphill on a single gear. Ride your bike and dog up to Wilson High School and let me know how it treats you. trailers are great for flats, however, not a panacea for steep and loaded rides

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • Matt December 3, 2018 at 9:53 pm

            You’re comparing an e-bike on the one hand, and a single speed bike on the other… What about the obvious middle ground? You know, the most common kind of bike out there: multi-speed, non-electric bikes?

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • I wear many hats December 4, 2018 at 9:13 am

              I’m riding the obvious middle ground, daily, year round. As the dog park is too far to walk to (for my lifestyle >30 minutes walking each way), and too far to dog run to (my dogs don’t run well on leashes, nor fast enough to run along side the bike), the car is the best option. Again, I’d say, climb up to Wilson with your dog, then get back to me about how e bikes aren’t necessary.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Matt December 4, 2018 at 10:27 am

                I never said they’re not necessary, I just said your previous comment was presenting a false choice.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • dan December 4, 2018 at 10:54 am

                Wilson is out of my way, but other than commuting to work, we do go up to the top of Mt. Tabor for walks, which is a significant climb. I’ve also towed him up Wistaria to Alameda Ridge a couple of times, which is probably pushing 15%. Those rides are a workout, and might be impossible for me without a triple, but my tow vehicle is an MTB, so it works OK. A single speed or fixie would be a non-starter for sure.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 11:47 am

                I’ve also towed my 80 lb dog in a kid trailer up the Alameda Ridge a few times. It’s not fun, but it’s possible, and I feel pretty great once I catch my breath at the top. I towed that dog lots of places, and up lots of hills very slowly. That was when I had 21 speeds and serious hill gear.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Ted Buehler December 3, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Speaking of riding to the airport, last time I was there the bike route went up to the departures area and ended, with no instructions on how to find the bicycle parking area on the arrivals level.

    Seems to me that some wayfinding was needed at the end there.

    Anyone have info on this?

    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 10:12 am

      The MUP ends at the bike parking cage on the lower arrivals level.

      If you continue along the sidewalk past the airlines then you get to the other open bike rack by the MAX station and the bike repair station which I think is just inside the door there.

      Although I’m not sure if there are any way finding signs. If you came with a bike to park then it’s pretty obvious. If you came with one that’s disassembled then you may need to ask for directions to the assembly station.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Champs December 3, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    I’ve said it before, but e-bikes are just like guns. The arguments, if not the stakes, are the same. Simultaneously fun, useful, and dangerous, your point of view depends on which argument you prefer.

    The major bike manufacturers, who aren’t appealing to younger consumers and underwrite bicycling press and advocacy, know which ones they want you to focus on.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Matt S. December 3, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      Except only one can be used in mass killings. I think the two are very different.

      Recommended Thumb up 10

    • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 10:16 am

      There’s nothing inherently dangerous about using an e-bike. They don’t even go as fast as most year-around commuters. If you think e-bikes are dangerous then you also think that regular bikes are dangerous. They’re not. The only difference between the 2 is that one is easier.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • X December 7, 2018 at 12:03 am

        If a bike is defined as a thing that runs into people then e-bikes are approximately twice as dangerous because remember, velocity squared. Fortunately that hardly every happens.

        Much more often, a bike is a thing that mixes on the street with cars. An e-bike moving at 20 mph has fewer encounters with cars moving at 20-25 mph legal speeds and is therefore safer for the operator of the bike and less aggravating for the operators of cars. See, I got the human agency in there!

        Everybody *thinks* they go 20 mph on their bare bike. Here’s a wish that people would quit that King Of Commute stuff or else go strive in the middle of the lane. Shoaling is not attractive.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • soren December 7, 2018 at 9:00 am

          It takes quite a bit of effort to hit 20 mph on a pedelec and, in my experience, most e-bikers are chill people who ride at a slower pace than the proverbial experienced year-round bike commuter.

          PS: I pass most of the e-bikers I encounter.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • David Hampsten December 4, 2018 at 1:35 am

    On the Bird franchise offer, our city recently legalized scooters for all streets with posted speed limits of 35 mph or slower (with an exception for faster streets that have bike lanes), but also restricted any one company from having more than 200 scooters in the city. For Lime, this was no big deal, they only had 150 scooters here. But Bird deployed 450, so now they are trying to find a partner vendor, since for them 200 is far too few. Other cities here in the southeast are considering similar city ordinances.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Chris December 4, 2018 at 7:03 am

    My mother and father (72, 82) have ebikes. My father, in particular, loves his. He has to ride a mile or two on relatively busy roads before getting to the multi-use paths he enjoys. He had to drive his bike there before he got an ebike. He was just too slow to be safe, otherwise. He put 2k miles on his new bike last year, which is probably about 1750 more than on his old one. He genuinely looks forward to good weather, when he can go riding. He leaves it in eco mode, because he wants the exercise.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

  • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 10:21 am

    “Spain sees first case of a pedestrian killed by an electric scooter”

    But not the first case of a bad headline.

    The real headline is underneath.

    “Judge is probing whether the youth who accidentally hit a 90-year-old woman was looking at his phone”

    This is the media pitting drivers against other modes of transport. Instead of this being about a distracted “youth”.

    This incident is why many people don’t want any form of motorized transport on MUPs.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 10:22 am

      I also find it odd that they didn’t mention the name of either person involved, and withheld the age of the perpetrator.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Steve Scarich December 4, 2018 at 1:08 pm

        Many countries have very restrictive laws about public disclosure of citizens’ personal info. I read several international newspapers daily and am surprised at the lack of details, even of convicted perps in violent crimes. I’m not quite sure the reasoning behind these laws.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Johnny Bye Carter December 4, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Love this quote from William Shatner regarding being outside on an e-bike instead of indoor exercise equipment.

    “Suddenly you’re seeing neighbors, riding to the grocery store and giving the bird to cars.”

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Mike Sanders December 4, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Well, we do have a bike path to the airport. It’s the I-205 Trail. The connection to and from the airport isn’t promoted very well. No signs on the trail itself, and none on the airport orooerty itself, including the terminal. Seems to me that the city, the Port of Portland (which owns the airport) and ODOT (which owns the I-205 Trail) should be encouraged to work together. A bike parking area and a Biketown site featuring cargo bikes should be installed near the bag claim entrance/exit near the Max station. By the way, the overnight bus service just introduced by Tri-Met uses 82 Av as far south as Washington Street, meaning you have to walk across 82 Av. and several blocks east to connect to The I-205 Trail late at night. Inbound bus connection is at Burnside.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Matt S. December 5, 2018 at 11:52 am

    I hope you’ve never been a passenger in a car pool to go mountain biking…

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • 9watts December 6, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Pete
    I suggest you don’t propose “political movements” that selectively focus on the actions of others while ignoring the impacts of your own. That is not a “perception” of hypocrisy. If you or the others refusing to fly order goods online, you’ve caused packages to be flown and driven with diesel power. Now argue that your individual choices may impact less than those of others, and voila… you’re keeping score.

    The anger and defensiveness in your recent string of posts is striking. You gleefully pounce on inconsistencies, to I suppose prove that I (we) are frauds because we are being selective.
    This may be fun, but it misses the mark.
    If Huey Lewis had asked not about transatlantic air travel, but whether to have a child or to eat meat, or to spend all day on the internet we could have had conversations about those other subjects. The climate repercussions of air travel can as you well know be usefully compared to the climate implications of all these other behaviors, but your (and others’) insistence on personalizing this, inventing carbon biographies for each of us is not productive, and distracts from the clear and present dangers we all face.
    I agree with you that striving to meet these challenges on all levels – food, children, air freight, home heating, transport, internet – is a worthy, if daunting pursuit. Whether or to what degree you or I or Huey have started down this path may be interesting, but it isn’t the most important thing to know about this.

    And while you may believe you’ve engaged HK and others in productive conversation, you still have yet to educate any of us how, for example, I could get to a meeting at my headquarters in Paris from the US west coast by anything other than airplane… without losing my job, anyway.

    The climate risks of air travel are or should not be controversial, and more importantly are independent of whether you or I or anyone has discovered viable climate-happy substitutes for the behaviors we who can afford air travel have grown accustomed to. The pragmatic challenges of how to adapt in the short run, and the need to phase out air travel are analytically separate matters.

    At one point, the prospect of ending slavery was also inconceivable in so far as it was recognized that it would destroy the economy of the South as it was—at least to those who were looking at the situation pragmatically. There really isn’t a ready substitute for having lots of children either: the solution is to have fewer. Or to eating lots of meat.
    These are some of the tougher challenges we’ve inherited. We can wrestle with them individually, ignore them, or try to learn with and from each other. Are there other options?

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • X December 6, 2018 at 11:31 pm

      I’m with M. watts on this one.

      Pete, perhaps you are doing good work but if the internet is good for anything, it’s good for people who are far apart to communicate with each other. Not quite like face-to-face, but with simultaneous audio and video at least. Do any of the grown-ups at your HQ in Paris have children, or nieces and nephews, who are going to be alive in the world of 2088?

      Air travel is good for putting a lot of carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the upper atmosphere right where it can do the most harm. Yes I know about server farms. It’s a problem. Maybe Al Gore will fly in and save us. Let’s all order some frozen steaks, upload a bunch of videos and call it a day. Alexa!

      There were comments above on the order of, if the plane is flying anyway I might as well be on it, no? Listen: money is not pictures of Andrew Jackson, it’s information. If I give somebody my credit card number, I’m sending an explicit message straight to the factory, ‘Make more of that thing!’ or to the oil company, ‘Drill another hole!’ or to the airline, ‘Planes are filling up, better add another flight!’

      Who thinks that everything is not connected?

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Pete December 7, 2018 at 9:10 am

        I didn’t call someone “climate change denier” for saying air travel is a practical modern reality… I’m not the one “personalizing” this.

        “Whether or to what degree you or I or Huey have started down this path may be interesting, but it isn’t the most important thing to know about this.”

        Comment #1 was based on the premise that if we all stopped traveling by air there’d be no more airports or airplane flights, which is reiterated here, and others claim is flawed. We also devolved into e-Bike batteries… likely using battery-powered devices. You are here again down-playing the impact of datacenters while re-emphasizing the impact of airplanes.

        Renewable energy and EPA Tier 4 mitigate some impact, but we all know the system focuses on low cost and high profits. Datacenter analysis lets airlines optimize both routes and loads. They make money by keeping *fewer* planes flying *more*, no matter the cargo. Natural gas replaced coal because 66% production efficiency is better than 40%, and pipes are cheaper than rolling trucks. Our very datagrams are traversing Google’s datacenter in The Dalles, powered mainly by a combined-cycle gas plant in Boardman, plus a few ‘windmills’ when the Chinooks blow.

        Driving cost efficiencies can also mitigate environmental impact, but cost is still king. Slavery may be abolished but globalization took its place… driven by generations of consumers “voting with their wallets” – you and me included.

        At this point I’m not exactly sure what y’all are trying to convince me – that climate change is real? I didn’t see any arguments there. I didn’t jump on others for their choices, but I call that hypocrisy because individual choices can only go so far to mitigate impact. I’m not being defensive when I say opting not to have children is an actual carbon offset… I offer it as my own alternative to not telling my boss I refuse to fly to his meetings in Paris or Denmark.

        There’s no anger in my tone, 9. You stay grounded there in Portland while I go ride my bike to get rid of some of this jet lag.

        🙂

        Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 7, 2018 at 11:42 am

        No one is going to add or remove another flight because of you. I get the idea of “money votes”, but that only works in a situation like this when you are joined by tens of thousands of others, or where the units you are voting on are small (my argument does not work when dealing with eating chicken, for example).

        When it comes to trips to Europe, very few individuals vote often enough or loudly enough to be noticed amid the noise.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • soren December 7, 2018 at 12:00 pm

          Flights are constantly cancelled or added based on aggregate demand.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • Matt S. December 7, 2018 at 2:28 pm

            15.8 million flights annually per ffa.gov

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty December 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm

            Even ignoring network constraints, when was the last time you flew on a flight that was empty enough that there was even a remote possibility you would be the “tipping point” passenger? I don’t fly a ton, but for me, it has been years, probably more than a decade.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

  • X December 6, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    dan: . . .I’ve also towed him up Wistaria to Alameda Ridge a couple of times, which is probably pushing 15%. . .

    If it’s 15% my dogs are walking up the hill! I think a better estimate of the slope on the steep bit of Wistaria between 49th and 51st would be 10%. It’s just about exactly 50 feet of rise in 500-600 feet of run (I’m working from a 1:24000 topo map with 10 foot contours so this is an approximation.)

    Recommended Thumb up 0