Author Topic: Bicycle commuting  (Read 3235 times)

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Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1374
Bicycle commuting
« on: June 21, 2021, 02:32 PM »
It was never designed around 1 car per adult, but nothing was done to prevent excess cars...

Prevent excess of cars? You must hate capitalism and the American dream!  We have 1.37 cars per adult, which I think is a drop over where it was. That is also register cars, so non operating ones would bring they number up.

If someone tried to reduce the number of cars here they would be run out of the country on all fronts.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7665
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2021, 05:01 PM »
Prevent excess of cars? You must hate capitalism and the American dream!  We have 1.37 cars per adult, which I think is a drop over where it was. That is also register cars, so non operating ones would bring they number up.

If someone tried to reduce the number of cars here they would be run out of the country on all fronts.

Number of cars won't be reduced here either, more and more people get cars. But in America you have all the space of the world, and here space is very limited. While we may not have the highest number of cars per capita, I do believe we have the highest number of cars per square kilometer. And it shows, streets are flowing over.

I am very happy with the change to electric cars. That really makes things a lot more liveable gain, as pollution and noise are sersiously going down.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2295
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2021, 05:29 PM »
"I am very happy with the change to electric cars. That really makes things a lot more liveable gain, as pollution and noise are sersiously going down"

I believe the transition would occur faster if there was a more extensive charging network in place here AND we did not have all the parallel proprietary charging systems. Need Level 3 DC Fast chargers to be as prevalent as gas stations.
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Offline Coen

  • Posts: 1092
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2021, 11:39 AM »
It was never designed around 1 car per adult, but nothing was done to prevent excess cars...

Prevent excess of cars? You must hate capitalism and the American dream!  We have 1.37 cars per adult, which I think is a drop over where it was. That is also register cars, so non operating ones would bring they number up.

If someone tried to reduce the number of cars here they would be run out of the country on all fronts.

Yes, car addiction is real. It's a personal blessing and a collective pain. More working age people are killed car drivers then by colona.

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 81
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2021, 01:53 PM »

I believe the transition would occur faster if there was a more extensive charging network in place here AND we did not have all the parallel proprietary charging systems. Need Level 3 DC Fast chargers to be as prevalent as gas stations.

This ^^^^^^ Here in the UK, it's only Tesla who seem to have charging stations everywhere .... even at many of our major freeway service areas, you're still lucky to find 1 or 2 charging points - plus no guarantee that the charger plug is going to fit your EV socket. IKEA have rows of them on the car parks of every store though !! Very forward-thinking of them. If only everyone else was as focused on this.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2021, 01:56 PM by woodbutcherbower »
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Offline Coen

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2021, 01:36 PM »

I believe the transition would occur faster if there was a more extensive charging network in place here AND we did not have all the parallel proprietary charging systems. Need Level 3 DC Fast chargers to be as prevalent as gas stations.

This ^^^^^^ Here in the UK, it's only Tesla who seem to have charging stations everywhere .... even at many of our major freeway service areas, you're still lucky to find 1 or 2 charging points - plus no guarantee that the charger plug is going to fit your EV socket. IKEA have rows of them on the car parks of every store though !! Very forward-thinking of them. If only everyone else was as focused on this.

In front of the Ikea here is a row of bicycle parking that is being used too  [cool]. That does way more for the environment than any amount of e-cars.

Many of the people going to work by car only do so because when they go on bicycle they don't like the amount of assholemobilism. I'd say about 5% of people driving qualify for their license being snipped. That would immediately reduce the amount of cars on the road by 5% and the traffic deaths by 50%. Less jerks in cars when they cause a rise in cycling, a reduction in obesity and an increase in general happiness.

Now this is different in the US where cities were partly demolished to make everyone car dependent.

Oh btw on asholemobilism;
https://www.npr.org/2021/06/03/1003034071/surge-in-traffic-deaths-in-2020-linked-to-drivers-risky-behavior-during-the-pand
 [mad]
« Last Edit: June 24, 2021, 02:13 PM by Coen »

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 776
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2021, 02:26 PM »
In front of the Ikea here is a row of bicycle parking that is being used too  [cool]. That does way more for the environment than any amount of e-cars.

The disturbing recent trend is the rise of electric or electric assist bicycles.  Once everyone is going 25+ MPH and plugging in their bike every night like an e-car, is there much difference?  Granted, the electrical use is probably lower than a car, but to what degree?

I've considered an e-assist bike to commute because we live in a valley and I've tried to climb out of it on my old Schwinn 3-speed.  Aside from the fact that the bike isn't designed as a commuter (too hig of a low gear, too low of a high gear), making that climb every day turns me off of the idea of commuting on a regular bike every day.

Then an e-bike costs almost as much as a low-end 250 or 500cc motorcycle or scooter, and I already have a motorcycle and endorsement, so why not just go with a motorcycle?

And so I stick to my car, because it's just more convenient and weather-resistant than any other option, and car seats don't mix well with any of the other options well enough to completely get rid of a car.

Offline Coen

  • Posts: 1092
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2021, 02:51 PM »
In front of the Ikea here is a row of bicycle parking that is being used too  [cool]. That does way more for the environment than any amount of e-cars.

The disturbing recent trend is the rise of electric or electric assist bicycles.  Once everyone is going 25+ MPH and plugging in their bike every night like an e-car, is there much difference?  Granted, the electrical use is probably lower than a car, but to what degree?

I've considered an e-assist bike to commute because we live in a valley and I've tried to climb out of it on my old Schwinn 3-speed.  Aside from the fact that the bike isn't designed as a commuter (too hig of a low gear, too low of a high gear), making that climb every day turns me off of the idea of commuting on a regular bike every day.

Then an e-bike costs almost as much as a low-end 250 or 500cc motorcycle or scooter, and I already have a motorcycle and endorsement, so why not just go with a motorcycle?

And so I stick to my car, because it's just more convenient and weather-resistant than any other option, and car seats don't mix well with any of the other options well enough to completely get rid of a car.

How is the rise of ebikes disturbing? The improvement for the environment of someone switching from car to eBike is way bigger than someone switching a SUV for an heavier SUV with battery...

Not everyone is going 25 + MPH with them. The limit here is 25 km/h for the common eletric assist bicycle without license plate, 45 km/h with license plate. No plugging in every night because the common 500 Wh battery will easily last 100-200 km... And yes, that capacity is 1/160th of a Tesla Model 3 battery that will only go twice as far...
not to mention the amount of resources for making a Tesla vs bike....

I don't really care for the 25 km/h ebikes. I usually ride just a bit faster on a bicycle without e-assist, so it would be death weight for me. I don't want the 45 km/h version because of the helmet and license plate.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2021, 02:54 PM by Coen »

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7665
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2021, 03:28 PM »
The disturbing recent trend is the rise of electric or electric assist bicycles.  Once everyone is going 25+ MPH and plugging in their bike every night like an e-car, is there much difference?  Granted, the electrical use is probably lower than a car, but to what degree?

To the degree of moving 80 to 90 Kg on a bike compared to a Tesla that weighs 20x as much at 1800 KG. With greatly reduced air resistance and ground friction also. And that car can go on the highway at 120 Kph, while the bike is limited at 25 Kph, mostly. Energy use ratio is probably around 1 to 80.

Of course the car offers many advantages over a bicycle, but in pure energy efficiency per kilometer, the bike wins by miles.


Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1374
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2021, 05:44 PM »

I've considered an e-assist bike to commute because we live in a valley and I've tried to climb out of it on my old Schwinn 3-speed.  Aside from the fact that the bike isn't designed as a commuter (too hig of a low gear, too low of a high gear), making that climb every day turns me off of the idea of commuting on a regular bike every day.
...

And so I stick to my car, because it's just more convenient and weather-resistant than any other option, and car seats don't mix well with any of the other options well enough to completely get rid of a car.

How is the rise of ebikes disturbing? The improvement for the environment of someone switching from car to eBike is way bigger than someone switching a SUV for an heavier SUV with battery...

Not everyone is going 25 + MPH with them. The limit here is 25 km/h for the common eletric assist bicycle without license plate, 45 km/h with license plate. No plugging in every night because the common 500 Wh battery will easily last 100-200 km... And yes, that capacity is 1/160th of a Tesla Model 3 battery that will only go twice as far...
not to mention the amount of resources for making a Tesla vs bike....

I don't really care for the 25 km/h ebikes. I usually ride just a bit faster on a bicycle without e-assist, so it would be death weight for me. I don't want the 45 km/h version because of the helmet and license plate.

Because there isn't a limit on them here. Also a lot of them work without the person pedaling, so they are just using them as small electric motorcycles.  Some bike shops won't sell models that will run without pedaling, but plenty of places will.  So now you have a person going car speeds on sidewalks.  There is no helmet license laws for them.

In the end, his post sums up the situation for a lot of folks.  The idea of commuting on a bike sounds good. But so few could ever make it happen.

1) Commute is too long
2) They would have to travel on roads, as dedicated bike paths are very rare, even in most major cities.
3) If you have to go on a road, death is pretty much certain before long.
4) Climate/Weather.  There is only a narrow band across the US where it just isn't way to hot most the time, or way too cold most the time.  Very little of the US has a climate like Netherlands.  No one wants to be bundled up for 0F and in a snow storm commuting on a bike, No one wants to ride a bike to work when it's in the upper 70s and beyond, and the south of this country is more like 80-105F most the time.  Then you also have stuff like rain too.   When you find that happy zone, there is not a lot of cities in that zone.

In the end, bikes only work in a few limited places. 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 09:43 AM by DeformedTree »

Offline mino

  • Posts: 533
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2021, 10:42 PM »
E-bike make commuting in a hilly city/town feasible for "normal" people.

Try riding a "Holland" bike in Prague, and you will very, very fast realize it is a no-go. The top speed is not an issue, on straight you can easily ride it faster and on the hill there is no way even with assist you will make 25kph.

In a pancake place like The Netherlands, it makes little sense indeed.
That is about it transport-wise.

I also do not agree about no-assist e-bikes being bad. If you classify them as "bad" then you are either an extremist who considers anything except walking and normal bicycle as "bad" or you are likely not aware of their /miniscule/ environmental footprint.

As mentioned. One Tesla owner is about as much a footprint as 100 ebike owners ...
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Offline DeformedTree

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2021, 11:43 PM »
E-bike make commuting in a hilly city/town feasible for "normal" people.

Try riding a "Holland" bike in Prague, and you will very, very fast realize it is a no-go. The top speed is not an issue, on straight you can easily ride it faster and on the hill there is no way even with assist you will make 25kph.

In a pancake place like The Netherlands, it makes little sense indeed.
That is about it transport-wise.

I also do not agree about no-assist e-bikes being bad. If you classify them as "bad" then you are either an extremist who considers anything except walking and normal bicycle as "bad" or you are likely not aware of their /miniscule/ environmental footprint.


I think you miss understood. I'm referring to bikes that allow you to use the electric drive without pedaling as bad. Those bikes are still bikes, so they can go all the places bicycles go, yet are used as motorcycles, the people using them never pedal at all.  This has nothing to do with eco stuff, or "what is a real bike", etc.  It's a safety issue, and that is why some stores will not sell them. Until they ban them, this will be an issue.

Electric motorcycles are a great thing, and if folks want those, by all means get them. But they do not belong on sidewalks, bike paths, etc with other bikes, walkers, strollers, etc.

Electric assist bikes are a great things, like you say, it opens up the window where people can use them. But that function can't change the weather where a person lives. But, as it is, the cities where climate/weather is really good for bikes, are also cities where hills are thing and the electric assist is a big help.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 533
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2021, 07:12 AM »
E-bike make commuting in a hilly city/town feasible for "normal" people.

Try riding a "Holland" bike in Prague, and you will very, very fast realize it is a no-go. The top speed is not an issue, on straight you can easily ride it faster and on the hill there is no way even with assist you will make 25kph.

In a pancake place like The Netherlands, it makes little sense indeed.
That is about it transport-wise.

I also do not agree about no-assist e-bikes being bad. If you classify them as "bad" then you are either an extremist who considers anything except walking and normal bicycle as "bad" or you are likely not aware of their /miniscule/ environmental footprint.


I think you miss understood. I'm referring to bikes that allow you to use the electric drive without pedaling as bad. ...
No, I interpreted the same. I disagree.

The reason for allowing bicycles where cars or bikes cannot go is NOT because they are human powered but because they are light and slow. Hence the risk of driving into someone AND causing a major injury is a couple orders of magnitude lower. They are also way more nimble too, so can safely move around where even a bike cannot.

Whether they are human or motor powered makes no difference. Key is weight and top speed.

A normal human-powered bike makes 20mph long term and 30mph short term or down a hill and weights under 50lbs. As long as a motor-driven vehicle fits into those/similar characteristics, there is no reason for making different rules for it.

This would be a long post- Instead I would recommend anyone who wants to dig into "what happens if everyone used bikes" to travel or watch videos from the Netherlands. No helmets, no cycling gear, relatively high speeds /where conditions allow/ and an absolute minimum of collisions with major injuries in relation to the people miles taken.
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
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Offline Coen

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2021, 07:42 AM »
There are no weight restrictions on non-motorized bicycles, nor speed restrictions. However, if you allow what effectively are electric scooters into that mix, the speeds will be way way higher.

You can get an electric scooter (25 kmh or 45 kmh) just fine here. It does however come with a license plate. The 25 kmh "assist" version does not but requires you peddle as well. However, you fill still see lots of people just pedaling as little as they can; those are the same people that complain the battery won't last what was declared  [big grin]. Previously however these people drove a car, so it's still a big improvement.

The power to weight ratio is also a thing, the e-stuff can accelerate like 99% of 'human on a bicycle' can't.

Personally I ride a velomobile; no helmet, no license plate, the thing weighs 33 kg empty and I ride up to 60 km/h with it. And oh; no battery. And in NL I can freely choose between bike path and main road because of it's width.

But contrary to most of the (e)scooters I actually do consider safety of overtaking...

Anyway; demolishing cities to "adapt" them to the car will spawn a situation that is hostile to cycling, and that in itself reinforces the "drive everywhere" thing that the USA suffers from.

Once you increase density, cars become more and more of a curse. And the more you get rid of cars in a high-density area, the more livable it becomes. The city I live in has a perfect ring road around the city center, but the car addicted club still drives straight through. So the city is now 'cutting' some roads where you simply get shoved aside to the ring road if you attempt to drive all the way through. Local car addicts are ticked of course, but I'm pretty sure that in my city they will lose and the livability of the city will increase.

Funny bike fact; Brompton folding bikes sells two versions of their frame suspension block. A "normal" version that in Europe is the default option and as option the "stiff" version "for heavier people". In the US they apparently fit the stiff version by default
« Last Edit: June 26, 2021, 08:02 AM by Coen »

Offline mino

  • Posts: 533
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2021, 04:02 PM »
There are no weight restrictions on non-motorized bicycles, nor speed restrictions. However, if you allow what effectively are electric scooters into that mix, the speeds will be way way higher.
...
A normal human-powered bike makes 20mph long term and 30mph short term or down a hill and weights under 50lbs. As long as a motor-driven vehicle fits into those/similar characteristics, there is no reason for making different rules for it.
Per bold. FOr traffic rules, it should not matter if has motor or not. If forces assist or not. Only the max /powered/ speed and weight should matter.

And on the speed part, I consider the 25 kph as an unfortunate choice that came from the wrong assumption at the time single-speed bikes were common /it was promoted by Toyota in the EU in the late 80s. It should be 30 kph instead.

In CZ today almost every e-bike is illegally "chipped" to have the limit lifted, but most people are OK with just "fooling" the controller the bike has smaller tires. /on a 29" bike the 26" setting gives you about 29kph top powered speed/ That tells you all you need to know that the limit is too low - for normal use - but "just by a little".

The thing is, if you have an e-bike which is configured for assist up to 25, you will be slowing-down surrounding /bicycle/ traffic which is between 25-30 kph on a flat or a slight downhill.
Most people do not want 50 kph e-bikes, but they do not like the choice between "slowing down non-powered bikers" and "not able to drive an e-bike /for the hilly sections/".
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 81
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2021, 06:19 PM »
‘Electric Assist’ is a BS term invented by marketing suits who sit around a table in corporate BS brainstorming sessions, who 100% know that the fat guy who buys the product will never use the pedals. Like - NEVER. Apart from the fat guys, this mantra also applies to 99% of other buyers - people are lazy and are always more inclined to press a speed control rather than actually make any effort. But hey - they provide pedals so people have a choice - right?

Reason?? Zero commitment. No committment to making just a tiny scratch on the imminent global fossil fuel extinction, no commitment to getting fitter, thinner and healthier, no commitment  to anything apart from getting to their destination as easily and as free from effort as possible, whilst dropping by at the nearest drive-thru-fat-burger-drenched-in-maple-syrup-deep-fried-in-beer-with-fried-chicken-pizza-mac’n’cheese-side-order joint on the way.

Hills, commuting distance, heat, cold and rain are pathetic, convenient, lame excuses. I never saw Bedouin or Maasai complaining that it was too hot. I never saw Inuit complaining that it was too cold. I never saw the citizens of Switzerland complaining about their country not being flat. These people simply adapted to their conditions - and they dealt with it. If your commute is a little far - get out of bed 30 minutes earlier. If it rains - wear waterproofs. Worried about death on the freeway? Use the settings on any decent GPS SatNav which will figure out a perfect small-road off-highway route instead. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Stuff like this is only a problem if you choose to make it one, or if you’re too bloated and lazy to invest some effort in committing to a solution.

And for those concerned about the impact of e-bike charging - have a think about we forum members (and 10’s of thousands of others like us globally) all plugging our Li-Ion batteries into chargers every night ……… I know that Greta Thunberg gets some bad press, but you have to kinda admit that she does have a point. What a shame that so many regard this as our children’s problem - not ours.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2021, 06:45 PM by woodbutcherbower »
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Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2021, 11:36 PM »
‘Electric Assist’ is a BS term invented by marketing suits who sit around a table in corporate BS brainstorming sessions, who 100% know that the fat guy who buys the product will never use the pedals. Like - NEVER. Apart from the fat guys, this mantra also applies to 99% of other buyers - people are lazy and are always more inclined to press a speed control rather than actually make any effort. But hey - they provide pedals so people have a choice - right?

Reason?? Zero commitment. No committment to making just a tiny scratch on the imminent global fossil fuel extinction, no commitment to getting fitter, thinner and healthier, no commitment  to anything apart from getting to their destination as easily and as free from effort as possible, whilst dropping by at the nearest drive-thru-fat-burger-drenched-in-maple-syrup-deep-fried-in-beer-with-fried-chicken-pizza-mac’n’cheese-side-order joint on the way.

Hills, commuting distance, heat, cold and rain are pathetic, convenient, lame excuses. I never saw Bedouin or Maasai complaining that it was too hot. I never saw Inuit complaining that it was too cold. I never saw the citizens of Switzerland complaining about their country not being flat. These people simply adapted to their conditions - and they dealt with it. If your commute is a little far - get out of bed 30 minutes earlier. If it rains - wear waterproofs. Worried about death on the freeway? Use the settings on any decent GPS SatNav which will figure out a perfect small-road off-highway route instead. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Stuff like this is only a problem if you choose to make it one, or if you’re too bloated and lazy to invest some effort in committing to a solution.

And for those concerned about the impact of e-bike charging - have a think about we forum members (and 10’s of thousands of others like us globally) all plugging our Li-Ion batteries into chargers every night ……… I know that Greta Thunberg gets some bad press, but you have to kinda admit that she does have a point. What a shame that so many regard this as our children’s problem - not ours.

    ^^^ That sounds kind of good ^^^  [tongue]


     In many places it is not lazy or an excuse. I would like to see you bicycle (electric or otherwise) to work in the winter where I live on any regular basis, city or country, good luck. Summer would not be too bad as long as there is a shower waiting for you at work. It is also common for commutes in my area to be 20 - 30 - 40 miles each way. Probably add 5 - 10 more if you want to avoid highways. Your 25 mph scooter will be OK  if  conditions allow.

    There are lots of very real reasons and situations. Point is not every place is even remotely ideal or even borderline doable for two wheel commutes if you want to do something in life other than commute and work.

     Seth

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8906
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2021, 12:03 AM »
Wow this is funny…talking about going off topic, I hadn’t read this for the last several weeks because enough is enough about eBay…but now after tonight I’m in the middle of a bicycle war…very funny.

Of course if I had a valid ballot….the motorcycle would be king.  [popcorn] [popcorn] [popcorn]

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7665
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2021, 01:50 AM »
And on the speed part, I consider the 25 kph as an unfortunate choice that came from the wrong assumption at the time single-speed bikes were common /it was promoted by Toyota in the EU in the late 80s. It should be 30 kph instead.

Here in Holland that limit has to do with government regulation. Before electric bikes, for decades we used to have 2 categories of mopeds, one with a speed up to 25 Kph, and a blue license plate, where you do not have to wear a helmet, and one with a speed up to 50 Kph, and a yellow license plate, where you do have to wear a helmet.

With the advent of electric bikes they just followed these categories, up to 25 Kph, no helmet, no license plate, and regarded a normal bike, and above 25 and faster, the bike needs a license plate and you have to wear a helmet.

I am happy with the 25 Kph limit. I am on the road everyday with my bike ( I do all the pedalling myself) and you don't know how irrisponsable people are with their e-bikes when they suddenly go so fast without having to work for it. People who rode all their lives at speeds of 12 Kph now can go twice as fast, but their habits and reactions are not up to it and they create a lot of dangerous situations and accidents.

They also don't realise that falling at 25 Kph can do serious damage to themselves. At that speed you can fall, hit a curb with your head and have serious trauma. I found this out myself when I got my first fast touring bike with 24 gears, within a year I slipped on a wet bridge at 28 Kph, broke my clavicle and had a nice skid mark on my head, though it was only superficial. Neverthless, in the hospital they did some thorough checks on my head also. That was the same day Michael Schumacher banged his head on a stone and became a plant. I decided to wear a helmet from then on.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7665
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2021, 01:59 AM »
‘Electric Assist’ is a BS term invented by marketing suits who sit around a table in corporate BS brainstorming sessions, who 100% know that the fat guy who buys the product will never use the pedals.

If you don't pedal, the electric motor won't kick in. But, you don't need to put a lot of force in it, just keep the pedals moving, that's all.

I have not seen any electric-only bikes here in Holland.

People who want to stay healthy using a bike should not get an e-bike but a normal one. Here most people see the bike as a form of transportation, to get from A to B, and not as a workout.


Offline Coen

  • Posts: 1092
Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2021, 04:19 AM »
Before electric bikes, for decades we used to have 2 categories of mopeds, one with a speed up to 25 Kph, and a blue license plate, where you do not have to wear a helmet, and one with a speed up to 50 Kph, and a yellow license plate, where you do have to wear a helmet.

50=45
And the 25 used to be "motor assisted", so still had pedals, but that requirement was eventually scrapped.

And with the Dutch being Dutch... about 96% of the 25 kmh category is "tuned" and rides way way faster, so starting July 1st 2022... they have to wear a helmet too. One of the most stupid things; creating a new law founded on the basis of not enforcing an existing one.

If you don't pedal, the electric motor won't kick in. But, you don't need to put a lot of force in it, just keep the pedals moving, that's all.

That also depends on what kind of ebike you have. The ones with torque sensor you actually do have to really pedal yourself and the assist is a certain ratio. The ones with front or rear motor usually only have a sensor to pedal movement... and yes, those can be ridden with minimum input. A familymember of mine recently got one with a rear wheel motor. I rode on it one trip. I really disliked it. It stops the motor too late when you stop pedalling, once you go faster than 25 you have to drag the death weight of the motor and battery along and at 40 km/h (just me) it became unstable, like most women's bicycles.

I have not seen any electric-only bikes here in Holland.

I've seen them. They are just more rare.

People who want to stay healthy using a bike should not get an e-bike but a normal one. Here most people see the bike as a form of transportation, to get from A to B, and not as a workout.

Yes, exactly. However, in the US all the distances are longer, because in between everything there is a car park.

Another added benefit of doing grocery shopping by bicycle is that you will learn quickly to cut out the soft drinks.

Regarding people going 25 kmh while not being used to it... well, same applies to car drivers, that still are causing most death on the road. They could have done slightly different with the speed limit though. Now it is 250W limit and 25 km/h limit. Personally I'd rather have 100W and no speed limit.

People falling with their ebike is usually the dumb bicycles with front motor. They are ridiculously unstable.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 04:27 AM by Coen »

Offline Packard

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2021, 08:31 AM »
Years ago they were trying to promote bicycle commuting on Long Island and I wrote to Newsday (a Long Island newspaper) and this got published.

"Efforts to promote bicycle commuting will fail until these two conditions are met:
1.  Secure lockup facility for the bicycles.
2.  Shower facility at the destination location."

Some laborers would be OK to commute and not shower, but most office workers would not.  I am still of the opinion that unless both conditions are provided for, efforts to promote bicycle commuting will fail.

Offline pixelated

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2021, 09:59 AM »
I've bicycle-commuted with and without the availability of showers. In most environments it's doable without showers, certainly a shower is the most effective freshening up option, but not the only one. Further, in most places, most of the heat and sweat generation is in the afternoon going home, so presumably the shower availability is good for that part of the trip. [smile]
If one is inclined to commute by bike, but not doing it solely due to shower availability, they are making it into an excuse, IMHO.

As for electric assist, I'm in the process of converting my wife's bike to electric assist, we live in very hilly terrain, and she has back problems that make riding up hill problematical. The system I'm adding only works when pedaling, and you can select how much assistance it provides.
It's an experiment however, and yet to be tried, as we don't have the wheel back from the builder, I'm hopeful it will work out.

Offline Packard

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2021, 10:45 AM »
A coworker's daughter has had an electric-assist on her wheelchair for 20+ years.  (The electric-assist began with Yamaha's wheelchair back in the 1990s.)

It should be noted that this is not controlled by a throttle.  The assist measures the amount of effort used to advance and when that effort exceeds a preset amount assist comes into play. 

In the USA electric assist does not require any special license.  A throttle-controlled bike would require a license in some areas and in all areas if it exceeds a fixed speed limit (20 to 30 mph in most areas). 

In some places it cannot be made legal no matter what you do.  And you simply have to hope that law enforcement ignores the breach. 

Offline Coen

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2021, 06:08 PM »
Years ago they were trying to promote bicycle commuting on Long Island and I wrote to Newsday (a Long Island newspaper) and this got published.

"Efforts to promote bicycle commuting will fail until these two conditions are met:
1.  Secure lockup facility for the bicycles.
2.  Shower facility at the destination location."

Some laborers would be OK to commute and not shower, but most office workers would not.  I am still of the opinion that unless both conditions are provided for, efforts to promote bicycle commuting will fail.

Half my fellow bicycle commuters park their bicycle outside the company's fence instead of inside in the fence in the provided shed because it saves them 500m. This includes ebikes. Never heard of any being stolen. But next to a busy road, so I guess that helps.

Offline Crazyraceguy

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2021, 06:35 PM »
Until the company I work for moved (almost 2 years ago) I was a bike commuter for several years. No electric stuff, just pedaling. It was about 8 miles each way and crossing over the river that divides the city from north-south. That meant going down into and climbing back up the valley that accommodates it.
The move to over 21 miles kind of killed the commute though. It's not too far to ride, I do 20 mile rides all the time, but it just takes too long to do that early in the morning.
I did it year-round in central Ohio, so the weather was quite variable.
The worst part of it by far was the cars. Early in the morning was fine, there were very few cars to deal with. The ride home was quite different, many times changing my route because of the traffic. There is a way to do this ride, at least partly, on bike trails that get away from the cars, but it adds a few miles to the distance.
Around here it is totally illegal for an adult to ride a bike on the sidewalk, with or without a motor. You have to ride on the road going with traffic and obeying all traffic signs/laws just like a car.
Between losing the commute and the pandemic, I have dropped from 4500-5000 miles per year to 1200-1500. I love my bikes and need to get back into riding more.
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Offline Coen

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2021, 04:45 PM »
Yes, the self-enforcing car addiction; no infrastructure... no cyclists = car industry gets cycling infrastructure blocked by it's lobby. Combine with oversized cars, no real requirements for a drivers license and voila; you end up with a near 4.7x higher deathrate per cycled km. Also 55% higher death rate for vehicle km's though...

The 8 year old kid that kills himself with daddy's gun always gets in the news even on the other side of the ocean. But the 27.000 Americans each year that would not have "died in traffic" if the USA had the same rate as we do... nope; no news.

Offline WillAdams

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2021, 08:16 AM »
Commuted at my previous job (~7 miles each way) for a couple of years, taking a hobo bath in the sink/bathroom stall year-round. It worked well, had to get off the road at one or two points, but mostly it worked well.

New job is more distant (~11 miles) and either along much busier highways, or even longer (~14 miles), and I'm able to carpool w/ my wife, so haven't, despite there being shower facilities.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2021, 10:40 AM »
The point I was trying to make isn't about the details of showers, weather, highways, distance , etc.  Those were examples attempting to illustrate that things quite simply not the same everywhere. Those are the things that make the difference, but not the point.

My point is that a lot of people assume that what will work for them where they live, in the conditions and circumstances of their local and situation will work for everyone else. Which is a patently false assumption.

Seth

Offline jcrowe1950

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2021, 11:04 PM »

     In many places it is not lazy or an excuse. I would like to see you bicycle (electric or otherwise) to work in the winter where I live on any regular basis, city or country, good luck. Summer would not be too bad as long as there is a shower waiting for you at work. It is also common for commutes in my area to be 20 - 30 - 40 miles each way. Probably add 5 - 10 more if you want to avoid highways. Your 25 mph scooter will be OK  if  conditions allow.

    There are lots of very real reasons and situations. Point is not every place is even remotely ideal or even borderline doable for two wheel commutes if you want to do something in life other than commute and work.

     Seth

Good points....

     Back in the early 80s, I commuted to work by bicycle almost every day in Austin, TX. We did have shower facilities and Austin was much smaller back then. I knew people who commuted in winter in New Hampshire, but I considered them, um, well, quite mad. Given my experience as a longtime cyclist, there's no way I'd ever consider bicycle commuting in an urban environment today...too many people distracted by cell phones and the like.

     To the point of electric bicycles, they are improving but battery viability in extremely cold environments will always be an issue. Greg Lemond has a business in Knoxville making carbon fiber based electric bicycles at Festool prices. They start at $4.5K. They really do look great but dang....
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Offline Coen

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2021, 01:57 PM »
Given my experience as a longtime cyclist, there's no way I'd ever consider bicycle commuting in an urban environment today...too many people distracted by cell phones and the like.

Mainly the drivers that are distracted are the problem. And so once again; a self re-enforcing circle of some jerks in cars that causes... more cars.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 02:20 PM by Coen »

Offline Alex

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2021, 02:52 PM »
I've been bicycle commuting in an urban environment all my life. I always feel prefectly safe on my bike. I think a huge problem with people who can't make it work is their mentality.

Offline Coen

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2021, 03:45 PM »
I've been bicycle commuting in an urban environment all my life. I always feel prefectly safe on my bike. I think a huge problem with people who can't make it work is their mentality.

The rate at which American drivers kill cyclist is 4x higher than it is where we live. You can have bad drivers like we do in NL as long as the infrastructure is 'fine' (NL), or bad infrastructure with good drivers (Germany) but bad infrastructure with bad drivers is rather unattractive.
The share of SUVs has something to do with it too. That type of vehicle requires a certain "__________ everyone else" attitude to buy to begin with, has huge blindspots and when it then does collide with a cyclist or pedestrian the weight and height make it do way more damage.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2021, 04:28 PM »
You know ..............  a lot of people actually use SUVs to transport stuff too. And pick-up trucks and vans. And half the SUVs on the market now are smaller than many cars used to be. Heck it used to be that a VW Golf was a small car. I owned one and it was about the same size as a lot of SUVs. Anyway, I digress.

     What is good for you is NOT necessarily good for everyone else and every other location on the planet.  And what is good for me is NOT necessarily good for everyone else and every other location on the planet.


     I will just reiterate that where you live is not the same as where other people live and vice versa. I am not sure why people can't seem to understand that.


Seth

Offline Vtshopdog

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2021, 06:17 PM »
I've been bicycle commuting in an urban environment all my life. I always feel prefectly safe on my bike. I think a huge problem with people who can't make it work is their mentality.

Totally agree but there are some urban areas I've visited where riding seems nominally unpleasant if not suicidal.
I actually owned a bike/ski store for 35 years before retiring and commuted maybe 300 days a year.  For me the key was not to "Assume drivers can't see you" but rather to operate under assumption that drivers did see me, were actually trying to hit me and it was my job to at least make that hard for them to do. 

Offline Coen

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #35 on: July 15, 2021, 12:57 PM »
You know ..............  a lot of people actually use SUVs to transport stuff too.

Yes right. And my grandma got vitamins from the raisins in the currant buns  [big grin]

And pick-up trucks and vans. And half the SUVs on the market now are smaller than many cars used to be. Heck it used to be that a VW Golf was a small car. I owned one and it was about the same size as a lot of SUVs. Anyway, I digress.

Yes, all the cars got bigger. But SUVs are still worse.

     What is good for you is NOT necessarily good for everyone else and every other location on the planet.  And what is good for me is NOT necessarily good for everyone else and every other location on the planet.

Not really. SUV's are bad everywhere except the showroom.

     I will just reiterate that where you live is not the same as where other people live and vice versa. I am not sure why people can't seem to understand that.

Seth

That's what I said; higher SUV share in the US makes cycling in the US worse.

I've been bicycle commuting in an urban environment all my life. I always feel prefectly safe on my bike. I think a huge problem with people who can't make it work is their mentality.

The rate at which American drivers kill cyclist is 4x higher than it is where we live. You can have bad drivers like we do in NL as long as the infrastructure is 'fine' (NL), or bad infrastructure with good drivers (Germany) but bad infrastructure with bad drivers is rather unattractive.
The share of SUVs has something to do with it too. That type of vehicle requires a certain "__________ everyone else" attitude to buy to begin with, has huge blindspots and when it then does collide with a cyclist or pedestrian the weight and height make it do way more damage.

If people would stop taking up cycling, we could get the death number lower as we kill off the existing cycling herd.  If more people keep cycling then the death rates will go up.

Funny you mention that. With muh Colona lockdowns traffic was reduced bigtime. In NL the traffic fatilities didn't lower in the same proportion. In the US... they even went up. Leave it to motorist to kill more of each other when there are fewer on the same wide road; 7.2% more deaths and 13% less miles traveled. 

The vehicles type isn't really the issue.  A VW golf hits you, or a tractor trailer, results are bad either way.  In the end, our roads are not built for bikes, and our road speeds are way faster.  Surface roads, with businesses/houses/everything on them that are posted 50mph with everyone doing 65mph on them are everywhere in urban areas, and those are roads you have to get on with a bike to get anyplace.

Well, that 50 mph limit translates to 80 kmh, the same default limit outside of buildup areas here too. In Germany that default limit is 100 km/h and I have cycled on those as well. As long as it's only German car drivers it's perfectly fine. However, all the close passes are the yellow plated cars... (read; Dutch drivers (the Germans have white license plates)).

The type of car that hits you is really the issue. An SUV strikes higher, does direct damage to the body and pulls it's victim underneath. While a VW Golf for example will hit the legs and throws it's victim on the windshield. It's not really that hard to imagine what is more likely to kill...

And the likelyhood is also increased because of bigass blindspots on those SUVs. Even parked they are a danger, because a cyclist will be able to look over a parked normal car while a SUV will block sight. Same goes for car drivers; they can look through another parked car, but not through a high up SUV.



I've lived in bike friendly parts of the country, bikers got killed constantly. 

Yes, because US drivers are bad and because SUVs are especially deathly. Combine for extra drama. I'd also like to see your definition of bike friendly. It usually differs greatly from what we in NL would consider bike friendly.

We need dedicated trails for bikes, and those are rare in most areas. Also I'm curious how unified laws are over there on where you can and where you can not bike and how.

NL has a big share of "must use" cycle paths. These differ from pesky bad-surfaced ones that just are a bonus to car drivers to really nice asfalt paths. In Germany the cyclists went to court over "must use" paths and they won; even when "must use" signage is present, you can still lawfully ignore it when the path isn't suited (=is more dangerous).

In the US, the rules are different in ever state,

Well, in that sense you can compare US states to European countries.

and within the states can vary by counties and even towns.  Some places, you must bike on road, never on sidewalk, other places never on road, must be on sidewalk, some areas such as downtowns, biking on street is illegal, bike must be on sidewalk, but you must walk the bike,

Lol. That is ridiculous. Afaik in the UK they defacto allow sidewalk cycling for kids up to 10 years.

so what is the point of using the bike if you have a couple miles you have to walk it. What side of the road should you be on? Depends on the state.  If I'm on my bike and have to go with traffic, but if walking must go opposite of traffic which side of street do I go on when walking the bike?

Dutch rule about what side to walk on if no sidewalk is present was scrapped ~25 years ago.

Distracted drivers are an issue, and pedestrian deaths are on the rise, but that is in part person in car on cell phone, and person crossing street on cell phone.

Well, what percentage of pedestrians on the phone cross the street without looking while not having priority? And even if they do; they are the only victim in 99% of cases. In case of drivers that aren't looking... they tend to kill, not be killed. That is why the fines are different too.

Every day we can read about the most retarded "accidents" in the newspaper. Like the death woman in the toppled car besides the road with an open text message on the phone; "I'm tired but don't want to       ".
Or right in front of the house here; a low-use parking lot exit with perfect view lines onto the priority cycling path. And still those drivers manage to ram a few each year. The local government now placed completely redundant shark teeth. Or like we had half a year ago; middle of the night, empty road, 50 km/h limit. Some woman manages to crash her car into a parked car, pushing it forward into yet another car; "I might have been on the phone". Or when they 'cut the road' and placed a 'bus trap' with way over the top signage. Still half a dozen cars that crashed into that in the first year. And before the street was 'cut' they fined 80%+ of drivers whenever they did some radar speed limit enforcing. That stuff got published in the local newspaper; "Limit 50 km/h, total cars passed; 1237, average speed 65 km/h, maximum 95 km/h, 980 fines"

While in all that time since the road was cut way more cyclists passed the same street and the worst I've seen is some girls cycling side by side crashing into each other because they held each other's handlebar  [huh].
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 01:04 PM by Coen »

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #36 on: July 15, 2021, 11:23 PM »
You know ..............  a lot of people actually use SUVs to transport stuff too.

Yes right. And my grandma got vitamins from the raisins in the currant buns  [big grin]

And pick-up trucks and vans. And half the SUVs on the market now are smaller than many cars used to be. Heck it used to be that a VW Golf was a small car. I owned one and it was about the same size as a lot of SUVs. Anyway, I digress.

Yes, all the cars got bigger. But SUVs are still worse.

     What is good for you is NOT necessarily good for everyone else and every other location on the planet.  And what is good for me is NOT necessarily good for everyone else and every other location on the planet.

Not really. SUV's are bad everywhere except the showroom.

     I will just reiterate that where you live is not the same as where other people live and vice versa. I am not sure why people can't seem to understand that.

Seth

That's what I said; higher SUV share in the US makes cycling in the US worse.



__________________________________________________________________________________________________

     My main point is not about SUVs. My main comment is not about SUVs.

     It is about this idea that bicycle commuting will work for everyone, everywhere.

      What is good for you is NOT necessarily good for everyone else and every other location on the planet.  And what is good for me is NOT necessarily good for everyone else and every other location on the planet.

       I will just reiterate that where you (not you specifically) live is not the same as where other people live and vice versa. I am not sure why people can't seem to understand that. And continue to push something that is not workable in all places. And even if it is demonstrated to not be workable will simply default to ...... ' oh, that is just an excuse'  or ' it's your attitude' .  When the truth is that they do not have enough "in my shoes" information. And then when that info is provided they simply dismiss it or choose not to believe what they are told.

     My main point is not about the details or specifics e.g.: SUVs, weather, roads, distance, and so on. Those are all reasons, yes actual real world reasons, why bicycle commuting will work wonders in some places and not so well in others.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     And for the sub topic  ................................. 

           No,  cars have gotten smaller not bigger. Every car type / size is smaller now (within it's category) than it was in previous years. Even SUVs are smaller now than they used to be. Yes, there are still giant SUVs. But what I see most are small to midsize on the road. And overall they are all smaller than the previous decades SUVs. Maybe it is the opposite where you live though?

         

       And you can believe it or not but there are some people that  do  transport things in an SUV.

       But this is not really about SUVs.


Seth

           

Offline Coen

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Re: Bicycle commuting
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2021, 06:25 PM »
Interesting on cars getting smaller in the US. But then again the starting point was way out there...

Yes, cars are really getting bigger here. Not really, but more people are buying bigger cars. Especially the height and width are annoying and more dangerous.

If I'm killed by a Focus or killed by a Suburban,  I'm still killed either way, size didn't matter.  I don't want to be hit by any of them.

The SUV is 1) more likely to hit you and 2) more likely to kill you if it hits you. This is confirmed by studies that all arrive that 2-3x higher likelyhood you die when hit by SUV vs normal car as a pedestrian.