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Bike to ebike as only transportation

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ASATKat, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    There are so many great trails near us... we go to a place called Harvey Bear Park.. at the bottom parking lot it is like one of the mad magazine pages of everyone at the lake with all manner of mode and vehicle. There are mtn bikes, ebikes, lots of horses, there is a paved loop, so strollers, running strollers, a gazillion dogs, roller blades, scooters, you name it.

    And

    it is awesome. Everyone seems to get along. Karen stays home and old dudes with assistive devices smile at puppies being trained. It is an amalgam of everything and the rules are simple and everyone seems to just have fun going up the hills and branching on the trails only to return, tired and happy to the parking lot where there is room and people wave at each other.

    I do not know why it works so well, but it does. The big park over in Hollister is the same.
     
  2. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    How do ebikes do in winter?

    Just noting lots of posts saying it's "too cold" to cycle in some parts. My cousin lived outside Anchorage, AK for a few years and enjoyed cycling year yound. Just need the right gear (studded winter tires, etc ) and attitude. For example,
    https://www.anchorage.net/winter/things-to-do/winter-biking/

    Of course, here in NC I stop riding at 45F or below. :rolleyes: So I get it, but it's not a problem of the bicycle(!). Even 50F and light rain keeps most people off the bike trails and greenways. Rain is not fun. I bet it's more fun on snow and ice with the right tires than in rain. A friend in Boston rides with his kids through the winter, too, with studded tires.

    I was really impressed on a few visits to Copenhagen by how the roads are set up for cycling and how many people use bicycles for their commute. Shows what's possible with some planning.
     
  3. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    Aren't you in Boise area with tech firms and a college campus? Part of the return on investment in my area is who's attracted to be there. Where I live it's kept and brought really good employers and attracted the many who've moved here.

    In a private conversation with @getbent I mentioned my first trip back to the former car plant town where I used to own a business. All they did for decades was giveaways to industrial employers who mostly left or have low paying jobs. Absolutely same time in 1980s where I live now took the gamble and stopped giving the money to businesses and did good planning and development. The contrast is crazy - a depressing low wage city with abandoned or razed stuff all over vs one where businesses and people want to be.

    In living in deteriorating vs thriving places over 40 years now I totally get the differences. I'm super glad I accepted the change and hopped on myself. I finished college and have been in technology for 33 years instead of blue collar work that depended on cars few wanted to buy. I've been in both. I call it good and broken America. There is one tough reality in the change is it has been a lot more competitive and remains that way. I would not admit it earlier but my old life was really just aiming at means or medians. I admit I don't have good answers for how everyone can live in the better than means and medians world because it is so much more competitive.
     
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  4. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Yup. I have contemplated studs for my mountain bike, but I like backcountry skiing more. Once I get down to the mailbox and paved road, the snow pack is perfect for mountain biking, but getting back up home the last half mile is not doable. Or I am just getting too old.:oops:
     
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  5. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    Cycling is definitely one of the best exercises for folks over 60, and that includes me at 61. It's low impact and really boosts your cardio. I've been an avid cyclist all my life, with only a few down periods. I use to road race and it's never left me.

    A few years ago I bought a stationary exercise bike to use during the crappy weather months. I have to admit, that beginning in the fall of 2020, and up until a week ago, I hadn't used it once, and noticed that I was packing on the what I call the "COVID Pounds". Last week I said "Enough!!". I got on it last Friday and I've been on it every day since, for thirty minutes. I'm going to keep it up until the weather improves and I can get back on either the racer or the "city bike".

    EBikes are a booming business in Canada, as I'm sure they are in the US. Recent legislation handed down by the British Columbia provincial government may have a ripple effect across Canada though. There are a number of manufacturers who make ebikes with nearly functionally useless pedal, they look like motorcycles, and the can go in excess of 30 MPH. The government declared last week that anything fitting that description now requires a motorcycle licence, insurance, and a helmet. Manufacturers are going to have to either stick to a more conventional design, or see sales plummet.
     
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  6. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    I leaned by coincidence and later from facts that popular and well maintained public lands are to some extent automatic law enforcement. One of the MTB trail networks I helped start was at poorly and partially developed city park land. Once recreational users came and especially at all hours it chased away the drug trafficking and prostitution problems that were going on in that lot. When I was the IMBA chapter leader area public lands managers and parks law enforcement people in essence confirmed or supported this.
     
  7. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    Nice Dutch cruiser!
     
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  8. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    Studs and flotation are very different but you can stud fat tires. Depending on age of the bike, there's a big difference between what I consider stupid and modern design. Modern bikes have a ride in vs on sensation. Modern bikes have droppers that do more for handling than many realize.

    MTB design was like pike vs musky doing their hunting. One is "this is what I do and what the others do" where the musky thinks and just rules. Road racers tucked to cut wind. Most of MTBs were designed like racers where few raced. Then free ride happened and generations changed. The industry made what worked best.
     
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  9. kLyon

    kLyon Tele-Holic

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    There are good points all around: as JuneauMike points out, bikes aren't suitable everywhere. I've been to Alaska, I get it. And freedom of choice is good. (The picture with all the scooters does beg this question, though: if all those people were in cars? That would be a real problem... as it is in many cities in the modern world at rush hour(s))
    But where they are? They work really well, and their use brings with it many positive externalities.
    I've always loved bikes (and cars, for that matter...)), and I've spent a lot of times in both places where bike commuting is a welcome - and welcomed, meaning well-accommodated - practice (like the Netherlands, Denmark, etc..) and in places where it was the result of economic necessity (China, for instance).
    But, as forums are about 2 cents and personal stories, here's mine:
    About three years ago my great old Lincoln Town Car failed smog check... again. At the time, I was spending as much time out of town as in; I reasoned that I didn't have a car anywhere else I was going, so why have one here? I donated the old beast (ever see Lincoln Lawyer? I'm pretty sure that the filmmakers saw me driving around LA and copied mine exactly...)) and started riding a bike. (To be fair, there's still a car in the family... )
    Then came covid. Grounded.
    Everyday for almost a year I've ridden my bike five miles across LA to my studio-workplace in Koreatown.
    It's lonely on a bike in LA, but it sounds crazier than it is: my normal path goes through as many peaceful neighborhoods - like Hancock Park, where I routinely ride past Nat King Cole's old house - as it does busy city streets.
    There have been some close calls, but I'm still here, and I feel great.
    Would I want to do it in the winter in Anchorage (or Juneau, for that matter)? No. But here it's working pretty well.
    I might get another car someday, but I can't see that day yet... and it might not come.
     
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  10. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Afflicted

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    I don’t even know how that could be do-able or practical. 15 miles or so down a two lane highway to the grocery store and shopping. Even it was a shorter distance, how do haul groceries, etc. home? I’m retired but if I was still working 10 miles or more to work riding in traffic sounds just way risky.

    Not to mention riding when you have three feet of snow on the ground and temps that may have a high of below zero. Sure would be hard to haul two sets of golf clubs and golf shoes, etc. to the course. I never would be able to visit my kids and their families. They live about 2 2/2 hours away by car. I just don’t see any way having only a bicycle could ever be at all practical.

    My wife and I do ride our bicycles quite a bit...but only in weather that permits it. Not on ice and snow dodging snowplows and in sub zero temps.
     
  11. Dog Bite

    Dog Bite Tele-Meister

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    Thanks, it's an older Pashley English bike 5 speed 28" wheels sealed drum brakes. It's heavy as hell. I think of putting a gas motor on it every time I ride up a steep hill lol.
     
  12. hemmings

    hemmings Tele-Meister

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    I put together my own ebike using a Bafang mid drive kit and an old free ride Norco mountain bike.
    I've ridden that thing more than I did my regular bike (around a 1000km) and now only use the E-Bike.
    I got rid of my car, but the wife still has one, so I'm covered there if I need to drive.
    If you've never ridden on an E-bike you should try it...I took a test drive on mine once I'd put it together, and couldn't stop smiling...
    You can have as much assist as you want, and none if you want to just pedal. Mine has a throttle, so I can get moving while at a traffic stop.
    I even ride the bike on trails in Stanley Park and can climb any hill.
    No regrets here...
     

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  13. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I wonder how many lives were saved, bikers that were not hit because they had a specific place to ride? Maybe that makes the investment worth it? I avoid riding on any road that doesn't have a bike lane, but I'm a bit spoiled because we have so many of them around here. And on days like July 4th, the entire city is on bikes. They even shut down Pacific Coast Highway for the day.
     
  14. GeneB

    GeneB Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Down in Siesta Key which is a tony town on the gulf they've become a favored means of transportation. I personally ride a Trek hybrid on a 12 mile park ride twice a week but not on the street. I'm 70 y/o and its great for building endurance and keeping my weight down.
     
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  15. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Holic

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    Small wheels = greater potential for endos if you hit deep potholes or obstacles.

    Saddle height way too low in this demo, and the saddle looks ridiculously short in length.

    No mention of weight...although I may have missed it.

    I used to be a hardcore cyclist and would normally scoff at ebikes, but I'm beginning to think having one could be kinda cool. I have a 1.2 mile commute on a route with a wide shoulder. Will be riding a mechanical bike once the weather gets better, but I could see getting an ebike at some point.
     
  16. tattypicker

    tattypicker Tele-Meister

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    In some ways and some circumstances, I think the sweet spot may be a good folder if that lets you combine motorised (possibly mass public) transport and self-propelled.

    That's probably how I'd like to do long distance bike touring - jump on a bus to avoid the worst road stretches and ride the scenic and quieter stretches - but it could be a great commute too if you've got rail or bus links that aren't convenient if you need to link them up on foot.

    Years back, around 2000, the cycle lobby here was pleading with the government to put their money into supporting bike racks on buses, rather than bike lane building. That makes a lot of sense to me when I contemplate riding 100 miles on the edge of a busy road, even if you're physically segregated from the traffic.
     
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  17. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good point. Maybe two years ago now a loved promising early teens kid was smacked dead by a car and for a while the city had more leeway with those painted white ghost bikes. In a trip I do I realized there were about 10 of those. Parallel to that busy 6 lane fast street is a bike/ped corridor. The kid riding to his piano lesson didn't have a good corridor.

    My super independent now 17 year old rides a 16.8 mi round trip to his summer job and we only allow it because he avoid car danger fairly well. To me it's really cool to have a kid who wants that independence, the job, and ride a bike to it. We do worry but you have to take reasonable risks.
     
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  18. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    When I used to race road bikes back in the 90s in California I met a guy at the Dole Citrus Cycling Classic who was a good criterium racer. And he was a California Highway Patrol officer.
    On his road rides he would carry a small automatic pistol, badge, and citation book in his jersey pockets. When cars would behave badly towards him he would often catch up to them
    at red lights, wave them over to the side of the road, and write them a ticket. This was in Stockton, I think, so I wonder how many drivers became more respectful of cyclists as a result....

    California did pass a law a few years ago that says motorists can only pass cyclists when they have at at least 3' clearance to do so. But I still get buzzed fairly closely by vehicles. There are signs here and there
    that remind drivers to provide 3' of clearance, but I doubt most motorists pay any attention or are aware of the law. I would love it if the highway patrol made a targeted effort to cite motorists for disobeying this law. The laws that protect pedestrians and cyclists are super important because a motorist won't just get in a fender bender-- there's a good chance they will kill or maim the person they hit for life.
     
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  19. Dog Bite

    Dog Bite Tele-Meister

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    Bad behavior thrives on both sides. I try and give bicycles a break when I'm in my pickup and cars when I'm on a bike. Most of our roads were not designed with bicycles in mind so I always give cars the right of way when on my bike. I pay tax for every gallon of gas I buy, some of which goes for highway maintenance. If bicycles are going to use these same road and have their own special lanes I believe they should pay at least a small portion of the construction and maintance of the road.
     
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  20. sixstringbastard

    sixstringbastard Friend of Leo's

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    I've been wanting an E bike for awhile. They look cool and fun!
     
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