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e-bike etiquette. Or...don't be an e-hole

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    e-bike etiquette. Or...don't be an e-hole

    At the risk of opening Pandora's box, I thought that it would be good to kick off a discussion around how we ride and mix with pedestrians, traditional bikes (t-bikes) and cars. I am concerned that as e-bikes become more prevalent, that we could find ourselves loosing some of our riding space if we don't Make the right efforts to live in peace with others.

    I've been riding my e-bike to work for a couple of months now, and made the following observations.
    --t-bike riders do not like to be passed when fighting their way uphill. Especially if they are young and competitive. No matter how you manage this...It irritates them.
    --When riding my e-bike... I want to go fast... always but not always a good idea. When on a trail that is largely populated by t-bikes, it may be hard to go fast safely.

    I talked to a few of my non-bike riding friends and ask what bothered them about bike riders... They said... "I never know if they are going to act like a car, a pedestrian, or a bike", so I am never sure what they are going to do. ..... My response was... Yes, it is true, because bike lanes often just stop...and the road keeps going, or because the bike lane might actually be a dangerous place, and because I am so vulnerable on a bike...I will do whatever I think is safest for me.. Ride in the bike lane, maybe out in the middle of the street like a car, maybe up on the sidewalk.. It is unpredictable. The only things that I can think to do to make this situation better is:
    1) Lobby for more and safer bike lanes that include e-bike access.
    2) Make my directional intentions as clear as possible. I bought a wireless turn signal indicator off of Amazon that works great. Cheaply made, and I doubt that it will last long.. But it does the job well.
    3) Slow down when passing people on T-bikes.
    4) Find commute routes that avoid uphill sections on bike trails. Better to speed uphill on the side of a road, than try to pass a bunch of t-bikes going 2mph and piss them off or possibly cause an accident.
    5) I put a small flashing headlamp on my helmet. You know that we are invisible to drivers !! So when I turn my head to look at someone in an intersection... They will eventually notice me. I can see the point of recognition in their eyes. Then I turn my head (and headlight) away so as not to rile the beast.

    Just to get you more riled up..... People on bikes (all kinds) are a community because we share the same riding spaces and traffic challenges. We need to manage our behavior to avoid alienating the very large population of t-bike riders. If we don't do this, we will loose our riding spaces and rights.

    Okay... Let me have it..
    Suggestions (uh...maybe I should quality this as "constructive suggestions")
    Ideas
    Thoughts?

    -Arboh
    Last edited by Arboh; 08-08-2016, 09:40 AM.

    #2
    Ok guess I'll chime in with this I ride fixed gear, motorized, and now e- bikes. Now as a pedal pusher on he the fixed I enjoy riding with traffic, slipping between cars jumping to the bike lane when I'm winded or traffic is moving beyond a speed I can travel at, then there is that little thing of no brakes(yes a daredevil) so it comes down to what I feel safe with, but on any self propelled machine ride with the cars unless I feel traffic is moving reckless ya know rush hour after a Cards game😀

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      #3
      This thread is long overdue. We should all ride with the primary concern of riding safely and the secondary concern of being a gentleman (or lady). This could possibly save our lives and save us money on traffic violations.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Arboh View Post
        --t-bike riders do not like to be passed when fighting their way uphill. Especially if they are young and competitive. No matter how you manage this...It irritates them.


        -Arboh
        I am extremely courteous around pedestrians - it is my goal to make them feel zero extra risk if I am riding near them. However, pissing off lycra clad riders that take themselves far too seriously was a hobby of mine long before I started ebiking =)

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          #5
          I think in the long run, it would be a better idea if we tried to become allies with the lycras instead of pissing them off. We have much more in common with them than any other group, we share the same goals, more safe places to ride.

          I ride my ebike like I ride my bike, I assume no one sees me and I try not to get killed. :D

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            #6
            I found that a lot of t-bike opposition to e-bikes is they think we are cheating, and not getting any exercise. My son is one of them, and my argument to him is that I still pedal my e-bikes, but just go a lot faster and further. And the bonus is I do it a lot more, as it is more fun with traveling further and passing more scenery. This is especially true on the mtn bike trails, where I can extend my rides to places that I would not attempt before.

            So to try and alleviate that t-bike opposition, probably not a good idea to fly past them without even pedaling esp on a steeper uphill. And when you do chat with them, remind them that you are still getting exercise, and even more now, because you will choose your e-bike over your car for some trips.

            Comment


            • hammonkey
              hammonkey commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree,

              Had one guy who has biked for 30 years that he can outrun an e-bike. We stopped at the same time at a red light, waiting to cross. He pushed me to race him on a bike trail. I tried to refuse, but he insisted. I fakely lossed as I do not want to be going 25 miles an hour (surprisingly he was really fast being without a motor!). I knew my bike would definatly win, but dont let the ego take over.

            #7
            I'm new to e-biking, just getting it about 6 weeks ago. Before that I was riding my road bike for the past 15 yrs. I think the etiquette is the same for t-bike or e-bike. When riding my road bike I've had my share of passing others and being passed. I was and am still commuting to work, it's just that now I sometimes use my e-bike. As someone else posted, I tend to ride my e-bike instead of driving places. Overall, I don't think I get less exercise then before.

            When passing others, I try to do it the way I'd like to be passed. I don't mind being passed as long as they don't do too close to me or much faster, I just don't like being surprised. I'll be the first to admit I don't do it all the time but If there are pedestrians or other cyclist that are going much slower then me, then I'll either slow down or give them a wide pass.

            I don't like it when cyclist run stop signs which I see more then I like. I think this gives people a bad impression of cyclist. I don't expect cyclist to come to a complete stop but at least slow down and don't assume any cross traffic will stop for you. I suppose I also get irritated when I see cars basically only slow down when making right turns on a stop sign :)

            When I commute to work, I tend to go on a route that has the most bike lanes. It's safer for me and it annoys cars less since they can pass me easier. When there are no bike lanes, I do tend to ride more in the middle of the road if there are parked cars on the side. A long time ago, I wasn't paying attention and a car door opened in front of me and I didn't have time to get out of the way and hit the door. Luckily, I only had minor scratches but I now ride carefully passing parked cars and far enough away that I can avoid an open car door. This, unfortunately for cars, means sometimes I'll have to block some cars or they need to go on the other side of the road on short stretches of the road. When I do take the middle of the road, I usually look behind and make sure either there are no cars or they see and slow down for me to go in front of them. Usually this is only happens on roads not busy or if there are construction.

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              #8
              I find a little bell to be nice ebike etiquette instead of hollering something when i blast past....

              Comment


                #9
                Originally posted by Eric Luna View Post
                I find a little bell to be nice ebike etiquette instead of hollering something when i blast past....

                Absolutely, I've got a bell on all my bikes. One ding when I'm far away and another as I get closer if they didn't hear the first one. Guaranteed positive response.

                Comment


                  #10
                  I use a bell as well. I have found that with higher speed, I need to ring the bell more often... Multiple rings / pass. A few days ago I blew by (I should have slowed down some) a t-bike rider slogging his way up a steep hill. I did ring my bell once, but apparently he did not hear it. He yelled at me after I passed him to use a bell. Really felt bad that I probably gave him an adrenaline shot. Anyway, Now I slow down some so as not to make the speed differential too big, then I ring my bell, and repeat until I see some sign of recognition.

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                    #11
                    I have used a bell on my commuting ebike for years. I used to ring it at two points, once when I was far away to let them know I was coming, and again when I was close to let them know I was about to pass. It seemed to piss them off that I was ringing again, and I think they interpret the second one as a "get out of my way", so I don't do that one anymore.
                    Alan B

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                      #12
                      It can be difficult to do the "right thing". Everyone is different, but nobody wants adrenaline shots unless they ask for them 😁

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                        #13
                        Then there are the pedalers and pedestrians who have their ears stuffed with Apple products and don't hear anything anyway. :)
                        Alan B

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                          #14
                          • Incredibell Bells for the bike path, airhorn for the streets.

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                            #15
                            I did the airhorn for awhile as well. It was a bit hard to actuate (the AirZound) because of the physical location, plenty loud, had to remember to pump it up. Something electric would be better. Because it was hard to reach it was generally deployed too late to do any good, so it was more revenge than warning. Eventually I removed it. A pushbutton that is easy to actuate without moving (can be done during emergency manuevers) would be good, maybe not quite as loud as the AirZound.
                            Alan B

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