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I will resist electric bikes as long as possible.  My friend has one and it is in the shop a lot for repairs.  But as the technology gets, better, cheaper and more dependable, this will be the standard, for sure.

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At the $8,000 price level, you're paying the same as a new motorcycle, which is basically what one of these is, except it's a lot easier to steal. 

 

I attempted to ride an electric rideshare mini-moped in California last week.  I tried three of them but all three had mechanical problems.  Bird scooters are much simpler and I suspect less expensive contraptions.  The big difference is the tires - a scooter uses what is basically a rollerblade or rolling luggage wheel, whereas an electric mini-moped uses inflatable tires.  Those tires go flat quite easily, at least currently, since they're cheap and not filled with fix-a-flat like tubeless mountain bike tires. 

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Does anyone know what kind of security features there are for batteries on ebikes? It's an expensive component that would make me nervous to leave unattended if it couldn't be locked on. And carrying one around sounds annoying at best, especially when we're talking a $1k+ investment for the bike.

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I studied abroad in the Netherlands (Groningen, not Amsterdam).  Bike theft is incredibly rampant.  That's why even though everybody rides bikes, nobody spends more than the equivalent of a few bucks for one- it will probably get stolen, and if it does no big, you just go get another.

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22 minutes ago, X said:

I studied abroad in the Netherlands (Groningen, not Amsterdam).  Bike theft is incredibly rampant.  That's why even though everybody rides bikes, nobody spends more than the equivalent of a few bucks for one- it will probably get stolen, and if it does no big, you just go get another.

 

When you get a bike seat or other part stolen off your bike, all of the sudden you start looking at random bikes for a piece that will work on yours.  Same thing with bikes - if your whole bike is stolen, they you start looking to steal a bike.  It's a vicious cycle. 

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10 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

When you get a bike seat or other part stolen off your bike, all of the sudden you start looking at random bikes for a piece that will work on yours.  Same thing with bikes - if your whole bike is stolen, they you start looking to steal a bike.  It's a vicious cycle. 

For whatever reason, people aren't very into stealing components in the Netherlands. No one ever locks up their seat, for example. Whereas in NYC anything that's not locked down is going to get stripped off.

 

But it does seem that the student mentality is somewhat similar to what you're proposing. They get their (cheap) bike stolen, and proceed to buy someone else's stolen bike off a junkie. If you're a student, you know exactly where to go to buy bikes from junkies.

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A lot of other countries are like them, though, in that most people don't use racing and stunt bikes to get around -- rather they opt for low-cost interchangeable comfort bikes.

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2 hours ago, GCrites80s said:

A lot of other countries are like them, though, in that most people don't use racing and stunt bikes to get around -- rather they opt for low-cost interchangeable comfort bikes.

 

I rode a "comfort bike" last week for the first time in a long time.  At first, yep, they're "comfortable".  You sit upright and the seat is cushy.  But the position on the bike is very inefficient and you get tired pretty quickly, even if you are an otherwise strong cyclist on other types of bikes.  Also, the more upright you sit, the more you get blown around by the wind.  The beach is where you find many of these so-called comfort bikes.  Ocean = wind.  

 

People don't realize how much their heads catch the wind.  And the more upright your seated position, the more torsional winds affect any sort of bike ride.  The lower the head, the less you are pushed around laterally by the wind.  

 

Also, the newer and more expensive bike helmets are much more aerodynamic not just in straight-ahead normal cycling, but also with sideways wind gusts.  It's one of those things that seems like hocus-pocus until you actually wear a higher-tech helmet.  

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Jimmy Skinner said:

the Netherlands is unique because there is not a single hill in the entire country and cheap single speed bikes are the norm.

Well, that's a bit of a stretch to say no hill in the entire country.

https://goo.gl/maps/K5YPqSVobTCWNrNg7

 

Additionally, people who aren't students do buy nicer bikes, and ebikes are gaining popularity there, especially among elderly folks and people with long commutes.

https://energyindemand.com/2019/03/02/e-bikes-now-outsell-standard-bicycles-in-netherlands/

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Last week in California I rented a high-end $5k~ mountain bike.  Ho-lay it's like riding a sports car compared to what I own.  I can't exaggerate how sophisticated the suspension is and how well the handling responds to every situation.  Toward the end of the ride I dove down a 15-step concrete staircase without practicing beforehand on anything smaller. 

 

I kind of wish I hadn't rented this thing because it made my bike feel like a dog.  It's frustrating when the only thing between you and a livelier hobby is...$5,000.

mountainbike.thumb.png.25409fc909c24133f2dfd0e38adb3404.png

 

Anyway, when you see the intense look in the eyes of hardcore bikers, you don't really get how into the hobby they are without swinging a leg over one of these super-expensive bikes.  Looking back, I can't believe the crap I used to ride on when I was a kid up until I could afford a good bike around age 35. 

 

 

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The (re-)introduction of e-scooters to Cleveland makes protected bike lanes even more necessary. Currently they are awkward on the road but dangerous on the sidewalk. A bike lane seems like by far the best place for them.

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They mix just fine.  Dump trucks and Ferraris have "wildly different characteristics" too but they don't need separate accommodations.  We only need one zone between pedestrian sidewalks and automobile roadways, and even that's hard enough. 

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Bike lanes are lawless and the penalty for getting tangled up with some idiot on a bike or scooter is nearly as bad as getting hit by a car.  The behavior of people on bikes (and now scooters) is much more unpredictable than vehicular traffic.  

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From personal experience in Columbus where bicyclists and scooterists/scooterers (is that even a thing?? lol) both actively use bike lanes and trails, it seems to work really well. There are a few streets with designated / protected bike lanes where both types of users ride on them frequently and I've never witnessed any issues. The same applies to multipurpose trails (in this case the Olentangy Trail that connects downtown / OSU / other neighborhoods), where pedestrians and joggers are thrown into the mix as well. All users share the lanes very well all while having safe routes that avoid being in traffic lanes.

 

Cleveland desperately needs more protected bike lanes, and this is prevalent now more than ever.

Edited by urbanetics_
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44 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

Bike lanes are lawless and the penalty for getting tangled up with some idiot on a bike or scooter is nearly as bad as getting hit by a car.  The behavior of people on bikes (and now scooters) is much more unpredictable than vehicular traffic.  

not sure what you mean by "lawless". I would assume that any bike lane implementation would have laws governing them.

 

disagree about the "penalty", as there is much less momentum behind a bike/scooter than a car, and they have a shorter braking distance.

 

bike/scooter behavior would likely be much more predictable in a bike lane than in the road or sidewalk.

 

anecdotally, bikes/scooters/pedestrians seem to cohabitate well enough on the Towpath, although that is a simpler case with just a two-way trail and few intersections.

 

I understand that there could be issues with scooters on bike lanes, but it seems far better than the sidewalk or main road. if there's a 4th option I'd be interested to hear it.

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A big problem with the scooters is that it's almost impossible to do a hand signal because the risk of wiping out is too great.  So you're out there trying to send signals with head nods and stuff like that.  I stop a lot on them and put my foot down so I signal to drivers that I'm not "in the mix" and about to do something.  I just wait for gaps in traffic, like I often do with biking, where again putting one foot down sends the signal to everyone that you're waiting until things clear up.  I regularly see people on bikes and on scooters who feel like they've got to take a risk and insert themselves into complicated situations when they could avoid all risk if they just chilled out for a second.  

 

Also, what I don't like about bike lanes is that they confine the bikers into "one type" of riding.  What I mean is that you have to change riding strategies block-by-block, if not within a block.  Just like with mountain biking - in city biking there are constant mental and often physical adjustments.  Being confined to a "protected" lane gives you little lateral room to paint when something inserts itself into the so-called protected lane.  It can be a pedestrian, a deliveryman, a roller skater, a dog, a really bad biker - anything - PLUS all of the curb cuts.  All the sudden your only option is to just slam on the brakes and you can't tell what's going on behind you so you're worried that someone's going to run into you from behind.  You're also often slotted into a position at intersections where you can't really tell what is going on like how you can when you're in the regular traffic lanes.  

 

Getting out in the left turn cue lane when you're at a left turn is what you need to do to fully understand what is going on at an intersection.  A lot of people are afraid to get out there but...it's how to do it. 

 

Also, a big difference between traditional bikes vs. scooters & ebikes is that there is some indication that a biker might be about to brake when they stop pedaling.  That is less the case with an ebike (some are pedal assist, others have a "gas" button) but a really big problem with the scooters.  A scooter rider's body language doesn't hint at whether they're accelerating, coasting, or braking.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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https://www.citylab.com/perspective/2019/10/micromobility-urban-design-car-free-infrastruture-futurama/600163/

 

This article calls for much more radical change than just adding bike lanes, which it says are the "starting point", not the end goal. Frankly, I'm not sure what the best approach is (though I will say that "micromobility lanes" is kind of a silly name). The car is the real problem. But it's also a much bigger problem in, say, Manhattan than it is in downtown Cleveland. Hopefully we can look at changes beyond just bike lanes and find something that works for our cities.

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47 minutes ago, Cavalier Attitude said:

https://www.citylab.com/perspective/2019/10/micromobility-urban-design-car-free-infrastruture-futurama/600163/

 

This article calls for much more radical change than just adding bike lanes, which it says are the "starting point", not the end goal. Frankly, I'm not sure what the best approach is (though I will say that "micromobility lanes" is kind of a silly name). The car is the real problem. But it's also a much bigger problem in, say, Manhattan than it is in downtown Cleveland. Hopefully we can look at changes beyond just bike lanes and find something that works for our cities.

 

That's a nice article.  Protected bike lanes really are necessary if we want little kids and the elderly to be able to cycle safely.

 

And yes, cars are a problem even in Cleveland -- I don't bike to work because I'm not comfortable sharing the road with cars in the dark and bad weather, even with lights and reflectors.

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On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 4:34 PM, Cavalier Attitude said:

I really wish the scooters had some signaling system, because as you said you can't really take one hand off the handles.

 

 

I also find that even though they are electric, there is still a tendency with scooters and e-bikes to "roll through" stop signs.  

 

I know I'm getting old though because I actually enjoy coming to a complete stop and following the rules.  

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1 hour ago, Cavalier Attitude said:

This article calls for much more radical change than just adding bike lanes, which it says are the "starting point", not the end goal. Frankly, I'm not sure what the best approach is (though I will say that "micromobility lanes" is kind of a silly name). The car is the real problem. But it's also a much bigger problem in, say, Manhattan than it is in downtown Cleveland. Hopefully we can look at changes beyond just bike lanes and find something that works for our cities.

 

The irony of all of the internet advocacy by Citylab, etc., is that downtowns and the most-urban areas are usually the easiest places to ride a bike.  The more challenging and hazardous areas are where bike-specific infrastructure would be the most help, but also where it is the most expensive.  

 

Most of the country is also generally shifting so that the wealthy are gradually moving into cities and the poor are gradually moving to the periphery.  So the people who would benefit the most from transit and cheap bicycle travel are moving to the areas where it is most expensive to provide those services.  

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9 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

The irony of all of the internet advocacy by Citylab, etc., is that downtowns and the most-urban areas are usually the easiest places to ride a bike.  The more challenging and hazardous areas are where bike-specific infrastructure would be the most help, but also where it is the most expensive.  

 

Most of the country is also generally shifting so that the wealthy are gradually moving into cities and the poor are gradually moving to the periphery.  So the people who would benefit the most from transit and cheap bicycle travel are moving to the areas where it is most expensive to provide those services.  

and of course, those areas that do get capital improvements will see their rents go up, further displacing the poor.

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19 minutes ago, GISguy said:

This would make for a neat challenge throughout the state (setting out a route and comparing times/costs for getting to these locations): https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/city-desk/article/21095017/putting-down-routes

 

Riding your own bike doesn't cost money, at least not at the time of the ride.  I think existing scooters and certainly future scooters will be able to beat a traditional bike time-wise, especially if there are hills and the scooter is able to climb them at 10+mph, but they aren't exercise, either.   

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On ‎10‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 1:58 PM, Cavalier Attitude said:

and of course, those areas that do get capital improvements will see their rents go up, further displacing the poor.

 

Places that are cheap are cheap for a reason.  They're typically far from nice stuff and aren't well-maintained.    

 

Unfortunately a lot of cheap housing has been torn down in Cincinnati in recent years, especially near the new I-71 MLK interchange and where MLK was widened in its approach to the new I-75 interchange.  We lost upwards of 1,000 cheap units close to UC and on the bus routes to downtown.  

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I was a little tardy this year with getting my bike set up with Zwift.  This year I improved my setup with a dedicated flat screen that I got for pretty cheap from Best Buy after Christmas and a stand that I got for $40 off Amazon.  I also got a tray from the stand to hold the remotes and the Apple TV device.   

 

If anyone is interested - the Wahoo trainer is a lot louder than you would expect.  It creates a weird low-pitched hum.  People will wonder "what that sound is", so it probably can't be used in an apartment since the sound goes through the floorboards.  The ideal location is a basement or garage.  Also, if you have a dedicated TV, the total space you need is much larger than you would expect.  You need 10 feet minimum from the TV to the rear wheel/trainer.  Something like Peloton has a big advantage in this regard, but I suspect that it is still fairly loud, and of course it costs 3-4X as much.  Also, I have a regular old stereo from the 1990s with floor standing speakers rather than ear buds. 

 

IMG_2351_zpslanml8pb.jpg

 

IMG_2352_zpszgj6xomm.jpg

 

image0_zpsctzdbkjj.jpeg

 

The big annoyance with this setup is that you have to change out your tire if you want to ride the bike out in the real world.  The workaround is to buy a second rear wheel and cassette, but I'm too cheap for that. 

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, GISguy said:

Would anyone be interested in joining a UO Strava Club/group if I set one up?

 

Yeah I'd join. 

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I had a thought this week - Zwift has 7 or 8 courses.  We have movies shot in Ohio all the time that aren't necessarily set in Ohio.  But I wouldn't be opposed to Ohio, or at least its individual cities, paying Zwift and other video game manufacturers to create Ohio landscapes and cities.  

 

Edited by jmecklenborg
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Athens has approved $1.8 million toward the biggest mountain bike system in the eastern United States, an 88-mile network in the Wayne National Forest about 5 miles north of Athens proper.  

 

 

athensmtb.png

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If you've ever tried to ride an MTB on the dirt bike and ATV trails at Wayne National, you can appreciate this. While mountain bikes are an approved use on them, you're ready to suffer a coronary after about 10 minutes on most of them.

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I was looking at bikes today and the shop owner told me that we're facing a bicycle shortage in the United States because all of the factories in Taiwan shut down in February.  

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Look at this piece of barf that showed up in my inbox this morning.  Look at me, I rode my expensive bike to the farmer's market:

 

trekbikead.png

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Whatever.  If it gets more people on bikes, why get upset?

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