e-bikes

I was on the narrow, divided, stretch the BG today and a guy with 6-inch tires on his e-bike pulled up behind me.  He tinkled his bell and yelled “on your left” at me all the way until the divided parts join up again.  The pavement was wet and is really uneven in that stretch so I felt justified staying a little more to the left than I would have for a faster rider on a human-powered bike.  A couple of thoughts”

  1. “on your left” is a peloton call-out to let you know that someone is in your blind spot – similar to “on your wheel”.  It doesn’t create an obligation to move over.  You are an asshole if you think that you are entitled to have everyone else on the trail get out of your way. The rules of the road put it on you to pass safely and if you can’t pass safely you need to wait until you can.
  2. the concept that  “moving pedals mean it’s a bicycle”  is fallacious.  A vehicle that goes 20+ mph with motorcycle sized tires doesn’t belong on the trail – whether or not the rider can move his feet.  The thing that kills is the speed differential.  If you can go 20 without working hard then you want to go that fast all of the time and you end up passing everybody else and believing that you are entitled to pass everybody and eventually you have conflict and injury.

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