Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

"Cyclists think they can do whatever they want": Viral video shows moment driver uses bike lane to queue-jump gridlocked traffic; Wout van Aert's "calculated risk" for classics; DJ Dom Whiting announces first cycling event of 2024 + more on the live blog

Join Dan Alexander for all the news, reaction and more on the road.cc live blog this (leap year special) Thursday, your one-stop shop for everything that's happening in the world of cycling today...
29 February 2024, 09:00
"Cyclists think they can do whatever they want": Viral video shows moment driver uses bike lane to queue-jump gridlocked traffic

This video posted on social media by Andy Boenau, the man behind Urbanism Speakeasy, a podcast and website championing the benefits of well-designed infrastructure, offering inspiration for if you want to "create a bicycle-friendly place that draws out the most smiles per square mile" (or other non-cycling projects)...

It's got almost one million views since Wednesday, other people commenting and sharing the video getting thousands of views themselves too. While the rest of the scene's drivers sit at standstill on the gridlocked road, one queue-jumping motorist takes a shortcut along the bike lane, perhaps inadvertently giving us all a real-world demonstration of the efficiency of cycle lanes. An efficiency ultimately ruined by... a vehicle's user that shouldn't be there causing a blockage when trying to rejoin the gridlocked road network...

The video is ripe for the usual 'nobody's using that empty bike lane' comments, but as some pointed out in the comments, the cycling infrastructure only looks empty because the people using it have almost certainly moved on to their destination by now and don't have to sit in a half-hour queue.

"Getting to the intersection and seeing there’s already a driver blocking the box was just👌  ," one person replied.

"How else is the car driver supposed to get past all that darn tRaFfiC? Don't you know he's IMPORTANT?" another said.

Cue the sequel...

29 February 2024, 17:29
Cycling campaigner raises concerns about cycle routes to newly built school for 1,500 pupils
Richfield Avenue (Google Maps)

A member of Kidical Mass Reading, Hilary Smart, has expressed concerns about cycling links to a newly built school in Caversham. The Henley Standard reports the academy will open in September and will have 1,500 pupils attending it, however Ms Smart has raised worries about cycling routes to the new facility on Richfield Avenue.

"The council is building a new school by Rivermead and putting in cycling infrastructure along Richfield Avenue but it does not intend to do any work to connect this new bike lane to the cycling route over Caversham Bridge," she said.

"Therefore, if the kids have any sense, they won't be going along Richfield Avenue using the new paths built with the funding, they'll cut straight down to the river. This means that the children who do cycle will have to navigate either a blind corner on Caversham Bridge and narrow unfenced paths by the river or the awful roundabout by the Crowne Plaza.

"We believe that if they joined up the bike lanes many more children would want to cycle to school. This would help them build independence and healthy habits and reduce car traffic over the bridge at drop-offs. Many secondary school children are mature enough to cycle to school independently. We are failing if the lack of safe infrastructure is the thing that stands in the way of them developing environmentally friendly and healthy habits."

29 February 2024, 15:00
Spectator who threw cup of drink at Marianne Vos at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to be questioned by police
29 February 2024, 15:01
It's just the one cyclist, actually...
29 February 2024, 14:38
London walking and cycling commissioner calls suggestion e-bike power could be doubled "madness" + road.cc reader reaction

Plenty of discussion about this today...

Engwe Engine X Riding 6.JPG

> Government considering doubling e-bike motor power but retaining 15mph limit

We've already included Cycling UK's statement on the live blog this afternoon, the charity saying the idea to double the maximum power of e-bikes to 500 watts would pose a "huge safety risk to pedestrians and others who cycle".

London's walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman called the idea "madness".

"Doubling the power of e-bikes? Making e-bikes full-throttle like motorbikes? This is madness! Why is government doing this? It'll increase risk of collisions and battery fires. They really should focus on legislation to sort out dockless e-bike parking," he said.

The Guardian's deputy political editor Peter Walker pointed out one of the arguments for the change, suggesting that the Department for Transport "could have been lobbied by big logistics firms wanting to move into bike freight". Safe cycling campaigner Ruth Mayorcas said if this is the case then legislation and enforcement around cycle lanes would be required also.

Here are some of your thoughts...

squired: "Personally, I'd increase the cut-off limit to 20mph to align better with the widespread implementation of 20mph roads before considering a 500w motor. If the motor power was increased and the cut-off remained as-is it would just encourage more extensive de-restricting of bikes. If the assist was increased to 20mph I think that would be more than sufficient for the vast majority of people and any increase in power would just be saved for hills."

ride2smile: "I've skim read the consultation document. Looking at it from the perspective of who would benefit most I'd say delivery type organisations. That has the capacity to greatly increase the use of cycle lanes for commercial use and also increase the size / weight of cycles using cycle lanes. I can see pros and cons. Online shopping has driven an increase in delivery drivers, more traffic on the roads and an increase in vans parking anywhere. Higher-powered pedalecs utilised for deliveries could do the same. Flip side is that if commercial organisations see a benefit they may lobby for more cycling infrastructure."

essexian: "Madness if this goes ahead and one more step towards the need for a cycling licence for all riders. 250w is sufficient. If you want more power, get a motorbike."

29 February 2024, 14:59
Tory MP claims pedicabs have turned parts of London into the "Wild West"
29 February 2024, 14:23
Cycling UK: Changing e-cycle regulations to double maximum power to 500 watts a "huge safety risk to pedestrians and others who cycle"

In reaction to a consultation launched today by the Department for Transport on changing e-cycle regulations to double their maximum power from 250 watts to 500 watts and remove the pedal requirement, Cycling UK's director of external affairs, Sarah McMonagle said in a statement provided to road.cc:

These proposals present a huge safety risk to pedestrians and others who cycle. The dramatically increased power would mean faster acceleration and much heavier bikes, which we're really concerned about.

E-cycles with no pedal requirement would also reduce the health benefits of e-cycling – in essence, they would blur the line between e-bikes and electric motorbikes.

The government has stated that the proposed changes would make e-cycles more attractive, yet the most commonly cited reason for people not cycling is that they don't feel safe. E-cycles are also prohibitively expensive for many people. We fully agree with the government's goal to get more people to enjoy the benefits of e-cycles, but believe the way to do that effectively is to invest in high quality infrastructure and provide financial assistance for those who need it.

29 February 2024, 12:14
Government considering doubling e-bike motor power but retaining 15mph limit

Our sister site e-bike tips has the full story on the news this morning that the government is to consult on doubling the legal wattage of electric bike motors to 500W. Check out Alex's story on it, plus the rest of the website for all things e-bike related...

Engwe Engine X Riding 6.JPG

> Government considering doubling e-bike motor power but retaining 15mph limit 

29 February 2024, 11:21
Five weeks until Roubaix!

Just a couple of Israel-Premier Tech lads going for a swim during their recon of the cobbles.

29 February 2024, 10:24
Wout van Aert plots route to classics glory — swaps Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo for "calculated risk" of three weeks at altitude
Wout van Aert, 2023 world road race championships, Glasgow (Thomas Maheux/SWpix.com)

[Thomas Maheux/SWpix.com]

For a rider of Wout van Aert's calibre, a versatile master of all cycling disciplines from sprinting, punchy finishes, cyclocross and time trials, through to truly world class displays on Tour de France mountain stages, to walk away from the sport at the end of an otherwise extraordinarily successful career without a Tour of Flanders title or Paris-Roubaix cobblestone would be unthinkable.

As the leading Belgian classics hope of a generation, that unthinkable hole in his palmares would be even more pronounced, after all he's won just about everything else.

And yet, at 29 years old, and with 10 (so far) unsuccessful attempts at landing either race, the next five weeks, backed by one of the most dominant and best classics support teams we've seen in recent times, while not quite make or break, suddenly seems a crucial chapter in the Van Aert story.

Wout van Aert at 2023 E3 Saxo Classic - Harelbeke (by Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

[Zac Williams/SWpix.com]

And so, in a bid to topple eternal rival Mathieu van der Poel — who has won two Flanders crowns and a Roubaix at his expense — Van Aert has outlined his plans for the rest of the classics campaign, taking the bold approach of ditching races he has, in previous years competed at, and won, in favour of taking three weeks at altitude camp in Tenerife to peak in a controlled environment for the big ones — Flanders and Roubaix.

The Visma–Lease a Bike star will now not race again until March 22, having won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday and playing a major part in teammate Jan Tratnik's victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad a day earlier. His next race will be the E3 Saxo Classic, meaning Van Aert will forgo Strade Bianche, a choice of Tirreno-Adriatico or Paris-Nice, and an opening Monument appearance of the season at Milan-San Remo.

Mathieu van der Poel Wout van Aert (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

"Always staying in the comfort zone is the easiest thing, but the reality is that I haven't won the Ronde and Roubaix yet," he told HLN last weekend. "That may not always have had to do with myself, but I did have the feeling that I could be even better during those two weekends than was the case in previous years."

Tratnik and Tiesj Benoot will join their leader at the altitude camp, Benoot calling the approach a "small calculated risk [...] thinking a bit out of the box".

"If you go on an altitude training camp in February, you will return very well for the opening weekend and Strade Bianche, but the Tour of Flanders will follow more than a month later," he said.

"By then, the effect of that altitude stimulus in February will still be minimal. I firmly believe in this approach, but you have to sacrifice other races for something you are not actually sure about because it is a step into the unknown, no matter how logical it sounds."

Time will tell if Van Aert's "calculated risk" lands him a big one...

QuizWiz

29 February 2024, 09:59
DJ Dom Whiting announces first cycling event of 2024

People of Southampton (and surrounding areas), the DJ behind Drum & Bass On The Bike, Dom Whiting, is coming back to your city this weekend.

Dom Whiting 01 (copyright Simon MacMichael)

> Drum & Bass On The Bike creator is still trying to make sense of it all

Setting off from Guildhall Square at 2pm on Sunday, the event marks a return to Southampton two years on from his last bicycle rave in the city. We sent road.cc Simon along to the London ride last summer to find out what it's all about and, in his words, "Should ​the DJ Dom Whiting ever visit a city near you for one of his Drum & Bass on the Bike rides, my advice is that you shouldn't pass up the chance to pop along..."

Dom Whiting 02 (copyright Simon MacMichael)

This was the scene in Bristol [below], when Whiting returned last April...

Drum and Bass on the Bike (Image credit: Hamish Belding/Twitter)

"Mind-blowing"... "massive"... "crazy"... "immense"... just a few of the reviews of Dom Whiting's Drum & Bass on the Bike rides, attracting a crowd of hundreds, estimated to be as many as a thousand by some.

Let's hope for more of the same come Sunday...

29 February 2024, 09:32
Irish cycling great Stephen Roche expected to repay €380,000 as appeal partially upheld over cycle tourism business insolvency

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

Add new comment

92 comments

Avatar
chrisonabike | 1 month ago
0 likes

The whole debate is confused (maybe willfully by manufacturers and retailers) by using group terms for different things. So (unpowered) cycles vs. EAPC (also slightly muddled but "you need to pedal" and assistance is limited by average power and speed), S-pedelec (Europe, it's still a moped here) and now this UK proposal to essentially legalise electric mopeds (double EAPC power and throttle rules change so it would seem pedals are optional).

Meanwhile - as the thread on Ashley Neal's "bike review" points out - people are perfectly happy to sell you a full-on electric motorbike and advise you it's illegal so just slow down and make like you're pedalling if the police are about.

Also was in Currys today - they've got 500w (sustained) electric scooters on sale, definitely no pedals there and I couldn't see any notes about legality. (I didn't ask the staff or read ALL the paperwork, presumably there's the usual backside-covering disclaimer.)

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to chrisonabike | 1 month ago
0 likes

On balance I'm for fixing things to make it better for users of existing legal EAPCs. Those have genuine benefits for lots of individuals. Even if "but not everyone needs them" and (if we ever fix the UK for cycling, to Scandinavian levels if not NL) I can see us drifting towards these being the majority form of "cycle". They're similar enough to non-powered cycles in performance - with caveats about the old and young (IIRC a small increase in danger observed in a VeligheidNL study).

I'm much more dubious about widening definitions of "legal eBikes". Especially in the UK where the non-business *users* are hardly calling for it.

Even though the horse has bolted somewhat eg. we're now going to be chasing after what is already being sold. Plus in theory this might allow us to do some "harm minimization" around deliveries eg. fewer vans.

Avatar
Tom_77 | 1 month ago
2 likes

Southampton Drum and Bass about to start.

Avatar
wtjs | 1 month ago
3 likes

I generally confine myself to 1 'e-biking is not the same as cycling' comment per iteration of these fruitless 'you can get a lot of exercise on an e-bike' topics, but.... You can, but in practice you don't, and the way to tell is seeing them travelling uphill sat upright vaguely moving their feet around (pause for all the 'it's not cheating, what about the disabled/ cancer/ arthritis etc. comments and reply with 'fair enough, but the great majority are not disabled/ sick' etc) There aren't many cyclists up here, and many fewer e-bikers with none at all in winter because they don't like getting so cold. However, you can see the future proposed by this 'the solution is more power' lobby proposal by going into Preston and Blackpool. I first saw this menacing mob of of fat-tyre, no-pedalling intimidators on Blackpool's otherwise excellent 'Ride the Lights' evening a couple of years ago, and their compatriots are seen on Blackpool's and Preston's pavements at any time.

I say 'No' to this proposal. The police take no action against illegal e-vehicles now, and will take less than no action against them after the wreckers have encouraged the misuses by making them all legal.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to wtjs | 1 month ago
2 likes

wtjs wrote:

I generally confine myself to 1 'e-biking is not the same as cycling' comment per iteration of these fruitless 'you can get a lot of exercise on an e-bike' topics, but.... You can, but in practice you don't

I'll confine myself to one response to you as you pretty much must know by now what it is: on Thursday I rode the regular 26 km evening commute in one hour four minutes (nothing earth shattering I know, London commute with lots of traffic lights and junctions) on my e-road bike. The battery usage demonstrated that the motor was engaged for less than 7 km of that, i.e. the rest of the time I was riding above the 25 km/h cut off. So I rode 19 km on an unpowered bike, which is good exercise. All the best.

Avatar
espressodan | 1 month ago
8 likes

It's like the Wild West out there.....

Avatar
marmotte27 | 1 month ago
5 likes

They couldn't totally destroy cycling from without, however many decades the tried, but with e-bikes they've finally found a way to destroy it from within. But maybe it's not going fast enough?

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to marmotte27 | 1 month ago
3 likes

I don't think it's about destroying cycling exactly - though there are a few nutters in the political arena.   It's just another opportunity for "more" and "we're doing something" without the government having to invest major sums or face public uproar.  (Again - haven't checked but almost certainly driven by "market" or rather people keen to sell more expensive versions of stuff we already have, for more profit margin).

As far as I'm aware none of the major parties thinks about cycling any more often than most of the population.  It's basically irrelevant to them.  They don't really understand it now, and they've almost no idea of what it could be.  And certainly not what you'd need to achieve that [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]).  If they did I suspect they still wouldn't worry too much about negative consequences because most people in the UK don't cycle and those that do aren't highly regarded.

This won't achieve the overt "purpose" for the proposed change *.  It won't turn the UK into a nation of cyclists or create a level playing field for those with disabilities.

That's for the same reason as always - "where it's easy to drive, Brits drive".  That's the case everywhere; politicians made that choice long ago and are constantly reaffirming it (The Conservatives most notably recently, but others are available).  After that, where everyone is driving people just don't feel comfortable cycling.  And cycling will generally be less convenient - because you've all the inconveniences of driving e.g. long waits at traffic lights, road noise etc. AND you're slower and outside a motor vehicle.

* Per BBC - "In its consultation document, the government says the changes would make e-bikes a 'more attractive and viable travel option for more people', giving the example of people with mobility issues."

Avatar
Sredlums replied to marmotte27 | 1 month ago
1 like

I can not Like your comment enough.
Finally someone else who recognises e-bikes are f*cking up cycling as we know it.

Everything that makes bikes so utterly wonderful is being ruined by e-bikes, step by step. Affordability, elegance, simplicity, longevity, ease of maintenance, dependability, sustainability, ease of use, durability, the health improving effect… it is all going down the drain, all for a little assist in pedalling. I hate it.
What makes it even more frustrating, is that most of the people buying in to those heavy, expensive 'bikes' only feel they need that e-assist because they have only ever ridden lousy bikes. If they had experienced the joy of a nice, light, fitting, well performing, sporty but comfortable bike, they wouldn't have cared for that.

Avatar
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
6 likes

Total rubbish.  EBikes have revolutionised urban transport. ecargo bikes have enabled people to carry stuff (and children), logistics companies use e-bikes and small business use e-bikes instead of vans. In Paris and London - where I live, mums and dads carry thier kids to school, the post office deliver parcels and letters, people commute to the office dressed in their suits and shoes. And older, less fit people use e-bikes. Go and visit German towns or come to Paris and see how the ebike has enabled many people to cycle 

Avatar
mark1a replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
4 likes

Sredlums wrote:

I can not Like your comment enough.
Finally someone else who recognises e-bikes are f*cking up cycling as we know it.

Everything that makes bikes so utterly wonderful is being ruined by e-bikes, step by step. Affordability, elegance, simplicity, longevity, ease of maintenance, dependability, sustainability, ease of use, durability, the health improving effect… it is all going down the drain, all for a little assist in pedalling. I hate it.
What makes it even more frustrating, is that most of the people buying in to those heavy, expensive 'bikes' only feel they need that e-assist because they have only ever ridden lousy bikes. If they had experienced the joy of a nice, light, fitting, well performing, sporty but comfortable bike, they wouldn't have cared for that.

I disagree. I use an ebike for when I have to visit the office or go shopping, because it's often better/faster/easier than driving my van, is virtually maintenance free and can take 25kg in the panniers. I have a large number of "nice, light, fitting, well performing, sporty but comfortable bikes" which I ride for the joy of it, but for office or shops, the ebike is first choice.

Avatar
OldRidgeback replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
4 likes

My disabled neighbour really likes her e-bike. It allows her mobility, without the running costs of her adapted vehicle. My elder brother has arthritis and a Swytch conversion allows him to carry on riding. 

Avatar
Sriracha replied to OldRidgeback | 1 month ago
3 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:

My disabled neighbour really likes her e-bike. It allows her mobility, without the running costs of her adapted vehicle. My elder brother has arthritis and a Swytch conversion allows him to carry on riding. 

Indeed, and a good thing that is too. All those arguments in the consultation about assisting the disabled seem to miss the fact that current EAPCs do exactly that. I hate it when the "won't someone please think of the disabled" card is played in the face of the disabled themselves, and as a distraction to whatever ulterior motives are actually at large.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
3 likes

Sredlums wrote:

What makes it even more frustrating, is that most of the people buying in to those heavy, expensive 'bikes' only feel they need that e-assist because they have only ever ridden lousy bikes. If they had experienced the joy of a nice, light, fitting, well performing, sporty but comfortable bike, they wouldn't have cared for that.

Absolute nonsense. I know the joy of riding superb race bikes, as I've owned them all my life and have three at the moment. I also have an ebike because I needed it to get over a very serious illness and the drugs I had to take for it, when I couldn't ride 5 km without making myself severely ill, the after effects of which I still suffer and which has meant that although I can still ride 100 miles on my road bikes when I want to it leaves me exhausted for days, so riding a 50 km commute every day without assistance was too much for me. I also use it for carrying heavy loads, taking shopping to elderly parents et cetera. It replaces numerous trips that otherwise I would be making using a car, with all the pollution and congestion contribution that would make, would that be preferable for you? If you hate that, I really don't care.

 

Avatar
Sredlums replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
1 like

Superb race bikes, however superb they may be at riding fast, are not what I meant when I specifically said "a sporty but comfortable bike".

I actually happen to love race biukes and mountain bikes, but the whole perception that a really good bike automatically means a sports-type bike, is the very problem. Most people just have no experience with - or knowledge of their existence - a practical, fully featured, but still lightweight and comfortable(!) kind of bike.
They are used to crappy, heavy, ill-fitting, badly functioning city bikes, and feel a 'good' bike is automatically one where you sit hunched over, ride without mudguards and a kickstand and lights and so forth.

Avatar
perce replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
1 like

I guess I must be lucky where I live - plenty of ''normal'' bicycles still available and probably will be for a very, very long time. I don't feel frustrated by anyone buying an e-bike - why would I? It doesn't affect me in the slightest.

Avatar
Steve K replied to perce | 1 month ago
2 likes

perce wrote:

I guess I must be lucky where I live - plenty of ''normal'' bicycles still available and probably will be for a very, very long time. I don't feel frustrated by anyone buying an e-bike - why would I? It doesn't affect me in the slightest.

Where I live there are plenty of normal bikes available.  There are five in our garage.  Plus an e-cargo bike.  And all but two of them (my 'retired' old bike and my wife's bike) they all get plenty of use of give plenty of joy to the riders (me and the kids).

Avatar
perce replied to Steve K | 1 month ago
2 likes

It's all about enjoyment, whatever bike you choose to ride.

Avatar
Sriracha replied to perce | 1 month ago
2 likes
perce wrote:

I guess I must be lucky where I live - plenty of ''normal'' bicycles still available and probably will be for a very, very long time. I don't feel frustrated by anyone buying an e-bike - why would I? It doesn't affect me in the slightest.

But it will when you're sharing the cycle path with 500W (plus the usual wiggle room) twist'n-go motorbikes.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Sriracha | 1 month ago
1 like

Sriracha wrote:
perce wrote:

I guess I must be lucky where I live - plenty of ''normal'' bicycles still available and probably will be for a very, very long time. I don't feel frustrated by anyone buying an e-bike - why would I? It doesn't affect me in the slightest.

But it will when you're sharing the cycle path with 500W (plus the usual wiggle room) twist'n-go motorbikes.

As the horse has well and truly bolted and young people are encouraged into criminal behaviour just so that they can get from A to B easily and cheaply, I think we should rate ebikes and escooters etc by weight rather than power. It's easier to check the weight of a device than its power and the mass is an important part of how dangerous vehicles can be. Maybe have a limit of 20kg for privately owned vehicles - that would then bring a lot of devices back into legality and then we can focus on the elephant in the traffic.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
0 likes

Sredlums wrote:

I can not Like your comment enough.
Finally someone else who recognises e-bikes are f*cking up cycling as we know it.

Hmm... do you mean "lots of humans" plus "quest for convenience" plus "what succeeds is what sells" is changing a situation you have nostalgia for?

Sredlums wrote:

Everything that makes bikes so utterly wonderful is being ruined by e-bikes, step by step. Affordability, elegance, simplicity, longevity, ease of maintenance, dependability, sustainability, ease of use, durability, the health improving effect… it is all going down the drain, all for a little assist in pedalling. I hate it.

Some of those are fair, some are subjective and the last I'd disagree with.  There seems to be evidence that (compared to alternatives e.g. driving, not going out so much) they contribute to health.  (Certainly if fewer journeys are driven that's a health win for everyone!)

I'm no a fan of combining everything mechanical with motor power - and generally now a computer and "connectivity".  Or of "planned obselescence" (see previous sentence - adding an app is great for that!).  But I'm irrelevant - the current way is "technology at the speed of fast fashion" with all the overuse and waste that goes with that.

In fact - people "misusing" stuff / overusing resources / pursuing "convenience" they don't need ("luxury") has been a thing since humans.  It's just increasingly possible for vastly greater numbers of us now.

The positives of eBikes are a mixed picture.  I hope ebikes / micro-vehicles could help get us away from more problematic vehicles (more dangerous / noisy / less space efficient etc).  However most people want something "like a car / van" because that is known, and has been "required" for a few generations.

eBikes can also be great as an enabler for e.g. people with disabilities / older people.  But that will probably be balanced by the more able pushing their way to the front of the queue, same usual.

Sredlums wrote:

What makes it even more frustrating, is that most of the people buying in to those heavy, expensive 'bikes' only feel they need that e-assist because they have only ever ridden lousy bikes. If they had experienced the joy of a nice, light, fitting, well performing, sporty but comfortable bike, they wouldn't have cared for that.

This is the most questionable part.  I know people who have ridden better bikes than I've owned but now being older / less well are pleased to have a way of "keeping up" / "still getting out" via ebikes.

Also I don't think many people are buying ebikes because of bad experiences with bikes.  Those people (delivery riders or previous "non-cyclists") are likely just interested in the mobility and convenience and want something "with a motor" - which isn't a car or actual motorbike.

I think most people are mostly interested in availability and reliability of transport, journey time, cost, ability to transport items / people I need, directness... Plus avoiding other inconveniences e.g. parking / vehicle storage.

Avatar
Sredlums replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
3 likes

Wow, that's alot of reactions on my comment.

I never denied e-bikes have their good sides. They do, and if they speak to you, by all means, use those benefits to your advantage.

What almost all of you people missed however, is that I said "e-bikes are f*cking up cycling as we know it."
And that 'as we know it' part is actually the main point of what I said in my original comment.

If the elderly or other people who can use some assistence for whatever reason, and e-bikes provide that: cool.
If people leave their car at home more often: great.
Etc., etc.

My gripe against e-bikes is that, while doing all the above things, they are also changing 'traditional cycling'. Over here in The Netherlands, what is considdered a 'normal bike' has already changed. Even kids nowadays expect an e-bike when they get a new bike. So that means parents are facing huge extra costs. It also means a lot of extra hassle (think keeping them charged, store them safe and dry, and near electricity, paying for insurence etc.), and bikes are obsolete way faster, adding to the cost further.
Normal bikes are now an afterthought. In bike shops they are relegated to a small corner in the back of the shop. Developements will slow, and eventually stop. Parts will get scarce.
And I haven't even touched other problems, like an increasing amount of accidents, bike lanes getting less pleasant with people flashing by at high speeds (without being experienced at riding at those speeds).
E-bikes have their upsides, sure, but they also change the very things that made cycling so great to begin with, and that truly saddens me.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
2 likes

Ah - I forgot where you stay.  Well in NL you've a right to complain - you've got to the point that bikes are just like cars.  As in - everyone's riding one and all complaining about the traffic or that they can't find a parking spot.

In the UK you'd be hard-pressed to screw up cycling "as we know it" (not that it stops a few trying - but by and large it's just neglect / indifference). So I guess here it seems like ebikes are pretty low on the list of things to worry about.

However - once there is mass cycling then ... yeah, that's a really attractive mass market!  Those who brought us the automobile* are no doubt capable of bringing some other aspirational convenience which people will buy en mass - and we'll all find out the unwanted side effects of mass use later in time.

Also unlike cars (which tend to suppress other modes) it seems mass cycling has a certain fragility **.

David Hembrow raises an interesting point about this in NL - the effect on the second-hand market (mid-way through the article).

* Effortless transport!  Less hassle than a horse!  Solves all your transport needs!  Your own personal carriage!  All the film stars have one!  Freedom!  (With an undercurrent of sex, for the younger...)

** Perhaps bikes are a bit too "egalitarian" / decentralised?  Too cheap and simple?  People will always seek "less effort" - especially if used to cars.  And humans are always looking for ways of displaying their status to others - if not a nicer car then what about an eBike?  Authorities are complacent - because it's so efficient some cycling will usually happen "by itself" and work around / with other modes.  This is the case even in the UK and the US where we really went all-in on road transport after others started to try to change direction.

Avatar
Sriracha replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
3 likes

I think you will have a point if they do go through with the proposals in the consultation. It is nonsense, at the stroke of the legislative pen, to extend the definition of "bicycle" to include non-pedalling motorised transport well beyond the normal human performance envelope, and thereby claim to have increased "cycling", or indeed "active travel", and its concomitant benefits.

All the virtues claimed for current EAPCs rest on their near-equivalence to ordinary bicycles; size, weight, performance, speed, exercise and so on. The difference is limited to 250W, which puts athletic performance within reach of the unathletic, without stretching the other parameters too far.

You can not have something which is fundamentally different and pretend it is basically the same - no, not even if you get there by degrees. 500W throttle power is in no way alike with 250W pedal assistance, not even if you call it by the same name.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to Sriracha | 1 month ago
2 likes
Sriracha wrote:

...You can not have something which is fundamentally different and pretend it is basically the same...

I wasn't too concerned by this but now I'm woke and you've made me worried.

This is *exactly* what our political masters like to do. Changing words to "fix" things is lower cost and effort. And the current lot - I'm thinking "breaking laws ... in specific and limited ways" plus legally defining other countries as safe places.

For all the harrumph about broadening definitions of things they don't favour, if it suits their favoured groups / businesses to define a dog as a cat? Fetch your bone Tibbles, let's go for a walk...

Avatar
Simon E replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
5 likes

Sredlums wrote:

Everything that makes bikes so utterly wonderful is being ruined by e-bikes, step by step. Affordability, elegance, simplicity, longevity, ease of maintenance, dependability, sustainability, ease of use, durability, the health improving effect… it is all going down the drain, all for a little assist in pedalling. I hate it.

Prejudiced bullshit.

As others have pointed out, the use of e-bikes has allowed people to keep cycling or provided an opportunity for others to replace shorter car journeys with a power-assisted pedalling. The health benefits of these choices should be obvious.

The ridiculous price tags on high end bikes has nothing to do with the rise of e-biking. Ditto for electronic groupsets and tubeless tyres. Nobody spends more than the race-replica blokes with their S-Works bikes and gear, the heat-moulded shoes, or the Assos or Maap layers for all weathers and the trips to the Balearics or Gran Canaria.

Post-Brexit and post-Covid the cost of everything has gone up, food in particular, yet people don't complain about that (pretty essential, surely) anywhere near as much as when the price of petrol increases by 5p/litre. Whining losers.

If you want a mechanical bikes then you are truly spoilt for choice. Derailleurs from 8 to 12 and sometimes 13, road, all-road, gravel race, gravel bikepacking, utility, touring, folding, made from alu, steel, high-end steel, titanium, carbon, super-light carbon...

e-bikes, and even illegal e-bikes are simply products. Nobody claims that cars are 'cheating' or spoiling it for other people (though in fact they are, in various very significant ways as shown time and time again on this site; and they make people lazy). Even 'cheap' cars are damned expensive to run and maintain. Is using a trolley at the supermarket cheating?

And you need to use a typewriter for future comments or submit a handwritten piece by post instead of CHEATING with a frigging computer and the internet. And don't EVER let me catch you using copy & paste instead of writing it all properly, like a grown-up.

Avatar
ktache replied to Simon E | 1 month ago
1 like

My rohloff goes to 14...

Avatar
Sredlums replied to Simon E | 1 month ago
2 likes

Wow. What were you on when you wrote that?

You put words in my mouth and then blame me for those words. Multiple paragraphs about 'cheating', really? Point me to where I said anything about cheating. I'll wait.

Another thing, please explain to me what TF is 'prejudiced' about wanting bikes to remain affordable, self-maintainable and durable?

And what's with all the rambling about 'ridiculous price tags on high end bikes'? I still ride the mountain bike I bought in 1994, FFS.

Re-read my comments, then re-read your own comment, and then ask yourself who should behave like a grown-up.

Avatar
Simon E replied to Sredlums | 1 month ago
1 like

Sredlums wrote:

Wow. What were you on when you wrote that?

An old office chair. Why?

I don't need to re-read your comments and have no intention of changing my response.

The existence and growing popularity of e-bikes is unrelated to an understandable desire for "bikes to remain affordable, self-maintainable and durable". Blaming e-bikes for whatever you think is happening is down to prejudice, not the current state of bicycle retail.

Those quoted qualities are important to me too, it's partly why I ride secondhand aluminium bikes with 9 speed Sora and cheap OE wheels all year round (though the wheels on the Trek are about to be upgraded to some £300 handbuilt ones, a birthday gift).

Avatar
Sredlums replied to Simon E | 1 month ago
1 like

You rant on and on about how all kind of things are not 'cheating', all to make your point that riding an e-bike is not cheating, all your anger directed at me, while I never said anything about cheating.
I point out that fact, and your reaction is 'I HAVE NO INTENTION OF CHANGING MY RESPONSE!!1!'.

That says a lot about you, and none of it is good.

By the way, the existence and growing popularity of e-bikes has already changed what people consider as 'a normal bicycle'.
If a parent now wants to buy his growing kid a new bike, and suggests a traditional bike, the kid will say 'What!? Everybody has an e-bike, I'm not gonna ride this bike!". That means e-bikes have made bicycles more expensive.
That has nothing to do with prejudice.

Pages

Latest Comments