Cyclists are 3rd class in Germany

81 posts in this topic

On 09/10/2021, 01:30:45, mtbiking said:

About those exchanging fitness studios for bikes, I’m a life long cyclist over forty, the newcomers with no legs and ultra expensive bikes with matching outfit annoy me almost as much as any 30 years old ebiker but that’s for another rant 🤨

All the gear and no idea.

 

Here there are hills, and I must admit everytime I'm grinding my way up one and have someone on an E-bike cruise past I wonder why I didn't buy one. Whilst they go up hill faster they're certainly not doing a dangerous speed, and as said 25Km/h is average-ish speed on a flat road anyway and easily exceeded going downhill.

Somewhere I read about a study that showed that there are more health benefits to Ebikes as people use them more. Getting up the hills is a major factor in putting people off cycling; more Ebikes = more cyclists = better cycling infrastructure and more awareness of cyclists = safer for all.

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2 hours ago, yourkeau said:

Yet the main force remains your muscles. 

Not true at all.

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9 minutes ago, Dembo said:

more Ebikes = more cyclists = better cycling infrastructure and more awareness of cyclists = safer for all.

You forgot the main thing: more fun.

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1 hour ago, jeba said:

Not true at all.

Whilst most e-bikes have the selectable capacity to assist up to 90% you won't get very far before the battery runs out if you stay in that mode! On a flat tarmacked road or cycle track the 25% assist is usually sufficient for most people to cruise at the maximum assisted speed of 25 kmh which should give a range of 50+ km on most e-bikes in which case the main force is still your muscles.

Regarding speeds generally I have found regular non electric bike riders will typically cruise around 20kmh on the flat, slower against a head wind while road bikers typically cruise at 30+ kmh such speed differences are not usually a big problem I think.

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Speed differences can be very problematic, closing speed of 25+25=50, people riding side by side chatting or telephoning on a curvy hilly narrow path. Certainly do not want more cycling here!

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8 hours ago, yourkeau said:

The logic of the technophobes here is flawed: electric Hilfsmotor does not replace muscles. Maybe you have never riden such a bike and you think it is like electric scooter. Nope. The Hilfsmotor only makes riding a bit less challanging, as a result you can make steeper inclines, and ride longer. Yet the main force remains your muscles. 

 

If you are so against technology be consistent and just walk. Bicycle is also technology which assists legs the same way the electric help motor assists the bike. 

 

Regarding people going up the mountains without Alpine experience: believe me, that happens with hikers, too (much more often, actually). 


😂 sure. That’s why ebikers ride up a mountain wearing heavy winter clothes and boots, chatting to each other, and still seemingly not breaking a sweat or losing a few grams of weight => There’s little effort involved. You can in theory set the motor assistance to a lower level, in practice I doubt people do it, it’s only human to maximize comfort when possible and it doesn’t match at all what I see in the mountains. 
 

One of my friends owns s bike shop, and like everywhere most of his bikes for sale nowadays are ebikes. I’ve tried several: they’re obviously lots of fun. Still don’t need one. I’ll buy one sometime, sure, hopefully in the far future.

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10 hours ago, Fietsrad said:

lobby groups want them to be allowed to use cycle ways, crazy.

Yer why not,many cyclists and ebikers seem to think it´s ok to use the footpath as their private roadway.

 

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2 hours ago, Keleth said:

Yer why not,many cyclists and ebikers seem to think it´s ok to use the footpath as their private roadway.

 

That is very much a police matter and one that in recent years, here in Munich at least, has been subject to very lax enforcement.  That is not the worst of it either a lot of cyclists and e-scooter riders seem to believe they can ignore a red traffic light or go round it on the footpath. Yesterday I saw an e-scooter(one of the rental ones I think) riding on the footpath with 3 young teenage boys on it, no problem when there is no risk of getting nicked!

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I walk my children to school and Kita every day. At every sharp street corner, it's got to the stage that we have to stop and I have to cautiously poke my head around the building checking for cyclists on the footpath. They don't ring their bells, don't slow down and all ages do it. 

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16 hours ago, mtbiking said:


😂 sure. That’s why ebikers ride up a mountain wearing heavy winter clothes and boots, chatting to each other, and still seemingly not breaking a sweat or losing a few grams of weight => There’s little effort involved. You can in theory set the motor assistance to a lower level, in practice I doubt people do it, it’s only human to maximize comfort when possible and it doesn’t match at all what I see in the mountains.

 

I see it from another perspective. A normal bike allowed me to drive from Munich to Stanberg (17km) and back (34km total). Some hilly sections, so that's the limitation.

An e-bike would probably allow me to do double that length with similar effort.

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I certainly remember when e-bikes were not common. On the one hand, I suppose it's good more are out and about in places, getting some of that good ol' fresh air and exercise they might not otherwise. But the downside is lots of people who very obviously haven't sat on a bike in 40 years are now doing so. Too many do not seem to have a "cyclist mentality", much less etiquette. But they are also pretty handy sometimes, I've rented them on holidays.

 

The grey-haired ebike gangs are a real thing (with no disrespect to any grey-haired cyclists here). Worse are those who travel at top speed in all situations and expect everyone to instantly make way, as if they were on Autobahn left lane. I have a child seat on my bike, and my son often in it, and still I have been ding-ding-dinged with classic German impatience by some (usually!) old fart directly behind me, even at points where the bike path narrows due to trees, driveways, fences, etc. 

 

Some neighbours in our building recently bought new expensive e-bikes (€5000 range when I googled the brand/model -- they already had a pair from a couple years prior that were still fairly new-looking IMO). Thicker-than-average frames, thicker-than-average wheels. I've had to scoot my bike around them in the bike shed, moving their bikes an inch here and there, and they are bloody heavy. There's no way you're going very far without the e-motor, nor pushing them. They use them on the occasional nice weekend Ausflug (loading them on to the car), or sunny weekday task, but not on any regular basis as far as I can tell. The husband does bike to work sometimes on a standard bike, in fair weather... but really, these expensive things basically just sit there unused 90% of the time. They recently bought a second car, too. What pandemic economy, right?

 

13 hours ago, keith2011 said:

Yesterday I saw an e-scooter(one of the rental ones I think) riding on the footpath with 3 young teenage boys on it, no problem when there is no risk of getting nicked!

 

There are now a few points in our neighbourhood where those stupid things are essentially permanent litter. Idiots leave them anywhere, jutting right out on (cycle or foot) paths, flopped and knocked over at bus shelters, blocking glass containers. I am clearly biased, and they seem particularly lazy and dorky to me, so I am not sold on the concept. You'd go faster and at least get a smidge of cardio on a bike, non? This weekend, there was one sticking out randomly in middle of a paved 2-way path, next to a stream where old folks often stroll. On my bike, I came up behind an older man with a walker. He looked panicked,"pinched" between me and that bloody scooter. I could see he was calcuting how he'd have to go around it, but look around and behind him, then go for it, shuffling. No quick task when you're using a walking in the first place. I got off, waved for him to go ahead, then shoved the thing onto the stinging nettles on the side. 

 

5 hours ago, pmd said:

I walk my children to school and Kita every day. At every sharp street corner, it's got to the stage that we have to stop and I have to cautiously poke my head around the building checking for cyclists on the footpath. They don't ring their bells, don't slow down and all ages do it. 

 

Some years back, on a morning cycle to work, late summer, I passed by a residential intersection and saw a little boy of about 4 years old (seemingly alone, no parent) bawling and wailing on the sidewalk corner, with a face full of blood, and soaked all over his shirt. A gash on the forehead, and probably bashed up mouth, as I clearly remember his totally reddened teeth. Pacing sheepishly nearby (not helping!) was a pot-bellied man in his 50s or so, with his e-bike propped against a fence. I didn't witness it, but from the scene, with hedges and fences as they were, there would be no visibility round the corner. So I assume the e-biker took the corner at speed (on the sidewalk!) and hit the kid who was playing. The kid had some sort of toy truck or tractor on the grass (and I assume lived just there, there was a short driveway and house just behind him -- maybe the parents ran inside, I still wonder at that...).

 

It must have happened just a minute or two before. I stopped for a moment, but two other adults also did just before me, and one said she was calling an ambulance, and the other took out some kind of cloth to hold to the kid's face. I wanted to help and felt angry too, but rode on as I had a meeting to get to, and there wasn't much more to do just then. It's pretty ghastly seeing a small child's face literally covered in blood, but from a glance the cut did not seem large or deep... just an unlucky spot.

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Until 5 years ago I didn´t have a car and in the 15 years I walked and bussed everywhere I was closer to being hit by cyclists on crossings than I ever way by cars.Many of them don´t seem to believe that red lights are for them as well as cars or they´ll just jump on to the pavement to avoid the light.

The wife has to use a rollator nowadays and around here we have many pathways that are split between cycle lanes and walkways so of course if a cyclist is on the cycle path that means they don´t have to stop or pay attention to anyone else.

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1 hour ago, MikeMelga said:

I see it from another perspective. A normal bike allowed me to drive from Munich to Stanberg (17km) and back (34km total). Some hilly sections, so that's the limitation.

An e-bike would probably allow me to do double that length with similar effort.

 

It doesn't really work that way, there's some effort involved yes but since the hardest part of cycling is going uphill (or maintaining a fast average speed - i.e. power- on flat roads, but you don't do that with an ebike anyway) and that's where the motor assistance is used the most (physics), you really need a giant tour to reach comparable levels. Concrete example: I did a 120 km tour /1200 hm with the road bike yesterday. 3600 calories in 4h25min. The first hit on google gives an average value of 300 cal/hour for an ebike (cyclists with ebike experience feel free to correct this value). So you'd need to cycle 12 hours to burn an equivalent amount of calories. Not many have the time (or particulary, the physical conditioning) to sit on a saddle for half that long.

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1 minute ago, mtbiking said:

 

It doesn't really work that way, there's some effort involved yes but since the hardest part of cycling is going uphill (or maintaining a fast average speed - i.e. power- on flat roads, but you don't do that with an ebike anyway) and that's where the motor assistance is used the most (physics), you really need a giant tour to reach comparable levels. Concrete example: I did a 120 km tour /1200 hm with the road bike yesterday. 3600 calories in 4h25min. The first hit on google gives an average value of 300 cal/hour for an ebike (cyclists with ebike experience feel free to correct this value). So you'd need to cycle 12 hours to burn an equivalent amount of calories. Not many have the time (or particulary, the physical conditioning) to sit on a saddle for half that long.

I had a friend's e-bike for a couple of days and what I would do would be to regulate how much it would help me. On a regular bike I push hard and try to get 25km/h. With the e-bike, I would just use it to keep similar or higher speed and reduce help or turn it off on flat roads.

Unfortunately im nowhere near 120km in 5h :D

 

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1 hour ago, mtbiking said:

 

It doesn't really work that way, there's some effort involved yes but since the hardest part of cycling is going uphill (or maintaining a fast average speed - i.e. power- on flat roads, but you don't do that with an ebike anyway) and that's where the motor assistance is used the most (physics), you really need a giant tour to reach comparable levels. Concrete example: I did a 120 km tour /1200 hm with the road bike yesterday. 3600 calories in 4h25min. The first hit on google gives an average value of 300 cal/hour for an ebike (cyclists with ebike experience feel free to correct this value). So you'd need to cycle 12 hours to burn an equivalent amount of calories. Not many have the time (or particulary, the physical conditioning) to sit on a saddle for half that long.

 

I don't agree with that, first off a 25% assist is more that sufficient for most riders, even old ones like me, to cruise at around 25 kmh on the flat and secondly a typical e-bike weighs in at about 25 kg compared to a regular trekking bike which would be maybe 10 kg less and a modern road bike typically can be a third of that weight. Add to that many modern e-bikes have wide tyres which increase rolling resistance so I believe the difference in effort is much less than you have speculated!

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5 hours ago, pmd said:

I walk my children to school and Kita every day. At every sharp street corner, it's got to the stage that we have to stop and I have to cautiously poke my head around the building checking for cyclists on the footpath. They don't ring their bells, don't slow down and all ages do it. 

 

Our local park is uphill and downhill (it's pretty hilly around here) and it's been invaded by cyclists since corona. It has grown impossible to just stroll along on the footpaths now-a-days. You're forced to jump to the side to let them pass - often at full speed. I'm at the point of inquiring at the Ordnungsamt whether cyclists are even allowed in the park as it's supposed to be a recreational area. They invade other recreational areas too, such as the many walking paths in the various disused limestone quarries in my area, which are also nature reserves. It's so annoying.  

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1 hour ago, keith2011 said:

 

I don't agree with that, first off a 25% assist is more that sufficient for most riders, even old ones like me, to cruise at around 25 kmh on the flat and secondly a typical e-bike weighs in at about 25 kg compared to a regular trekking bike which would be maybe 10 kg less and a modern road bike typically can be a third of that weight. Add to that many modern e-bikes have wide tyres which increase rolling resistance so I believe the difference in effort is much less than you have speculated!


We need numbers in this discussion. It wasn't speculation, the comparison is based on my own data (between 800 to 920 cal/hour depending of tour lengh, the longer the tour the more moderate my pace is on average) and this site, which gives the value 300 cal/hour average for an ebike. Is that too low, too high or on target? I've used ebikes but never measured my performance with them in a real tour. I'm also not a professional or that young anymore, just a reasonably fit cyclist.

 

So viele Kalorien verbrauchen Sie beim E-Biken. | FLYER E-Bikes (flyer-bikes.com)  

 

BTW, even it's there's an error of 30%; i.e. the calorie consumption is 390 cal/hour instead of 300, you still need a tour of over 9 hours to consume as much calories as a road cyclist in a bit over four hours. 

 

I'm not even saying that's good or bad, just that the effort ist vastly different and the fitness outcome therefore also significantly different.

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3 hours ago, mtbiking said:

I'm not even saying that's good or bad, just that the effort ist vastly different and the fitness outcome therefore also significantly different.

I really don't care about the fitness outcome, my goal is to ride longer distances while keeping it within a comfortable level of effort.

I'm in for the ride enjoyment , not for fitness.

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4 hours ago, bramble said:

It has grown impossible to just stroll along on the footpaths now-a-days. You're forced to jump to the side to let them pass - often at full speed.

Here the path for pedestrians and cyclists is generally separated.  What you’re describing is very dangerous and should be illegal IMO.

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I'm at the point of inquiring at the Ordnungsamt whether cyclists are even allowed in the park as it's supposed to be a recreational area.

Our parks have signs indicating where cycling is/isn’t allowed.

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They invade other recreational areas too, such as the many walking paths in the various disused limestone quarries in my area, which are also nature reserves. It's so annoying.  

It sounds like the city needs to set hard and fast rules and enforce them.  Otherwise people just make up their own rules.  😏

 

After we got bikes in the fall of 2019 we spent 50€ for a 2 hour private lesson with a person from the local bike club.  It was well worth it.  He explained things, answered our questions, and accompanied us riding to various locations so that we could practice what we learned.  It really helped me to understand the signs.  If I ever get an eBike I will also take such a course.

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