News   Feb 23, 2024
 986     1 
News   Feb 23, 2024
 2.4K     2 
News   Feb 23, 2024
 929     0 

General cycling issues (Is Toronto bike friendly?)

The European pedelac is more of an pedal assist bike (what the City is expecting on the path). However, the Asian designed pedelac's go above this. You can select either assist or throttle mode. Throttle mode lets you sit back and go without any effort (a good quality one can travel 50 km is pedal assist and 30 km in throttle mode).

Reading the bylaws it appears as if they would only let you on the MGT if you are in pedal assist mode. I assume many people just add a bit more than pedal assist and that's why you see them not pedalling. As long as they aren't stupid about it and keep with the flow of traffic. But all it takes is a handful of idiots who use full throttle mode and go 50 km/hr weaving around bikes and walkers alike.

I'm probably going to hold off and suffer in the stinky TTC this summer. Let the bylaws and the tech mature for a year. I'd hate to buy one and then the city changes the bylaws. Next spring if its still OK i'm going to purchase a pedelac.
Interesting pointt you make on Asia. When I was Googling for background for my last post, I tripped across this (with stifled glee): (Bear in mind the continuing ambiguity of the term "e-bike")
Hong Kong’s secret, illegal e-bikers crying out for power to the people
E-bikes are cheap, quiet, environmentally friendly, take up much less space than cars and are used all over China – so why are they outlawed on Hong Kong roads?

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 July, 2016, 12:28pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 July, 2016, 6:22pm
Comments: 4

f4801120-5238-11e6-98ca-49b1c9e3ed10_1280x720.JPG
http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/trave...cret-illegal-e-bikers-crying-out-power-people

Stuart Heaver


Rush hour in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province and home to 6.6 million people, seems unusually quiet. It’s not the density of traffic on the roads that is remarkable, but the lack of noise.

It’s almost completely silent because most commuters in Fuzhou, like an estimated 200 million others across China, opt for electric bikes – and it’s easy to see why. These two-wheeled vehicles, which range from electrically assisted bicycles to what appear to be silent conventional motor scooters, seem to offer the perfect solution for urban transport. E-bikes are cheap, quiet, have zero emissions and take up much less space than cars. Batteries can be conveniently charged overnight at home and they have inspired a successful Chinese industry which supplies customers all over China and the rest of the world.
[...]
The law in Hong Kong has unique and exquisitely bureaucratic logic for excluding their citizens from the health and social benefits of e-bikes. Here, all e-bikes are classified as motorbikes (which they clearly are not) but because they do not precisely conform to the same exacting safety standards as petrol driven motorbikes, they are forbidden on Hong Kong roads.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung last addressed the issue in the Legislative Council in 2013.

“Bicycles equipped with electric motors are not normally designed to the same safety and performance standards as conventional motorcycles. They are normally not considered roadworthy and would not be registered and licensed. Therefore, the Government currently has no plan to allow the use of electric bicycles on roads of Hong Kong,” he responded to a question about the perils of e-bikes. Nothing has changed since, much to the frustration of Hong Kong’s small community of secret e-bikers.
[...]
“There is a distinctive difference between the concept of an electrically assisted bike, and a electric bike,” says West and explains that the former type means that the rider must be at least attempting to pedal the bike in order to gain assistance from the electric motor. These are sometimes called “pedelecs”, which usually include additional safety features such as motor cut-out switches when the brakes are applied, and speed restrictions. These low power and speed-restricted pedelecs are the sort of e-bike permitted and encouraged in Europe, Singapore and elsewhere. It can be a healthy option too, because the more sophisticated models allow the rider to select the amount of electric assistance they require.

West also thinks that by avoiding the issue and not properly regulating and licensing e-bikes, the Transport Department is making matters worse by encouraging people to manufacture their own home-made contraptions with massive battery packs and unlicensed parts, capable of causing real injury.

“There are tricycles whizzing around with three or four 12-volt car batteries hidden under the seat to give the required power. The weight of that and a passenger on the trike with a rusty old single brake is a disaster waiting to happen,” says West.
[...]
http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/trave...cret-illegal-e-bikers-crying-out-power-people

Note the butt stuck in the 'cyclist's' face top pic. This isn't about being "Green"...
 
Reading the bylaws it appears as if they would only let you on the MGT if you are in pedal assist mode. I assume many people just add a bit more than pedal assist and that's why you see them not pedalling. As long as they aren't stupid about it and keep with the flow of traffic. But all it takes is a handful of idiots who use full throttle mode and go 50 km/hr weaving around bikes and walkers alike.

I'm probably going to hold off and suffer in the stinky TTC this summer. Let the bylaws and the tech mature for a year. I'd hate to buy one and then the city changes the bylaws. Next spring if its still OK i'm going to purchase a pedelac.
Muller: This has been eating at me ever since I first read your post. Reconsider! Give it a good think for this year. You sound like the kind of rider who's aware of the road, other riders, and the needed courtesy and consideration to make it all work. If you don't have the muscle you'd like for pedal power alone to get you where you need to go, there's absolutely no shame in using the "assist" function. You'll get a real lift out of doing it, if you pick your routes well. In *many if not most* cases, people find they have more energy than they thought they had. Cycling is addictive, and it generates more endorphins than it consumes in most cases. If you're not quite ready to buy, then rent one for a few days.On the basis of that, you might decide to buy one. Or not.

None of us is getting any younger, and if anything can slow the clock down, it's activity like cycling. Do yourself a favour...and the cycling diaspora: Join us! Just pick your roads very carefully. There's absolutely nothing wussy about wanting to remain in one piece.
 
Muller: This has been eating at me ever since I first read your post. Reconsider! Give it a good think for this year. You sound like the kind of rider who's aware of the road, other riders, and the needed courtesy and consideration to make it all work. If you don't have the muscle you'd like for pedal power alone to get you where you need to go, there's absolutely no shame in using the "assist" function. You'll get a real lift out of doing it, if you pick your routes well. In *many if not most* cases, people find they have more energy than they thought they had. Cycling is addictive, and it generates more endorphins than it consumes in most cases. If you're not quite ready to buy, then rent one for a few days.On the basis of that, you might decide to buy one. Or not.

None of us is getting any younger, and if anything can slow the clock down, it's activity like cycling. Do yourself a favour...and the cycling diaspora: Join us! Just pick your roads very carefully. There's absolutely nothing wussy about wanting to remain in one piece.

I've been commuting daily on a "pedalec" in Toronto for about a year now. Its a good alternative if you're older (like me). Without the motor assist I wouldn't be able to ascend the hills out of the Humber River valley or up the Poplar Plains Hill. There is still physical exertion required but I end up at work less sweaty than people riding non-assisted bikes. And I've definitely increased my fitness levels. When I started out I would have to use level 5 on the PAS (power assist setting) but now I can make it comfortably on level 2.
Do it. A cycle commute is much more consistent and rewarding than a hot smelly streetcar ride.
 
I've been commuting daily on a "pedalec" in Toronto for about a year now. Its a good alternative if you're older (like me). Without the motor assist I wouldn't be able to ascend the hills out of the Humber River valley or up the Poplar Plains Hill. There is still physical exertion required but I end up at work less sweaty than people riding non-assisted bikes. And I've definitely increased my fitness levels. When I started out I would have to use level 5 on the PAS (power assist setting) but now I can make it comfortably on level 2.
Do it. A cycle commute is much more consistent and rewarding than a hot smelly streetcar ride.

I'm really just worried that City Hall will prohibit them in a years time. A big expense if its just for 1 year.

I read some crazy stat...in the Netherlands about 25% of all bikes sold are pedalecs. They have a a lower maximum assist than in Canada (and our is lower than must US States). And for some reason it hasn't taken off in North America (and with virtually no hills in the Netherlands)
 
Muller: I see no indication of "pedelecs" coming to grief in Toronto. Scooters perhaps, and so they should. Many are a menace on cycleways. But pedelecs are a distinctly different:
Power Assisted Bicycles

e-bikes.jpg




The Province of Ontario has amended the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, so that power assisted bicycles (e-bikes) may travel on public roads and highways. Bicycle lanes and park paths are governed by City of Toronto bylaws, not the Highway Traffic Act.

Types of Power Assisted Bicycles
Legislation passed by the province of Ontario classifies a wide range of vehicles as power assisted bicycles. Some look like conventional bicycles and some resemble motor scooters.

Please review the Ministry of Transportation's E-Bike webpage or the Toronto Police's emerging vehicles information sheet

Electric Bikes in the City of Toronto

Municipalities may pass by-laws specific to power assisted bicycles that prohibit them from municipal roads, sidewalks, bike paths and trails, and bikes lanes under their jurisdiction. City of Toronto Municipal Code bylaws prohibit motor powered vehicles from being used on multi-use paths and in cycle tracks. Only electric bicycles with a wheel diameter of 26" or larger are allowed on the ferries to the Toronto Islands.

Types of "E-bikes"
pedelec.jpg

Pedelecs

E-bikes which are similar to bicycles ("Pedelecs") are considered to be bicycles by the municipality of Toronto, and may be used on all types of cycling infrastructure. This includes painted bike lanes, Cycle Tracks (separated bicycle lanes) and multi-use trails where regular bicycles are allowed. By it's definition in the Toronto Municipal Code, a "pedelec" must weigh less than 40kg and requires pedaling for propulsion. [...]
https://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/...nnel=f4d4970aa08c1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

What Rick has posted makes perfect sense, and is what I expect to happen to you. You end up *loving* it! Look, it won't make you young again completely, but it will partly.

Let me flip this over to the other readers, because this is an important point. Muller represents a sizable sector of the population. Out of all you other cyclists reading this, does *anyone* not agree with getting persons like Muller (safety caveats *always* pending!) out on a bike, even if it is power assisted?

I think you'll find yourself in good company, Muller, and if it comes to a fight at City Hall, pretty much the entire cycling readership in this string will support you.

That's a promise...(edit to be clear: For pedelec: Yes! Scooter, you're on your on, and should be on the road.)
 
What's with getting annoyed at an entire group because of what one person did?
I don't know. I'm a safe cyclist -- I stop at stop signs and red lights and crosswalks, I slow down when needed, I don't weave in and out, I don't sneak up on the right of cars, etc. I'm not the only one. Yet I hear so many people talking about how all cyclists run reds, etc. etc.

That dude has mad skills. He should do cycling demonstrations, just not along Bloor St.(or any other road) -- the same as people in cars shouldn't drag race down Bloor.
 
Is just me, but I seem to see that countries that are unfriendly to cycling have bicycle helmet laws.

See link.

In 2009, Hong Kong announced that the government had no intention of introducing mandatory helmet law, based partly on "international views that a mandatory requirement may lead to a reduction in cycling activities."
 
Is just me, but I seem to see that countries that are unfriendly to cycling have bicycle helmet laws.

I know this might start a whole helmet vs non-helmet debate, but in my experience as a frequent cyclist in Toronto, the GTA, and having cycled many times in the Netherlands, your observation rings true. Generally when cycling gets more popular, I see helmet use go down. In Toronto, I see more and more cyclists every year, which is great. I've also noticed helmet use going down, I would anecdotally say its almost a 50/50.

I don't wear a helmet when riding downtown, but do if I plan on cycling much faster (for an exercise ride), or if going to the suburbs, where cars drive faster and are less used to driving around bikes. And really, from the cycling deaths and injuries I've seen in the news, they tend to be crushing injuries more than head injuries. I'd love to see a good study done on this for Toronto.
 

Top