How many cars in cities would E-bikes eliminate?…
Talk to Kiran Herbert and you might start to think that e-bikes cure cancer. She’s not just a writer and content manager at the bicycle advocacy group PeopleForBikes. She is a self-proclaimed e-bike evangelist on a mission to see electric bicycles spread across her home state of Colorado, then across the country and around the world.

“I just love it,” Herbert said during a phone interview. “I rode 10 miles today which on a normal bike is a lot and it’s not something I could just fit into my daily routine. But when I’m on an e-bike and have to go five miles I don’t even hesitate because it’s just as easy as driving. It’s almost better, because I arrive happier.”

She has reason to be so giddy. Next week, the state of Colorado is set to release $12 million for e-bike ownership and rideshare programs. The funding comes as part of Colorado State Senate Bill 22-193, which was signed into law on June 2 and is among a host of state and local measures across the country that identify e-bikes as an essential tool for getting people to drive less, which will reduce emissions from transportation.

I am an avid bicyclist. Most of my riding is on empty country roads, but I use some shared use trails when I go through a nearby town. In the past 3 years I have seen a big increase in the number of E-bikes on the trails. A lot of people seem to be using them as recreational riding. The next largest group are the folks who seem to be commuters. A very small percent seem to be the ones using them as ways to go shopping. If I lived in town instead of in the country. I could see using an E-bike for the latter purpose.


Just got back from a week in San Francisco, and the Bay area. Electric bikes and electric scooters
were everywhere in the big city. As pedestrians, we had to be really careful when crossing streets,
as they seemingly come out of nowhere. The electric scooters and skateboards are even more
stealthy. SF was very walkable, for healthy people anyways ( the hike up Lombard St to Pioneer Hill Park was 1 of the steepest city streets I’ve ever been on ), and the sidewalks were packed with
pedestrians. Walked thru Chinatown 4 times on the way to the Bay, and it was densely packed with walkers.

On the way back from Oracle Park after a night game, had a front row seat of a young guy on a scooter
failing to notice that traffic had come to a sudden stop. Luckily for him, he grasped the situation at the last second and was able to swerve slightly, so he hit the car in front of him at a glancing
angle. When I first noticed him, it looked like he was going to go headfirst into the back of
Subaru at about 15 mph. I swear his head was down and he wasn’t even looking at traffic in the seconds before the crash. Not sure if he was looking at his smartphone. We helped him off the street, and he appeared to be groggy, but ok. It was lucky for him that the pedestrians on the sidewalk came out into the roadway and helped slow/stop traffic coming up on him as he was prone in the street.

But out in Marin County, much fewer sightings of electric bikes and scooters, or bikes of any type.
There were a few strong riders humping up those large, steep climbs but very few. Marin County is incredibly beautiful. We did a short,steep hike up to Mt Tam, and got stunning views looking down on the Golden Gate bridge, as well as the big city across the bay. I get why so many people want to live there. The topography is so rugged that it must be very,very expensive to build out there.

Was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to get around in SF, didn’t even need to rent a vehicle, as
walking was so easy. Definitely seen homeless people, but they are not a worry, as they seem to
be in such a sad state that it seemed doubtful they could summon the energy to accost anybody, if they even had such a notion. It was weird to see a few of them sleeping or unconscious, sprawled out on the sidewalk. And SF spends a lot of money on trying to help them. I have no answers as to what the solution is for the homeless problem, they are definitely not employable in their current condition.

Definitely felt sorry for them, but did not give them money.


Homelessness isn’t new to SF, or really to all the coastal cites where the climate is moderate…

I don’t see any macro solutions, each person, family group has their own history, reasons, many as noted fall into cheap drugs of today… Local governments bear a lot of the costs, one way or another, many try to help, but what a frustrating venture that must be…

Here in the North Bay, Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake Counties a lot are more more invisible, tucked into out of the way areas… Police/Sheriff can’t do much, legal limits, property owners also pretty limited… And lately fires originating in homeless camps or maybe even being set by unhappy, marginal mental problems in the mix as well with little or no help in that area either…

Pretty sad, if one takes the time to look around…


Mrs. Goofy has an e-bike and she loves it. However it produces more car trips, not fewer. She won’t ride on roads with traffic because there are no bike lanes, so she puts the bike on the back of her car, drives to one of the several greenways and then rides for 10 or 15 miles.

Bicycling will surely reduce some traffic, but we’ve built ourselves a horizontal society where we tend to live quite far from work (thanks to the automobile) so it’s not really a good option for many, perhaps most. People in northern climes will use them seasonally (likewise here in the South where it gets absurdly hot), and for salespeople, contractors etc it’s an obvious no-go.

But every little bit helps, I guess, I just don’t expect a lot, at least not soon. I see them more as a recreational additive for boomers, not as a car replacement for working folk.


She is a self-proclaimed e-bike evangelist on a mission to see electric bicycles spread across her home state of Colorado, then across the country and around the world.

All sounds well and good until, the pop-up thunderstorm, 6-12 inches of snow on the ground, what ever local weather inconvenience occurs.

My biggest concern would be distracted drivers deciding to turn your e-bike into a hood ornament. That is why I don’t have a motorcycle.

Another poster mentioned an irony about e-bikes/scooters, they seem to have little to no regard for pedestrians. Or maybe pedestrians aren’t looking for them as much as they should.



You may be right. We were in France 3 years ago. I was amazed at the number of electric bikes and scooters that were being used by commuters. At least I assumed they were on their way to of from work given their business appropriate dress. Most of them were rentals. I don’t remember seeing too many that were obviously privately owned. There were a few that were delivery bikes capable of carrying loads of a few hundred pounds. Paris had the largest number, but other they were in heavy use in other cities too.

Kennebunk two weeks ago my cousin and his wife rented two E bikes. There was one trail bike came with the house. I got that with the nubby tires. My sisters brought bikes and for the BIL that was up all week. First day on the bikes I was totally exhausted doing a very long ride on the street with nubby tires. My cousin and his week acted like they occasionally pedaled and barely worked. My sisters have been doing long rides for a while now.

The one thing I discovered was HIIT cuts my appetite. The NYTs two weeks ago was reporting on the finding of Lac-Phe a molecule made up of two other molecules in the body. Lac-Phe is created by exhaustive activities such as High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT. Now I do HIIT every other day. My lower body is getting solid and the weight is starting drop. My sense of my self is really improved. My visceral fat is where the weight is coming off as I slim down.

Getting an E bike is a misapplication of most people’s time.

My HIIT is on a treadmill.

One benefit at my time at Arm was the trips to Cambridge, England (six trips total). I am always amazed at how many people ride bikes, or even just walk, to get around. Taxi drivers were always telling us that as many people bike to work as drive a car and I can believe it. The lots at work would have almost as many bikes as cars in them.

When bikes are that prevalent people are used to it. Meaning fewer cars hit bicyclists than you would think.

I’d hate to do it in Austin weather though.

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Totally agree and probably bicycles in NYC are also wrong. Too dangerous.

But in rural or smaller touristy places they make sense.

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Looks like Paris just outlawed rental e-scooters by an overwhelming vote.

Are the e-scooters turning into a public nuisance, like rental bikes have (hundreds of rental bikes abandoned around the city)?


Yes. That’s probably why the vote was so overwhelming.

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