Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Faces of Fairfax - Edward Myers

FABB had to talk to Edward Myers when he and his “solar bike car” stopped at the Vienna pitstop on Bike to Work Day.  Ed commutes from Sterling to his job in Tysons and also bikes for exercise. His Solar Bike Car project, which he discusses in detail at his website, is about exploring an innovative combination of exercise, transportation, fun, and safety. Ed is all about efficiency and, of course, few things are more efficient than a bike. 

Ed’s “bike” is an ELF two-seat recumbent tricycle with a shell enclosure and an electric assist motor powered by a solar panel-charged battery.  Because it is relatively large compared to regular bicycles, the ELF’s use on multi-use trails like the W&OD has been controversial. For FABB, this merely underscores the need for more multimodal transportation facilities in the county and for more education and enforcement efforts to insure that everyone—cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians—know the rules of the road and multi-use trails. 

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I think "generally reviled" is more accurate than "controversial" for his use of the W&OD. The fact that it is explicitly illegal on the W&OD, but that he (not a lawyer) has decided to interpret state and federal law to overrule the park's restriction on motorized vehicles doesn't help. Neither does it help that he has modified the ELF to increase its speed. And his "F.U." attitude to the numerous trail users that tell him his presence on multi-use paths makes them feel unsafe, is pretty deplorable. I don't think this guy is doing cycling advocacy any favors when he rides down the W&OD because it is more convenient than a street.
I agree with Hans. A machine of this size on the WOD poses a significant danger to other users of the trail.

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