Loam Ranger Goes Electric

Words Loam Ranger
Date Sep 2, 2014

Isn’t it great to have a whipping boy? Hikers and environmentalists hate mountain bikers. Roadies aren’t too keen on us either. And BMXers? They don’t even respect us enough to hate us. And half the time mountain bikers hate other mountain bikers for not being the right kind of mountain bikers. But finally we have someone we can all beat up on: electric mountain bikes!

For the sake of this piece I’m only going to deal with electric-assist bikes that conform to regulations regarding speed and power. E bikes that can be ridden with the twist of a throttle rather than by turning pedals, without being governed in speed or power, and nuclear bikes, will have to wait for their day in the sun.

There is a long tradition in what we now call ‘action sports’ of hating the less-pure version of an activity. Or sometimes a version that is simply different. Surfers started hating windsurfers, then they moved on to kayakers and now they are getting their panties in a bunch about stand up paddle types beating them to waves. SUPs have even been banned in some California surf spots. Arm swingers believe they have more right to the ocean and its swell than those who came after.

In the world of tow sports the hate is well dispersed: water skiers hate wake boarders because of their big wakes, wake boarders hate wake surfers for their even bigger wakes, while bare-footers hate everyone. And they all hate tubers and Seadoos.

Skiers and snowboarders have a kind of mutually assured hate treaty going because they both know they are cooler than the other. Isn’t hate great?

Many critics of E-MTBs are fine with motorcycles ridden on trails, and some even twist moto throttles themselves. Others who thrust scorn on the idea of an electric assist are happy to get a diesel boost to the top of the mountain using a chairlift. Or to put their bikes in a truck and shuttle away their carbon credits. Richard Cunningham, in a fine essay stating his e-stance on Pinkbike, finished things up by saying “The way I see it, mountain bikes are a form of human-powered locomotion with which to experience the wonders and the challenges of the natural world. Engines and motors have no place in that equation.” Richard didn’t say anything about chairlifts or shuttles, which seems like a contradiction.

Beneath the hypocrisy is there some actual logic to the objections? Jimmy ‘Mac’ MacIlvain quit Mountain Bike Action because of their decision to go deep on electric bikes. To explain himself Jimmy, who was recently inducted into the MTB Hall of Fame, approached Steve Tilford, another Hall of Famer, to interview him for his blog.

Jimmy’s objections seemed less to do with the bikes per se, and more that he would be misleading the trusting MBA readership about where they could be used; virtually nowhere according to Mr. Mcilvain, because it appears that south of the border E bikes will be lumped in with motos and ATVs. And yet both of those user groups seem to find places to ride. He also took issue with the fact that manufacturers were using parts that weren’t intended, nor tested for, use with the assistance of a motor.

Does he have a point there? E bikes are limited by law in the US to 20 mph (32 kp/h). After that the motor does nothing for you. And yet bikes are often ridden downhill at speeds of over 40 mph without much fuss. He also had an issue with the added weight of the battery and motor and how that would impact the longevity and integrity of the bike. How about a 250 lb downhiller riding a 38 lb dh bike? Sure Clydesdales put more wear on the bike but they don’t seem to be exploding regularly.

Most riders have less substance to base their argument on. If you can’t ride well enough to climb that mountain you shouldn’t be riding damnit! You just aren’t good enough. What about someone who lost a leg to cancer but would still like to keep up with his riding buddies? Screw that guy. Or one of the founders of IMBA, Michael Kelley who is now 71, getting a new lease on riding? Sorry dude. Your days on the bike are done. Aren’t we mountain bikers just so f#cking superior. Few issues have highlighted the elitism that’s rampant within mountain biking like this one.

It’s almost as easy to build an argument against downhill bikes. DH bikes can’t be ridden up so motors of some kind are required – unless you like pushing. DH bikes tear into berms at a much faster rate than smaller bikes and the riders, with their full face helmets and goggles, scare the crap out of hikers. And man do downhillers like to braid! Aren’t big rigs just motorcycles without engines? Should they be allowed in natural areas? Once we begin banishing some trail users, that slope, she’s a slippery one.

On the other side of the equation the smiling PR folks are ramping up the rhetoric for the E bike industry. The hacks are working to distinguish between ‘pedelecs’ and throttle assist electrics. A pedelec, the bikes we’re talking about here, only gives you power when you are pedaling, and they are limited to 32 km/h (20mph) in both Canada and the US. The E bike crowd would have you believe there’s nothing to fear.

A press release ahead of Interbike tells us to, “see that pedelecs don’t go uphill significantly faster than a regular bike scaring hikers or equestrians.” While we’re on the subject of equestrians, this is pure horse crap. Pedelecs destroy the fastest mountain bikers up most climbs. A fit rider will be able to max out a pedelec on many climbs at 32 km/h. Buh bye Kabush.

We also learn that “they only go down as fast as a regular MTB.” This is true in most cases but a pedelec will be able to accelerate out of a slow section much faster than even Greg Minnaar. And in a pedalling section you could generate massive power with minimal effort – until you got to the limit.

Considering he’s sponsored by Lapierre, it’s no surprise that Nicolas Vouilloz has emerged as a fan of their Bosch-powered Overvolt. At the same time this wasn’t something he had to do. Nico praised the Overvolt because it got him out on the bike earlier than scheduled after double knee surgery. The ability to work on your handling skill while climbing at speed also enraptured him. After winning 10 World Championships how could Nico be wrong?

And shouldn’t we want to ride them because going faster is more fun? And isn’t more fun always better? The ‘try it you’ll like it’ argument is great. I’ve heard the same about riding a moto off road. And smoking crack. What you’ll like isn’t always good for you. And it’s not always good for the rest of the world either.

The first time I saw an electric bike on the trails I hated it. The first time one passed me on the climb I imagined drawing and using a sidearm. My feelings boiled down to:

  1. Who is this no talent, no respect poser-wanker?
  2. What the hell is he doing on my effing mountain?
  3. Who can I call to get his shameful frankenbike impounded?

Some time in the saddle has taught me that my first reaction is sometimes illogical and often rooted in our species’ more base instincts. Unfortunately many people never get beyond their reptilian response to change and they carry it around for years. I’m looking at you Ferguson, Missouri.

So where does this Ranger stand? I’m not on a high horse just yet, and maybe I’ll get there, but I really don’t think the sky is falling. I don’t foresee the kinds of apocalyptic consequences for trail access many predict, and it’s not a stretch to imagine us all just getting along, electric or not, without scaring horses, hikers or hippies much more than we do now. And I cannot see how an electric assist bike is less pure or more evil than shuttling or riding a chairlift – or even a helicopter – to the top. But this time I’m going to chew on the issue some more and see what gets spat out. For the moment this poser wanker is sitting on the electric fence.


The Loam Ranger welcomes your comments, if you actually read what he wrote.

Trending on NSMB

Comments

jerry-greer
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Jerry Greer  - April 13, 2016, 11:48 a.m.

Motor + Bike = Motorbike…it's just that simple…deal with it. How many of you pro eMTBers have spent years working to gain access for trails? How many of you even understand how the trails you ride ever happened? Access had to have been negotiated at some point and someone had to have signed for it. We've spent years separating ourselves from motos and if any of you don't believe that allowing motorized eMTB's on un-motorized trails won't have a negative effect…I have some prime ocean front property for sale in Tennessee. I'm 51 years old and I still rip it. At some point I know that I'll need to scale back, that's a fact of life. I won't expect to jeopardize access for my selfish wants….

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uncle duke  - Sept. 5, 2014, 7:21 p.m.

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Jerry-Rig
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Jerry Willows  - Sept. 4, 2014, 8:36 a.m.

I'm waiting for the foldable e-fatbike.

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pudskies
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Pudskies  - Sept. 3, 2014, 9:43 p.m.

I haven't seen e-bikes on my local trails (Squamish) yet, but I have seen trials dirt bikes. I have never ridden a trials dirt bike, and I have no idea how much damage they might do to a trail, but I can't imagine it would be much worse or better than an e-bike? Squamish has dirt bike specific trails, although I assume they are too rough for the trials dirt bike guys to have fun on if they decide to go on the mtb trails instead. I personally don't think an e-bike would do much damage on some of the DH type trails that have been eroded to hard pan, but I would be hesitant to give the go ahead for the more xc/am type trails that require you to pedal up and down a single track rather than a logging road.

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daveb
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DaveB  - Sept. 4, 2014, 1:04 p.m.

Actually trials bikes generally do less damage than mtb's simply due to their massive low pressure tires, especially in steep areas where mtb's tend to skid more. In fact, many trails built by trials riders have been trashed by mtb's. Personally, I'd support trials bikes on singletrack before I'd support e-bikes.

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jules
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Jules  - Sept. 3, 2014, 4:04 p.m.

One question i have to ask of the people that are against e-bikes is …

Most of the people i see on e-bikes are older, not fit or commuters. Do you really think that they are goint to be up in the mountains ripping down trails and tearing up the place ???

There is a place for the pedal assist bikes and many examples have been shared but come on, how many do you think will actually make it on to the decent trails ( and i dont mean the family friendly wide smooth trails that are popping up all over )

I have more concern over the groups of riders going out to rip up the trails when they are wet and not suitable for riding as the damage they do is far worse that what the odd e-bike will do.

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SneakyB
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Gord SB B  - Sept. 3, 2014, 6:05 p.m.

Fair point.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Sept. 4, 2014, 12:30 p.m.

Definitely a fair point and I think you're right. Sort of. In France (perhaps elsewhere in Europe) there is already a category in many Enduro races for e-bike riders - and entries number in the hundreds. I don't necessarily see that happening here, but I might not have anticipated reception to be that positive there, either.

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daveb
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DaveB  - Sept. 4, 2014, 1:09 p.m.

No problem, then most of the people on e-bikes won't care that they're not permitted on singletrack. You point about riding in the wet is valid but introducing e-bikes certainly won't reduce this and some of those same riders could be on e-bikes and covering/trashing more ground than ever. Bjorn Enga brags about doubling his riding distance but he never mentions anything about doubling the amount of trail maintenance he does.

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uncle duke  - Sept. 3, 2014, 3:38 p.m.

i rode w/ an e-biker this past wknd up on my local mountain. overall not a terrible experience.. i did with my own eyes see roosting occur that a non powered bike can't do. taking one of these bikes into an alpine area will def leave more of an impact than a regular mtb.. I'm not judging either way , but to dispute that they have greater impact on an area is kind of hard

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Sept. 3, 2014, 10:17 p.m.

That sounds like a throttle bike duke - rather than one that is governed and only pedal assist. Correct?

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poo-stance
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Poo Stance  - Sept. 3, 2014, 11:10 p.m.

The rider likely had the throttle, Kranked!

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phill-goodrum
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Phill Goodrum  - Sept. 3, 2014, 2:53 p.m.

I'm a shop rat and my view is that there is a whole lot of fuss about nothing! I've ridden several e-bikes and loved them they are great fun.

My parents recently bought two e-bikes and I cant remember the last time they rode their bikes so much!

My dad recently had back surgery and had not touched his bike in over a year. Soon as he got the all clear he was out riding again further than on his old bike. His time is taken up by the usual mega hours at work so he has limited bike time and fitness to boot. His e-bike allows him to ride longer and further and got his fitness back up a lot quicker without resorting to going to the gym all the time.

My mum only rarely went out with my dad as she struggled to ride with him. Now with her e-bike they can ride together and she really enjoys riding again.

We need to stop being so negative about them as they are here to stay and if they can make people get and and enjoy bikes again why should we stop them?

Just because the e-bikes have faster modes every one presumes that riders are going to max out on them, well the batteries don't last maxed out and pedalling one with no assistance isn't fun as I found out. Most people don't ride their current bikes to their limits as most of the time self preservation kicks in….

People are idiots on trails without e-bikes and the magazines/websites could man up a bit and take a risk supporting them by educating people on etiquette on the trails making the trails better for all.

Why has there been bans on trails with (I'm presuming here feel free to shoot me down!) little consultation or actual evidence that they are a problem? Is it land managers being over cautious and stopping something over possible problems that might not exist in the real world? I'd like to see some serious research go into other users of the outdoors real views and opinions of them. Once we know the real concerns we could address them to be better accepted.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Sept. 4, 2014, 12:28 p.m.

The example you list of your parents is great, but are they riding trails or bike paths and gravel roads? I'll assume it's the latter and if so, that isn't really the argument at hand. If they are riding trails, I still think it's great to hear, of course, but the points being discussed still apply. In your case, your parents may be responsible trail users who give back in one way or another, but using one personal anecdote doesn't counter the concerns regarding the many who aren't as responsible.

Similarly, just because you don't like riding an e-bike without pedaling isn't really valid; you've already told us you're a shop rat so we assume you love riding. I'm the same way, by the way - not attacking, just playing devil's advocate.

Trail bans are because e-bikes have been placed in motorized vehicle categories by state and federal governments. FYI bicycles are not allowed on trails in US National Parks, either, because they are categorized the same way motorized vehicles are by the feds. Obviously we as mountain bikers think that's ludicrous, but it's the way it is.

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Timv
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tv  - Sept. 4, 2014, 7:10 p.m.

Your parents need a tandem, not an ebike for mum.

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ndkfnsdlk
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ndkfnsdlk  - Sept. 3, 2014, 12:19 p.m.

Its motorized, plain and simple. If you can't ride a motocross bike there, you can't ride an e-bike there either.

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sandro
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Sandro  - Sept. 4, 2014, 12:29 a.m.

Totally WRONG!! And very narrow minded

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daveb
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DaveB  - Sept. 4, 2014, 12:58 p.m.

Are you saying its wrong to lump in electric motors with gas motors, or are you saying that e bikes are not considered motorized bikes by law? Cuz I would have to agree with this guy that e-bikes shouldn't be in non-motorized areas.

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dudeman2000
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dudeman2000  - Sept. 5, 2014, 12:54 p.m.

Eh….. you can't just drop a bomb like that and walk away… please do explain, I would love to hear your logic… a motor is a freaking motor. If something other than your human body is powering the bike then it is motorized no matter how you look at it. And for the record, I am also against electronic shifting (however since it is not actually powering the bike I suppose they can still ride on the non motorized trails). Now please, explain your logic… I will at least give you the opportunity to explain yourself before calling your a troll… Narrow minded and waiting for you to expand my mind and blow my world up!

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Nov. 2, 2014, 6:41 p.m.

Shuttling requires motors. LIft access requires motors. Not so plain and simple.

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gvnstewart
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gvnstewart  - April 13, 2016, 7:17 p.m.

not on the trails you are riding. It is that plain and simple as soon as you seperate the journey too from the riding itself.

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tim-lane
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Tim Lane  - Sept. 3, 2014, 10:16 a.m.

I've heard a lot of opinions on the issue of e-MTB's. However, legal trail access is not an issue where these opinions matter - most (no, not all) MTB- legal trails in the US are not legal for motorized vehicles, some newly printed trailhead signs I've seen specifically prohibit electric bicycles. IMBA haven't spoken out against electric bikes, they've just said that they're not a part of their mandate.

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craw
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Cr4w  - Sept. 3, 2014, 9:54 a.m.

If I still wanted to ride a big bike I might be more interested. As it stands I have way more fun on my AM bike, which better represents the spirit of why I got into this sport in the first place. And if I'm riding my AM bike I'm happy to climb.

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chris-gravel
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Chris Gravel  - Sept. 3, 2014, 9:04 a.m.

Interesting article and something on my mind more and more as I cycle commute with e-bikers daily in and out of Vancouver. I've only seen Bjorn in Whistler on trails and it was jaw dropping to see him rip uphill on his 8″ bike. I get that its fun, it does look a blast but its not the same sport.
My stand thus far is simple. Trails and areas designated for non -motorized use are no E-bike zones and should stay that way. Same categorization for now as dirt bikes. Yes, i know their are differences in noise and potentially trail impact but not in line with self powered travel and their is about a 90% probability that e-bikers will litter more and show less respect for nature as is the case for just about every other motorized sport we know.
I also think pedal assist (meaning you always have to pedal to as part of the power delivery cycle) should be an absolute requirement form of e-bike regardless of use any. If you don't have to pedal it to make it move it's not a bicycle and should not have access to the same bike lanes, trails and paths. Drives me nuts to see scooters like this crossing the Lions gate bridge the thought of seeing a bunch of e-mtb stuff all over the shore or your favorite trail - even more disturbing

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Sept. 3, 2014, 10:48 a.m.

Chris, some interesting points raised.

1) Careful about attributing numbers to the probability of e-bikers or other user groups to litter or show less respect. Is this conjecture or are you able to point to anything quantifiable? Let's not turn this into a witch hunt. Have a look at a pedal-powered race course post-race. Covered in wrappers from energy bars and gels, spent tubes, etc. Bikers can be disrespectful, too.

2) The bike path point is interesting and I agree that scooters shouldn't be welcome there. However commuting is not a recreational pursuit, so that's a totally different conversation.

3) What e-mtb stuff do you refer to as being a threat to being seen all over the trails?

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chris-gravel
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Chris Gravel  - Sept. 3, 2014, 1:55 p.m.

Re 1) Some good points Pete, post race litter is appalling and shows a remarkable contrast in behaviors based on 'race day' stimulus. Racers should be given a stern reminder pre-race about litter. I see near zero litter otherwise on sea to sky trails. As per litter it is a general observation not numerical. As per less respect and trail damage closer you get to a dirt bike (more tire, speed, traction etc) the more trail damage we will see. Adding any type of propulsion will add weight and torque so it's just a logical conclusion that erosion will go up, trails will suffer or need to be built more robustly etc.

Re 3) None yet but trail access in N. Vancouver and elsewhere has been a hot topic for years. When we start started to see e-bikes on trails I suspect the issue would heat up very quickly. It's early days in terms of e-mtb development but we should all keep a watchful eye on it and ensure by-laws and associations work to protect human powered access trails and that a lax policy or enforcement toward e-mtb wont serve us well.

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Faction
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Derp  - Sept. 3, 2014, 7:12 p.m.

as a former race organizer, I wouldn't expect nothing less than race day litter. A part of my job when the race is over is to pick up all the garbage and race markers. The racers' jobs are to be 100% focused on the race and nothing else. If I am expecting racers to pick up after themselves then I'm not doing my job as an organizer.

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poo-stance
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Poo Stance  - Sept. 3, 2014, 11:08 p.m.

Norona was given shit for riding his e-bike thing on the shore a few years ago.
Some random 50yr old dude gave me shit on the crystal chair a few years back for being a mtn biker and was saying how there was still a panracer tire tread thru the mud in the alpine around the area from years ago when biking was going on. Wasn't really listening to the guy all that much, as I tend to tune out lectures from old people

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Sept. 4, 2014, 12:20 p.m.

That was an electric motorcycle.

Older folks have traded youth for wisdom. Don't dismiss them or you risk being thought of as naïve.

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poo-stance
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Poo Stance  - Sept. 4, 2014, 12:24 p.m.

Whats the diff? Both are/were built around bicycle parts. One has foot pegs, the other has cranks and pedals that may, or may not need to be used?

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Sept. 4, 2014, 12:39 p.m.

As stated in the article, there are two types of electric bikes. E-bikes have a throttle, like a motorbike. Pedelecs only supplement the power you are already supplying. No pedaling = no additional power available. Electric motorbikes, like what Norona had/has, are NOT built around bicycle parts, they're built around motorcycle parts, with motorcycle tires, way more weight, astounding torque and power, and no speed limitation. Totally different animal.

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poo-stance
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Poo Stance  - Sept. 4, 2014, 1:42 p.m.

Is what I was thinking of.
What about those Kranked e-bikes? Sounds like there are 3 positions.

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SneakyB
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Gord SB B  - Sept. 3, 2014, 8:57 a.m.

Whether we like them or not, they will occur. The general population is aging. And that market is huge. The manufacturers will do this whether or not us high or low horses agree. They will let us duke it out in the trees. But as all trail associations know… you increase Ease of Accessibility, and you increase Trail Usage, which thus impacts ultimate wear and tear. There needs to be a Trail Tax, I hate to call it that, but at point of purchase of an e-assisted mtn bike… the bike store has to charge $50 or something to donate to the local trail association.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Sept. 3, 2014, 10:49 a.m.

Then what about charging people who buy mountain bikes a 'tax' for the same reason? There is no guarantee that a MTB purchaser will give back to the trails, why single out e-bikes?

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SneakyB
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Gord SB B  - Sept. 3, 2014, 11:07 a.m.

You are right… we all pay gas taxes to repair roads… it is hidden in the cost of fuel. The whole reason I mention this is the following:

I am disheartened when I see the number of Trail Passes purchased voluntarily in the Lower Mainland to support the North Shore Mountain Bike Association and their trail efforts. 100 - 200 ??!!!! WTF??? Really- a cradle of riding and I think some where around that amount were purchased… And all the work they do for the trails.

Now up comes an invention to make it easier to access the trail head. For those that are JUST PLAIN LAZY - and they exist - great- now we enable them to be lazy and take a toll on the trails.

Trails are not free. Trails to not repair themselves. We all use the Trails- We all should support our Trail Associations!

TAX EVERYONE DAMN IT! : )

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nzstormer
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Michael Stormer  - Sept. 3, 2014, 1:35 p.m.

Getting off topic - but oh well.

I agree with the sentiment, but disagree with the solution. There are several problems with a tax, or a tax type situation.

1. Taxes never end up in the right hands, they get funnelled through several layers of bureaucracy and chipped away until it is of no use to anyone.
2. Taxes, or any compulsory payment give users a sense of earned entitlement, which I speculate would create more trail abuse (braiding etc) by those who think they have earned it by paying those fees that they resent, and that someone who they "paid" will just fix it later.
3. It wouldn't create that sense of ownership, and pride that currently exists with those who do trail build, join associations, buy a trail pass etc.

I think the NSMBA has been doing a great job in the past few years, and I believe membership is increasing year over year. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but I think a positive approach to voluntary support (payment, or labour) is preferable to tax.

As for e bikes. If someone has a physical limitation (being unfit doesn't count) - then go for it. If you don't have a physical limitation, and ride one anyway, I will work on the assumption that you have a mental limitation.

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SneakyB
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Gord SB B  - Sept. 3, 2014, 6:04 p.m.

All fantastic points and I do not disagree!

Here is an interesting metric: when I saw the number of NSMBA members and then looked at the number of Trail Passes purchased… it was less than 25% of the members if I recall correctly.

And the sad thing is… you do not need to be a member to buy a trail pass… so even the membership is not spending $15 in addition to the $40 they spend on being a member.

Being a member is supporting the organization.
Buying a Trail Pass is supporting the trails.

Sure there is a difference, but we need to really reach out to the community and let them know that trails cost money.

Now we look at e-bikes or pedal assisted… and even MORE traffic in the next 5 years onto the same trails… and like roads… potholes will form and the track will get torn out.

My overall general point is- if we are going to Increase Accessibility, there should be an offsetting of Increase Trail Funding (some how, some where, some time, some level of government, business, grants, ect.) IN ADDITION to Trail Adoption Partners.

This is my view of the world.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Sept. 4, 2014, 12:36 p.m.

The distinction between a NSMBA membership and a trail pass is not explained well anywhere and they need to improve their channels of communication in that regard. I'm a huge fan of the work they're doing and spend a lot of time thinking about/advocating/working on trails but having a tiered contribution system that isn't comprehensible in <2 seconds is a mistake and is costing them a lot of membership/trail pass sales.

If more people can get to the trails, you might argue that is a larger audience for future progress with advocacy. Assuming an e-bike buyer won't be motivated to work on trails is not necessarily a fair assumption. What about the years of downhill-only riders we've seen on the shore who never turn a pedal on the way up, preferring instead to shuttle or push?

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SneakyB
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Gord SB B  - Sept. 4, 2014, 1:09 p.m.

I do not understand your question. Never in anything did I say an e bike rider would not be motivated to work on trails. My point is: increasing trail accessibility and use will impact the costs to maintain.

Examining and writing about the NSMBA Trail Pass is a way to educate those here thinking that it is a cash cow… no it is not! Who cares if you are e bike, dh, XC or whatever… makes no difference- Trails Cost Money. Which is why you see Trail Pass stickers on my shuttle vehicle. I wish I saw more.

Yes, there needs to be a stronger push for trail passes, all riders, all modes, makes no difference. Support your trails- you ride them.

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climberbkr
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Mark Obsniuk  - Sept. 3, 2014, 8:46 a.m.

Trail accessibility issues aside. Using ebikes on trails is a bad idea. I read Richards article and I agree. Personally I have shuttled once and that was only to get a free lift ticket which I never used. I biked Blackcomb way back when they had lift access more than 20 years ago. Otherwise I ride as much as I can. Preferably with some good uphills. So I'm no hypocrite when it comes to trail assisted riding.
As for trail accessibility that is an entirely different issue. Typically the trails must be wheel chair friendly etc. Which means most mountain bikers don't want to ride them. Also why does being 71 or older preclude one from riding trails? I hope to ride maybe not at the level I do now but will ride as long as I can.
I was involved in trail access issues 20 years ago and you don't realize just how religious this issue can be. Adding to it with ebikes will rekindle the bikes are bad evil machines all over again. We have it really good right now. With some exceptions such as the situation in the Chilcotin's which is deja vu all over again. Hopefully science and reason will prevail there.
As for ebikes and DH etc. Someone aptly stated many years ago. They will ride their dirt bike if bikes turn into what I would presume are DH bikes of today. It would certainly be a lot cheaper then buying a DH bike. I for one will keep riding up and down whatever trails I like to ride without the need for aids.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Sept. 3, 2014, 11:41 a.m.

So do you think shuttling and lift access should be banned Mark? Having read the article about Michael Kelley, I don't believe it mentions health issues but for whatever reason he was unable to ride with his buddies any longer before he got an electric bike. I guess what is relevant there is the general decline in health we all experience to some degree as we age.

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climberbkr
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Mark Obsniuk  - Oct. 17, 2014, 4:04 p.m.

I won't say banned. I personally have made the choice that mountain biking means riding up and down in the mountains. When you cut out one its just not the same anymore. Thankfully enduro has put the up back into mountain biking instead of just DH which sadly is what many people seem to think mountain biking is. I was very surprised at the attitude change when reading about the EWS and the tough transfer stages. I'm just old school on this whole earn your turns etc. Though not quite as militant as a friend who climbed Mt Waddignton twice from sea level vs the helicopter route so many people have used.

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andy-eunson
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Andy Eunson  - Sept. 3, 2014, 6:57 a.m.

There is a potential slippery slope the other way. Power and speed may be limited for street use but off road? It is probably a matter of time before power goes up with aftermarket kits.

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kain0m
0
kain0m  - Sept. 3, 2014, 1:28 a.m.

but Strava!

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