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Nov. 4, 2014, 2:46 p.m. -  Mammal

#!markdown I've already added 2 separate points in this thread, and I hope my third hasn't been covered, if so, sorry (have read most of the posts but not all). For me, as I get further into the mountain bike culture, I also tend to act with more responsibility toward the mtb community and it's related goals (being a good patron, trying not to piss off other trail users, attending maintenance days and trying not to destroy trails). One of the big problems I see with pedal-assist bikes, and this has been mentioned, is that it will get more novices into the game. It's not the ultra-experienced type who are lusting after these things, and the injured or incapable are truly a minority. But these new bikes are thrusting people who haven't learned the responsibility that comes with the sport into locations where it's expected that those who have made it there, know what they're doing and how to act. When you first start mtb'ing, you may not be aware of the responsable culture either, but at least you're probably only accessing the easier or lower trails where builders pay attention to this type of traffic. I feel that starting newbies off by giving them access to pretty much all areas, opens the door to massive trail damage, probably unbeknownst to them as they haven't developed that sense of self-awareness and responsibility to other riders and trail users. If, in my first few months of mtb, I was placed on the trail head of remote loamers with an overweight bike and powerful brakes, I probably would have done extensive damage during my ride compared to how I tend to ride now. Over 15 years of riding has ingrained a sense of responsibility, respect and community towards those who share this space with me, and people shouldn't be in that position until they have learned that respect. This doesn't come from any elitist position, but I am truly worried that hoards of folks will be unknowingly breaking down what decades of progress has built.

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