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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
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