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Some bike companies are pushing e-mountain bikes ($$$). There will be more
e-mountain bikes on trails. Most of the issues are dependent on how many.
These bikes, combined with Strava, will increase the load on more sensitive
trails that were not designed for high traffic. As they get lighter natural
barriers like mandatory hike-a-bike sections will offer no greater deterrent
then to any other rider.
These bikes will create right of way conflicts as climbing speeds are
substantially higher and riders on two way trails will have to be aware of
ascending and descending traffic.
It is not a black-and-white issue now -- there are not enough of these hybrids
out there -- but it certainly has the potential to be.
If this concerns you, then you definitely have to question whether you support
companies supporting e-mountain bikes. Whether that is companies that make
them, stores that sell them (online & brick-and-mortar), and publications
that support them.
I, for one, am disappointed that NSMB.com is promoting the use of E-mountain
bikes on North Shore trails. I would be hugely disappointed to see them
accepting advertising revenue from these companies.
Every one of these bikes sold is a step towards access issues, trail damage,
and user conflicts.
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