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On the marketing side, I see e-bikes being pushed heavily on the utility
cycling crowd - ride to work, ride to the store, ride to drop the kids off at
school, etc. If I had the cash, I'd be all over a Larry vs Harry eBullitt for
Costco runs. The motor allows you to haul stuff and go distances that would
leave the average person gassed. The tagline could be "go further, do more".
What I haven't seen quite yet is marketing of e-MTBs to Boomers. I think it's
coming. Lots of 55-70 folks started mountain biking 20+ years ago, but may
have hung it up in the garage when they got a little rounder and had a harder
time getting up the hill. Full-suspension eMTB will allow them to go anywhere
their tech skills and reaction time can take them, but they don't need to have
the legs and lungs from when they were younger. It's Viagra for bikes, and
will probably be marketed that way.
On the policy front, in Alberta, motorized vehicles are only allowed off-road
in designated OHV areas unless you have a permit. Will Parks staff be writing
tickets for people riding eMTBs next summer? Not right away, but there's
always that one CO who adheres to the letter of the law. If a tourist gets
written up, they'll likely just laugh it off. When locals start getting
busted, an MLA is going to get a call, and then the Minister, and the
excrement may very well impact the rotary impeller. Given the global push
toward "quiet recreation" [i.e. what 95% of us are doing in the woods], eMTBs
may be in an uphill battle.
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