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Dec. 16, 2016, 11:33 a.m. -  babyzhendo

#!markdown As someone living the Pacific Northwest who grew up in the SF Bay Area riding scene, the spread of e-bikes scares the hell out of me. I think this article is spot on in that, rather than chucking marketing dollars at e-bikes, Specialized and other major companies should be leveraging their size to support advocacy attempting to define a clear line for trail protections around e-bikes. In the Bay Area, I saw great trails - MTB LEGAL ones I might add - torn down because a rider scared or collided with an outspoken hiker or horseback rider. In the Seattle area, we're spoiled by great legal riding options, but continued access to these lands is contingent on mountain biking remaining the same sport that it has been when those rights were negotiated. I don't care if it's just an electric assist - an e-bike is now a motorized bicycle. It is no longer exclusively human powered, and that creates major grey area opportunity for larger, richer advocacy groups that don't like to share trails with mountain bikes. Private landowners graciously granting land rights to human powered pursuits (hiking, mountain biking) are common here in the PNW, and I have grave concerns around what they might think of mountain biking as a whole if they start to see "motorized bikes" on their trails that are explicitly off limits to motorcycles, etc. I'm all about giving people access to the trails and helping folks who would have otherwise lost the ability to pursue their passion for riding, but my experience is that e-bikes have been marketed to and perceived by the consumer as the equivalent of a mountain bike. Without expressed agreement from the agencies that give us permission to actually ride our bikes on our favorite trails, that's very, very dangerous.

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