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Upvote for the yoda reference.
I would add that my fitness has gone from podium material in most races to
back of the pack, gasping for breath on moderate climbs, and struggling to
keep up with people 20 years older than me and 30 years younger (no
exaggeration). I would classify my current health as problematic to put it
mildly. Life has been hard the past few years.
Despite this, I have never thought for a second about getting (or "needing")
an e-bike. Yes, that would help me keep up with my friends (some of whom I
cannot ride with now), and yes it would help me access certain trails I cannot
physically pedal to….but that is not some sort of right or entitlement that I
claim. I am happy to ride the blues and shorter loops until I can (maybe
hopefully) one day build the strength to get back to the pack or out to the
alpine. Until then, I pedal, enjoy trails, and don't look for some quick and
easy answer to give me a leg up on my current limitations. In reality, my
current condition limits me to a smaller set of trails, and I accept that.
This discussion over ebikes for disabled people assumes that they are being
deprived of some sort of rights by not permitting ebikes on trails intended
for non-motorized use. It also suggests that they cannot get out there and
ride without mechanical assistance. Really, I find it a gross co-optation of
discussion about rights for disabled people. I doubt the ebike advocates
trying to advance this position are equally vocal about ensuring there are
enough handrails in bathrooms, ramps in buildings, and so forth. IMHO, this is
convenient platform-stealing for personal gratification and, by industry, for
corporate gain. If people can actually get out there (on an ebike) to access
alpine trails and double-blacks, they can certainly access closer loops and
easier trails without such assistance. There is a difference between ebikes
used to get around, and ebikes being used for for the advanced trails that
they are being marketed toward (6 inch travel front and back, extended battery
range!). Shamelessly using the disabled as a means to advance a new product,
to wedge in the ability to use motors on trails where motos and the like
currently do not go, and to challenge current trail access arrangements seems
like a cheap tactic that conflates rights with wants. If the rights of people
with disabilities to enjoy the trails was truly an issue, we would be building
more accessible trails, ensuring there are enough parking spots with elevated
off-loading spots for modified bikes, and organizing more rides around people
with limits….not just trying to find ways to justify using motors on the
To be clear NB, not suggesting that is your aim, but it is my critique of the
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