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Aug. 10, 2016, 2:03 p.m. -  jdt

#!markdown 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 trails. To be clear NB, not suggesting that is your aim, but it is my critique of the pro-ebike discourse.

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