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Todd's comment also from here: <http://nsmb.com/specialized-the-e-bike-
dilemma/>. From the perspective of a trail advocate thinking about the long
term implications on trail systems. His comments are with respect to the
Whistler trail system. They are accurate for the North Van and West Van trail
Would you care to address concerns from a trail advocates' perspective?
"a lot of words, nothing new said. the impact study doesn't appear to deal
with the issue of more people riding further, longer, and more frequently with
an e-bike and these are frequently positive attributes mentioned in marketing
schtick. How does riding more, and more often NOT contribute to increased wear
and tear on trails? How does being able to more easily reach traditionally
harder to access trails by more people not increase impact to those kinds of
trails? How does riding fresher, or at all, when you previously wouldn't have
due to fatigue not increase usage and wear and tear? There are few of them
now, but what does it look like and what changes as greater percentages of
riders start using them? Or adding lots of new users who now can participate
because it's easier?
If you have to climb an hour an a half without motor assist to reach a trail,
by the time you get there you're a bit bagged and ride accordingly more
reserved and probably less impactful. The whole dynamic of stacked loop
systems, and how people ride our existing trail systems, and related
management and maintenance challenges changes drastically with these things,
they are a paradigm shift in trail planning, management, and building. The
prospect of dealing with these things is placing already stressed clubs and
advocacy groups into situations where our energies are being spent trying to
pre-emptively manage something we don't actually have the energy to deal with,
and many of us are rightly concerned of the negative ramifications and wide
ranging impacts they will have on regular non-motor assist bikes from our
opponents. Let alone the issues of now easily allowing tourists or newbies to
reach places they maybe shouldn't be or trails that are beyond their skill.
Many of us in the advocacy realm have literally spent decades differentiating
ourselves rightfully from motorized devices to gain access and acceptance from
our other non-motorized rec trail partners and land managers, and we are
loathe to jeopardize that for some latest gear these corporations want to push
on consumers. I am not against them wholesale, but I am firmly against them on
trails or trail systems designed, built and maintained by and for non-
motorized users. I am a non-motorized trail advocate and I am not going to
continue to participate in those local groups if I'm expected to defend these
new moto-assist machines and spend my time and energy planning and building
trails for them. Not what I signed up for, not what I'm interested in. E-bike
pushers can step up if they so desire.
and, none of this even begins to address the potential user conflict issues."
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