Posted by: Ouch
I would like to know what all the dedicated trail builder think of ebikes? Guys like Digger and others have been building trail and maintaining them for 25 yrs. Out of respect, I would be content with whatever their decision would be!
It would be good to hear from a few long-time builders, and active committee members, regarding their thoughts and concerns. Especially those who are more in touch with the land managers involved, and the basis of the policies in place.
I passed Digger on his ebike while riding up the first segment of Fromme climb trail last weekend. He's still rehabbing his knees, no doubt, and he uses it to get around work more efficiently. He was headed downhill, but clearly in discomfort and pulled over to rest ("How's it goin Todd?". "Ohhhh, it's goin..."). And therein lies the grey. Ebikes are great for many things. Trail builders dream, same for commuters. Probably for some mountain bikers too. Same for those with significant injuries or disabilities. It's great to see Todd on a bike, as I haven't seen him pedaling in a whole lot of years.
But somewhere there's got to be a line, to protect the wishes of those who's call it is to share their land and let us build trails. I know there are many areas with well established trails, where the issues are far less contentious. User numbers are moderate, and conflict is minimal. But on the flip side, the S2S is booming, as far as mountain biking goes, and numbers are growing. Sensitive, more remote areas that have always had a physical effort barrier to keep the numbers sparse (and traditionally receive less maintenance), will soon be open season to everyone. The really contentious areas (South Chilchotins for example), already much closer to out-right bans for mountain bikes, now have bikes with motors to consider in their designated non-motorized zones. These are the issues that truly concern me. Trail etiquette is one thing, maintenance is another, but there is also a lot more to it. The nonchalant attitude demonstrated by salespeople and many early adopters makes me think that a lot of what makes this sport great, could come crashing down before we know it.