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ebikes on the Shore

April 4, 2019, 10:52 a.m.
Posts: 1181
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

You are correct that the NSMBA has zero authority as to which groups use the trails.  They can only advocate for trail use, but it is obviously not in their mandate to enforce any policies.  That is up to the land managers.  In the case of Fromme, that is mostly the DNV.

Their responses to my inquiries about e-bike policy are the same as others have received here: "As of yet, there is no formalized policy pertaining to e-bikes. However, the District of North Vancouver currently does not encourage the use of e-bikes on mountain bike trails on District property."

This would be fence sitting at its finest.  No idea what 'does not encourage use of' means.

April 4, 2019, 11:23 a.m.
Posts: 25
Joined: June 9, 2017

earleb is correct, and I think its worth laying out a bit of how this works.

We do not set policy for any land manager, be it ebikes, horses, what criteria define a 'Blue Square' trail, or how many accessible parking spots there are. For most of Fromme, allowed uses and activities for parks (and trails) are set out in DNV Bylaw 8310, which is adopted by DNV Council. We don't put up trail signs, boundary signs, or use signs (with the exception of TAP signs). We don't get to decide who is allowed on what trails. We are fortunate to be allowed to build and maintain trails, per the standards and guidelines laid out by each individual land manager.

We advocate for mountain biking, mountain bike access, and mountain bike trails, with currently seven (?) different land managers; be that with staff or elected officials. This involves discussions with and about other user groups, be it hikers, runners, streamkeepers, or professional dogwalkers, and understanding that each land manager is unique in their needs, mandate, regulations, policies, and resources. None of those seven give us control over who can be on what trails; we can offer opinions, comments, and thoughts on behalf of our membership and users (advocating), but we can make no decisions on access.

Equestrians are absolutely allowed on many trails on the Shore. The biggest artery on Seymour is named after them.

TL:DR; "Perhaps NSMBA does not have the authority to determine which user groups can and cannot use the trails within their network?" Bingo.

*EDIT: Also, I totally wouldn't advocate for 12 months of sunshine. It wouldn't really be the Shore, I'm terrified of a massive interface fire, I like skiing, and I hate dusty trails. But advocating for sunshine would be as effective as advocating for mountain bike trails can be sometimes.


 Last edited by: cooperquinn on April 4, 2019, 11:31 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
April 4, 2019, 1:08 p.m.
Posts: 783
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

So there you go! The trail associations are bystanders just like us.

eBikes are here to stay and their use will only grow. My biggest hope is that they wont be abused or create divisions within ANY user group, be them those pedaling MTBs or those outside of the MTB community trying to lump them together with MTBs. The good news is that the MTB community is super strong on the Shore - I don't feel that NSMBA or the authorized trails are at risk of broad action due to ebikes…..MTBing is far too organized here. Without NSMBA perhaps the trails would be at risk but with it, no way. Perhaps non-authorized trail zones are at risk should the two Districts embrace a stance where ebikes are prohibited and then also determine that they cant police ebikes versus regular MTBs. Seems that we would have a ways to go before that happens.

But its a good thought process to go through - since NSMBA doesn't have authority, the land owners/managers will decide and if the MTB community forces an anti-ebike stance, ask yourself if we force the discussion, whats the likely outcome (given that we have a robust well managed network in place)? My guess is darkside rules for non authorized zones/trails. I kinda like the status quo....I don't see ebikes as a problem right now - hopefully it stays that way and people on eBikes don't create a problem. My fear is Bylaws wont work in our favour if they do.

April 4, 2019, 3:33 p.m.
Posts: 1392
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: earleb

Posted by: Brocklanders

Posted by: Ddean

I remember Monica saying that her community was going to stay silent on the issue and let ebikes become part of MTB culture, and then at that point would they start waving their arms again. An inability to police the difference between ebikes and MTBs is their plan for grouping the two groups together. If you cant enforce a difference between ebikes versus MTBs and if ebikes are not good, all bikes get banned. That is what it looks like their future argument will be.

This^^

We see issues coming, trying to address them, little conversation happening, land mangers silent, most trail associations quiet.

Bike Industry: All good bro! We can all get along right? Relax all good!

So far on what I have found just in the PNW COTA ( Bend )BLM - Cumby-  Revy-  Evergreen ( Washington)- BLM . All have said no thanks.

Our Mighty NSMBA, and SORCA are pretty much in favor of them from what I gather in the online surveys.

I guess that's what happens when you are bros with the bros bro.

Bro, you ever heard of doing some like uh research Bro? 

See here they have a section on the website that clearly states their policies. 

https://nsmba.ca/policies-and-bylaws/

Ohh look a policy on ebikes. 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QUQ9GCKRr0q14uA1RzmfYmbBRNaRfoQ6eUkmXrTXnA4/edit

See that very first line? 

"The NSMBA advocates for non-motorised mountain biking. The NSMBA considers Electric Mountain Bikes (“E-bikes”) a separate motorized user group."

Or you can keeping being mis-informed and spout off stuff about them being beholden to their sponsors or not wanting to piss off the Bros.

The NSMBA polls it’s membership on opinions of E-bikes each year in our annual survey and shares these metrics with land managers.

I must have missed that one on the survey, wonder why it was left out?

April 4, 2019, 4:09 p.m.
Posts: 135
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

You need some new glasses maybe?

There were a couple ebike questions on this years survey.


 Last edited by: earleb on April 4, 2019, 4:10 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
April 4, 2019, 8:32 p.m.
Posts: 328
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

So if people are going to make some sort of request to the land managers to consider restricting the use of ebikes what would that look like? How would that be presented to the various councils and boards? What type of resources would you use to make your case? And most importantly, how would you show support for restricting the use of ebikes? 

I'm curious if anyone has made any attempt to go down this path beyond what the NSMBA may have put forth. What do you think would happen if there was a Crist type response at a DNV council meeting, or at several meetings, with the goal of getting ebikes restricted?

April 5, 2019, 9:48 a.m.
Posts: 67
Joined: June 24, 2011

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: Brocklanders

I barely spun the pedals, the thing jumped out of its skin. This whole pedal assist thing is such a load of crap. It's like just spin your legs a little, the motor will do the rest of the work. Prob 99% of the work at 30km per hr.

Shocking really, I wanted to be open minded about them but forget it. They are electric dirt bikes.

I'm sure no one would use that boost mode on a climb.... yeah right.

I gotta admit that's a bit disappointing to hear. To try and remain objective tho I can see the boost mode being great for long service/fire road types of climbs. in terms of climbing trails that are technical and/or single track, I wonder if the boost mode is actually practical? I'm guessing from your description that the bikes computer is designed to just take it straight to top speed no matter how much pedaling effort the user puts in. In this case I don't think the boost mode would work as it would be too fast for the trail. Either way, I feel same rules I stated above apply. IF riders are following/using that protocol, I don't see any reason for conflict on the trails. I agree though that it does create a situation that is more prone to abuse.

When a climb is 700m or less, then I can't see a need for pedal assist unless you want to bang out a huge number of laps. That being said when you want to ride more than one trail in a day, and the climbs average 1000m+, where 99% of people are going to get shuttled anyway, they make sense (cue battery production emissions vs. automobile emissions argument). Trail centres and places like Burke or the Woodlot, they're widely unnecessary, unless you're particularly out of shape (like me, although I don't own an E-bike) or have some physical problems. But who am I to talk... I'm likely going to sell my bikes because this sport has become too homogenized and boring.

April 5, 2019, 10:39 a.m.
Posts: 3502
Joined: Dec. 17, 2003

UCI battles FIM for control of Ebike racing

FIM thinks they're motorbikes, UCI wants the cash though.

April 5, 2019, 11:06 a.m.
Posts: 783
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

I wonder if UCI will have doping control in ebike racing?

April 5, 2019, 11:34 a.m.
Posts: 1532
Joined: July 11, 2014

Posted by: cerealkilla_

And don't think the bespectacled protectors of the frogs who hate all bikes aren't just rubbing their grubby little hands together with glee as bikers quarrel among themselves over the respective virtues (or lack thereof) of emtb and mtb.

Make no mistake, the anti-all-bike rabble will seek to make the most of the ebike issue, and use it to forward their own petty claims to the trails. They won't even bother with booby traps this time.

And THAT is why it is so important that the people that are pushing and marketing ebikes need to step up and address the valid issues regarding their responsible integration into trails. Instead of just sticking their thumbs up and saying "just ride" or "be rad" and marketing blah blah blah, they need to actually acknowledge there are some legitimate issues, and articulate a strategy for dealing with them.... Insurance, directional trails, responsible use of (now motorized) machines when mixing with other trail users, and potential trail impact issues (still subject to debate).  We should be looking to get past the baseless issues (i.e. how people feel or what they think they've earned), and focus on the concrete issues that matter when it comes to trail access and actual impacts on trails and other users.

We need a sober and evidence-based discussion of these issues, with direct participation from those that want ebikes on the trails....not just more internet speculation, squabbling, and marketing excuses....and no more of this silence from the profiteers. Until that happens, it is reasonable to expect continued reluctance to embrace ebikes within the riding community. I think we've reached a point where the majority of riders really don't care or judge what other people ride. It's more that what we have achieved as a sport in terms of trails and trails access is extremely precious, and we should be extremely cautious (and responsible) about how we integrate new technology into the mix. And no, ebikes are not like disc brakes and suspension in the 90s, not like DH bikes, not like paddle boards in the breaks, and not like snowboards on the hills. They involve the addition of energy via a motor that increases power and speed. This is a unique direction change in technology, and it deserves a thoughtful analysis.

Awesome post that perfectly sums up my feelings and fears on this subject. Nothing to do with getting passed by ebikers (I personally don't give a shit, but I worry about perception by other user groups getting dusted by these guys on Old Buck/BP(s)/single track).

Awesome to see UROC making an unequivocal statement for Cumberland Community Forest... Non-motorized = NO ebikes.

April 5, 2019, 4:17 p.m.
Posts: 31
Joined: June 8, 2017

Posted by: shoreboy

You are correct that the NSMBA has zero authority as to which groups use the trails. They can only advocate for trail use, but it is obviously not in their mandate to enforce any policies. That is up to the land managers. In the case of Fromme, that is mostly the DNV.

Their responses to my inquiries about e-bike policy are the same as others have received here: "As of yet, there is no formalized policy pertaining to e-bikes. However, the District of North Vancouver currently does not encourage the use of e-bikes on mountain bike trails on District property."

This would be fence sitting at its finest. No idea what 'does not encourage use of' means.

"Does not encourage use of means that it is "not ok" or "no confirmation they are allowed" to be used on their land. I'm not sure where you get "fence sitting" from.


 Last edited by: BigFoot on April 5, 2019, 4:17 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
April 5, 2019, 5 p.m.
Posts: 1181
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Posted by: BigFoot

Posted by: shoreboy

You are correct that the NSMBA has zero authority as to which groups use the trails. They can only advocate for trail use, but it is obviously not in their mandate to enforce any policies. That is up to the land managers. In the case of Fromme, that is mostly the DNV.

Their responses to my inquiries about e-bike policy are the same as others have received here: "As of yet, there is no formalized policy pertaining to e-bikes. However, the District of North Vancouver currently does not encourage the use of e-bikes on mountain bike trails on District property."

This would be fence sitting at its finest. No idea what 'does not encourage use of' means.

"Does not encourage use of means that it is "not ok" or "no confirmation they are allowed" to be used on their land. I'm not sure where you get "fence sitting" from.

Not 'encouraging' something isnt a policy.  It means they discourage them from using the trails (but will not stop them), and will make no effort to enact or enforce a policy either way.  Fence sitting.

April 5, 2019, 5:03 p.m.
Posts: 783
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

But again, NSMBA doesn’t have the authority to determine who can and cannot use the trails. 

Perhaps it would be consulted but it would be pointless for them to come out with a position that isn’t actionable.

April 5, 2019, 6:40 p.m.
Posts: 1181
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Posted by: Ddean

But again, NSMBA doesn’t have the authority to determine who can and cannot use the trails. 

Perhaps it would be consulted but it would be pointless for them to come out with a position that isn’t actionable.

If you read my post above, I am referring to the DNV and not the NSMBA.

April 6, 2019, 3:51 p.m.
Posts: 783
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Sorry, my mistake. But my concern is that if the MTB community lobbys against ebikes and convinces the powers that be that they’re dirt bikes and those who make decisions believe that, what will we tell the powers that be is the best way to police them?

Without that answer, it’s a risky discussion to have.

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