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ebikes on the Shore

April 10, 2022, 7:50 p.m.
Posts: 2383
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

If you look as happy as the dog in your avatar, probably.

April 10, 2022, 8:14 p.m.
Posts: 14590
Joined: Dec. 16, 2003

Posted by: thaaad

I feel like I'm the only one in this thread who hasn't had some sort of shitty interaction with someone on an ebike. Every one I've ever met on an ebike has been just another person the same as you and I.

Am I immune to assholes?

I think I'm in this group too. Everyone I've seen seems to be having fun riding bikes. 

Maybe it would be different if I rode in an area with a higher concentration of riders. I'm lucky if I see 3 or 4 other riders on any given day.

April 10, 2022, 9:15 p.m.
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct. 6, 2021

Posted by: cerealkilla_

Posted by: syncro

Couple thoughts on the recent posts.

Re trail wear, what factor does increased ridership play? For anyone that's been riding for at least the past 10, and worse going back 20 or 30 years, the number of people out riding has absolutely exploded in the past 5 years, especially the last 2-3. How many new trails have appeared in that time, particularly sanctioned trails where a lot of the newer riders may be heading? Is there as much dislike for the huge increase in new riders as there is for ebikes?

Second, how are or how should the issues of trail etiquette be handled? So things like riding sensitive trails in the rain/wet, riding technique to avoid dragging brakes and causing ruts?

Third, how are people getting involved to lobby land managers to consider expanding trail networks, and what types of trails are built? Should there be a bunch of new machine built trails constructed to hopefully help take pressure off old school single track jank? If governmental authorities are ok with plowing a hillside forest for housing, roads and parking lots then should they not be okay with digging up maybe 1-2% of the forest floor in a certain area in order to create more trails, including machine built trails?

My feeling is that if the mtb community doesn't start having some serious discussions on these things then there probably will be problems down the road if mtb ebikes take over as the preferred bike of choice on trails as some think might happen.

EDIT: Oh, and what about uphill travel? How do people feel about the idea of restricting uphill travel of ebikes to roads or gravel paths like Old Buck and banning them from climbing routes?

  • Hard to "dislike" the increase of riders. It's not a behavior - it's a function of our society. I am far more concerned how any segment of that growing population may behave, particularly in terms of wrecking things for everyone else.
  • Etiquette - there is lots of peer pressure and club-based education focused on this. Trailforks has helped with their wet-weather friendly trails filter. However, there has been a total and absolute black hole of conversation in terms of e-bike specific etiquette. The loudest voices promoting ebikes have had ZERO to offer in terms of how to manage this great new technology appropriately. The sellers and pushers have left it to everyone else to make the common sense suggestions such as polite heads up when passing uphill in boost mode. While ebike fans have made loud demands to be treated like mountain bikes, a group of them have simultaneously refused to actually behave like mountain bikes as they ride UP popular downhill routes. Pretty simple that if you want to be treated as a mountain bike, you should follow the established traffic patterns set by existing riders.  But nope! Still have issues with those that think they can re-arrange the flow, and throttle up the blue trails and easy blacks. Etiquette is cancelled out by entitlement among a small group. Still, the vast majority of people riding ebikes conduct themselves as politely as most other riders. There will always be a small part of every group that makes the rest look bad. Might just be up to the rest of us to shame the d-bags to keep their number in check.
  • Can't imagine limiting ebikes to any specific trails. That would take Section 56 rules, which Ministry is reluctant to make, and is almost certainly unlikely to make for ebikes. Probably more important to keep them riding with the flow and properly integrated with other traffic, than trying to separate them.

On point three how does Sproatt area work with limiting ebikes?

April 11, 2022, 4:42 a.m.
Posts: 1390
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

Posted by: thaaad

I feel like I'm the only one in this thread who hasn't had some sort of shitty interaction with someone on an ebike. Every one I've ever met on an ebike has been just another person the same as you and I.

Am I immune to assholes?

No you’re not, if you go back through this thread you’ll see it’s the same few over and over again

April 11, 2022, 7:45 a.m.
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

Posted by: thaaad

I feel like I'm the only one in this thread who hasn't had some sort of shitty interaction with someone on an ebike. Every one I've ever met on an ebike has been just another person the same as you and I.

Am I immune to assholes?

Possibly. My most recent situation was just yesterday. Decided to drag the hard tail up Seymour for a chill morning climb trail to Severed/JD. About half-way up, I let a guy with non-athletic gear and a huge backpack on a hard tail Specialized ebike pass me. Then when I got to the JD trail junction, he was just parked on the trail chatting with randoms, oblivious that others might be wanting to pass on the trail. I asked to get by (twice), and he eventually pulled off out of the way so I could pass. Then he passed my again on Baden Powel just after the climb trail ended, nice wide zone so no problems. And then he completely blocked the trail again at the powerlines junction, so I had to forfeit the last couple pedal strokes of my grunt, put a foot down, and ask him to move again. He still wasn't very motivated to get out of the way. These are small nuisances, but they add up, and make me really miss the days when lower/easier trails were the training ground for trail etiquette.

April 11, 2022, 8:02 a.m.
Posts: 1326
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Whenever possible I avoid riding at peak hours on any popular trail networks so my exposure to e-bikers is limited. I also do the same when it comes to running errands in town. Going grocery shopping at 7am on a weekday and not dealing with bad drivers in the parking lot doesn't make me think driving abilities have generally improved.

Depending when and where you typically ride is going to have a huge impact on what you experience and can lead to some very different experiences on the trails.

April 11, 2022, 8:39 a.m.
Posts: 472
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Oh it’s not the bike that makes a person inconsiderate. I see this Nordic skiing all the time. There are times where I get going fast, recorded just over 50 kph on my Garmin watch this year, and I’ll see some donkey with his family spread across the trail at a blind corner eating snacks. Or a couple people flapping their gums across a downhill trail. Once four snowshoers across the bottom of a downhill at a blind corner. Yelled at me to slow down. It was not a snowshoe trail. Others in the group rapidly apologized. Dad and his kid across a downhill hunk of Baden Powell. I comment that it might be better to pull the bikes off the trail. He says "you can go around". The business man’s walk where three of four guys are walking dead slow downtown trying to have a conversation. People parking on the highway at Joffrey because they wanna ‘hike" the pea gravel. Or parking in front of the No parking signs at Brandywine all winter. Then wondering why they got towed.

A lot of this is inconsiderate behaviour but more often people not realizing they are in the way. Signs of a crowded place really. Which leads to, do we really need to grow the sport by promoting ebikes so more people can ride more?


 Last edited by: andy-eunson on April 11, 2022, 5:46 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
April 11, 2022, 8:45 a.m.
Posts: 915
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: mammal

Posted by: thaaad

I feel like I'm the only one in this thread who hasn't had some sort of shitty interaction with someone on an ebike. Every one I've ever met on an ebike has been just another person the same as you and I.

Am I immune to assholes?

Possibly. My most recent situation was just yesterday. Decided to drag the hard tail up Seymour for a chill morning climb trail to Severed/JD. About half-way up, I let a guy with non-athletic gear and a huge backpack on a hard tail Specialized ebike pass me. Then when I got to the JD trail junction, he was just parked on the trail chatting with randoms, oblivious that others might be wanting to pass on the trail. I asked to get by (twice), and he eventually pulled off out of the way so I could pass. Then he passed my again on Baden Powel just after the climb trail ended, nice wide zone so no problems. And then he completely blocked the trail again at the powerlines junction, so I had to forfeit the last couple pedal strokes of my grunt, put a foot down, and ask him to move again. He still wasn't very motivated to get out of the way. These are small nuisances, but they add up, and make me really miss the days when lower/easier trails were the training ground for trail etiquette.

What's nice is that brands marketed to these people and once they (and the shops) get their money they don't have to live with this stuff. They've taken precious little responsibility for bringing a class of person into the sport that previously wouldn't have survived the apprenticeship process. Now we fast-tracked these folks to a level previously protected by fitness and technique (and prior to Trailforks, secrecy) and it's the riding community and trailbuilders that have to live with it.


 Last edited by: craw on April 11, 2022, 8:46 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
April 11, 2022, 10:04 a.m.
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

Posted by: craw

Posted by: mammal

What's nice is that brands marketed to these people and once they (and the shops) get their money they don't have to live with this stuff. They've taken precious little responsibility for bringing a class of person into the sport that previously wouldn't have survived the apprenticeship process. Now we fast-tracked these folks to a level previously protected by fitness and technique (and prior to Trailforks, secrecy) and it's the riding community and trailbuilders that have to live with it.

Definitely. I know this issue isn't a bike-specific problem, but mountain biking used to have progressive barriers, where once you're skilled/fit enough to reach a certain areas , you'd put in time and learned the ropes. That's no longer the case.

April 11, 2022, 12:46 p.m.
Posts: 750
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

There are and can be specific restrictions where there issues such as wildlife --- in Sproat, the main concern is limiting the amount of traffic into busy Grizzly habitat. That area gets closed each year on bear issues the way it is. But it is really unlikely that Provincial, Municipal, or District levels of government are going to spend much time and resources on separating out different types of bikes on existing trail networks. The onus is on the public to get along and be considerate. Again, there are DBs on mountain bikes and ebikes and even on foot. The issue at stake is that DBs on ebikes introduce a different set of issues because of their distinct capabilities. Leadership on best behavior really needs to come from within that user group, and not from everyone else. 

But still, mostly crickets. The main ebike aficionados continue to be all yeah more for me, more laps, more faster, look at me go up the dh trail! Yeaah more more more!  

My concern is not people on ebikes in general. The majority of them are like the majority of people on bikes. My concern is the lack of ownership and initiative within that user group and people advancing the ebike cause to address the issues at stake that create issues for all riders (I.E. directional riding ..up the downs, courtesy passing uphill, riding in crap weather).  Within the mountain bike community we have extensive guidance on good conduct on the trails. There just needs to be a bit of acceptance in the ebike circles and some maturation to address the outstanding issues and promote responsibility and etiquette.

April 11, 2022, 6:51 p.m.
Posts: 1390
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

See, the same few guys.

April 11, 2022, 7:08 p.m.
Posts: 750
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

And the same crickets, silently pretending there are no issues, while making inappropriate comparisons to other activities like jetskiing instead of offering ideas to solve the issue at hand.

April 12, 2022, 4:27 a.m.
Posts: 1390
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

Don’t you have some legs to shave?

April 12, 2022, 7:28 a.m.
Posts: 2252
Joined: April 25, 2003

Posted by: DaveM

Posted by: thaaad

I feel like I'm the only one in this thread who hasn't had some sort of shitty interaction with someone on an ebike. Every one I've ever met on an ebike has been just another person the same as you and I.

Am I immune to assholes?

I think I'm in this group too. Everyone I've seen seems to be having fun riding bikes.

Maybe it would be different if I rode in an area with a higher concentration of riders. I'm lucky if I see 3 or 4 other riders on any given day.

Ya aside from your attitude I think a lot of it has to do with population. Mountain moped riders may be bigger assholes than average (shit I know my etiquette pretty well but I fucked up a couple times riding an ebike the first time) but I really have no idea as encountering riders of any kind on the trails I ride is actually pretty rare so they don’t have a chance to cause me any direct issues.


 Last edited by: tashi on April 12, 2022, 7:30 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
April 12, 2022, 8:06 a.m.
Posts: 472
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: vantanclub

On point three how does Sproatt area work with limiting ebikes?

Signage, other bike riders tell them and there are rangers posted up there from time to time.

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