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ebikes on the Shore

May 7, 2019, 10:46 a.m.
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov. 1, 2017

Posted by: Ddean

Thanks Spandies - I get where you are coming from but I do not understand why or how a fit former Cat1/2 road racer needs an ebike to ride the climbing trails. Those trails were meant for the general population to pedal up on normal bikes, and I think that No Quarter takes a similar duration to go up as Mtn Hwy so it shouldn't be a timing thing. To me it sounds like you are exactly the type of person who does not need an ebike to access the trails.

I think that, while you sound like a well-reasoned person who Im sure is a great riding partner, your post supports many of the points those who are dead set against ebikes are trying to make. Im not against ebikes in general, probably because I realize that they will likely have a role in my future at some point (Im getting older and my kid is getting faster), but your post is a giant "I told you so" for the anti-ebike crowd.

My apologies if my post sounded confrontational, it was not my intent to provide a 'I told you so'. I just wanted to provide my perspective as someone who (1) doesn't necessarily need an ebike due to the fitness aspect, and (2) had actually previously hated on them due to many of the arguments as tabled in this discussion. To clarify, I don't need an ebike to get up the trail; again I chose one because it would allow me to pack more riding in a shorter period of time. I don't think that I would be able to do the similar route I did on the weekend in the same allotted time on a non-assist bike, and with little leisure time, my intent is to prioritize smiles per hour; the more tech I get to enjoy on a ride, the better.

As for the changing of my perspective to not hating on ebikes, a couple of things did it for me. First, I wanted to incentivize riding and so had purchased an ebike for my wife for her to commute on and for us to go on rides together. I grew up with bikes, family had a bike shop, raced tons, in essence I obsess about being on two wheels. Unfortunately, my wife doesn't share the same love for riding that I do, nor does she have the same level of fitness. The ebike I bought for her was the equalizer - she looks forward riding to work knowing that she has extra assistance when she's tired; her MO is to get a good workout on regardless, but sometimes she's just tired and the different levels of assistance allow her to have the flexibility on those off days. As she has been riding more often, we get to go out on more excursions on the bikes, using our cars less. Living in Vancouver, we can traverse a relatively large distance and it has opened up her eyes to exploring trails as well; I can bomb about on my gravel bike and still have fun while she's not too far behind - bonus! The second was already mentioned - a bunch of my friends who previously only rode motorcycles (sportbikes, dirt) bought ebikes and I got to try one for a few rides. I wanted to hate on it but I couldn't, I had so much fun. Drilling up an FSR was fun. Riding super easy trails were fun because I was in good company, and because the ebikes allowed my friends with less fitness to stay in a group. Riding proper techy trails was fun because I was on a robust enduro bike which allowed for more speed and bigger hits. And I think that's the summary I have - they're just super fun.

I know they're not for everyone nor am I trying to convince everyone to buy one. There will always be a place for non-assisted bikes, that market isn't going away anytime soon. Again, I emphasize that I agree that policies need to be in place so as to circumvent abusive behaviours, however I feel we cannot do so by adopting a black and white position of banning outright. The reality is that they will only increase in popularity, and so I hope that we can have more fruitful discussions with trail organizations about integration, and subsequently, issues around increased trail wear and usage. 

On a related note, since I'm just getting back into riding the shore, I'm always looking for riding partners. Should anyone be interested, the offer is open for you to try my bike should we go on a ride.


 Last edited by: Spandies on May 7, 2019, 10:52 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
May 7, 2019, 11 a.m.
Posts: 891
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Sorry, it was me who wasn't clear, and I didn't take your post as confrontational at all (quite the opposite in fact). I think that the "I told you so" will be from the anti-ebike crowd after reading your post and saying that, "you see, eBikes:

1) are going to increase miles per rider on the trails,
2) will increase the number of people on the trails,
3) will make their way to climbing trails and wont stick to MTN HWY or access roads, and
4) If the bar is that low that even fit people choose eBikes, we are doomed when it comes to the general population"

There is also the giant concern that there are some fragile areas that cant be shuttled and are protected by climbs that would be deemed no longer an obstacle.


 Last edited by: Ddean on May 7, 2019, 11 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
May 7, 2019, 11 a.m.
Posts: 149
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

Posted by: Spandies I suspect that the majority who can afford these e-assist mtb's most likely won't be riding the shore

Based on the experiences I've had, the technical nature of the Shore certainly does not deter ebike riders. I've encountered many demographics on ebikes (older, advanced tech riders, new-to-the-sport, pros, Chaz, Digger, etc).

At least the more established riders use some trail etiquette, but I've had 2 very discouraging encounters with relative nubes since last fall. One blasting past me up Baden Powell, and refusing to stop to let me past as his descending skills completely melted away on the way down toward the lot. the other 2 were clearly completely new to the sport, sinking huge ruts and blowing completely off of corners, on their way up Fromme climb trails in November. Three riders don't represent the whole, but they come in all shapes and sizes, and we can no longer rely on the technicality or effort levels of Shore trails to be the filter.

May 7, 2019, 11:13 a.m.
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov. 1, 2017

Posted by: Ddean

Sorry, it was me who wasn't clear, and I didn't take your post as confrontational at all (quite the opposite in fact). I think that the "I told you so" will be from the anti-ebike crowd after reading your post and saying that, "you see, eBikes:

1) are going to increase miles per rider on the trails,
2) will increase the number of people on the trails,
3) will make their way to climbing trails and wont stick to MTN HWY or access roads, and
4) If the bar is that low that even fit people choose eBikes, we are doomed when it comes to the general population"

There is also the giant concern that there are some fragile areas that cant be shuttled and are protected by climbs that would be deemed no longer an obstacle.

Thanks for clarifying, your post was clear but I misread it initially. I agree with all your points, hence if the inevitable is going to happen, I feel it is more reason to initiate discussions around this. Being out of the loop, does NSMBA have a position on ebikes yet? Outside of the argument for outright banning, are there any ideas you all may have about limiting the impact? Ie: ebike only routes/lines on certain trails, or outright bans of ebikes on trails that are more ecologically sensitive? Is there a way to do a pro-active approach; ie: Trail organizations working with LBC's to ensure ebike purchasers are given a 'trail etiquette' package as well as an incentive for 'learn to ride' courses where one can learn more about trail advocacy? Some great ideas so far, thanks for the discussion dudes.

May 7, 2019, 11:14 a.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: April 22, 2017

Posted by: oldmanbuilder

how dare those self-righteous trail orgs be against e-bikes!  give your head a shake and turn this around.  if e-bikers want to be represented it's time for them to form new organizations.  oh wait, right, they just want to ride on the backs of others.  the industry is great at making ads and paying riders to promote e-bikes, but actually putting any effort into advocacy?  not so much.  it's a joke.

unfortunately however, we're fucked.  in the long-run e-bikes mean more people, more parking issues, more conflict, and 100% without a doubt, more trails becoming side walks.  the trend in flow trails is only getting started and what do you think a massive influx of people will do?  anyone who likes riding techy trails should really think about the long-run impacts of the flood of riders that e-bikes will inevitably bring.  if the people who want serious tech trails on the north shore is say 25-50% today, just wait until it's <10%.  who do you think trails orgs are going to cater to?  and no knock on them, they have to follow the numbers and the where the funding is.

So you know for a fact all ebikers are noobs and haven't put shovels in the ground? That's Just like hikers saying all bikers tear up the sacred forests. 

With attitudes like yours new people will not come forward to help because they risk being ridiculed for riding an ebike. 

Trail associations need to welcome ebikes and their riders to help inform them on etiquette etc.

May 7, 2019, 11:47 a.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: May 31, 2018

most e-bikes can be chipped to bypass the speed limiters making the Pedallic Motor Bike run up to 50 km/h  - just to make things a little more controversial.....

May 7, 2019, 11:58 a.m.
Posts: 891
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Posted by: Spandies

Posted by: Ddean

Sorry, it was me who wasn't clear, and I didn't take your post as confrontational at all (quite the opposite in fact). I think that the "I told you so" will be from the anti-ebike crowd after reading your post and saying that, "you see, eBikes:

1) are going to increase miles per rider on the trails,
2) will increase the number of people on the trails,
3) will make their way to climbing trails and wont stick to MTN HWY or access roads, and
4) If the bar is that low that even fit people choose eBikes, we are doomed when it comes to the general population"

There is also the giant concern that there are some fragile areas that cant be shuttled and are protected by climbs that would be deemed no longer an obstacle.

Thanks for clarifying, your post was clear but I misread it initially. I agree with all your points, hence if the inevitable is going to happen, I feel it is more reason to initiate discussions around this. Being out of the loop, does NSMBA have a position on ebikes yet? Outside of the argument for outright banning, are there any ideas you all may have about limiting the impact? Ie: ebike only routes/lines on certain trails, or outright bans of ebikes on trails that are more ecologically sensitive? Is there a way to do a pro-active approach; ie: Trail organizations working with LBC's to ensure ebike purchasers are given a 'trail etiquette' package as well as an incentive for 'learn to ride' courses where one can learn more about trail advocacy? Some great ideas so far, thanks for the discussion dudes.

And boom, you're caught up to current day. That didn't take long! Those are the issues. We are not close to knowing the answers. The concern from the community is that the answers will be reactionary and on the back of potentially foreseeable issues eBikes may cause, and that those answers might have negative implications for normal bikes.

May 7, 2019, 1:02 p.m.
Posts: 23
Joined: Aug. 16, 2018

Posted by: D-man

So you know for a fact all ebikers are noobs and haven't put shovels in the ground? That's Just like hikers saying all bikers tear up the sacred forests. 

With attitudes like yours new people will not come forward to help because they risk being ridiculed for riding an ebike. 

Trail associations need to welcome ebikes and their riders to help inform them on etiquette etc.

experienced people riding e-bikes  will be a drop in the bucket when the flood of new riders comes.  we're talking hundreds to thousands of new riders.  how are a few old-school people going to influence that? 

trail associations do not need to welcome e-bikes.  still waiting for the e-bikers to start their own associations.  oh wait, they just want to ride on the backs of the people who got us this far, without actually putting any work in.

my attitude is based upon years in the sport, and years of digging on the trails.  i don't really care how it's perceived.

May 7, 2019, 1:05 p.m.
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Posted by: Ddean

Thanks Spandies - I get where you are coming from but I do not understand why or how a fit former Cat1/2 road racer needs an ebike to ride the climbing trails. Those trails were meant for the general population to pedal up on normal bikes, and I think that No Quarter takes a similar duration to go up as Mtn Hwy so it shouldn't be a timing thing. To me it sounds like you are exactly the type of person who does not need an ebike to access the trails.

I think that, while you sound like a well-reasoned person who Im sure is a great riding partner, your post supports many of the points those who are dead set against ebikes are trying to make. Im not against ebikes in general, probably because I realize that they will likely have a role in my future at some point (Im getting older and my kid is getting faster), but your post is a giant "I told you so" for the anti-ebike crowd.

Just as a point of order, Mountain Highway (from the yellow gate at the bottom) and No Quarter (from the tennis courts) are both about the same distance (~5km). There is no way (at least for me) that they take a similar amount of time to ascend. Id guess I would be at least 50% slower if not 100% (on a bad day) on the No Quarter climb vs Mountain Highway.

Doing that loop that was stated in 1hr 10 mins is crazy fast. Id be lucky to finish just NQ in that time. I know I am old and slow, but that just boggles my mind.


 Last edited by: shoreboy on May 7, 2019, 1:10 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
May 7, 2019, 1:30 p.m.
Posts: 780
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

These recent exchanges have really helped this conversation along.

May 7, 2019, 1:49 p.m.
Posts: 891
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Up the climbing route or Mtn Hwy to 7th shouldn't be that different (in time).

No Quarter is 6km and 600m versus Mtn Hwy (from the lot) at 6.5km and 450m.

I guess on a relative basis NQ is harder 90% of the time and for 33% more elevation than Mtn Hwy, but absolute isn't horribly different in my eyes from a time perspective. One hurts way more than the other, but I don't think that Im getting up Mtn Hwy notably faster than up NQ - but I guess Im spinning my way up the Hwy with half a smile on my face while Im about to die by the time I hit Mtn Hwy via NQ.

Yeah, I cant imagine 1:10 for that ride. That's FLYING up NQ...Id be curious for someone to figure out the average speed required to do that ride in 70min. Assume decent 50% faster than ascent and I bet that's cooking up NQ in what, 10min? 5km in 10minutes is averaging 30kph up the climbing trail. Time to plot it out.

Perhaps Spandies can help us out with data? Far did you travel and how many kms were climbing versus how many were descending?


 Last edited by: Ddean on May 7, 2019, 1:54 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
May 7, 2019, 2:40 p.m.
Posts: 10
Joined: March 28, 2017

I don't own an ebike but I did demo one. I rode from LVB up to 7th, down to the bottom of Lower Expresso back up climbing trail to Executioner and back down to LVB in 1:45. By the time I made it back the battery was dead. I'm relatively fit and if I did that same loop on my normal bike it would take almost twice the time and my legs would have been pretty tired. I was not tired at all after the eride....could have done another lap if it wasn't for the dead battery.

It was definitely fun but I'm in no rush to go buy one.

May 7, 2019, 2:48 p.m.
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Posted by: Ddean

Up the climbing route or Mtn Hwy to 7th shouldn't be that different (in time).

No Quarter is 6km and 600m versus Mtn Hwy (from the lot) at 6.5km and 450m.

I guess on a relative basis NQ is harder 90% of the time and for 33% more elevation than Mtn Hwy, but absolute isn't horribly different in my eyes from a time perspective. One hurts way more than the other, but I don't think that Im getting up Mtn Hwy notably faster than up NQ - but I guess Im spinning my way up the Hwy with half a smile on my face while Im about to die by the time I hit Mtn Hwy via NQ.

Yeah, I cant imagine 1:10 for that ride. That's FLYING up NQ...Id be curious for someone to figure out the average speed required to do that ride in 70min. Assume decent 50% faster than ascent and I bet that's cooking up NQ in what, 10min? 5km in 10minutes is averaging 30kph up the climbing trail. Time to plot it out.

Perhaps Spandies can help us out with data? Far did you travel and how many kms were climbing versus how many were descending?

Trailforks has it at 14.2km for that route described. 848m of elevation gain, 872m elevation loss, 8km climbing, 6km descending and 400m flat.  Just over 12km/h average speed.

May 7, 2019, 2:58 p.m.
Posts: 891
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Thanks for gathering that - that's a lot slower than I would have guessed.

May 7, 2019, 3:04 p.m.
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Just for reference, I looked up the fastest recorded time up NQ (on an acoustic bike I assume).  Just under 29 minutes (12.8km/h).

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