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ebikes on the Shore

Sept. 7, 2019, 2:36 p.m.
Posts: 734
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

Posted by: Vikb

Right of Way Rules exist. Bikes going downhill give way to bikes climbing. That's easy to figure out and universal. 

Um no. Please feel free to show us where that "rule" is formally stated. It is a general convention among bikes, and it has been followed by pedal-powered bikers over the last 30 years, with the application of this idea being limited pretty much to those trails that are two-way traffic. 

Having an ebike does not automatically grant a special privilege to turn what everyone has always descended into a special climb. As I mentioned before, most Section 57 applications have a directional orientation stated. It may not be clearly signed, but it only takes a teaspoon of common sense to separate descents from two-ways. Credit Line? Descent..... Bobsled? Descent..... Espresso? Descent......Nicoles? descent......Word of Mouth? 2-way....Wonderland.? 2-way.....Bridal Path? 2-way.

As for special ebike rules, when mountain bikes came along way back when, we did indeed have special rules for them and restrictions on where they may go. Same thing should apply to ebikes (I.e. Lord of the Squirrels). Again, we don't need to place strict limits or unreasonable and unfair boundaries around their use. Just reinforce the common sense that has helped keep the trail traffic running smooth for the past 3 decades. 

However, we do not need a special rule for Ebikes when it comes to this issue. Any one (regardless of bike type) that wants to go up a trail that is primarily used for descents, should yield to the descending traffic. It is totally unreasonable, and potentially dangerous to expect downhill traffic on steep trails to be yield to those going against the flow. I see people making all sorts of inappropriate comparisons (Oh ebikes are like snowboards, oh ebikes are like paddle boards, everyone is just hating on us wah wah wah).....Okay, lets use those examples. Would you paddle your paddle board straight out through the break just because you can and expect people to bail off their wave? Would you boot-pack your snowboard straight up under the rollers just because you can? No. ......That is using ebikers OWN logic, and it seems to clearly indicate that riding up against the flow of downhill traffic and expecting others  to yield is non-sensical.

Signage is likely coming, but it takes time and it costs money. In the meantime, it would be nice if common sense prevailed.

Sept. 7, 2019, 4:07 p.m.
Posts: 566
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: cerealkilla_

Posted by: Vikb

Right of Way Rules exist. Bikes going downhill give way to bikes climbing. That's easy to figure out and universal. 

Um no. Please feel free to show us where that "rule" is formally stated. It is a general convention among bikes, and it has been followed by pedal-powered bikers over the last 30 years, with the application of this idea being limited pretty much to those trails that are two-way traffic. 

Having an ebike does not automatically grant a special privilege to turn what everyone has always descended into a special climb. As I mentioned before, most Section 57 applications have a directional orientation stated. It may not be clearly signed, but it only takes a teaspoon of common sense to separate descents from two-ways. Credit Line? Descent..... Bobsled? Descent..... Espresso? Descent......Nicoles? descent......Word of Mouth? 2-way....Wonderland.? 2-way.....Bridal Path? 2-way.

As for special ebike rules, when mountain bikes came along way back when, we did indeed have special rules for them and restrictions on where they may go. Same thing should apply to ebikes (I.e. Lord of the Squirrels). Again, we don't need to place strict limits or unreasonable and unfair boundaries around their use. Just reinforce the common sense that has helped keep the trail traffic running smooth for the past 3 decades. 

However, we do not need a special rule for Ebikes when it comes to this issue. Any one (regardless of bike type) that wants to go up a trail that is primarily used for descents, should yield to the descending traffic. It is totally unreasonable, and potentially dangerous to expect downhill traffic on steep trails to be yield to those going against the flow. I see people making all sorts of inappropriate comparisons (Oh ebikes are like snowboards, oh ebikes are like paddle boards, everyone is just hating on us wah wah wah).....Okay, lets use those examples. Would you paddle your paddle board straight out through the break just because you can and expect people to bail off their wave? Would you boot-pack your snowboard straight up under the rollers just because you can? No. ......That is using ebikers OWN logic, and it seems to clearly indicate that riding up against the flow of downhill traffic and expecting others  to yield is non-sensical.

Signage is likely coming, but it takes time and it costs money. In the meantime, it would be nice if common sense prevailed.

I've been riding 30+ years and it's always been downhill bikers yield to uphill bikers. Unless the trail is marked as directional. In that case the rider going in the signed direction has the right of way.

https://www.singletracks.com/blog/trail-advocacy/mountain-biking-basics-trail-etiquette/

If the trail is not signed at all entrances as directional it's a two way trail and you can't assume someone new to the trail network knows what direction the trail is usually ridden in. So there needs to be one universal set of right if way rules because the decision needs to be made to slow/stop very fast.

If the right of way rules are not universal than they are pretty much useless.

Sept. 7, 2019, 4:55 p.m.
Posts: 134
Joined: May 13, 2014

You yield to the uphill so long as they are earning it.

Sept. 7, 2019, 8:05 p.m.
Posts: 301
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

Posted by: trumpstinyhands

^ Brackentrail isn't DH Primary. It's a multi-use / multi-directional trail that people so happen to like to 'shred' down. Craig's Connector will help get climbing traffic off the top half of the trail, but it's also increasing uphill traffic on the lower half as people now use the bottom section to access CC. Loads of Enduro-Lords go flying down the last bit straight into the path of hikers, dog walkers and also people riding / pushing up. There's going to be a big accident one day.....

Good to know. I came across half a dozen people riding down, none seemed very happy with the fact I was headed up it, so figured I'd gotten it wrong.

Sept. 7, 2019, 8:30 p.m.
Posts: 734
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

Posted by: Vikb

I've been riding 30+ years and it's always been downhill bikers yield to uphill bikers. Unless the trail is marked as directional. In that case the rider going in the signed direction has the right of way.

https://www.singletracks.com/blog/trail-advocacy/mountain-biking-basics-trail-etiquette/

If the trail is not signed at all entrances as directional it's a two way trail and you can't assume someone new to the trail network knows what direction the trail is usually ridden in. So there needs to be one universal set of right if way rules because the decision needs to be made to slow/stop very fast.

If the right of way rules are not universal than they are pretty much useless.

Doesn't matter if you invented the MTB. That "rule" is not written anywhere in regulation, policy, or law that matters. It is a convention (as you note clearly, etiquette). It is also a convention that people do not ride up descent trails as mentioned before. If you want to take the position that these unwritten rules matter, you can't pick and choose which ones suit your fancy. Take them all or take none. It is also convention  that nobody with half a salad goes up a descent and expects people to dodge them. I will also note again that Section 57 applications (official documents that trump some random american website) usually include directional orientations. Leave of Absence for example, downhill primary. In a document. Registered with the government. 

Hardly any trails are currently signed for directions, and as mentioned that requires a significant investment in capital. 

So yeah, there is no "rule". There is common sense that some seem to choose to ignore. 

What we clearly need is an actual rule.

Sept. 7, 2019, 9:14 p.m.
Posts: 1137
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

Posted by: cerealkilla_

So yeah, there is no "rule". There is common sense that some seem to choose to ignore. 

Common sense? Didn’t that go out with the compact disc.

Sept. 8, 2019, 9:47 a.m.
Posts: 805
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: FLATCH

Posted by: cerealkilla_

So yeah, there is no "rule". There is common sense that some seem to choose to ignore. 

Common sense? Didn’t that go out with the compact disc.

For once I agree with you flatch. 

Let's be real, directional signs are not coming any time soon. Especially not at the top and bottom of every trail. I suppose we will just have to wait and see how mountain mopeders assimilate with mountain bikers. If people riding mountain mopeds act like douches riding up traditional descents and demanding right of way, mountain bikers may have to evict them from their trails. I hope people riding mountain mopeds have the good sense to respect the general etiquette that has developed over the past 30+ years.

Sept. 8, 2019, 11:42 a.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: June 21, 2011

Can’t we all just get along? A few regular bike riders act like complete dickheads, a few ebikers will ride like dickheads, I’ve never once been in anything remotely resembling an altercation verbal or otherwise. 

With regards to pedal assist we’ll all be signing a different tune when we are seventy. I’m busy areas just need up and down signs like on Fromme. Boom.

In the meantime let’s deal with the real problem out there, people that think I like their music!

Sept. 12, 2019, 12:59 p.m.
Posts: 1137
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

Really good article on Mtbr about e-mtb’s and their impact on our trails. Couldn’t figure out how to link to it but it is easy enough to find. Some will like it, and well, some will not.🤷‍♂️

Sept. 12, 2019, 1:11 p.m.
Posts: 965
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

https://reviews.mtbr.com/understanding-e-bikes-in-downieville-and-the-lost-sierra

Sept. 12, 2019, 1:55 p.m.
Posts: 1137
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

Posted by: syncro

https://reviews.mtbr.com/understanding-e-bikes-in-downieville-and-the-lost-sierra

Thanks, owe you a beer sometime.

Sept. 12, 2019, 4:13 p.m.
Posts: 965
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: FLATCH

Thanks, owe you a beer sometime.

you must be new here ;)

Sept. 12, 2019, 6:04 p.m.
Posts: 1739
Joined: April 25, 2003

That article does a good job of re-iterating the advantages of e-bikes. 

Doesn’t seem to address any of the issues some of us are concerned with however.

Great description of life with an e-bike. Poor analysis of the impacts of e-bikes on bike trails.

Sept. 12, 2019, 6:20 p.m.
Posts: 965
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: tashi

That article does a good job of re-iterating the advantages of e-bikes. 

Doesn’t seem to address any of the issues some of us are concerned with however.

Great description of life with an e-bike. Poor analysis of the impacts of e-bikes on bike trails.

yeah, the article and "research" was a bit lacking. out of all the things I've read on the issues with ebikes, for the most part this thread has the best dialogue, info and possible solutions on how to deal with them effectively.

Sept. 13, 2019, 9:20 a.m.
Posts: 734
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

Call it what it is. The article was a straight-up Ebike promo. You take a place that is dying for rec-economy rebooting, and they'll praise anything that provides a glimmer of hope. They don't even want to consider any limitation, when their main focus is expanding economic activity. Of course the trail society there is supporting them....it means economic benefit. Just the same way that the majority of Albertans deny climate changes is real or that humans cause it. People will always favor technologies that put money in their pocket, and avoid engaging in any real discussion of meaningful issues when their bank accounts are involved.

That being said, the article is not without merit. There are some legitimate points about enabling greater access. However, there were also several entirely unsupported points of speculation such as reducing traffic to trailheads. Um no. There will actually be more traffic, just traffic with ebikes. If you expand the rec-economy, you increase the traffic. No magic solution there, and we all see it day to day with people pulling their ebikes off their trucks at our local trails. As for low-impacts?...compared to what? Any study that compares ebikes to MTBs is flawed if it is assumes they will be ridden in the same manner. You can't just run  over the same piece of ground a few time, and say "look! no difference!". You actually have to look at the application of the tool over time, and we just are not there yet. 

However, when it comes to impacts, what of ebikes compared to mining or forestry? That may seem like a stretch, but the fact is that people are more likely to take steps to preserve and protect the environment if they spend time in it.  Expanding the range of recreation tourism even a small amount, can expose people to views of areas that they may otherwise never see.

It's not just a simple thing where it's all great (ebike marketers) or all evil (ebike haters).......it's actually an issue that deserves a bit of thought.....something many are reluctant to do.

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