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ebikes on the Shore

Dec. 10, 2019, 7:41 p.m.
Posts: 1752
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: tashi

I’m in Victoria. If you want to ride a motorized bike here I hope you chat with someone with local knowledge because there are a few areas where motors will just make a bad access situation worse. 

I’m not 100% positive on these things it’s true, but it’s important to remember that my “sour” tone is entirely related to issues around official access. Not the riders or even the machines themselves (they’re fucking fun!) and not even “rogue” areas. 

There’s lots of land out there, particularly if you have a motor...

I'm not on an ebike so no worries there. I agree with you on the local knowledge part too, no matter what someone is riding. Having local knowledge is a great way to make sure people get the most fun out of their trip. Have LM's on the island been vocal about no ebikes on their land?

Dec. 10, 2019, 7:56 p.m.
Posts: 2067
Joined: April 25, 2003

I can't speak to the LM's thoughts re: mopeds.  Much of our official trails in Victoria are in CRD or BC Parks so I assume their policies apply.

Dec. 10, 2019, 8:15 p.m.
Posts: 1752
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: tashi

I can't speak to the LM's thoughts re: mopeds.  Much of our official trails in Victoria are in CRD or BC Parks so I assume their policies apply.

ok, so then how can you say that "there are a few areas where motors will just make a bad access situation worse"?

Dec. 11, 2019, 10:50 a.m.
Posts: 293
Joined: March 6, 2017

I ride Burke regularly myself. I would of thought the sign at the gun club/yellow gate clearly showing no motorized vehicles would of been clear enough. Guess not.

The irony in the fact that the trail builders on Burke have ebikes is not lost on you it seems.


 Last edited by: T-mack on Dec. 11, 2019, 10:54 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Dec. 11, 2019, 10:55 a.m.
Posts: 273
Joined: March 14, 2017

I believe all (or most) of the builders on Burke have ebikes to access the spots they are working on.   The climbs are nasty so ebikes are actually benefiting the trails in this scenario.

Dec. 13, 2019, 7:38 a.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec. 6, 2019

Posted by: RAHrider

Nice to have you as a new member. I think you have summed up the pluses of an ebike nicely. It sounds like a great activity for you. I think the issues with ebikes are not adressed by your post though.

1-you point out that you like it because you can ride so much more so much faster. That means substantially more trail wear. Do uphills and flat corners need to be built like a flow trail now with bermed corners to account for ebike wear and tear? I think motorcycle enthusiasts would say the exact same things about their KTM's that you said about your ebike (different workout due to weight, can go so far, everything is so fast and fun) but there is a reason we don't let motocross bikes on mtb trails - they cause too much wear. Bike trails are largely made by bikers for bikers on a volunteer basis. Allowing people doing a different sport to use (and wear) the trails is not a forgone conclusion, but the bike industry certainly pushes ebikes as just a better bike and assumes access without finding solutions for the issues such as right of way, climbing a descent trail, increased trail maintenance etc.

2-many riders find the advertising of ebikes as the "evolution of the bicycle" simply wrong. The bike industry uses this argument to assume access for their product to mtb trails. It's frustrating to have to argue against the industry and ebike owners for the sake of trail maintenance and access all the time. You yourself point out that "e-biking is a different bicycle sport than XC, enduro or DH." What would you say if you were riding your DH bike at whistler and an XC rider was climbing the trail? You probably wouldn't appreciate that? It would be nice if the e-bike enthusiasts could have consideration for the decades of hard work that has gone into gaining access and developing the amazing trail networks we enjoy by not assuming access, bringing solutions to the table and not claiming their ebike is the evolution of the bicycle.

This all being said, I am glad you enjoy your ebike. Sounds like the right choice for you. As for your question as to what I would like to see on the shore. I think hiking is a great activity, low impact and should be welcomed. That being said, I don't think they should hike up downhill trails. Same as I shouldn't ride down hiking trails. As for multi-use trails, bikers should show more respect to hikers IMO. Horses are horrible for trails IMO. Luckily they don't love going down the trails on the shore. I have no issue sharing multi-use trails with them either. I put ebikes in with motorcycles. I don't mind them but I wouldn't mind if they were on their own trails either. Again, wouldn't mind sharing multiuse trails with them but I do have concerns about how they will develop (increased power) and how that will affect trails and safety.

Sorry I don't go on the forums every day so please accept my apologies for not responding quicker.

Thank you for pointing out very important information to consider.

1-regarding riding faster on flat and uphill, please understand that if you try to pedal past the motor cutoff at 32 km/h, it is a substantial effort and the damage caused by a regular MTB and an E-bike are pretty much the same, how do I know this? I have ridden dirt bikes for a number of years and you can't get an e-bike to roost no matter what you try because they are pedal assist. I have also been trail building for 20 years (I'm showing my age here!). The biggest challenge as a trail builder is water erosion/water management. If you think that it will increase traffic, that's probably true on easy to medium difficulty trails, however, you still need skills to ride up technical climbs or technical descents so I don't see too many e-bikers going for a black diamond trail unless they know they can ride it, which usually mean that they have ridden it before on a regular MTB. I would certainly take 1000 e-bikers on my trail before I would let a single horseback rider or a dirt bike on the trails as the damage by those is so much greater.

Where I build (Moose Mountain west of Calgary) our challenge is flash floods when it rains as usually we get really good rainstorms! so after 20 years of working on the same trail, I know that the e-bikers are not the problem, water does so much more damage!

2-evolution of the bike my ass! it's a different sport. Since most of our trails are multi-use and rideable in both directions (in most areas that are either crown land or provincial park) when I ride downhill, I have come across hikers that thought it was a good idea to go up a trail that they see has jumps wooden features and berms. I had to tell them that it was not a good idea (while my inner voice just wanted to scream at them for their sheer stupidity. Most people who buy an e-bike already mountain bike and know very well not to go up a DH trail unless they want to get hurt. I do like your point that e-bikers must come to the table and bring solutions to trail access and trail maintenance. I wish the majority of MTB riders would also come to the table!

In Moab, they have restricted access to certain trails and I think that kind of works but I would sure like to see how we can increase the number of trails period as opposed to a divide and conquer type of approach.

If you look at where the e-bike community is at right now, I would compare it to when websites like NSMB and Pinkbike started as there is not really any kind of organized group to promote educate and connect e-bike riders. There is plenty of work to do on that front. If you are willing to spend thousands of dollars on an e-mtb, it should be a no-brainer to get them to buy a trail association membership. But it's not the case!

I see the biggest challenge remains that the percentage of MTB riders (electric or normally aspirated) that are members of an MTB association compared to the population around is the biggest challenge. Our trail association president made the comment this summer that there is a Facebook group for the trail conditions around Calgary and it has 6000 members, our association this year had its best year with 600 members and Calgary has a population of 1.2 Million. As much as I hate to admit it, we will probably need to rethink our approach to recreation and we will probably have to pay a fee if we want access to the outdoors. We are already having to this for Federal parks, i'm pretty sure our Premier Kenney and his budget cutting ways will figure out that this is an untapped source of revenue.

Dec. 13, 2019, 9:33 a.m.
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

hypothetical question: I'm sure rebates for e-bikes are not too far away. Sure, they should be intended for commuting to take cars off the roads, but I bet that can be stretched to that 160mm eMTB. Say you get $1000 back for buying an e-bike, bringing them closer in line with a similar spec mtb, but with a motor! Would you? Will tempt a lot of even the hard line riders.

Dec. 13, 2019, 11:46 a.m.
Posts: 1012
Joined: June 26, 2012

Posted by: peterk

hypothetical question: I'm sure rebates for e-bikes are not too far away. Sure, they should be intended for commuting to take cars off the roads, but I bet that can be stretched to that 160mm eMTB. Say you get $1000 back for buying an e-bike, bringing them closer in line with a similar spec mtb, but with a motor! Would you? Will tempt a lot of even the hard line riders.

I wouldn't be tempted at all. Cost is not the main reason I don't have an e-mtb.

Dec. 13, 2019, 1:32 p.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: D_C_

Posted by: peterk

hypothetical question: I'm sure rebates for e-bikes are not too far away. Sure, they should be intended for commuting to take cars off the roads, but I bet that can be stretched to that 160mm eMTB. Say you get $1000 back for buying an e-bike, bringing them closer in line with a similar spec mtb, but with a motor! Would you? Will tempt a lot of even the hard line riders.

I wouldn't be tempted at all. Cost is not the main reason I don't have an e-mtb.

Prob not. I never bought snowblades either when they were apparently the wave of the future of skiing.

Dec. 13, 2019, 1:51 p.m.
Posts: 1752
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Brocklanders

Prob not. I never bought snowblades either when they were apparently the wave of the future of skiing.

Huh, for some strange reason I can totally see you on a pair of snowblades.

Dec. 13, 2019, 9:22 p.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: Brocklanders

Prob not. I never bought snowblades either when they were apparently the wave of the future of skiing.

Huh, for some strange reason I can totally see you on a pair of snowblades.

You can do better

Dec. 16, 2019, 5:51 a.m.
Posts: 689
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: peterk

Say you get $1000 back for buying an e-bike, bringing them closer in line with a similar spec mtb, but with a motor! Would you? Will tempt a lot of even the hard line riders.

You could give me a free e-bike and my only two thoughts would be do I 1) accept and sell it for some $$ or 2) just steer clear of the whole mess? There is no price tag that I would spend my own money on one or ride one. At no point when I am riding my mountain bikes do I ever think to myself.....hmmmm....this would be so much better with a motor and battery.

This isn't such a far fetched scenario as I was given a free e-bike [city/commuter model] to review a while back. After doing the review I gave it away to a friend for free. I had zero use for it. There is no place I wanted to get to where a human powered bicycle wasn't my preferred option. He used it for a while and it's now gathering dust in his garage as it has some electrical issue he needs to sort out.


 Last edited by: Vikb on Dec. 16, 2019, 5:52 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Dec. 16, 2019, 7:22 a.m.
Posts: 170
Joined: April 26, 2004

Posted by: peterk

Say you get $1000 back for buying an e-bike, bringing them closer in line with a similar spec mtb, but with a motor! Would you? Will tempt a lot of even the hard line riders.

No

Dec. 16, 2019, 7:42 a.m.
Posts: 135
Joined: March 1, 2017

No. I'd potentially be tempted to get one if I was building a trail that was 'out there', to speed up proceedings, but even then I'd probably get something completely different like an E-assist fat bike. I've got no interest in getting the same style bike but with a motor when I have 'sort of...' working legs. And the whole 'you can get more laps in', will be the death of many trails.

Dec. 16, 2019, 12:09 p.m.
Posts: 219
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: peterk

hypothetical question: I'm sure rebates for e-bikes are not too far away. Sure, they should be intended for commuting to take cars off the roads, but I bet that can be stretched to that 160mm eMTB. Say you get $1000 back for buying an e-bike, bringing them closer in line with a similar spec mtb, but with a motor! Would you? Will tempt a lot of even the hard line riders.

For commuting? Sure. For riding on the trails? No thanks.

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