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ebikes on the Shore

Feb. 2, 2021, 7:25 a.m.
Posts: 1253
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

Posted by: kavurider

Posted by: xy9ine

you *can* put down a similar level of climbing exertion on an ebike, it just gets borderline irresponsible (albeit fun). borrowed one to do a seymour shuttle retrieval, bouncing off the speed limiter up old buck; first time i've ridden UP corkscrew, too. good times. seems most people i see climbing these things are barely breathing; probably a good thing, i guess. i think i'd be a dick if i had one.

Yup, this exactly.

Maybe if you’re a boost dick or just a dick, but there’s dicks everywhere in life, not just mountain biking. The key words there are ”I think I’d be a dick”. It’s really not hard to be responsible and have proper trail user etiquette. I think hikers walking down high speed trails are a much larger problem, especially since covid.

Feb. 2, 2021, 8:55 a.m.
Posts: 270
Joined: March 14, 2017

isn't Corkscrew downhill only?  It's not going to end well if someone on an e-bike is trying to climb up it while I'm racing down it.  Ran into a group of 12 trying to climb it last summer...  just go up incline as you can see riders and move out of the way.

Feb. 2, 2021, 9:11 a.m.
Posts: 16695
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Posted by: skooks

"I don't have enough time" is a weak argument to justify anything. We all have exactly 24 hours in a day. People choose how they want to use/prioritize that time. I don't hate motorized bikers, but that argument is pretty hard to respect.

I have no strong opinions about ebikes, but this statement oozes pure ignorance.  I spent 2 years as a single dad with two very young kids and I did not have the same flexibility with my 24 hours that you clearly do.  Every moment of "me" time was brief and precious.

Feb. 2, 2021, 9:12 a.m.
Posts: 799
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: RAHrider

Posted by: skooks

Posted by: knnn

Some interesting perspectives, thanks for the input.

There are three main reasons I'm considering an eMTB; specifically my age (now 61), two ACL's in poor condition and too many competing interests to allow me to become mountain fit. I used to ride Fromme a fair bit and know how much effort is involved, particularly if wanting to hit up 7th and then do another trail. Although I'm not yet fully decided, I suspect that an eMTB will provide me with the easiest route back into the sport and the ability to keep biking for longer. I'm also considering getting back into trail maintenance, however, that is a very slippery slope which I am not sure I want to get sucked back into quite yet.

Considering I would do most of my riding on Fromme and Seymour, I have been wondering as to the likelihood that these trails could be closed to eMTB's in the future?

I'm also not really clear as to the arguments or perceptions why eMTB's need to be banned from trails, as long as they are assisted rather than throttle based?

Is it due to the perception that they do more damage to the trails because of the heavier weight and increased numbers of laps?

Do eMTB riders tend to exhibit a relatively higher degree of poor trail etiquette ?

Good on you for staying in the game (age is just a number right?) but are you sure you need a motorized bike? I don't know how bad your knees are, but if you can still pedal you might get stronger and fitter faster on a mountain bike.

I know I have a predilection to dislike ebikes but what I find disheartening about them is that people these days can't be content with their actual life/capabilities. Do 20 year olds really need to do an extra lap? Why can't you call it a day biking up to espresso rather than all the way up to 7th if that is where your fitness is at? Is it the constant barrage of images of what a mountain bike ride is supposed to be? We don't all have to shred double blacks, kick up rooster tails and drift through corners. Will a motor on your bike really make you more happy? Maybe it will? Can't remember where I read it but one ebike owner admitted that he didn't really like riding his ebike as much as a traditional bike as he didn't have the same sense of accomplishment. Sure he could climb the unclimbable climb - but it wasn't him, it was just the motor. I like the solitude, quiet and challenge of biking. Adding a motor would actually take away from all these aspects of my riding.

Like Shooks said, good on you for keeping at it. If a motorized bicycle will help you get the most out of your riding I am happy for you. On the other hand I bike with a bunch of guys 55-65 and sure they don't have the same edge they used to but are the best riding partners you could ask for and can still get lots of enjoyment out of a regular bike.

This must be a big part of it. If I see someone climbing faster and further than me I don't feel somehow entitled to do that too. I see a person who's fitter, who put in the effort and time commitment to get fitter. And I can do that too. I'm not somehow entitled to go uphill fast. If I want to do better I'm going to have to become better. This is an important part of the math that makes riding so satisfying. Or any other Type 2 fun activity for that matter.

Ebikes allow a lot of people to bypass that. Especially if they're new to the sport. I've seen plenty coming down climbing trails because the ebike allowed them to breeze up a huge climb but there is no descending assist they can buy to improve their technical descending skills so they come back down the way they came up, having learned nothing. Sometimes they're complaining that there's nothing easy enough for them to ride. As if they somehow deserve that for having bought an expensive toy and chose not to study the map. 

The idea that someone feels like they should be able to climb fast but are unwilling to put in the effort, time, humility or dedication that a fast climber did is classic entitlement. Realizing you suck and figuring out how to be better is the lesson.


 Last edited by: craw on Feb. 2, 2021, 9:15 a.m., edited 3 times in total.
Feb. 2, 2021, 12:45 p.m.
Posts: 1253
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

I’m not sure if this is a good analogy or not. But here goes. So your out in your row boat fishing when along comes a guy in a nice little motorboat decked out for fishing. It’s been a good day and you both limit out and you both head back to the boat launch. Now he was quicker to get out and quicker to get back. Remember he also has a more expensive boat. Now does that make him entitled. I really don’t see it. If you’re in real good shape, enjoy suffering and are a fast climber well hats off to ya.

Really it seems to me what you’re actually saying is “if you’re not as fit as me then you shouldn’t be allowed to be here”.

Walking a mile in another man’s shoes before you run your mouth would be the better lesson.


 Last edited by: FLATCH on Feb. 2, 2021, 1:29 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Because I dislike elitist bullshit.
Feb. 2, 2021, 1:02 p.m.
Posts: 1253
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

I guess since the Trump thread has crashed and burned we’re back to bashing e-bikes. Gotta have something to bitch about. It’s only human.

Feb. 2, 2021, 4:17 p.m.
Posts: 799
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: FLATCH

I’m not sure if this is a good analogy or not. But here goes. So your out in your row boat fishing when along comes a guy in a nice little motorboat decked out for fishing. It’s been a good day and you both limit out and you both head back to the boat launch. Now he was quicker to get out and quicker to get back. Remember he also has a more expensive boat. Now does that make him entitled. I really don’t see it. If you’re in real good shape, enjoy suffering and are a fast climber well hats off to ya.

Really it seems to me what you’re actually saying is “if you’re not as fit as me then you shouldn’t be allowed to be here”.

Walking a mile in another man’s shoes before you run your mouth would be the better lesson.

Do you mean me? If so, the point I was trying to make was that if you see someone who is more skilled or more fit, that's awesome and something to strive for: that person put in a bunch of hard work to get there and they're enjoying the rewards of that and you can do the same. Nobody's just "in really good shape". There are people who have put in more time and effort and there are people who have put in less. And that's ok.

I'm obviously not saying people don't have a right to be out there. Of course they do. Sometimes I get passed going uphill. Sometimes I'm doing the passing. Whatever. This is Vancouver, there's always someone fitter than you. People passing me are having a great day and probably put in longer harder miles than me and hats off to them.

I've ridden ebikes and I can confidently say that for me the rewards and satisfaction of sacking up and becoming better far outweigh the rewards of going fast uphill because of a motor and battery. But there are plenty of reasons and justifications for people to be on ebikes and those are legit as well.


 Last edited by: craw on Feb. 2, 2021, 4:18 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 2, 2021, 7:21 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb. 20, 2020

A few honest questions (not trying to bash) how much more torque can an average ebike put out? How much more likely are unskilled ebikers going to spin out and wash out steep tough climbs because they can just dump in bonus power instead of ride up with finesse? I am not worried about trail wear from more laps, just unchecked torque ripping up steep climbs. Any insights out there?

Feb. 2, 2021, 7:43 p.m.
Posts: 905
Joined: March 15, 2013

It is very easy to spin out if you're not careful or in a higher power setting. Most (likely all) good e-bikes have multiple power settings, something low power for long distances ie: getting to the trail from home, a trail setting for general riding and a boost setting for maximum power. If you're in the boost setting and you're not careful or less skilled 100% you will have spin outs. It comes down to a lack of skill rather than too much power IMO. A skilled rider who is used to their bikes torque would be able to ride in the maximum power setting with very very few spin outs IMO.


 Last edited by: thaaad on Feb. 2, 2021, 7:59 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 2, 2021, 9 p.m.
Posts: 740
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

Posted by: knnn

Some interesting perspectives, thanks for the input.

There are three main reasons I'm considering an eMTB; specifically my age (now 61), two ACL's in poor condition and too many competing interests to allow me to become mountain fit.   I used to ride Fromme a fair bit and know how much effort is involved, particularly if wanting to hit up 7th and then do another trail.  Although I'm not yet fully decided,  I suspect that an eMTB will provide me with the easiest route back into the sport and the ability to keep biking for longer.  I'm also considering getting back into trail maintenance, however, that is a very slippery slope which I am not sure I want to get sucked back into quite yet.

Considering I would do most of my riding on Fromme and Seymour, I have been wondering as to the likelihood that these trails could be closed to eMTB's in the future? 

I'm also not really clear as to the arguments or perceptions why eMTB's need to be banned from trails, as long as they are assisted rather than throttle based?

Is it due to the perception that they do more  damage to the trails because of the heavier weight and increased numbers of laps? 

Do eMTB riders tend to exhibit a relatively higher degree of poor trail etiquette ?

Your questions - my humble contribution.

  1. I would guess unlikely to see future restrictions, given the increase of ALL types of riding. Really this probably depends on good conduct of ebike riders. It only takes a few of any group to make the rest look bad. Ebikes are still a smaller group without a well organized lobby or representative group advocating for them, or speaking out about proper riding etiquette. That potentially makes them vulnerable. However, the 2018 provincial position paper on ebikes on public land currently protects them quite well. Now, Ministry said clearly the policy would be reviewed, but I doubt that has happened yet, due to other distractions. However, decision-makers and the public won't waste time if there was a sudden increase of problems with ebikes....they would just bring in restrictions. Still, if any restrictions were to come into play, they would likely only affect certain areas such as certain busy multi-use areas, park areas, or so forth. In my humble opinion, unlikely. 
  2. Reasons vary. Some are off-the-wall (i.e. waaaahhh they're cheating) - others are based on issues that in fact are not well understood, such as (potential) trail impacts, speed of uphill traffic, questions of insurance based on those with liability for the trails (see Kootenay Columbia Trails Society). You could probably spend a week reading the arguments back and forth, and still not cover it all. The main thing is they introduce additional energy and propulsion and weight, and they let novice riders get into situations and areas they may otherwise not reach. These are not stand along problems that means ebike = bad, but the consequences of these factors is not yet understood fully, so arguments continue.
  3. For some, yes. Many people will point to the old IMBA study that showed no difference between emtb and mtb UNDER a very limited set of conditions. Not proof. Just one small study. However, there are other questions, such as whether or not people reach of the ebike more often when the weather sucks because they can sport fenders and rain gear and still ride. THere are also issues about people modifying ebikes to have higher output, throttles instead of pedal assist, and the emergence of other technologies that may push them close to moto and farther from bikes. For the current moment, however, it's not just the technology, it is how it is used.  Others argue that the (approx) extra 20 pounds of ebike is no different than an extra 20 pounds of person (ignoring the fact, that when a person chooses a bike, their weight does not change). Anyways, blah blah blah, it goes on and on.
  4. That's hard to say. Very vague. There is minority in EVERY user group that is a total and utter dipsh*t. EVERY group. Except maybe Waldorf teachers - they seem like a good lot. Anyway, the only difference with that minority of ebikers in the dipsh*t category, is that they are a dipsh*t with an ebike instead of a dipsh*t with a MTB. Either one can do harm. Arguably, the one with the ebike can go a little faster up a hill, can climb trails everyone else is descending, and packs an extra 20lbs of bike....but really the flaw is in the person, not the bike.
Feb. 2, 2021, 9:05 p.m.
Posts: 1069
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: FLATCH

I’m not sure if this is a good analogy or not. But here goes. So your out in your row boat fishing when along comes a guy in a nice little motorboat decked out for fishing. It’s been a good day and you both limit out and you both head back to the boat launch. Now he was quicker to get out and quicker to get back. Remember he also has a more expensive boat. Now does that make him entitled. I really don’t see it. If you’re in real good shape, enjoy suffering and are a fast climber well hats off to ya.

Really it seems to me what you’re actually saying is “if you’re not as fit as me then you shouldn’t be allowed to be here”.

Walking a mile in another man’s shoes before you run your mouth would be the better lesson.

This is definitely not what I was saying (but you might have been responding to Craw).

To use your analogy. You are out in your row boat trolling under your own power. Then some guy comes along in a motor boat zooming around making noise and waves and going much faster while trolling with his expensive motor boat. Those two activities are for two very different people. Neither one is right, nor is either best for everyone.

The problem is when the fishing industry tries to convince everyone that everyone needs to fish in a loud, fast, noisy boat because that is "the best way" to fish? People should use some introspection and decide what type of fishing they want to do. Maybe its better for some to have a quiet day on the water and catch less fish despite what the fishing industry pushes.

In regards to CRAW's comments - I remember a cold shudder going down my spine when playing guitar hero with some grade 9 students back when I was a high school teacher. They were shredding on stupid little plastic guitars. It must have taken them forever to get that good. I thought to myself, Why didn't they just learn to play an actual guitar? I realized that the game allows them to progress at a perfectly even slope and they hardly have to encounter any real challenges while playing as the difficulty can always be adjusted. This is very different from a real guitar that can be frustrating due to steep learning curves followed by long plateaus. Is technology just making everything easier so people don't have to develop skill or come to terms with their mortality/limitations?

Feb. 2, 2021, 10:04 p.m.
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

There seems to be a lot of justifying going on these past few pages

Feb. 3, 2021, 10:18 a.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec. 12, 2020

I saw a couple eMTB riders ride up Roadside, faster than my kids can ride down it. We all expect riders coming up, its bidirectional, but we don't expect them coming up FAST like that. eMTBers change the use pattern on trails, its a recipe for conflict, it'll be interesting to see how it works out.

Do eMTB riders tend to exhibit a relatively higher degree of poor trail etiquette ?

That is a hard one to answer, but a couple anecdotes.

Last fall there was a guy doing laps on Floppy Bunny at Fromme with an ebike. Passed me and my 10year old kids on the road a couple times while we were doing laps on Bobsled and Floppy. Its basically shuttling, he had one hand on his bar most of the ride up, but shuttling is a thing. If you don't want to ride up, fine.

One of the times he passed, he didn't slow down even a little, whipped by one of the kids by riding through the Salmon berry bush sticking out into the road beside her. That was a dick move. If she'd wiggled in her line a bit, he would have run her down.

I have the kids move to the side when we can so people can pass us, and MTB riders, even fast ones, come up slow enough we have the chance. eMTB riders... not so much time, they ride up pretty fast and don't often slow to pass.

A couple weeks later, when moving to the side of the trail just past the first turn to the right on 7th, also where its lined with Salmon berry bushes, I had an eMTB rider rip by a foot from me and the kids without slowing down a bit. I call that a dick move, too. It doesn't kill anybody to slow down a bit when a slower group of riders squeezes aside.

In fairness, I've had non-motorized MTB riders do that, too. One not-e guy rode onto the 10 foot/5"wide skinny log on Lower Digger while I was spotting my daughter in the middle of her first unassisted attempt. If she'd had to stop, I'd have steaded her, and he'd have ridden into her, or fallen on me. As it is he timed it to surprise the shit out of me, and barely miss her on the exit off log. Jerky behaviour is not owned by eMTBers.

All of which is to say, I'm trying to not judge ebikers by the few jerks, like I try hard not to judge dog owners by what I find on my shoe... but its a bit hard when I'm standing it.

Feb. 3, 2021, 11:11 a.m.
Posts: 182
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

Posted by: samroberts

Do eMTB riders tend to exhibit a relatively higher degree of poor trail etiquette ?

That is a hard one to answer, but a couple anecdotes...

All of which is to say, I'm trying to not judge ebikers by the few jerks, like I try hard not to judge dog owners by what I find on my shoe... but its a bit hard when I'm standing it.

What I've noticed this summer/fall, is that a lot of the ebikers on the shore are also seemingly very new to the sport. With traditional mountain bikes, those people cutting their teeth and starting to learn about trail etiquette aren't the ones blasting past experienced riders on climb trails or tighter sections of fire roads. I've had very similar experiences to you, mostly on single track climb, but also on the fire road.

Feb. 3, 2021, 11:25 a.m.
Posts: 1477
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

"The impossible climb" (the downhill trail) is the very first thing e-bikers flock to around here. We've been swatting them off of that thing for months.

It sucks seeing the damage torquing up a steep trail that was designed to be ridden in the opposite direction can do. Especially when you know that you're the one who has to fix it.

Uphill passing at top speed is just irresistible I suppose? I've never been E passed any other way, anyhow. Like driving a new muscle car past a hooptie.

Not sure about what the speeding by young kids thing is about, but it's common apparently. Last weekend my wife ripped a class-2 rider a new one for doing high speed laps around the public park while our 9 year old daughter was riding her BMX around.

It seems the E-bike manufacturers would advertise for more responsible riding practices to avoid bad PR?

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