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ebikes on the Shore

Feb. 3, 2021, 12:13 p.m.
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: Hepcat

"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?

Had a couple guys drop in on eBikes behind me, fell way behind on the techy bits but they were right on me when it flattened out or went uphill even a bit.  And then blasted past me on a narrow uphill, full boost mode (upright, not working very hard).  

In the parking lot, totally chill and had no idea that was a dick move.  I think there are just a lot of people who think behavior like that is fine (driving, riding, whatever) and eBikes are just letting a lot of them get out on the trails.  Most of them aren't into pedal bikes.  

The guy I bought my Yeti from says he absolutely hates pedaling uphill and avoids it at all costs.  He isn't the first rider I have heard say that lately.  Weird.

Feb. 3, 2021, 12:21 p.m.
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: Skeen

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?

I don't have numbers, but mine had a Bosch CX motor and 4 power levels:  Eco, Trail, eBike and Turbo.  I usually kept it in Eco for 90% of my riding.  I sometimes would bump it to Trail for really steep stuff.  I rarely ever used eBike or Turbo modes because it put so much torque to the rear wheel I would just spin out constantly.  Aside from not being good for the trails, it also sucked for getting up ledges or going through switchbacks.  Too much power and it was either on or off.  With a pedal bike you can use steady, even torque to get through a tricky section.  

I also found it threw off my timing for doing pedal kicks up rocks and ledges.  There was always a slight delay when the motor would kick in.  

It was more of a handful on technical climbs (see National Trail on South Mountain, AZ on youtube for what I am referring to) than my pedal bikes.  

It was fun to ride, but in a very different way than my pedal bikes.

Feb. 3, 2021, 2:29 p.m.
Posts: 740
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

Posted by: Hepcat

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

In THIS I find the most fault.....and with the influencers and reps. Not a single peep from them on how to responsibly integrate the new technology with existing patterns of trail use. Nope. No contributions to help with etiquette, reduce risk, or make nice. Nope. Just yahoo! with a big dumb smile and thumbs sticking up, and lots of videos posted of ripping upward on the descents. 

Even when some of them have been very clearly challenged to provide a voice of responsibility (as so many do in Mountain biking), no response is given.  And THAT is probably the biggest threat to ebike use there is - the reluctance to demonstrate responsible leadership in one's own sport.  They would rather take the chance on dragging down all riding, than step up to the plate and say, "Yeah, etiquette is important. Risk mitigation is important. Here's our ideas of how to achieve that."

Sad.

Feb. 3, 2021, 3:35 p.m.
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: cerealkilla_

In THIS I find the most fault.....and with the influencers and reps. Not a single peep from them on how to responsibly integrate the new technology with existing patterns of trail use. Nope. No contributions to help with etiquette, reduce risk, or make nice. Nope. Just yahoo! with a big dumb smile and thumbs sticking up, and lots of videos posted of ripping upward on the descents. 

Even when some of them have been very clearly challenged to provide a voice of responsibility (as so many do in Mountain biking), no response is given.  And THAT is probably the biggest threat to ebike use there is - the reluctance to demonstrate responsible leadership in one's own sport.  They would rather take the chance on dragging down all riding, than step up to the plate and say, "Yeah, etiquette is important. Risk mitigation is important. Here's our ideas of how to achieve that."

Sad.

True, but how often do we see ads about responsible trail use/etiquette from bike manufacturers anyway? It seems every ad and video edit is mostly about shredding the gnar or designed around an aggressive attitude. If every bike co was donating 20% of net profits to trail advocacy and maintenance then I wouldn't care too much how they market their products as bike org's would be able to do it themselves. But I highly doubt that is happening.

Feb. 3, 2021, 4:28 p.m.
Posts: 740
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

Yup, they could all do more. Agreed.

I do see ongoing communication around trail etiquette from rider clubs, and from riders themselves.

However, whenever the topic of etiquette specific to ebikes comes up, it is seldom if ever ebike riders leading the conversation, and zero input from the influencers (we know who they are). Instead it is just argue this and argue that when anyone suggests there are problematic issues to deal with.

The shralp and shred aesthetic is going nowhere - nor do the vast majority of riders ever reach a level to actually shralp and shred. But all riders use trails and interact with others. That's where the biggest problems are likely to occur.

Feb. 3, 2021, 5:48 p.m.
Posts: 213
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: KenN

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.

Sorry if I offended you. Nobody deserves more respect than a single parent. I wasn't one, but did raise 2 kids with my wife.  Priorities shifted and my riding time was extremely limited. That was ok though, and it never crossed my mind that I *needed* a motor on my bike.  Obviously other people may make different choices.

Feb. 3, 2021, 6:06 p.m.
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: skooks

Sorry if I offended you. Nobody deserves more respect than a single parent. I wasn't one, but did raise 2 kids with my wife.  Priorities shifted and my riding time was extremely limited. That was ok though, and it never crossed my mind that I *needed* a motor on my bike.  Obviously other people may make different choices.

Good on you for stepping up, but this whole idea of time and choice misses a lot of factors. I get your point when it comes to expensive mtn ebikes, but while this whole notion of choice and time may play great for inspirational memes and pics there are a ton of reasons why people may not have the choice with their time that you feel they do. The ability to choose is not a privilege that everyone has.

Feb. 3, 2021, 8:16 p.m.
Posts: 18109
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

ding! ding!  says the girl trying to pass us on the uphill of the Lions' Gate sidewalk.  ding! ding!  I gotta pass you!  

My wife let her pass, but I didn't, pushing my pace.  Then after the crest on the downhill, my poor lady got hung up behind a stupid e-biker dragging the brakes.   I waited a good 45 seconds for both of them at the north end...

Don't be that girl, and I don't care if you ride an e-bike.  They are fun as hell, no doubt.

Feb. 3, 2021, 8:43 p.m.
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: JBV

the above indicates what i was saying which shoulda been summarized thusly:  most people have a hard time thinking beyond their immediate self interest. either we've lost it as a society or it was never really there much to begin with. not sure which it is.

That's a big part of why Western society has so much to learn from Indigenous cultures, their perspective on what's important is vastly different from our capitalist view.

Feb. 4, 2021, 5:33 a.m.
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: JBV

the above indicates what i was saying which shoulda been summarized thusly:  most people have a hard time thinking beyond their immediate self interest. either we've lost it as a society or it was never really there much to begin with. not sure which it is.

But that's the thing, those people don't see that behavior as "wrong".  They think that is just how it is.  That is why when people keep saying "we need to educate more people on trail etiquette", it is not going to work.  The people who act like this feel their actions are justified, so you they will not listen.  

In regards to the "shredits", I hate them.  They are definitely influencing new riders and I am seeing a lot more skid marks, blow out corners and braids popping up.  Riders going way too fast and trying to look cool for their GoPro or the 'gram.  I love aggressive riding, but at 3pm on a Wednesday, when the trailhead overflow lot is full of hikers is not the time to go blasting down the trail.  

I feel like I have had to do some extra fence mending with the hikers/equestrians around here.

Feb. 4, 2021, 3:01 p.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec. 12, 2020

Posted by: syncro

That's a big part of why Western society has so much to learn from Indigenous cultures, their perspective on what's important is vastly different from our capitalist view.

I would love to see more indigenous perspectives, but I don't think this is really relevant to trail behaviours.

I've seen lots of communities that felt exceptional, like activity X was really attracting a significantly better quality of human than other activities, or that something about the culture of the community was special... then the community got bigger, and yeah, it turned out not to be the case. Mountainbiking was probably a really tight-knit group of reasonable people at one point, who figured a shared love of riding would forget a certain type of community spirit. Even the most die hard capitalists aren't actually advocating for running hikers and kids down with mountain bikes.

Feb. 4, 2021, 4:12 p.m.
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: samroberts

Posted by: syncro

That's a big part of why Western society has so much to learn from Indigenous cultures, their perspective on what's important is vastly different from our capitalist view.

I would love to see more indigenous perspectives, but I don't think this is really relevant to trail behaviours.

It’s actually quite relevent when you compare the typical Indigenous Worldview with the Western or Eurocentric Worldview.  

One is much more about community and the other is much more about the individual. 

https://www.learnalberta.ca/content/aswt/well_being/documents/all_my_relations.pdf

Feb. 5, 2021, 6:13 a.m.
Posts: 3
Joined: April 10, 2020

As a fellow old guy who also yells at clouds from time to time, it has done me well to remember (1) that I occasionally need to calm the f*** down and (2) never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Sometimes people don't know any better. Education, not provocation, is more likely to achieve the desired result.

Feb. 5, 2021, 11:59 a.m.
Posts: 1253
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

Posted by: HansB

As a fellow old guy who also yells at clouds from time to time, it has done me well to remember (1) that I occasionally need to calm the f*** down and (2) never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Sometimes people don't know any better. Education, not provocation, is more likely to achieve the desired result.

☝️👍

Feb. 10, 2021, 3:22 p.m.
Posts: 1682
Joined: July 11, 2014

Have definitely seen the turds blasting up Mountain Highway and Old Buck on turbo mode with head down not acknowledging others (some must be self aware and realize they will not be received kindly). I'm at the point I don't care/judge those riding them, but only care about the potential access/conflict angle, especially on the shore with the massive increase in trail use (by all user groups) this year. 

I'm right in the target market, turning 40 with two young kids and a busy life which means mountain bike rides are few and far between. I bought a road bike instead which has been amazing in many ways, as I am lucky enough to work from home during COVID-19. Getting in an hour of hard effort from my front door at lunch or between calls is awesome. When I get a couple hours free I can do a 90 min ride on the shore which for me is a climb to the top of Fromme or Seymour, descent and another half lap, i.e. GSM or a couple extra lower Fromme laps. Would doing 3 top to bottoms instead be more fun in some ways? Sure but I just don't see it as the same sport.

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