Posted by: cerealkilla_
And don't think the bespectacled protectors of the frogs who hate all bikes aren't just rubbing their grubby little hands together with glee as bikers quarrel among themselves over the respective virtues (or lack thereof) of emtb and mtb.
Make no mistake, the anti-all-bike rabble will seek to make the most of the ebike issue, and use it to forward their own petty claims to the trails. They won't even bother with booby traps this time.
And THAT is why it is so important that the people that are pushing and marketing ebikes need to step up and address the valid issues regarding their responsible integration into trails. Instead of just sticking their thumbs up and saying "just ride" or "be rad" and marketing blah blah blah, they need to actually acknowledge there are some legitimate issues, and articulate a strategy for dealing with them.... Insurance, directional trails, responsible use of (now motorized) machines when mixing with other trail users, and potential trail impact issues (still subject to debate). We should be looking to get past the baseless issues (i.e. how people feel or what they think they've earned), and focus on the concrete issues that matter when it comes to trail access and actual impacts on trails and other users.
We need a sober and evidence-based discussion of these issues, with direct participation from those that want ebikes on the trails....not just more internet speculation, squabbling, and marketing excuses....and no more of this silence from the profiteers. Until that happens, it is reasonable to expect continued reluctance to embrace ebikes within the riding community. I think we've reached a point where the majority of riders really don't care or judge what other people ride. It's more that what we have achieved as a sport in terms of trails and trails access is extremely precious, and we should be extremely cautious (and responsible) about how we integrate new technology into the mix. And no, ebikes are not like disc brakes and suspension in the 90s, not like DH bikes, not like paddle boards in the breaks, and not like snowboards on the hills. They involve the addition of energy via a motor that increases power and speed. This is a unique direction change in technology, and it deserves a thoughtful analysis.