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December 16, 2017
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  • ptor

    Interesting topic and eloquent spokes-people, but one voice missing was that of a land/trail manager. And there would be different type of land managers that should be spoken with — those in charge of areas that are primarily recreational in nature (think trail systems in urban/suburban areas), maybe commercial (think bike parks/ski areas) and those who manage ostensibly “wild” areas. Caring more about trails in “wild” lands (e.g. – USFS managed public lands) and having spoken at length with a USFS wildlife biologist and manger I’ll state that here’s a place where motorized bikes will cause a problem for mountain bikers. A very big concern for USFS/BLM managers is the human load and its effect on the environment. They manage knowing what type of load exists on trails throughout their area. It can take serious dedication for a non-motorized user to get even 10 miles back from a trail head and they know that and can determine access based on historic use issues. Now you suddenly increase both the numbers of folks at the trailhead and the number that can access well into the management area — there’s the real possibility of a significant increase in the numbers of people accessing areas which were relatively lightly traveled in the past. Three things can happen here — the manager decides there’s no significant change of the impact, the data in hand already indicates that no significant increase in access/use can be tolerated so you prohibit motorized vehicles of all types (i.e. – no eBikes), or (my fear) they close the trail system to all mechanized travel due to a policy equating motorized bicycles with regular bicycles. I guarantee that if the motorized bike industry gets their way and has eBikes classified as bicycles there will be a massive loss of trails in more sensitive wild areas managed by USFS and BLM. The officials in those organizations that I know personally are passionate about conservation and human encroachment on wildlife and habitat is at the top of the list for things to worry about.

  • Wily_Quixote

    E-MTB is a legitimate sporting vehicle but my opinion is that, whilst they certainly belong on fire roads, they should not be on sporting singletrack i.e. tracks maintained by mountain bikers for mountain bikers.
    Publicly maintained trails are a different matter, if e-MTBs cause trail closure ( to all cyclists) because they cause track deterioration or conflict with other trail users than, again, that singletrack is not the right place for them.
    I don’t think that there is a strong argument to ban e-Mtbs just because they have an electric assist.
    In my opinion, they are no more ridiculous than a bike designed not to go uphill (gravity mtbs) and, in and of themselves should not be excluded because x-country riders don’t like them.

    • Wily_Quixote

      Addit: the guy from Giant brings a very thoughtful take on it.

  • Lior Elbaz

    I own ebike full suspension and I love them so much I can’t go back to regular bike now. I think the only different between ebike and regular bike they can go little faster on flat or up hills I enjoy the mountains bike now even more I like the single track and try to ride them mostly
    I’m sure in future every second person will own one. I don’t like see close Trails for ebike they do not make any damge they are same as other bikes is not fair to not let them shere the trails because they are little faster
    And if they close Trails ok so open new one for ebikes
    Or we can all get along on same Trails

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December 16, 2017
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